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black screen after MS patch installs

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
i have 3 Dell R610 servers with MS Server 2003 SP2 overseas that now have black screens when trying to RDP to the server after we've installed MS patches.  the techs in the field say that the servers are usable (ie print server functionality and shares are accessible) but neither i or regional techs can connect to the servers via RDP to check event logs, required maintenance, etc.  rebooting the machines has proven a temporary fix for this issue in the past, but will result in a black screen again the next day many times.  that type of event has been intermitent.  i am of course hesitant to reboot these servers as they are being used at this time.  of course i understand a patch could have messed up the RDP process, but i've had this issue in the past not related to MS patches as well.  i guess i have 2 questions:

* what could be a cause/fix for this happening intermittently at times before this?  i understand there may be multi possibilities - feel free to tell me this is difficult to diagnose off my information if this is so.

* what would be the best process to fix the black screen that happened after the patches?
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Question by:JodyBear
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by:tstritof
ID: 34239457
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by:JodyBear
ID: 34239543
thanks, but no - when i RDP it immediately goes to a black screen, i don't get the chance to CTRL-ALT-DEL.
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by:tstritof
ID: 34239662
:) I'd be gratefull if you just check that registry key. I think RDP immediately pops up logon screen - you never actually press Ctrl-Alt-Del when doing RDP. The Ctrl+Alt+Del is used only at the console.

If your screens were gray/blue - or something else - I'd suspect logon process failures - but 3 servers, working OK, and black... If you can do a remote registry from some local local machine this should be easy to fix.

Regards,
Tomislav
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Author Comment

by:JodyBear
ID: 34240592
ok.  i'm sorry it took so long but i was in a disaster recovery meeting.  i'm going to lunch and i'll try it when i get back.  thanks.
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by:JodyBear
ID: 34241398
hey,

     i remoted into the registry and the settings match both MS recommended colors as well as those of another of my servers that's operational.  it was a good thought, but that wasn't it.

Jody
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tstritof earned 125 total points
ID: 34242129
Well, sorry to hear that. It popped up recently a couple of times I thought it might have been the same update somehow messing up the settings.

You can try the following (if possible):
1) Connect remotely to Event Viewer and check the event logs for errors.
2) Connect remotely to problem server with Terminal Server Manager from working machine.
3) Check if the session are "hanging" in some undefined state for the users having problems (everyone?).
4) Try monitoring the list of session and processes for that session in TS manager while someone tries to log on to that server.
5) Try checking if there were any changes recently in GPs targeting the machines.

Maybe you'll catch something informative this way. You may also try logging on to the servers with the /admin switch (or /console for older versions of RDP) and see if that bypasses the problem.

Also - try checking if changing the display settings in RD client before you connect has any influence.

Regards,
Tomislav
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Author Comment

by:JodyBear
ID: 34242157
i have an emergency at home to address.  thank you for your diligent attention but i have to go for the day  i will try these recommendations tomorrow morning.  thank you again.
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by:tstritof
ID: 34242166
Another thought. Were there any reconfigurations on routers or maybe server NICs? Maybe VPN introduced into the equasion?

No problem - post the progress when you can.

Regards
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Author Closing Comment

by:JodyBear
ID: 34247741
found the error in event viewer, techs in the field did not thoroughly investigate as they said they did.  thank you.
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