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SBS 2003 Server stuck in Server 2003 setup loop

Posted on 2009-05-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Somehow my SBS 2003 R2 server that has been up and running for two+ years got started in the Windows 2003 setup process. Not sure how, but I'm trying to find a way to abort and hopefully save my working installation, if not already too late.

I have tried LKGC & safe mode to no avail. I can boot to recovery console and am currently running chkdsk. I have open an incident with Microsoft but they seem clueless and want to run chkdsk to completeion and if that id okay a consistency check on RAID5 volume which will probably take 12-15 hours.

Any suggestions appreciated!
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Question by:cspillman
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by:akrdm
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Maybe this seems like a really obvious thing to try but check the CD drives and make sure that there is not a server 2003 setup disk in one of them. Also looking to see what else I can find.
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by:cspillman
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There was yesterday when this started, but unless someone sat at the server and "Pressed any key to boot..." from Windows SBS 2003 installation media and then loaded the f6 driver, and did all of the other steps to initiate setup, I'm at a loss.

Setup has run at least twice to where it asks for the Server 2003 license code, so my previous installation may already be damaged. But it seems there would be a simple way to remove whatever is forcing setup to restart when the server is rebooted.
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by:akrdm
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Have you recently added any new software or hardware to the server?
Do you know if any MS updates were recently installed or Not so recent that needed a reboot as well?
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by:akrdm
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You can check the boot.ini file and see if there is multiple entries in the boot.ini file.  If so you can try removing the one to the setup loop and then you should be able to boot normally. IF there is not multip;le entries in the boot ini file it might be time to consider finishing the load it's working on and then restoring from a backup that you hopefully have.
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by:cspillman
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No new software or hardware installed. Windows Update has not been run recently and I don't think any updates have been downloaded that a reboot was deferred.

Boot.ini only has a single line for SBS.

I do have a backup from Friday, but I can't say a restore has ever gone as smoothly for me as I should think it would.
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cspillman earned 0 total points
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Problem resolved by full restore of server. Thanks to arkdm for your input.
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