SBS 2003 Hangs during boot at "Preparing Network Connections"

I'm having a nerve racking issue with my SBS 2003 machine. I inherited it after years of neglect and have strategically been trying to resolve its issues.

The current problem it is facing today is when booting it hangs in "Preparing network connections"

I'm able to boot in safe mode as well as safe mode with networking but not normal.

Based on what I'm seeing I feel like it has to do with DNS or a problem with active directory.

I've read through the articles on EE regarding similar issues but nothing is helping

anyhelp would be greatly appreciated

Suigenris85Asked:
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KenMcFCommented:
Can you post the results of ipconfig /all

your primary DNS server should be set to the same IP as your server.

Suigenris85Author Commented:
Will post IP config in one moment, have to reboot server in safe mode to get it.

Checked ipconfig previously and it was set to dns server being primary server, I tried switching it to secondary server for troubleshooting but it did not resolve
Suigenris85Author Commented:
Tried various NIC troubleshooting initially, booted with ethernets unplugged, went in bios and disabled ethernet nics didnot resolve
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Suigenris85Author Commented:
Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]
(C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.GP>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : gpserver
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : geminipartners.local
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : geminipartners.local

Ethernet adapter Team #0:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : TEAM : Team #0
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-14-22-14-A7-DA
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.2
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.1
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.3
                                       192.168.254.2
   Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.2

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.GP>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : gpserver
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : geminipartners.local
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : geminipartners.local

Ethernet adapter Team #0:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : TEAM : Team #0
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-14-22-14-A7-DA
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.2
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.1
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.2
                                       192.168.254.3
   Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . : 192.168.254.2

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.GP>
Suigenris85Author Commented:
First ipconfig was with other DNS as primary, second Ipconfig was with server using itself as primary
KenMcFCommented:
Put this as the only DNS server, you should not have any secondary
192.168.254.2

Then try. If still slow booting run
netdiag /fix
open DNS manager
Verify you have a zone for geminipartners.local
Suigenris85Author Commented:
Took out secondary DNS and am trying reboot again.

Primary problem is that it won't get past the preparing network connections and boot normally at all. Ive waited for 2 hrs with that screen showing.

Unable to verify if zone for Geminipartners.local so far because can only load in safe mode.

I'm curious if its a problem with active directory or a corrupt Administrators profile
One thing interesting that happened just now when I ran ipconfig /all on 192.168.254.2 and tried to copy the file over to the secondary server I'm working on now using the hidden share \\gpserver2\C$\documents and settings... and it would not allow me to put save the file saying I did not have permissions to access that resource even though I was using the same administrator account

looks like its still hanging on preparing network connections after removing secondary dns server from nic

Other perameters that may be helpful

primary server with issue (192.168.254.2) = PDC, Exchange server, DNS server
second server without issue (192.168.254.3) = secondary dns, file server, secondary DC

Thanks for your help
KenMcFCommented:
From the IP config you posted it looks like you have a network team. Can you try to break the team. Disable one card and set the same IP posted in the IPConfig on the active one.

So on the active NIC it should be
IP - 192.168.254.2
DNS1 - 192.168.254.2
DNS2 - 192.168.254.3

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Suigenris85Author Commented:
The nic cards are intel, from my experience with intel teams you manage them in the device manager properties.

I booted into safe mode and was unable to find the intel manager to break the team.

I'm trying disableing the team and one of the nic adapters in the device manager and rebooting to see if it let's me in on normal mode
Suigenris85Author Commented:
Great! i'm now in via normal boot mode.

I tried to go in and break the team but there is no option. I will research how to do this, any other ideas?

Also I noticed many services didn't start, and won't start when I manually try:

IPSEC Services, Kerbos Key Distrobution, Netlogon, Sql server, most of exchange services, etc.

And in addition I cannot connect to the dns server even though the services is running.

Any Ideas?

Thanks!
KenMcFCommented:
What errors are you getting when trying to start?
What errors are in the event log?
Suigenris85Author Commented:
Netlogon Error = "error 0x80090017: Provider type not defined
Kerbos Key Distrobution Center = Error 317: 0x13d
Windows Time = Error 1792: An attempt was made to logon, but network logon service was not started
IPSEC Services: Error 0x80090017: Provider type not defined

DNS will not connect to secondary server and primary server shows no zones
Suigenris85Author Commented:
Still cant get access to the Teaming tab to break the Intel team:
http://www.intel.com/support/network/sb/cs-009747.htm

I downloaded the latest drivers with the ANS option selected and am rebooting the machine to see if it helps with the issue.

I'll post the results

Thanks
Suigenris85Author Commented:
No Luck so far, installed the latest intel drivers and rebooted and am still having the same "Preparing Network Connections" hang up.

Let me know if you have any suggestions, been working on this issue for almost 12hrs now
KenMcFCommented:
To me it sounds like there may be something wrong with your NIC team. Were there any updates installed recently?
What Service Pack do you have installed?
I would try to keep trying to break the NIC team or if you have a spare NIC you could use for testing, just remember to change the IP to the correct one.
Suigenris85Author Commented:
I'm totally convinced you're right the only time I've gotten it to boot in normal mode is when I disabled all but one adapter and set the ips on it.

I should have just completely uninstalled all the intel drivers when I was in last time and figured out how to manually delete the team.

It currently won't let me uninstall the virtual adapter from the device manager and in safe mode I can't uninstall the intel drivers

I'm waiting about 15min more for one more boot, it it doesn't get up then I'm going to reset the machine boot in safe mode and dissable everything again, then remove all drivers.

Damn this issue is frustrating

I really appreciate your input, it is so helpful to have other input on this

Ill keep you posted
Suigenris85Author Commented:
OK so last night at about 2am PST I was able to finally resolve the issue. Unfortunately I'm not sure which exact change fixed it but here are all the changes I made:
1)      Booted up the machine in Safe mode with networking.
2)      Restored the registry from a backup I had made 3 days before.
3)      I had a network team that I was unable to disconnect (May have been a corrupt driver) I disabled the team in Device manager because it would not allow me to uninstall as well as one of the NIC cards. For the remaining nic card I set the ips to the corresponding IPs of the server
4)      Went into msconfig and disabled all non Microsoft services.
5)      Rebooted the machine and the server came up in 15 minutes rather than the indefinite “preparing network connections” screen.
6)      I was able to login and uninstall the old nic card drivers.
7)      Then to re-test I rebooted the server and in normal mode without disabling non-microsoft issues and the on boot up the machine got hung up at Applying Computer Settings.
8)      I re-booted into save mode and based on research tested to see if the  APC software was the problem, sure enough after disabling the services the system booted normally.
9)      I then uninstalled the software and rebooted to test again and everything came back up.

This resolved the preparing network connections issue, everyone was able to use exchange, internet and Bes however In the morning I began experiencing different issues. Some users were able to connect and others weren’t. This issue ended up resolving itself.

My only issue that I’m experiencing now is that for some reason this machine will is not able to communicate with the secondary dns server, although the secondary dns server is able to connect to it.
I’ll work on this issue but at least the company is functioning again.

In summary if you have the Preparing Network Connections issue check the following:
Nic card drivers
Undo any registry changes that may have been made
APC Software

Thanks KenMcF for your help on this issue, you were the only one who responded. Much appreciated!

Suigenris85Author Commented:
Thanks KenMcF for replying
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