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SP2 problem

Posted on 2009-07-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hi,
I have a Dell PowerEdge running Server 2003. When I installed SP2, it installed fine, except after the reboot, it freezes with a blank screen at about the point when I expect to see "Preparing Network Connections" displayed, just prior to the "Press CTRL-ALT-DEL to login" screen. And it is frozen, no drive activity, no task manager, nothing. I had to do a repair install back to SP1 to get it running again, which fortunately went without a hitch.

So, how do I find out what the problem was so I can then find out how to go about fixing it?

Thanks,
Bill
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Question by:westone
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Expert Comment

by:Datedman
ID: 24766144
Happen to have Backup Exec System Recovery installed?  Sometimes the recovery point browser causes problems after SP installs altho you usually get a BSOD.  What other non-standard-type software in installed on the box?
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rjwesley earned 2000 total points
ID: 24766466
Broadcom drivers... look into that.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948496/

http://justanothersysadmin.wordpress.com/2008/03/22/dell-broadcom-server-2003-sp2-snp-and-toe/

Possible remedy - update NIC drivers prior to SP2.

Rob
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by:Datedman
ID: 24766543
Good idea, why didn't I think of that?  It it stalls just prior to network connections phase... :)
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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 24767726
We are using Symantec Backup Exec v. 10d to backup to tape. I am not aware of anything called System Recovery related to it. I just had a look at it.

The server has 2 Intel PRO/1000 MT dual port NICs installed. I am checking on updated drivers now.
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Expert Comment

by:Datedman
ID: 24767746
System Recovery is a whole diff. product, sort of a super-Ghost.
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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 24767998
I've installed NIC drivers that are a year newer than the previous ones. I looked in the Event logs for some evidence of the source of the problem. Unfortunately there are no entries from the SP2 install, only just prior to, and after the repair install of SP1. I'm hesitant to risk another crash and repair install with no more leads than it crashed when network connections were normally prepared during startup.
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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 24768092
Okay, after reading the article posted by rjwesley, the NIC problem with SP2 is a "feature" called TCP/IP Offloading. This feature is turned on by default for the NICs our server has installed, and it turned on by default in SP2, which is the source of the problem. I could turn the feature off on the NICs prior to installing SP2, and I guess for safe measure I should install the hot fix from MS, which turns off the related features in SP2.
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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 24768110
I meant to make the point that this problem occurs with any TCP/IP Offloading enabled NIC when SP2 is installed, not just Broadcom brand NICs.
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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 24772194
SP2 installed successfully after turning off the TCP/IP Offloading features. Also, after installing SP2, but BEFORE rebooting, I was able to install the hot fix from MS. One or both of those actions enabled the successful installation. Thanks for the help.
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