Continual Reboot after Power Failure on Server 2003

Posted on 2008-10-16
Last Modified: 2009-05-11
Hello Experts:

   I have a production server 2003 Enterprise Edition that had a power failure this morning.  The battery backup UPS kept it going for a while, but then the server came down.  I don't know it if came down gracefully or not - I assume not.  Now that the power is back on, the server will not boot.  It gets to where Windows starts to load - I can see the Windows 2003 logo and the progress bar for a second or two, then it reboots.  When I chose F8 and select not to restart on failure, I get the stop error code of 0x0000007b.  Research says this is generally a virus, bad driver or corrupt registery.  BTW, we are running RAID1, but the RAID seems to be OK.  Status is optimal.  I loaded a server 2003 std from a CD (with the RAID drivers from floppy) and I can get in to Recovery Console.  I ran CHKDSK /P which found some errors, but did not fix the problem.  I am now running CHKDSK /R.  
   Any ideas on what else I can do next?  SInce this is a production machine I'm under pressure to get it up ASAP.  Our main server is a Windows 2003 Small Business Server.  This server with the problem is a terminal server and file server.  Thanks.
Question by:jhuntii
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

Paranormastic earned 500 total points
ID: 22734293
Did you try the Last Known Good?

Usually the driver issue is during installation, but corruption of the driver file or the registry pointing to that are possibilities.  Virus is generally unlikely, but do not totally rule that out - get a bootable CD version of your favorite AV software if you get antsy in that direction.

A lot of times issues relating to a power dump fall back to the NVRAM on the motherboard.  If you are familiar with how to clear the NVRAM by jumper (aka clear the CMOS) then do so, or contact your OEM for how to do that.  Occasionally reseating the power supply might help, too.

If you are using multiple SCSI controllers for your RAID, there may be a conflict there.  I usually see this when the onboard SCSI isn't being used and the RAID is done on a card.  The onboard may now be enabled, causing a conflict.  Typically this will err differently tho earlier in the boot cycle, but is worth a quick check especially if you just cleared the nvram and things look worse.

Here are a few other things (article says XP, but applies to 2003 as well - look at the bottom for supported OS to ease your mind):
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 22734337
My suggestion is run repair install on this server. Repair install can be tricky if you never try before.

Repair install is different from upgrade. Windows just restore all bad system file without changing your set up. Make sure you follow it step by step. Let us know the progress.

LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 22734453
I forgot to mention that after repair install, you always want to reapply the latest service pack.

Another possibility is try to boot in safemode. If you successfully boot in safemode, you can re-install service pack and firmware/driver package. This will give a shot to target as well.

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Expert Comment

ID: 22734641
Hi there,
I had the same problem 7 months ago , and it's ends to repair the windows installation ( in place installation ) after that machine started but I had to reconfigure IP addresses and some other services was not a big deal but now the more important is make you windows start.
I think u have first to run CHKDSK /F this will fix the errors which CHKDSK /P found after try to start u machine normally.
if not started then Troubleshoot the hardware try change the ram module or work with a single ram if u dont have a spare, change the current banks ,clean banks and ram modules, try with new POWER SUPPLY.
If not started start the machine in safe mode (F8 while booting up ) and watch the file while it loading and write down the last FILE-NAME before dump ( restart )
access the boot drive ( using Recovery Console ) backup or copy FILE-NAME to other place then copy this file from any running windows (same Version and service pack of crashed windows ) and over-write the old one, then try to start u machine normally.
If not started then access the boot drive (using Recovery Console) and delete this file (make sure u still have the backup) and try.
If not started prepare windows 2003 CD with embedded service packs version (and installed updates if possible) as same as installed on the crashed system and boot the server from that CD and start to REPAIR your windows (make sure that your select repair option)
The repair will reinstall the system and windows files only and keep registry and data save.
 I hope Ill be able to start your machine after that.
keep us updated pllzz :) good luck


Author Comment

ID: 22735458
THank you for the quick responses.  After the CHKDSK /R finished, the server still did not boot.  I was about to start the recovery install, but went through to check the RAID and other settings in the BIOS (yes, it's an on-board RAID1).  I made a few changes, but didn't really see anything that should have made a difference.  I didn't want to reset the BIOS/NVRAM because I thought I might mess up the mirror and our contingency plan was to put one of the drives into another server and reconfigure the workstations to access the data there.  Anyway, I had a second mirrored set, plus one other drive all in the server.  I pulled out all drives except the two in the system mirror and it booted right up!!! yeah!  So, I don't know if it's something I changed in the BIOS or pulling out the non-system drives or rebooting more than once after the Chkdsk /R...  The other drives are fairly new and haven't been populated yet, so I'll leave it up for now so people can get some work done, then I'll take a look at it after business hours to get the other drives back in.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 22740148
So for some reasons, it tries to boot from the none bootable drives. That happens sometime with power surge messes up the boot order.


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