Terminal Server Crashed and won't restart

Got called in early about my WIndows Server 2003 server.  It is a Tyan server put together by the former IT worker.  I check the Super Micro management utility regularly and saw no warnings of hardware failures.

Everything starts fine until it gets to load the OS, and I get:

"Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.  Could not read from selected boot disk.  Check boot path and disc hardware.  Please check the windows documentation about hardware disck configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information."

Several users had logged in and were working successfully when the failure happened.  I'm not heavy on hardware knowledge.  Going to start scouring the documentation on the discs any other suggestions?
bradlee27514Asked:
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lnkevinCommented:
First, you may need to make sure there is no USB drives connected to the server while it boots up. Next, get in Bios and controller and check to see if the disks are alright and change the boot order to boot your HD first (you can switch it back after the boot goes thru)

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
no usb drives. in external raid array setup all discs appear fine.  for internal hd with OS I think this is where the problem is.  Will check boot order now.  should i try inserting the 2003 install discs for some kind of system repair?

I've got work arounds in place for now (e.g users using webmail clients, 2 users connected directly to my db server for our accounting software) but pretty much the woods are burning.
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FerrostiCommented:
Is the interal HD in a RAID mode or do you only have a single disk the OS runs on?
What kind of disk(s) is it and how is it configured?
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
This is current boot oder, Raid array is in separate housing.

1 IDE CD
2 PCI SS SI ASR 3085 PCI-E SAS Control
3 IDE 2: WDC WD 740ADFD-00NCR!-(SO)
4 IDE 0:
5 Legacy Floppy Drives:
6 IDE 3:
7 PCI Bev:
8 IDE 1:
   IDE 4: WDC WD 1500 ADFD-00NLR1(S2)
   IDE 5:
   USB FDC:
   USB Key:
   USB HDD:
   USB CDROM:
   USB ZIP:
   USB L5120:
   Other USB:

should i try switch the order here.  The person that would normally help me out with such issues is gone till Thursday :(
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lnkevinCommented:
.... 2 PCI SS SI ASR 3085 PCI-E SAS Control....

So if the boot partition is on SAS controller, you need to get in its bios to ensure the disks are active and online. Also, it is OK to try pushing its order to number 1 (you can always reverse it).
Just a sanity check, make sure there is no cd presented in cd drive before switching the bios order.

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
When I boot from CD I get the option to hit F@ to run an automated system recover and then once windows loads I obviously have the repair option.  I don't want to lose any TS user data though.  Are these options any help.

When I boot from option 3 the same warning appears (I assume this is just an old HD not in the raid array).

After boot I get a message saying 1 raid array found status optimal.  I hit control+A to enter the configuration utility.

Adaptec 3085 Contoller #0
1) Array Configuration Utility
-manage array (all disks read optimal)
-create array (obviously not looking to do this)
-initalize drives (I assume I don't need to bother with this)
-Rescan drives (did this with no messages or warnings or errors)
-Secure erase drives (?)
2) Serial Select Utility
-Controller Configuration (lots of settings)
-PHY Configuration (?)
-Battery Unit Status (everything here looks good)
3) Disk Utilities (when probing array, finds all discs)
-Format Disk
-Verify Disk (****** is this something I should do? *****)
-Identify Drive (all drives identify correctly)


What in the bios menu should i be looking for?

Any advice is very much appreciated
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Any other ideas?

Anything specific to look for in my bios menu (wish i could post a screenshot)

"When I boot from CD I get the option to hit F2 to run an automated system recover and then once windows loads I obviously have the repair option.  I don't want to lose any TS user data though.  Are these options any help."
-are these 2 things of any utility in this situation?
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FerrostiCommented:
I won't change the boot-order, since it does not matter at this point. The CD-ROM is needed for booting in case of disk errors.

Please disable both WD disks in your BIOS and enable them one by one to see, whether your system is booting from either of the WD raptor disks or from your RAID array. So, please boot after every step and see what happens and which device it boots from.
Your Adaptec controller usually is correct, when telling about disk states.
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lnkevinCommented:
I am not sure whether or not the partition is  booting from Adaptec. You can try to switch between the option to figure it out. If it boots from Adaptec, you can try the following set up to enable booting controller.

SCSI RAID controllers
Press CTRL A to enter the BIOS utility.
Choose SCSISelect Utility
Choose Controller Configuration
Arrow down to Array based BBS Support, press enter and select enable

Doing this will enable the controller as a bootable device.

