Unable to boot windows - only booting to FreeDOS!

Hi,

I really need urgent help if anyone can provide it. I have an SBS 2008 machine and can no longer boot Windows. I spoke to Dell support as I think it has a hardware fault. He got me to install FreeDOS (part of the Broadcom diagnostics) and now I can only boot to that! Really need to get back into Windows. Any ideas? Obviously desktop operating systems give you the option to fix the MBR etc. when you boot from the disc but that doesn;t work with SBS 2008.

When I do get in to the command prompt, it looks like the drive letters have somehow swapped. C:\ contains FreeDOS and D:\ contains Windows.

Really hope someone can help as everyone is down here.

Thanks a lot.
LVL 3
zkayyalAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

edbedbCommented:
FreeDOS is usually started from a CD. If there is a CD in the drive, remove it and try it. Post back with the results.
0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi,

No, it installed FreeDOS to a partition. No discs or USB sticks in the drive. As a temporary measure, I've managed to boot the OS using [Admin Edit] BootCD. Need to use that to boot every time just now but I'll worry about that later.

Thanks.
0
edbedbCommented:
So the system is up and you are back in business?
0
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Exchange Server

The MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 certification validates your skills in supporting the maintenance and administration of the Exchange servers in an enterprise environment. Learn everything you need to know with this course.

zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Well...yes and no. The server's booting to the OS again, but only if I boot to the CD first and force it to use BOOTMGR. I still need to work out a way to make it boot straight to BOOTMGR. I also have issues once it boots but they're completely seperate from this issue.
0
BillDLCommented:
Is it possible that there is a BOOT.INI in the root of the System Drive which is interfering?

Windows Vista, Server 2008, and Windows 7 use a different Boot Manager from Windows XP and earlier "NT" versions.  Instead of a BOOT.INI and NTLDR the newer Windows versions use "BOOTMGR" to read the Boot Configuration Data and find select a bootable OS:

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_startup_process
http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/Longhorn/server_2008_bcdedit.htm
http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsvistanow/archive/2008/12/05/the-space-bar-is-the-new-f8-when-it-comes-to-vista-and-server-2008-boot-options.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsvistanow/archive/2008/04/22/vista-tips-and-tricks-changing-boot-options-on-the-fly.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766223(WS.10).aspx

Perhaps these sections are applicable to your current situation:

http://mirror.href.com/thestarman/asm/mbr/bootini.htm#WIN7
http://mirror.href.com/thestarman/asm/mbr/BCDEDIT.htm
0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi all,

Firstly, apologies about my reference to the Boot CD. I was completely unaware of it's illegitimacy. Anyway, regarding the actual issue, I still have to use a boot CD to make the server load Windows. Using the boot CD, if I choose Windows Vista/7 (BOOTMGR), the machine boots fine. Otherwise, it tries to load FREEDOS. There are no boot.ini files in the root of any drives. What I really need to know is how to force the machine to use BOOTMGR.

Thanks,

Zak
0
dvdljnsCommented:
Your best bet is to ask the questions under the type of windows you have installed, also while you are booted under the windows try cmd in the run box then if propt comes up try fdisk /mbr. do not know whether it will work but I would try. also I would type the os name in google along with bootmgr and see what comes up.
0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Thanks for the tip but, because I can successfully load Windows (albeit with a boot disc) I really don't want to try that. Is there any chance that would stop me from loading Windows completely?
0
dvdljnsCommented:
Ok if you have vista/win 7 try this.
c: \boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
del c: \boot\bcd
bcdedit /createstore c:\boot\bcd.temp
bcdedit.exe /store c:\boot\bcd.temp /create {bootmgr} /d "windows boot manager"

bcdedit.exe /import c: \boot\bcd.temp

Just reread the starting post. I do not what the origanal problem was but the problen now is freedos. to fix the problem with win you need to get freedos off and get back to the origanal os.  here is what I would do if the comp is mine. I would use partd  or some other partition tool to delete the freedos partition. grow the d: partition to fill the freedos part. that will make the windows partition c: again.

Check to see if your boot floppy will boot sbs now. If it does you have three ways to go.
1. if you have the origanal os disks you can do this.
bootcfg /scan and press enter

if it says total identified window installs: 1

Type in bootcfg /rebuild and press Enter...
press y You will be prompted to enter the load identifier [type in your os]
You will be prompted to enter the load options...type in /fastdetect and press Enter
2. use the method above.
3.load grub as a boot manager.

some more commands to try.
bcdedit.exe /set {bootmgr} device partition=C:

I do not advise you to try any of these till you get rid of freedos and grow the pertition back to its origanal size.
Also easybcd will help. but research what needs to be in your boot file first.
0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Ok, I haven't tried all the commands above yet because, if I load EasyBCD, all I see is the SBS 2008 installation. Once in Windows, the C Drive is the OS Drive with the Windows installation. There is also a D:\ partition named OS (created by the SBS install I think - 2GB) and an E:\ drive with all our data.

