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Windows Server 2008 Standard hangs on first boot crcdisk.sys - ML110 G5

I am having issues installing Windows 2008 Server Standard on a factory fresh HP ML110 G5 tower model.

Intel Xenon, 1 GB ram, (1) 160 GB 1.5 SATA drive factory, (1) 160 GB 3.0 SATA drive add-on, onboard RAID enabled, drive array mirrored.

The steps I performed were:

1)  Downloaded Windows 2003 Server SATA RAID Drivers from HP website
as HP tech suggested
2)  Set BIOS to defaults, then enabled SATA RAID
3)  Deleted RAID array
4)  Rebuilt RAID array - RAID 1Mirror
5)  Boot off Windows Server 2008 64-bit disc
6)  Loaded RAID driver when 2008 said it couldn't find a drive
7)  Partition hard drive into 50 GB OS and 100 GB data
8)  Loaded Windows Server 2008
9)  Reboot machine - automatic after install
10)  Server begins loading - "Microsoft" screen with green scrolling bar
11)  Server crashes and reboots - brief blue screen of death

I have also, separately, tried to delete the RAID configuration and install 2008 with a stand default bios setup with no RAID and with only the factory installed original single hard drive.

When trying to boot system in Safe Mode, it loads all drivers up to
\windows\system32\drivers\crcdisk.sys.  It pauses with crcdisk.sys
then briefly blue screens (0.3 seconds maybe) then reboots and the
this cycle continue until the machine is interrupted by turning it
off.
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EricSimons
Asked:
EricSimons
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1 Solution
 
tigermattCommented:

I have seen this several times on ML110 G5 servers with Server 2008 x64.

Ensure you are using the correct drivers. Unlike when Server 2008 was just released, HP now have official Server 2008 x64 drivers for the ML110 storage controller. Download and use these instead; the Server 2003 drivers from a DL320 G5p occasionally work, but using the official ML110 drivers is more applicable. The embedded RAID driver can be downloaded from http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=3577708&prodNameId=3577715&swEnvOID=4024&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=MTX-89b748fe8b0b4011b87a63053d.

Verify the boot order in the BIOS and ensure the USB disk/floppy you are loading drivers from is set as a *lower* boot device in the Hard Disk priority and boot device priority than the hard disk and CD/DVD drive.

If that fails, you may have faulty installation media. There is a batch of Windows Server DVDs which may have this error. Contact Microsoft directly and request a replacement.

I can guarantee Server 2008 does install onto the ML110 series as I have at least 2 at some of my smaller clients.

-Matt
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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
Matt,

Thanks for your input.  The media I'm using is HP branded disc (white disc with HP logo and "Windows 2008 Standard... 64-bit).

My server doesn't have a floppy built in, but I do have a usb floppy on the shelf.  I have been booting off the Win 08 disc, getting to the point it of loading drivers, switching to a cd which I burnt drivers to, loading the drivers, then switching back to the Win 08 disc.  Forgive me if I am wrong, but this seems like it should work.

I've loaded 2003 several times successfully on other machines, but this is my second attempt at 08.  The first time was a nightmare and I ended up loading 03 on that server as well.
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tigermattCommented:

Hey Eric,

Do you have a spare USB flash disk lying around you could use? If so, I'd copy the driver files to the root of that drive, then boot the server with that disk inserted. DO the BIOS check I mentioned previously to ensure the Hard Disk RAID array is the #1 boot priority above the USB disk, then attempt to load drivers from that.

I have always had success with this method.

Which drivers were you using? Can you try this with the proper Server 2003 x64 drivers I linked you to above?

Let me know how you get on,
-Matt
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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
Matt,

I have a few usb flash drives laying around - like oreo cookies they are - cheap, plentiful and great to have around.

I'll certainly give the drivers a shot this evening when I get home from the bank.

I'll get back with you one way or the other.

Thanks again.
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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
Matt,

I believe the driver you sent me the link for is the same driver I tried originally.  I will try the link you sent me and us a usb flash drive.  Should that not work, have you any other suggestions?

As a side question, if I try to put Win 2k3 on the server, it will need raid drivers as well.  The only option I have is to "insert floppy disc containing drivers".  Will a USB floppy work for this?
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tigermattCommented:

Server 2003 and 2008 setup can use a USB floppy disk.
The difference is Server 2008 also allows you to use more suitable media to load drivers, whereas XP/Server 2003 throws you back into the dark ages by forcing you to use a floppy.

The crcdisk.sys error does, most of the time, indicate a driver issue. If the ML110 G5 drivers I linked you to above fail, can you try the appropriate OS version or, failing that, the Server 2003 x64 edition, of the storage controller for an HP DL320 G5p? These worked for me in the past.

I have seen this caused by faulty Server 2008 media before; it is possible you have a disk from the faulty Server 2008 media set which is causing this problem. Can you contact HP and request a replacement disk?

-Matt
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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
I should think I could call HP.

I have a downloadable 2008 license for another client.  The license is in use, but if I use it to load the OS, that will at least tell me the issue is the media itself.
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tigermattCommented:

That's a good idea, I never considered downloading another media to test with.
You could even use the evaluation media available from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B6E99D4C-A40E-4FD2-A0F7-32212B520F50&displaylang=en#filelist (be sure to download the x64 version). The trial versions will install without a product key and work for a set period of days, so that would be a good test in identifying where the issue lies.

-Matt
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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
Matt -

OK so I tried the drivers you gave me the link to.  Using a USB flash drive to load them.  Now I'm getting an error "Windows could not determine if this system contains a valid system volume".

I'm beginning to think it may be a media deal.
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tigermattCommented:

Ah, that good old error! The error you describe is a common one and occurs when the boot order is messed up.
Boot the server up with the USB flash disk inserted and open the BIOS. Go to the boot device priority, edit the hard disk boot priority and ensure the RAID array instance has a higher priority (higher in the list) than the USB flash device. Save the settings, reboot then test again, and you should find the problem is resolved.

Let me know if not.

If it doesn't work with those drivers, I'd like to hear from you regarding using an evaluation software version download to eliminate the hardware as an issue.

-Matt
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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
Classic rookie mistake on my part (and I've been doing this for a few years).  The USB shows up in BIOS as a hard drive, right above the array.  I took it since I could remove the usb drive, it was "removable media".

I hope this works - trying to pull down Win 2K8 on 768k dsl isn't fun.

Let me give that a shot and get back with you.

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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
OK I got a new message this time - "The users password must be changed before logging in for the first time."

HA!  Looks like I'm good to go.  The big change being loading the drivers off the usb drive.

Thanks!  I owe you one.  If you're ever on this side of the pond, look me up and we kick back a few!
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EricSimonsAuthor Commented:
rock on!
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tigermattCommented:
Good to hear you resolved it.
For small deployments, Server 2008 x64 on the ML110 G5s works wonders. I even have a client (3-man office) running Exchange 2007 on it and loves it.

-Matt
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