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Ok two WD hard drives, the second was not enabled to begin with.
3 IDE 2: WDC WD 740ADFD-00NCR!-(SO)
   IDE 4: WDC WD 1500 ADFD-00NLR1(S2)

I disabled the first one (#3 in the boot order) and instead got:
"Operating System Not Found"

I then enabaled the disabled WD HD (IDE 4: WDC WD 1500 ADFD-00NLR1(S2)) and it just hung (waiting for a cd to boot i assume)

From this can I assume the OS was on the first WD HD?  what is the next step?  Is the repair utility on the server 2003 disc of any use?

Is lnkevin's advice my next step?
"SCSI RAID controllers
Press CTRL A to enter the BIOS utility.
Choose SCSISelect Utility
Choose Controller Configuration
Arrow down to Array based BBS Support, press enter and select enable

Doing this will enable the controller as a bootable device. "

Thank you so much to both of you.  Im seeing lots of references to the repair utility from the install disc but they all seem to be for XP not 2003.
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lnkevinCommented:
If you already know where is your booting disk, you can run repair install with this guide. Check the bottom of the article:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325375

Repair install will also correct your booting issue by replacing a bunch of corrupted windows boot files. Make sure you follow step by step (do not choose R on the first time). Repair OS will not change your configuration.

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FerrostiCommented:
You are correct, the OS is installed on the first WD disk (#3). Though WD raptors are faster than normal disks I won't recommend them for servers, especially without RAID setup. But that's not the problem in question.

There are two things to find out:
a) is there a defunct on this drive
b) is there a file corruption only

Insert the CD and follow the steps here (To Confirm That Your Hard Disk or File System Is Not Damaged):
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325375/EN-US/

The command 'fixmbr' will NOT be necessary on your system, since it starts booting. Have a close look at the chkdsk command though!
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
I am confused

"When I boot from CD I get the option to hit F2 to run an automated system recover and then once windows loads I obviously have the repair option.  I don't want to lose any TS user data though.  Are these options any help."

Am I hitting "F2" or "R" for repair.  lnkevin you explicitly say not to hit "r"
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
ok gonna start with checkdisk should I add the /f switch?
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FerrostiCommented:
'fdisk c: /f /v '
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FerrostiCommented:
Elsewise it would scan all drives it can find.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
'chkdsk' yields:
The volume appears to be in good condition...add /P switch to check anyway

'chkdsk /P' yields
the exact same message (!!!!!)

'chkdsk /F' is not a recognized parameter

fdisk is not a recognized command regardless of switches added

trying 'chkdsk /R' now
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FerrostiCommented:
In case chkdisk does not find any errors, repair is IMHO the only way to go.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin, would the repair install affect any user data?
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
ferrosti, can you address above post.  Thank you BOTH SO much!
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
also would "Fixboot" be worth trying?
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
wow 'chkdsk /R' also yielded
The volume appears to be in good condition...add /P switch to check anyway

should i try repair install or fixboot/fixmbr?  I've read some things leading me to believe the last two may completely prevent access to the disk if they fail.

There were no warning signs of this and i regularly check my server and storage management utilities.
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FerrostiCommented:
As you have already posted windows is trying to boot. The MBR has already been read, so using fixmbr will have no effect.
As far as I have read a repair install will not flush user-data. But I am off of Windows systems for 3 years now and never had to do this. Any confirmation would be helpful.
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FerrostiCommented:
The question about repair has already been answered here:
Q_22769261
It does not change any settings, but will reinstall the system files.

I am not sure, but I'd recommend to install updates later on, but you can wait until your admin is back.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Thanks! trying repair install now.  will update when it finishes.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
I'm not seeing a repair install option.

Boots to CD

[I do NOT hit F2 for Automated system recovery]

Loads files

I am given a menu
1. Setup Windows
2. Repair (repair console)
3. quit

I hit enter to setup windows

I hit F8 to agree to the terms of service

Next page lists Partition 1 and I am given the option to
Set up
Create
Delete

When I select setup for Partition 1 my options are
Format (quick)
Format
Leave the current file system intact (no changes)

Should I be selecting this last setting?  I see no "repair windows installation" option.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
to clarify the user data is on that partion as well.
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FerrostiCommented:
Have a look at the MS KB article I have already mentioned.
Chapter "How to Repair Your Installation of Windows"

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325375/EN-US/
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
I did

"If Setup does find a previous installation of Windows Server 2003, you may receive the following message:
If one of the following Windows Server 2003 installations is damaged, setup can try to repair it. Use the up and down arrows to select an installation. To repair the selected installation, press R. To continue without repairing, press ESC. "

I am not given the option of hitting "R"
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lnkevinCommented:
I am not given the option of hitting "R"....

