New server system32\config\default corrupt already...

We just built a new server with sbs 2003 about 2 months ago. Everything had been running perfectly fine until about 30 mins ago. The computer was apparently off, after reboot shows Server 2003 loading screen, goes blank, then blue screen says system32\config\default is corrupt. How could this have happened? I want to see if repair\default is there but recovery console freezes, safe mode freezes, nothing wants to be on my side D:   Reinstalling OS is gonna kill me. Server has mirror raid, could it be an HD failure? Thank you !
InterloperKOAsked:
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
Another note. The server has 2 Nics, one for LAN other for WAN. I had a wifi ap on the wan side and would remote desktop to server with laptop via 192.168.0.5 I moved the access point to the LAN side and thought it was weird my shortcut to 192.168.0.5 still worked when it should have been 192.168.1.1. It let me log on to the server then my remote connection froze. Went to server closet and it was rebooting. Then received config\default corrupt ! Please help me, this is an urgent matter
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tuttlepcCommented:
could be a problem with the mirror....  if you can break the mirror and try booting off the good drive... (if it's a HD failure) ...  (however -- it would be also safe to assume that since it is mirrored if it's bad data it's on the other mirrored drive as well) hmf
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
The recovery console finally prompted me for a password 20 mins later. I put first command in to try the recover files system, default, sam, etc. but again is taking a while to respond. Is this the effect of a bad HD in a RAID config does anyone know?? thank you, thank you to whomever can help me
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
UGH again:
 Each command in the recovery console takes about 5 minutes to react. I've 3 so far first command was:
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
result was:
The file could not be copied.
2nd command was:
c:\windows>cd tmp
result was
The path or file specified is not valid
3rd command was
md tmp
result was:
The directory could not be created.
Just did a fourth one also:
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\system.bak
result was:
The file could not be copied

Not sure what to do at this point. Thanks in advance
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
and typing dir at prompt returns:
An error occured during directory enumeration

I will break the raid while waiting for an expert

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tuttlepcCommented:
main thing is to try to get a backup of your data.... or maybe you already do....  
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PlaceboC6Commented:
Run a chkdsk /r in recovery console.

Often this will repair corruption.  If that doesn't do it,  there is a folder where a backup copy of the registry files are put during a backup

C:\windows\repair is default on 2003.

You can copy the file named SYSTEM from c:\windows\repair to c:\windows\system32\config
I would check the file date on the copy in the repair folder and make sure it is recent before you try that.

I would try the chkdsk /r first though.  I've seen this fix that particular error in 50% of the cases.
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PlaceboC6Commented:
I just read your last post about the failed directory enumeration.  That is not good.  See if it will even let you run a chkdsk.  If not,  then you may have a completely hosed volume.
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
Ok, I'm loading recovery console. it'll likely take about 20 mins to get to the prompt. I had rebooted again and got the config\SAM corrupt instead of the config\DEFAULT this time. It was only on for a second, but looked like it said Not able to write, alter, permissions(?) something of that nature, then rebooted.

PS: The word hosed makes me cry and throw huge fits D: lol. Thanks, I am praying chkdsk works
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PlaceboC6Commented:
I'm sorry.   Don't like to throw that out too much.

Have you been backing up the server?

Additionally I would make sure that you have the latest firmware and drivers for your raid controller.  Some controllers have firmware revisions that may be more prone to corruption in certain scenarios.

What type of server do you have?  A big brand like Dell, HP, or IBM....or something custom built?
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
I have a NAS in place but it hasn't been configured. The whole setup with servers and networking is all new. About 6 weeks. We're actually still working on things. After everything was complete we planned on pushing the NAS button. The server is custom built. The raid controller is Gigabyte's GRAID. Hope its not a firmware. We built 3 identical servers with the same stuff.
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PlaceboC6Commented:
I have no real world experience with Gigabytes stuff since building pc's years and years ago.

Some firmware updates are transparent to the system....and as long as you upgrade the driver as well to match you are ok.

Sometimes you lose your containers (on really cheap raid controllers)

I say it is time to get that NAS going and run full backups (on any machine that is still up and running) including system state (very important) immediately.
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
Oh, to answer your other question. No, we have not been running backups. Really didn't expect a crash before we even finished the network.
And an edit for the above "I hope its not a firmware problem"
chkdsk /r is running right now. The way things are moving (abnormally slow) this could take a while. I will keep you updated. Thanks again
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
how long would it normally take to run the chkdisk? Assuming everything is running at about 5% of the normal speed it should take... an hour? 10 hours? Thanks
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
the results of the chkdsk=
The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems
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PlaceboC6Commented:
That usually is pretty straight forward.  You were unable to perform a simple dir on portions of the disk,  operations were taking entirely too long, and now chkdsk is failing.

In my experience that usually means it is grenaded unless anyone else had any bright ideas.
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
Unless someone can suggest something else, I should start the data backup process and reformatting, recreating active directory, antivirus server, and another 5 dozen services. I'm getting very weak typing this
S.O.S
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
How does something like this happen?? Everything was perfect!. I'm getting in panic mode. What do you think fastest data recovery route would be? its NTFS. Is it possible to get the active directory backed up with the user accounts, etc. ?
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
Is there any bootable program to repair the registry that anyone knows of? I really don't want to start the above stated, but I need to start doing something. Thanks in advance
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PlaceboC6Commented:
There is a registry repair tool. Although if chkdsk was failing,  I don't know how much it is going to do for you.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=56d3c201-2c68-4de8-9229-ca494362419c&displayLang=en

If it is the only DC in the domain,  copying AD out won't do you any good.  It is possible to promote a DC with a backed up copy of AD,  but that requires a domain controller for the domain to be available for authentication.  So if this is the only DC,  there is nothing for the reloaded box to authenticate to.  It is not possible to copy the AD database from server to server.  It will fail at boot when you do this.

Additionally,  if the chkdsk is failing it is possible that the database file is corrupt like the registry is.

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PlaceboC6Commented:
As far as the cause......

A power outtage...bad firmware on a controller...defective cable or something in the chain between the controller and the disks...bad driver...bad controller...so many possibilities.

The best thing I can tell you is to back these babies up as soon as you have them where you want them.  I can't blame you for assuming you wouldn't have problems this early on.  

I guess it's never a question of IF it will fail,  but when it will fail.

I had a raid controller built on a motherboard once that had a bad value in the bios.  Some Wait State settings that was set to 0 wait state...and I was having to reload my system once every 2 months due to registry corruption.  Eventually I found a post on Abit's web site talking about this and I set the wait state to 1ns or whatever the measurement was.....and it fixed the problem and that system has been running for a couple years now without issue.
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PlaceboC6Commented:
Just make sure moving forward that you capture a full backup with the system state.  System state on a domain controller includes not only the registry,  but the AD database as well.
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
Wowowow
As a last resort before tearing it all up I broked the mirrored RAID after recalling what you had said about the Raid and remembering the error of SAM not having write access.. The Server logo with the progress bar moved on the bottom for about 10 mins. I assumed the same thing was going to come up, but after returning the login screen was there!!!!! I believe in god now
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PlaceboC6Commented:
Ok that is REALLY strange.  Makes me wonder if you have some wierd controller issue.  If you have the ability.  Do a full backup.

I'm sure you're already looking at it if it is working.
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InterloperKOAuthor Commented:
yes, and Thank you for helping me Placebo !  have a great day :D
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Windows Server 2003

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