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Stuck on the Windows Splash Screen

Last Modified: 2012-05-22
We have an HP ML350 G5 server running Windows Server 2003 R2, it has 4 SAS hard drives in a RAID 5 configuration

Last week we had to reboot the server, but when it tried to boot it got stuck on the Windows Splash Screen which just kept going and going and the server never boots.

 It's out of warranty. but we got an HP engineer in to look at it and I think he was a bit of a muppet as he said all the SAS Drives were faulty or it could be the RAID Card, I'm sure if he had stayed long enough he would have said it had the wrong kind of electricity.

So I disconnected the existing SAS drive cage and removed the RAID Card and purchased a different PCI-X SATA RAID Controller and two SATA hard drives and configured them as RAID 1 (Mirrored), I installed the O/S which all went ok, but when it was ready to boot up ... guess what it just hung on the Windows Splash Screen again.

I then removed the new RAID Card and the two SATA drives and connected the SAS Drive Cage and inserted just one of the original SAS drives, I then connected the SAS cage to one of the onboard SATA connectors and changed the RAID configuration to just a single drive, I then installed the O/S again, everything went ok until it rebooted and yet again it got stuck on Windows Splash Screen.

I'm really beginning to think that this a Mainboard fault, but has anyone else seen this problem or know what it is

Many thanks
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How many memory cards do you have in the server? Try removing one by one memory card?
This one is on us!
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Did you try to boot in Safe Mode. ??

Try booting in Safe mode. If that works and you are able to reach the desktop, then it could be a problem with the Third party services running and trying to startup.

If it boots in Safe mode, then try the following.

Start > Run > msconfig
Select Diagnostic Startup mode.
Apply and Restart

Let me know if it works.

Thanks and Good Luck!!




Thanks for the suggestion but already tried the memory route, I actually tok out all the Memory and installed a matched pair, but it made no difference.



It won't boot in Safe Mode, it keeps hanging at acpitabl.dat and this happens with all the different installs I have done as described in my original post.



I'm glad you have seen this problem before and I'm convinced it's a mainboard problem as it's happened with every different type of install I have tried.

I know I can get a refurbed mainboard for about £350, I will let you know if it fixes the problem and I will leave this question open for now.

Incidentally, I have been unfortunate enough to have dealt with HP support before and their poor level of support is synonymous in the industry, my advise to anyone deciding on a new server is to get a Dell Poweredge, they are a lot more reliable and their support is first class, it's a no brainer and this HP has already been repalced with a Poweredge.

Maybe try some of the solutions on this page:


Oeyhope, your article dates back to 2005 and talks about the progress bars just after installing SP1. Windows Server 2003 R2 comes with SP1 already. This is a unique problem which is caused by a hardware problem.

Even if you run the HP diagnostics CD that HP advise with either 1 or 10 loops, it will say everything is perfect, when in fact its not. One of the biggest downsides of HP support, their own troubleshooting tools can't troubleshoot their hardware.



I read the page you referred to, but most of the solutions don't apply as I'm not using Windows XP, nor have I installed 2003 SP1 as I'm installing R2, I don't have Hyperthreading on this server and I'm not starting from a position where the O/S was already installed and working, but failed to reboot.


I forgot to add this a solution, which turned out to be spot on, the Motherboard was faulty, so we replaced it and the Server is now back in use

Glad to hear you're up and running.
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