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Windows Server 2003 Hangs on Splash Screen?

Posted on 2008-10-09
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Last Modified: 2011-02-01
I have an IBM xSeries 365 server that has Windows Server 2003 loaded on it.  I recently rolled back the service pack from Service Pack 2 to Service Pack 1.  I unistalled Service Pack 2 and Installed Service Pack 1.  Upon rebooting after installing Service Pack 1, the server hangs on the Windows Server 2003 splash screen.  I have tried to boot with Last known good configuration, and still it hangs on the splash screen.  I have also tried to boot into safe mode, and it freezes once again.  I have tried to boot from CD, same thing.  I need to get the server back online so I can finish installing a demo of a software product we are looking into purchashing.   Would anyone have any suggestions??

Tank you for your responses in advance.
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Question by:cbarbre
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Expert Comment

by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22683159
In all seriousness, do you have a good backup?
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Author Comment

by:cbarbre
ID: 22683181
Backup for the server was not needed. It was an unused server before the decision to place a demo product on.  No important data resided on the server.  
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Expert Comment

by:pablovr
ID: 22683182
It may sound like not-related, but I suggest to test the memory
 
http://www.memtest.org/
 
I have seen sometimes this behavior related to memory problems.
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22683190
Well, if I didn't have any important data on it you may be better off (time wise) to wipe it and re-install then re-install your product.
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Expert Comment

by:pablovr
ID: 22683196
Try to boot with...
http://www.ubcd4win.com/
It does include many tools that might enbrighten the problem.
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Author Comment

by:cbarbre
ID: 22683218
Pablovr:

How do I run this.  I cannot to a prompt or anywhere where I can type commands.  I have ran system diagnostics and showed nothing.

dfxdeimos:

Same issue as above.  I have nowhere to type commands, how could I do a wipe and reinstall?
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22683236
You just boot from the Windows Server CD and then start a new install. When you get to the partition selection screen you just have to delete and re-create the partition. Everything will begin anew...
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Author Comment

by:cbarbre
ID: 22683253
When I boot to the server CD,  it never gets to the place where I can select a new install or repair, which is what I would like to do before the reinstall.  It loads the drivers, then goes to a black screen and hangs.??
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Expert Comment

by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22683268
Wow, so you put in the CD, press "any key to boot from CD" it goes through its little driver load and then hangs?
Can you access the bios (hit DEL repeatidly as soon as computer boots) and reset them to factory defaults (usually an option to the far right of the menu)?
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Author Comment

by:cbarbre
ID: 22683296
Yep, I just now ran through, told it to boot from CD.  It went through the driver load, said " Starting Up Windows"  then goes to a black screen.   I will try to access the bios and see if I cant restore the defaults. Do you think it could be a missing ini file or something damaged my mbr?
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dfxdeimos earned 500 total points
ID: 22683319
Well, it shouldn't matter if any files on the server were damaged. The CD is its own self contained bootable environment so a failure of that to boot would either indicate a corrupt disk, a hardware issue, or incorrect system settings in the BIOS.
If you can verify that the disk is good by booting from another system and then just exiting out (don't worry, it won't hurt anything) we can narrow it down.
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 22683919
Try Safe mode with VGA support. That will revert the computer back to the generic Windows VGA driver. You should be able to use that driver to get into safe mode.

Once in Safemode delete your old driver and then reboot the computer. In doing so, it will revert to the generic driver in regular mode.  Once back on the computer you will get a plug and play support popup that says new hardware is available, or it may just automatically install your driver for that monitor.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 22683926
If that doesn't work, try CTRL+ALT+DEL and see if you can get task manager. Then, go to file>>run>>explorer.exe.

There seems to be a rash of people having problems with Windows Explorer loading, and they don't even have Malware. It's odd. I think I am going to hold off on downloading security packs/updates for a while.
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Author Comment

by:cbarbre
ID: 22691023
ChiefIt:

I enabled VGA, and tried to boot into safe mode.  The computer still locked up.  I am about out of options I think, and I think I may be having to go into the LSI configuration to do a format.  Could I try and maybe make a boot Disk?  Try to boot from a floppy, pointing to the partition with the OS on it??
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 22691043
did you attempt to restart explorer using task manager?
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Author Comment

by:cbarbre
ID: 22691058
I can not get to task manager without first being logged on??
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22691520
Yes, you have to be logged on to use Task Manager.
Unfortunately you seem to be running out of options. =[
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 22692148
That's NOT always true:

Explorer is a process, just like terminal services. You can start and stop these services with a command line interface. Pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL has brought up task manager in the past. SO, give it a try.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_23671600.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+chiefit+desktop+explorer.ex+icon

If it doesn't work, we will have to resort to a repair install of your machine.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:cbarbre
ID: 31504862
It was a bad boot CD.  Would have never thought that.  Put in another bootable CD and it took right off.  Thank you for the help dfxdeimos!
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