That means it is not a boot partition. Try to boot off other disks. If the disk gives you the option to repair, that means windows boot has been installed on it.

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
If its not a boot partition and it was not booting from PCI SS SI ASR 3085 PCI-E SAS Control, then what was it booting from?

I thought the fact that when this WD HD is disabled from the boot menu and a "Operating System Not Found" message appeared ensured that this had to be the boot partition???

Are there any other commands I can safely try from the Auto Recovery console?

Is it possible that it was booting from the PCI SS SI ASR 3085 PCI-E SAS Control, but that it is not displaying any disc errors in the Adaptec storage manager (I know this is a stretch)?

These are the install discs.
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lnkevinCommented:
There is a possibility it boots from SAS. You need to look in to enable SAS controller to boot. You then set it on the top of boot order. Worth a try as you can always switch it back.

SCSI RAID controllers
Press CTRL A to enter the BIOS utility.
Choose SCSISelect Utility
Choose Controller Configuration
Arrow down to Array based BBS Support, press enter and select enable

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FerrostiCommented:
I am still at the point that it boots of this WD HD.
Next thing that comes to my mind is that W2K3SRV needs some driver to have access to the SATA Interface.

@Inkevin:
If boot from SAS has not been enabled before it won´t have ever been booting the defunct OS in case it had been installed there.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin:,
I enabled BBS support, moved it to the top of the boot order, and nothing changed

Ferrosti,
"Next thing that comes to my mind is that W2K3SRV needs some driver to have access to the SATA Interface."
How would I find this driver and implement it.

Also, you are both positive there is nothing I can do from the recovery console?  For XP installs I'm seeing suggestions like:
bootcfg

or

"Reboot, this time taking the immediate R option and if the CD letter is say K: give these commands
copy K:\i386\ntldr C:\
copy K:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\

(two other files needed - just in case)
1. Type: attrib -h -r -s C:\boot.ini del C:\boot.ini
2. Type: BootCfg /Rebuild

You;ve stated the fixboot and fixmbr commands should be of no use, I am just looking for ANYTHING (safe) to try.
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FerrostiCommented:
Just to get this clear...
what kind of boot messages do you see AFTER the BIOS messages until the server gets stuck? Any screen flickering or something?
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Ferrost,

Bios Installed Succesfully

1 Raid Array found - status optimal

Hit any key to boot from CD

I can either boot from cd, or if I don't I get the original message:
"Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.  Could not read from selected boot disk.  Check boot path and disc hardware.  Please check the windows documentation about hardware disck configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information."

Only thing to do is hit cntrl+alt+del to reboot

No flickering, no other messages.  I've watched this machine boot at least a dozen times nothing else out of ordinary.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
This may be a really dumb question, but for Partion 1 I obviously do not have the option to hit "R" to repair the installation, however as I stated earlier

When I select setup for Partition 1 my options are
Format (quick)
Format
Leave the current file system intact (no changes)

If i select "Leave the current file system intact" is that worth trying? will that erase my user data?  If I can get in and copy my user data to a network share drive, this would be a BIG help as my last Terminal Server backups are from 3/1.
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FerrostiCommented:
Oh boy, I thought it almost came up till login screen and gives this error rather late.

Most important thing now is to find out where Windows is installed. Do you have a Live-Linux CD or can download one, like Knoppix or Ubuntu 9.10? I´d rather recommend Ubuntu.
When you put it in boot the live CD part. Even if you select Install it won´t do it until it is coming to a warning screen.
When it has booted you should be a able to see all partitions. The partitions are mounted write protected, AFAIR.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Ferrosti, sorry if I confused you but this message does appear right before the windows logo would appear and take you to the the logon prompt.

Can you address the last post above yours?  Surprisingly hard to find an answer in my searching.

