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Problem after SBS 2003 server restore (reboots on splash screen and won't boot anymore)

Posted on 2006-10-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-15
I had to re-install our SBS 2003 Standard. Hardware config unchanged. I did a full backup of all drives incl. system state and exchange etc. with ntbackup. I then did a new clean install of the server, rebooted in ad repair mode and restored the complete c: drive and the system state.

After reboot I only got to the Windows splash screen and before they screen turned to grey for the "Windows is starting up" screen the server reboots always at this point. Also safe mode did not help.

Any idea?

Is there any chance to make a complete clean install of the server and just to restore AD and Exchange without the entire registry and COM+ and whatever. ntbackup does not give me any choice than to restore everything. I would prefer only to restore the basic AD and exchange and start everything over from scratch. I have the last state of the server as a complete ntbackup and a mirror of all drives as well (done with another backup software).
Question by:domim
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LVL 74

Assisted Solution

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 750 total points
ID: 17800386
Did you reinstall all patches and service packs that were on the server prior to restoring the backup?  That needs to be done first.

Then, if you just wanted to reinstall the system state (active directory, basically)  that's no problem.  Just be sure to follow the steps outlined here:  http://sbsurl.com/backup


Accepted Solution

Keyguard earned 750 total points
ID: 17800400
Obviously sounds like something has gone wrong with the restore, usually I find those sort of reboot errors are usually because its managed to screw up one of the fundamental system files or drivers. Sometimes it can be an actual hardware fault, can be worth removing all unnecessary devices from the system, but since you have decent backups you don't need to waste too much time on it.

Did you do the backup/restore using the SBS Wizard and following the SBS instructions? I ask this because it is a bit different to how you'd expect to do a normal Win Server restore from a backup, but if you follow the instructions its dead easy (I've done a full restore after replacing drives in under 4 hours).

In your position I wouldn't bother trying to repair the current system, I'd start again and follow the instructions (you can download them from here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=487736F8-F6F5-436D-A82D-0C8D66E2A634&displaylang=en ) , there's no need to worry about DS restore mode, just make sure you get the service packs right before starting the restore and select the correct restore options (first time I did it I missed one and had all sorts of wierd problems).

That should get you back to where you left off with the minimum hassle and pretty quickly too. I wouldn't recommend just trying to restore the AD and Exchange without the rest of it, chances are you'll break most of the SBS functionality and then you'll have no end of problems. Don't forget that most things in SBS you can reconfigure by running through the "To Do" list again once you have your server recovered - or if bits of that are broken you can put CD1 in again and reinstall most of the tools.

Expert Comment

ID: 17800419
You beat me to it Jeff :)

I got the impression they wanted to reinstall the AD without any of the registry, didn't think that was a good plan with SBS but its not something I've investigated so I'd take your advice on that.
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Author Comment

ID: 17801575

I did install all SPs and patches to my best knowledge. As I use WSUS also to update the server I have lost track (resp. did not really care) what exactly was installed. But I also did a MS update and had my system up-to-date so I guess that was done.


yes, I used the wizard. But I am currently giving it another try, just installing the Server 2003 SP1, will let you know of the outcome...
I also agree with you not to install only parts (e.g. AD without registry). As soon I get this running I will give the settings a complete work-over.

Is it necessary to restore the exchange store after I completely restored my sys drive and the system state? Everything should be running just fine again as it did before the backup, isn't it?


Author Comment

ID: 17804931
Thanks guys. I went through the whole thing again and restored successfully after about 4 hours.

Just curious: assuming I would set up a complete new server and would like to transfer my AD and Exchange, how would I do that? I guess it is not a good idea to restore registry from one system to another completely different one.
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17828209
To see the options for migrating to new hardware, see my answer here:  http:Q_21987041.html


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