If you create an image of Windows 2000 installation and then restore the image to a drive on a different computer (or, in some seconds, another drive on the same system) you may see the message "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE."

This happens when Windows 2000 cannot access the hard drive due to a difference in device drivers between the computer imaged and the target computer. Your thinking, "I thought Windows 2000 was plug and play" and you'd be right...

Normally this is because the target computer had a hard drive controller that didn't exist on the originally imaged system where the image was created. Windows 2000 tries to access the device on the target computer, but can't as the drivers for it are not installed. Also, if the imaged computer had a drive that is not present on the machine being imaged, Windows 2000 chokes when it loads the old drivers, but cannot find the appropriate drive for them. Even if the source and destination computers use the same drivers, but the target's system partition is on a drive that is on a different IDE channel than the originally imaged computer- When Windows 2000 attempts to access the hard drive, it cannot find it because the drivers for it have not yet been installed for that IDE channel.

This can be taken care of by editing the SysPrep.inf file and using SysPrep prior to creating your image. Alternatively you could also correct this by configuring the destination computer's hardware to match the source computer's hardware before cloning, but this would require prior knowledge of the hardware on the target systems ahead of time. Using SysPrep is the best solution, and can be implemented in the following manner:

* Install SysPrep on the source computer.

* Edit the SysPrep.inf file using notepad or other text editor:

- If the problem is due to which IDE channel is in use, type the following two lines under the [SysprepMassStorage] section:

Primary_IDE_Channel = %windir%\inf\mshdc.inf

Secondary_IDE_Channel = %windir%\inf\mshdc.inf

- If the problem is due to a new hard drive controller, add an entry for that controller to the [SysprepMassStorage] section. Check your controller's documentation or manufacturer's web site for what is required as it will be different for each controller.

* Save the file

* Run SysPrep

* Create and image of the disk

If the problem was due to the IDE channel in use, Windows 2000 will boot from the correct IDE controller regardless of which IDE drive you wrote the image to.

You may also experience this error if you cloned a Windows 2000 disk to a different size drive or different drive location. Finally, the drive could be incorrectly configured to use DMA access. Turning off DMA access in the computer's BIOS may resolve the problem (before turning off DMA access, consult your hard drive's documentation and the computer's documentation.)