I have zero experience with Linux....
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FerrostiCommented:
You can get Ubuntu here:
http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download

It is not too hard, since Ubuntu is VERY userfriendly.
Download it, burn it, fire it up and have a look at "places". You should see all drives Ubuntu could find. When you click through them you will see the typical Windows paths somewhere.
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lnkevinCommented:
The easiest way for you is download ubcd4win, burn it on to a cd and boot it up. You can use the file management tool to figure it out what is your boot HD

http://www.ubcd4win.com/downloads.htm

How to burn to bootable cd
http://www.ubcd4win.com/burn.htm

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
THanks Ferrosti,

but first can either of you answer this:
"When I select setup for Partition 1 my options are
Format (quick)
Format
Leave the current file system intact (no changes)

If i select "Leave the current file system intact" is that worth trying? will that erase my user data?  If I can get in and copy my user data to a network share drive, this would be a BIG help as my last Terminal Server backups are from 3/1."


If I can get in copy latest copy of all user data then I can just start from scratch if I need to.


for now I will try that disc
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Im downloading both now, looks like theyll take at least 20 min.  Can either of you answer my above question.  Im having a really hard time finding the answer.  This post

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Miscellaneous/Q_22661013.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+chang+current+file+intact+leav+system
 
Makes me think I could, grab the data and then worry about whats going on with the hard drives.  Thoughts?

Thanks again.
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FerrostiCommented:
The problem in your case is, that we are not 100% sure where your OS as well as data is installed. Settings will not be saved on your data disks, but in your OS partition.
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lnkevinCommented:
if i select "Leave the current file system intact" is that worth trying? ....

Why would you want to install the OS? although it said making no changes to your partition, but we shouldn't spend time on that.
You should concentrate on getting the data out with UBCD4win also figure out what HW is your C:
You will love this tool and it becomes handy for system admin. Give it a try!

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
OK I'll try both and update here with the results.  My thinking was if I could setup windows on C (wherever that is) and "Leave the current file system intact " I would be able to gain access to the terminal server and copy out all user's .pst files as well as the documents stored in there My Documents folder.  If I could that, it would be HUGE.  That's why I kept asking.  Definitely want my terminal server functional again (and find out what happened) but value wise its all that user data that my bosses care about.  I can work all weekend setting up a new terminal server, however if I cannot get the user data from 3/1 - 3/23 I am in hot, hot water.

Will update with what these tools tell me.  The images are still only halfway downloaded.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin:, do i need to convert that exe file to an iso file or just burn it as a data disk and it will boot from the server?  the download ferrosti pointed me to already is an ISO file.
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lnkevinCommented:
You need to double click on it and follow the instruction (insert XP cd....) to create a boot disk in ISO image. Read this instruction:
http://www.ubcd4win.com/howto.htm

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
i would use and xp disc not my server 2003 enterprise r2 disk?
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lnkevinCommented:
Yep! Follow the instruction step by step and read the burning to cd instruction.

K
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Ferrosti:,

I selected 1) Try without changes (should i mess with any of the other menu options?)

immediately got error "The panel encountered problems while loading OAFIID: GNOME_Fastuserswitchappplet.  I hit "don't delete"

went to places and got:
home folder
desktop
documents
music
pictures
videos
downloads
-------
computer
floppy drive
74 GB File System
User Profiles (this is a separate partition we never used)
513 GB File system
------
Network
Connect to network

The 74 GB system has nothing but folders labeled "Recycler", and "System Restore" but does have some other files, one of which is a boot.ini file

User Profiles only has folders labeled "Recycler" and "System Restore"

The 513 GB system looks like it has everything normally on the C drive, including a Windows folder

The 513 GB has to be the raid array right?  What's the next step?  Should I use any of the other commands on the main menu?  Possible it should be booting to the raid array and just isn't?
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FerrostiCommented:
Yes, you are right. It seems like the OS resides in the RAID array.
I am not sure whether the boot.ini is the guilty for telling that an OS could be installed on the 74GB disk.

Since you are more familiar with Windows, maybe the UBCD is the more intuitive way to go for you.
But please open a terminal since you already have ubuntu loaded.
Type: 'sudo gparted' (I hope it is installed by standard)
When it shows you the partitions, have a look, whether the wanted partition is marked as 'boot'. If not, a fixmbr as you earlier mentioned could solve the problem.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Ferrosti:, dumb question how do i open a terminal?  
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin:, the UBCD build is still processing, will then burn the iso and load it
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin:, should that option be enabled or disabled?  No one has gone in and changed any of those settings.  UBCD build almost finished
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lnkevinCommented:
the option needs to be enable to boot. The note said:

Note: The controller will not be bootable if the option is disabled, but any devices, volumes or arrays connected to it will be available in the Operating System once drivers have been loaded.

