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Repair Server 2008 R2 MBR from windows? (Remotely)

Posted on 2011-10-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Ok guys I have a tough one here.  I have a server that's 10 hours away that needs either/both fixboot and fixmbr or some equivalent.

The problem is I have nobody I can walk thru booting to a recovery off the Server 08 DVD and fixing.  I need to know if you guys can think or know of any way I can do it via RDP session.

This all happened after a drive failed in a RAID 5 array and was replaced.  Genius me forgot to reboot after the array was rebuilt to make sure everything was ok.
Deleted mention of illegal CD.

rindi,
EE ZA Storage

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Question by:Purple_Tidder
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Purple_Tidder earned 0 total points
ID: 37022267
To add... has anyone tried this utility?  I'm scared to run something I never have before on a server that'll take half a work week to just drive back and forth to.

http://www.sysint.no/nedlasting/mbrfix.htm
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 2000 total points
ID: 37025968
There is no need to use third-party utilities.  bootrec /fixboot and bootrec /fixmbr can be run from the Command Prompt of Windows RE.  In order to do this (or any other "bootable" method without hands-on at the location), you will need some sort of remote access to the BIOS screens of the server (I.e. Dell's DRAC, HP ILO, or IP KVM, etc.).
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 37026079
I've looked at IP KVMs and will be getting one soon for this location but I'm hoping for another solution that will help me fix it from within windows.  No remote admin or KVM tools are available currently.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 37026100
I will also add that I'm using Hiren's Boot CD v14.1 (pirate free) so reboots are possible if needed.  Hiren's has an option to run a windows 7 boot loader that allows me to reboot just fine and I can instruct almost anyone on how to reboot.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 37026162
Well I'll be.  Whoever comes to review this please edit out my comments about the boot CD.  I didn't realize it still contained pirated things.  I was under the impression that it had now gone legit.  Delete this comment too if you wouldn't mind.

Thanks, sorry.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 37026175
It is however important for other experts to know that I do currently have the ability to reboot.  Please fix that.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 37026178
bootrec can't be run from inside the actual OS.  What server make/model are you working with?  You might be able to fix it with bcdedit though.

The moderators are removing your references to the CD you are using.  If that is what you are using, that's fine, but it is against EE TOS to mention it here, as it contains software whose license agreements are currently believed to be violated by inclusion.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 37026199
I agree for your reasoning in including that info, as I was wondering how you could be in the OS and know that the MBR needed fixing :)
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 37026255
PowerEdgeTech,

Thanks for the responses so far.  I'm running a PowerEdge 2900.  I've taken it over fairly recently and have no idea if it even has a DRAC in it.  I'm going to assume not since it's not that high-end of a server.  I'm not all that knowledgeable with Dell servers so I really have no idea what has DRAC and what doesn't.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 37026518
The configuration might not be "high-end", but the server itself is, and it supported the latest and greatest technology of its time (2006-2009).  Does the system have OpenManage Server Administrator installed?  If so, it would list the DRAC under System, Main System Chassis, Remote Access/DRAC.  If OMSA is not installed, then you would have 2-3 unidentified/unknown devices in Device Manager if the DRAC is present.  Setting it up would be fairly simple, but you would need OMSA installed to configure it.  If you had a DRAC, you could see the console through console redirection over the network from its dedicated network port, allowing you to see the BIOS screens and work from within WinRE on the Windows DVD ... or even "mount" the DVD or ISO on your system for use remotely on the server (called Virtual Media).

If you don't have a DRAC installed, then we're back to needing to figure something out from Windows.  If your CD has the ability to boot to a CD (if running from USB) or to a USB (if running from CD), then you could boot to Windows media for repairs.  Creating a bootable Windows (or your "CD") USB key from which to do the repairs might be a bit much for your onsite staff though.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 37028726
I'm going to assume that there is no DRAC.  Just a BMC but I have no idea what that is either. :)

OMSA Screenshot
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 2000 total points
ID: 37029001
Nope, no DRAC.  The BMC is a server management chip that manages and monitors the system components and also allows for some remote work, but not along the lines of what we are needing to do.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 37119176
PowerEdgeTech, we've purchased a hardware KVM for future issues, but I bit the bullet and tried that mbrfix I linked to in my first post and it actually worked.  I was ready to go out if it didn't which is why I figured no harm, had a good backup, etc.

Thanks for the help and tips though, for future installs I'm going to make sure to force either DRAC or hardware KVM purchases, this was a scary situation.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 37091636
I'm glad it worked out for you.  Four hours is a long way to go for what is normally a fairly simple procedure :)  Take care.
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