Stop upgrade

Posted on 2006-03-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
A new Dell server crashed and wouldn't reboot. I was called in to solve problem, only to find that upon the failure to reboot, someone (and funny enough nobody seems to knows who) had inserted the SBS Install CD and tried to re-install (repair/upgrade) to solve problem. The In-place Upgrade process halted when installing devices, as the USB2 Host Controller locks and this Dell only has USB Keybd/Mouse, so they are basically stuck in the middle of this setup run.

Now if I boot the server, it boots with Win 2003 SBS logo, goes to "Restarting Setup" and locks same place.

Is there a way to roll-back the install/upgrade attempt?

If not, is there a way to install a fresh copy and just recover my users from Active directory?

In short, there is no tape backup, as the server had just been installed, users created and their desktop My_documents, Exchange mailboxes, etc were moved onto server before a backup was scheduled. So I would like to be able to recover this either by stopping the current setup attempt, or to install fresh copy and recover from available files I have on disk (like NTDS.DIT, etc). I have BartPE, etc, so I can see all files and copy partitions, etc.
Question by:pfeiffer
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Did you want to install Windows 2003 Std instead of SBS?

    Author Comment

    No. The server had Win 2003 SBS installed.
    This is what should be installed. The upgrade attempt is also Win 2003 SBS.
    It just locks now. I want to get it to stop the upgrade and just boot normally again - without it attempting to restart setup.

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    I had a similar situation that I opened up a call with MS for.

    The solution in my case was to do a parallel install onto another partition, service pack it up to the same level (inc exchange etc, drivers), and copy most the contents of the windows and system32 directory from the new install into the original install. (all dll's, exe's etc). Big sigh of relief when it worked.

    If someone has tried doing a repair with the original SBS disk, and assuming the SBS server had been service packed, you currently have a mix of service packed, and non service packed files, which probably explains the lock-ups.

    Which model of server is it that doesnt have ps/2 ports? Just want to know so I can avoid buying one!


    Author Comment

    The Dell SC430 has no PS/2 ports. Very irritating problem when you run into a loop like this. Boots, runs setup and comes to the screen where it tells you that the USB Universal Host controller is not Windows logo certified, bla, bla, bla. And then asks you to click on Yes/No to go on - when you have just lost USB input devices like keybd/mouse!!

    Anyways, I solved it by booting from my WinPE cd, finding the oem.inf file for the Intel USB host controller for this chipset, renamed it to *.old and let it run again. It went thru setup and completed the upgrade (which we didn't want in the first place). Now I am verifying that all original configs, users, mailboxes are still intact. Otherwise I will have to try with the same thing you did (copying files) to see if I can re-establish these.

    LVL 74

    Expert Comment

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    You should use the DELL Pre-install CD's that came with the server.  So, now that you're in, I'd suggest just backing up a system state and using ExMerge to save the mailboxes, then start all over.

    Most likely, the first person who did this did not understand that you must configure an SBS in the default configuration and follow all items on the To-Do list.  ( and


    Author Comment

    The person who did this just didn't understand that if a server crashes, then you just don't stick in the install CD and run setup without knowing what the problem is.

    The Dell partition from the Pre-install CD was still alive and active.

    Anyways, I am in.  I tried to compelet the SBS setup which gave me the option to re-install all compenents. But it would nor re-install Exchange cos of corrupt metabase. I then had to remove and re-install IIS. Then the SBS setup ran smoothly, re-installing Server/Admin Tools, Exchange, etc.

    After setup was complete, I basically had the same config, all users and mailboxes intact, etc.  Now I also have a backup image!

    So I guess I can close this question.

    Accepted Solution

    Closed, 500 points refunded.
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