We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

windows 2003 hangs on boot

JCarson_ asked
My web server is hanging on boot up both in normal and in safe mode. I've also tried to repair and when the setup looks for existing installations of windows, it hangs there too. It looks like it's booting and then just stops. There is no backup of this server. Any ideas?

P.S. What's weird is that I can ping it but there is no display. I see the post, then the first Windows 2003 screen with the scrolling bar, then blank.

Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Dell 2950, Raid 5 - Four drives, two virtual disks.
Watch Question

Is the display completely blank?  Have you tried VGA mode?
Have you tried Last known good configuration on boot?
When you can ping it, are you able to get to the admin shares: \\SERVERNAME\c$ ?  if so, you could use the Event Viewer from another system on the network and connect to this server's eventlogs for review?
If you have remote desktop enabled, are you able to connect to it?  

try boot with last known good settings option?

when the server starts booting start hitting F8 till you get the selection menu
there should be a "boot with last known working settings"

as far as the cd.. are you hitting F6 during the startup to load the raid controler ?


Yes to all. I've tried all of the above - last known good config settings, F6 with floppy to load raid drivers, I was not able to remote desktop though, etc..

Here's an update. eventually, it moved forward and I did a repair. After reboot, now the screen is stuck on Windows 2003 with the moving indicator frozen and the 4th raid drive is rebuilding. Even though the raid is degraded, it still should boot!?

I worked with dell and did a hardware check and all checked good.

Now after the repair, when it gets stuck, are you still receiving ping responses?  If so, are you able to \\servername\c$ and get a login prompt?  Are you able to remote-view the eventviewer?


after the repair, it doesn't boot as far into the os as it did before, it is currently stil sitting at the Windows 2003 screen with the scrolling progress bar, however, it is not scrolling - it is stationary.

Doesn't sound very good.  I'm just about out of ideas.  
Does Safe mode or last known good config work now after the repair?  

I would likely resort to a parallel installation of Windows and check the eventlogs on the original installation to see if any clues can be found.


I'll try that tomorrow - when I tried a parallel installation, it hung looking for existing windows installations!
Top Expert 2010

Did you make any changes to the server which caused this ?
- Install a patch
- Install some drivers
Did you make any changes to the Drive / RAID configuration
Did you update any drivers related to the storage?
Can you access the eventlogs remotely when it happens from Computer management in a remote system?
If you can access the event logs, post the events here
Are you using Safe mode or Safe mode with Networking?


No to all. The server was running and just stopped. When I got in front of it, it was powered down. I can't get into safe mode - it hangs after I hit enter.
Top Expert 2010

What type of hardware is it ? If its dell you can use poweredge om to connect to it
Do you have anr remote access card with separate ip configured on this

sunnyc7: did that - same result.

Dell says my virtual partitions are toast. Even if I was able to repair, it wouldn't be guaranteed to work.

I created a Bartpe disk with perc 6 drivers - works like a charm. I was able to get all of the files I needed off of the server. Now I can delete the array and recreate.

...unless someone can walk me through manipulating the windows files to force a repair...at this point, it would be a learning exercise. For best use of my time, I really should kill it and rebuild.
Top Expert 2010

jcarson - did this work ?
Did dell remote in to your computer and test that virutal partitions are bad ?

Did you try connecting to the openmanage port from some other computer
you can directly do this.

Open internet explorer

> where is the IP of your dead server.
If you have OM 5.5 and higher installed you can run dell diagnostics and check that the ARRAY is dead for sure.

let me know if you need any help.



Yes, Dell remoted in via the openmanage port and basically said that there was nothing they could do. They told me to delete the array and recreate it. I was told that the array was damaged, possibly due to power problems we've been having. They told me even if I could get in and repair windows, that it probably wouldn't work because the array was damaged.
Top Expert 2010

I cant think of anything else at this point if dell said that.