Means if you set to disable, it won't boot, but you can still browse to it once get in the OS. If the server has been shutdown, loss power, sudden reboot.... this option can be switch to disable by safety setting in adaptec controller.

Open a terminal means open a command line in Linux.

K
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FerrostiCommented:
The icon looks like the windows cmd.
Elsewise look under applications. I don't know the EN name for the sub. Should be like accessories or something.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin:, i just checked and it is set to enabled.  I just inserted the Universal Windows boot disk, what exactly am I looking to do here, just trying to verify boot source?
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Ferrosti:, I found it but I'm not sure I understand the output (it was under system tab btw)

/dev/sda1 size 69GB unused 67GB tags boot
under that was another record that said unallocated.

Is this useful at all?
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin:,

I booted from the cd, walked away came back and an XP screen came up, then got a blue screen, then some kind of shell selection popup which dissappeared in 2 seconds.

Then a screen appeared listing a process, a ram spec then
b\temp FAT
c\Fixed Drive
d\Fixed Drive
e\Fixed Drive
x\System Drive CDFS

then a message popped up that start.gbcheck timed out.

What do I do now?
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FerrostiCommented:
Well, make sure "sda1" or better "sda" is a partition of your RAID device. You can see this by telling the diskspace "sda" is allocated to. It should have a total of ~500GB.

If this is the case, disable all disks in your BIOS except for the RAID. Then insert the Server CD and do the fixmbr command.

Elsewise rely on Inkevins solutions for now. I'lll be off till tomorrow.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Ferrosti:,
thanks.  how do I tell the diskspace it is alloted to? it was the only record when i went to system>gparted and listed 69gb with 67gb free
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lnkevinCommented:
You need to add the driver of your SAS controller to your ISO. Read this article:
http://ubcd4win.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=12014&st=0&p=66093&#entry66093

Adding controller driver is a must. Super Micro sucks since its brand is never a standard OEM. Ubcd has almost every drivers, but there is still something falls in the crack.

In regarding to ubuntu boot, look under this directory for your HD and info. Open a terminal and type:
df <----- list all disk and mounted disks

If you can stick a usb drive to copy data out, you will see it listed as another sda....
cd /dev/sda   <-- change to your first boot dir
ls -al      <---- list all files under that dir

if you want to copy to usb (assuming usb is sda3), here is the command:

cp -r /dev/sda/<path> /dev/sda3/<path>
where <path> is the location of folders...

K

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bradlee27514Author Commented:
lnkevin:,

all my user data appears to be in what the interface is telling me is drive E (by looking at the capacity of about 500GB this has to be the raid array correct?).

So how through this interface can I tell where it is trying to boot from?

Can I just hook up another hard drive and move my user data through this (to back it up b/f any other steps are taken)?

Also, what could have caused this is it possible a virus?  I have internet access blocked off during business hours and have educated users on best practices.

Any suggestions on the next steps to take are most welcome.  Thank you both so much!
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lnkevinCommented:
Can I just hook up another hard drive and move my user data through....

Absolutely. The whole purpose is to backup your data. If you can't save the boot partition, reinstall windows and copy back your data is the plan.

Like I said, both partition C: and E: are on SAS raid array. If you cannot see drive C:, something is corrupted in partition level. Normally, the boot part contains C:\Windows\System32\Setup.bmp. If you can find this file, it is your boot partition.

K
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FerrostiCommented:
@Inkevin
This is the part where I am going to bite my keybord for not having straight access to the remote system...

I´d try to fix the mbr first. It somehow seems to be corrupted. It would be interesting to see a file listing of c:\ if possible.
I am not sure, but could it be that the windows server cd does not find an installed windows due to missing drivers? So what if a floppy is inserted containing the driver? At some point the cd should load it when coming to the recovery console.
I do not have any experience with this. Can you help out, Inkevin?
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
The OS was actually on the WD drives.  One was actually way overheating and blocking the system from recognizing another WD which had the boot.ini file and 3 other windows files.

It boots fine now, and had nothing to do with the adaptec storage array.

Thank you so much for all your suggestions.
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Windows Server 2003

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