Looking in the root of the C Drive, I don't see any bootmgr, boot.ini files etc. but bootmgr (and BOOTSECT.bak) are both present on the D Drive. boot.ini is no longer there.

If I try to boot Windows without using the boot disc, the message I get is:

"Loading FREEDOS No KERNEL SYS".

Any other ideas?

Cheers.
0
dvdljnsCommented:
You need to grow the drive with the windows install to fit the whole disk. Untill you get rid of freedos you can not fix windows. I feel there is some problem with the way that I am explaining this so let me expain this way. With dos and windows whatever drive you the booting os on becomes C by default. so as long as you have freedos trying to boot whatever partition that is on is c:.  either use the part program that comes with windows or download a third party program to delete freedos and grow the windows partition to fit the drive. Then we can get windows booting as it should.
Loading freedos was a mistake. If you fix that mistake we can repair the origanal problem. just so there is no misunderstanding let me repeat this one thing since it is so important to repairing your system.

Loading freedos was a mistake. If you fix that mistake we can repair the origanal problem.
0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi.

I'm well aware installing FreeDOS was a mistake and wouldn't have done it myself. Dell tech support asked me to do this to run Broadcom diagnostic software for a faulty NIC.

Where you say "either use the part program that comes with windows or download a third party program to delete freedos and grow the windows partition to fit the drive." Can you explain this please? I cannot see FreeDOS or any reference to it anywhere.

Is this the D:\ partition named "OS" or, is this a normal drive that's created as part of the SBS install? If this has noting to do with SBS2008, I'll remove that, see if it fixes things. Don't really want to go removing it before I'm sure though.
0
dvdljnsCommented:
I was sure your windows came with a program to edit and resize windows partitions but did not find info on microsofts site. but read this info at these links.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-gparted-to-resize-your-windows-vista-partition/
http://www.partition-tool.com/easeus-partition-manager/help/resizing-and-moving-partition.htm
http://www.easeus.com/download.htm

Basically what you need to do is boot to partition tool that is capable of deleting and resizing partitions without doing a standard format. find the freedos os and delete it then enlarge or grow thhe ntfs partition to fill the whole hard drive. the thing is the tool may not see the the partition as free dos but it should be pretty easy to tell the sbs partition from the one the tech had you to create. the free dos partition should be the first partition on the drive. It most likely is the smallest one. I am not sure whether whoever installed sbs put in a partition for recovery or not but the sbs partition should be the largest partition with an os on it. It really sould be ntfs file system.
0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi again,

I think I have resolved this now though need to find an appropriate time to reboot and test. If it's resolved, I'll post details of what I did in this questions. Thanks for the assistance.
0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi again,

Ok, so I rebooted and the issue is still present but I'm a bit closer to working it out. The problem is that my bootmgr (and boot folder) are on the wrong partition. It's very similar to this issue:

http://www.vistax64.com/vista-general/126937-move-bootmgr-drive-c-drive-d.html

The problem is, there is no startup repair option on the SBS 2008 disc. If I run BCDEDIT I get:


Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier              {bootmgr}
device                  partition=D:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {globalsettings}
default                 {current}
displayorder            {current}
toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
timeout                 30
resume                  No

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {current}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Microsoft Windows Server 2008
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {39ec72a2-3b65-11df-81d2-d6bf159e0508}
nx                      OptOut

What I basically need to do is get bootmgr on to C:\. I could obviously just copy the file over there but I doubt that would work, would it?
0
dvdljnsCommented:
what happens when you run this.
[code]

c: \boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
del c: \boot\bcd
bcdedit /createstore c:\boot\bcd.temp
bcdedit.exe /store c:\boot\bcd.temp /create {bootmgr} /d "windows boot manager"

bcdedit.exe /import c: \boot\bcd.temp
[/code]

0
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Before I try that, can you explain what it actually does?
0
dvdljnsCommented:
here is how to move bootmgr.
[code]
bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force  
mbrfix.exe /drive 0 fixmbr /vista /yes  
xcopy %systemroot%\Boot\PCAT\* D:\Boot\ /K /Y /R /H /E /I  
move D:\Boot\bootmgr D:\bootmgr  
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot  
bcdedit /export D:\Boot\BCD  
exit  
[/code]
0
dvdljnsCommented:
creates a new boot code on c:\drive
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
zkayyalAuthor Commented:
Ok, that looks like it'll do the job, thanks. The only thing I'm concerned about is that those instructions are for Vista. When you boot from the SBS 2008 disc (should anything go wrong with the above) some of the repair options available to Vista (that they mention here: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+from+the+DVD) don't exist. Have you tested this on a Server 2008 machine?

Cheers.
0
dvdljnsCommented:
No but it should work with sbs 2008. there is a link there that explains how to undo it if it goes wrong. I have sbs but not 2008.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
SBS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.