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Can't actually install Small Business Server 2003 - ntoskrnl.exe raised its ugly head...

I've recently purchased the Microsoft Action Pack and am trying to install Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition on what will be a test server.
The installation process involves 4 CDs, I'm yet to get past the first...

I have tried installing it on a number of hard drives now with the same result each time:

I go into the windows setup booting from the CD and choose a volume to format and install on
Format the volume NTFS, install the files,
System reboots... Now here's the trouble:  Upon rebooting the CD just goes through the exact same process again and warns me there is an instance of Windows already present and do I wish to overwrite it?  Obviosuly I don't but there is no option to continue with the previous installation.
To try and avoid this automation I've tried rebooting without the CD in the drive so booting from the hard drive.  I then get the following error:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
Please re-install a copy of the above file

I'm at a complete loss as to what to do.  Any help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks
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ml1n4
Asked:
ml1n4
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3 Solutions
 
dhoustonieCommented:
What type of server are you trying to install on?
If it is a white box, what is the hardware that you are installing on?
Are you using f6 to install storage drivers?


David
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suppsawsCommented:
Hi ml1n4,

Did you install your raid drivers first? (press F6 on boot)
That way you can define your raid level (raid 1 or raid 5,...)

If that is done, insert your sbs cd1 and boot from it.

If you are installing on a HP or fujitsu server, use the 'serverstart' cd, it contains the raid drivers.

Cheers!
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ml1n4Author Commented:
Hi there,

This is a white box installation, spec as follows:

Motherboard:  Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP Duo
Processor: Pentium IV 3.4Ghz
Ram: 2GB
Hard Drive: Seagate ST3250824AS 250GB 7200RPM SATA300 8MB
DVD: Samsung ts-h552  DVD/RW

I'm not trying to set up a Raid array so have no need to install any Raid drivers.  I've also tried various hard disks with the same result each time...

Any ideas?

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suppsawsCommented:
Ah, i see ...
When you look at the minimum specs of sbs:
Low-End Configuration (Less Than10 Users)
 
• Hardware redundant array of independent disks (RAID) using integrated device electronics (IDE).
 
• At least two hard disk bays.
 
that will be your problem ...
try setting it up on a raid array.
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suppsawsCommented:
although that would be recommended, you don't need raid actually ... .

the error means that the boot.ini settings are pointing to the wrong physical disk or partition.   It implies that you have a valid active partition, because the message is generated by NTLDR, so the boot process has started but then goes looking for ntoskrnl in the wrong place.
Have a look at this link to edit the boot.ini file:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/119467/EN-US/
or try ERD commander, that tool will allow you to edit the hard-disk copy of boot.ini
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dhoustonieCommented:
Here is the link to the downloads page for your motherboard.
I would recommend installing the chipset and sata controller drivers at startup to give you the most stable system:

http://www.giga-byte.com/Support/Motherboard/Driver_Model.aspx?ClassValue=Motherboard&ProductID=1795&ProductName=GA-8GPNXP%20Duo

David
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vico1CIOCommented:
I do not believe its the sata driver. Because the system actually finds the drives.

Try to reset the bios to default setting then try again.

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dhoustonieCommented:
My own thought for the drivers is that if the setup does use the wrong driver, data being transfered can be out on the disk erratically and may result in bad file allocation tables.
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ml1n4Author Commented:
OK I've found out what the problem was and sure enough it was a BIOS issue:  It would seem that GIGABYTE have some strange boot disk priority thing from within the SAME hard drive! Very odd.  I changed this setting to point at the hard drive I'd made the installation on and everything worked.  I do not know what the other disk was that it was pointing to, maybe a virtual drive or perhaps that 8MB of HD space that is taken up by partition information, but it now works.

Thanks to all for the help, I'll be splitting the points.
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