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Two Windows 2003 Virtual Servers Hanging on fastfat.sys?

Posted on 2010-09-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have three virtual servers on a server using Microsoft's Virtual Server 2005 R2. Last night, we rebooted the host and the three virtual machines. The host and one virtual machine came back up. The other two virtual machines are stuck at the Windows splash screen. We can get into safe mode with those machines but cannot make it to normal windows. Before we rebooted, Windows updates were applied to all four servers. I believe the exact same windows updates were applied to all four servers. We have tried uninstalling updates from on of the virtual machines that won't boot but it didn't help. It is still stuck at the Windows 2003 splash screen. The only other thing that was done to the three servers was the installation of Acronis backup software. Again, that was done to all four servers and two booted up fine. Can't uninstall that in safe mode but we did disable the services.The ntboot log says that both servers hang on the fastfat.sys file. Tried replacing that file from a working server but no go.

Does anyone have any ideas here? The two servers are not very critical but the sooner we get them back up, the better.

Thank you
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Question by:iowasolutions
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by:iowasolutions
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Currently trying to run a Windows repair from the disk to see if it at least gets us back up someway. Our backup situation isn't pretty so that doesn't look like an option right now.

Any suggestions would still be greatly appreciated!
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by:iowasolutions
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Tried the repair from the disk and still no luck. Any ideas anyone???
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by:bgoering
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you could try deleting fastfat.sys both from windows\system32\drivers and windows\system32\dllcache and see if the system will come up. If it is indeed hanging loading fastfat.sys the boot process should continue even if it isn't there.

That driver (assuming you have ntfs drives) is only needed when you mount a floppy or a fat formatted usb stick to your vm.

Good Luck
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We tried several things. In the end we believe it was deleting the page file from both virtual machines and restarting the host server several times. It was odd- the vm didn't boot up properly until it auto booted when the host came back up. Even then, only one vm came back up the the first time. We took a chance and rebooted the host again and thankfully both came back up after that.
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