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windows server 2008 fails to boot

Posted on 2011-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a a windows server 2008 standard edition that fails to boot, this is a VM on a VMWare ESXi 4.1 server.  We lost power for 6 hours last week, so the battery back ups did not carry through that long. this is at the central office and not production, so there are no backup generators.  It apears that the server was in the process of installing updates when it lost power.  When i turn on this server, it comes to the installing updates 3 of 3 goes from 0-99%, then it says stoping services and shutting down, and reboots.

few commands i tryed by booting off the CD, going to repair, then cmd:
sfc /scannow
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=d:\ /offwindir=d:\windows
these says could not start repair service

went to the recovery directory and ran command:
StartRep.exe
This says either "found no problems" or "could not repair" depending on what other repair methos i have tried

i have ran bootrec with the following switches: /fixmbr, /fixboot, /scanos
then i renamed the c:\boot\bcd to a old file, and ran the coomand: bootrec /rebuildbcd
non of those commands fixed anything

ran a check disk with rix and repair via the command: chkdsk /f /r
this fixed nothing

non of those "repair" commands fixed anything, still have same problem.
i took the VMDK and mounted it onto another VM server and can read the disk just fine.

anyone else have some ideas on how to find a windows 2008 server?

thanks,
Steven
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Question by:sdmarek
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by:HawyLem
ID: 34875812
You could try the basic VMDK image restore with the following tools:

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/29538

That might help (also if I doubt it)
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by:JHalliday
ID: 34878367
The problem sounds like a windows 2008 issues rather than a VM issue.  It sounds like the update is stuck in an incomplete state you need to look at that issue rather then the VM issue.  Basically if your getting to the point where it's trying to install the updates then Windows has effectively loaded all it's core system and is completing an update.  Try booting ito Windows Safe mode
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by:sdmarek
ID: 34879638
I agree with JH that this is a windows update problem and probaly not a VMware problem.

But just so you know, that link from Hawy would be very useful it this was a vmdk problem, Iv had a corrupt vmdk before and could not mount it with VM Disk Mount or even rebuild the VMX file, but Ken Katos VDK was able to recover (by ignoring corrupt times) and had 100% data recovery.


Even when i try and boot into safe made, it goes to the installing updates 3 of 3 then fails/reboots.

I wish 2008 had the repair/install in place features of Win XP and 2003...  I am curently making a few backups of the vmdk before i try these next ideas i got.  I am going to try and upgrade off boot CD to windows server 2003 enterprise.  I cant go to R2 because R2 is only 64bit, this server is 32 bit version of 2008 and i do not know of a way to upgrade a 32bit OS to 64.  If that idea will not work, im goung to build a new VM and install the same programs this server has on it, so the regitrys match better.  then mount the vmdk of the server i have a problem with, and the vmdk of the new one.  Then copy and past the "C:\windows" directory and see what happens.

Those are my ideas, still open to any one else who has some ideas.  there is no way im the first person to have this problem...

thanks,
Steven
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Accepted Solution

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JHalliday earned 500 total points
ID: 34880188
Can you check the c:\windows\winsxs directory and see in there is a file called pending.xml if you have a backup of the vmdk then rename the pending.xml file to pending.old and reboot.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sdmarek
ID: 34883770
Thank You!
All i had to do was mount that vmdk on another server, take ownership of the pending.xml, rename it, then server boots just fine!

i resynced the server to my WSUS server and pushed updates, everything seems to be working

thanks,
Steven
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