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SBS 2011 - Stuck on Welcome

Posted on 2012-03-30
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We had to move a clients server into the new building, this server is a newer Dell T310 with SBS 2011, serving a very small office (6 Computers).  

We tried to log into the server to shut it down but it wasn't responding and froze on the welcome screen after we typed in the credentials.  The staff was able to work on files at this point.  We force shut down the server and moved to new building.  On boot up it is gets to the login screen, and I can type the credentials but then gets stuck on the Welcome page with the spinning ball.  I can get into Safe Mode, I do not see any errors that pop up in event viewer.  During when it is stuck in the Welcome screen the hard drive lights are blinking away.  If I try to log in and it stays on the Welcome screen it seems like it then hangs 5-10 minutes after.  

Any ideas?  I do not want to do a domain rebuild.  I haven;t been to this site in a while, the last updates were 2/29 and one was the Rollup 6 for Exchange and Rollup 1 for SBS.  

I can't uninstall them in Safe Mode so not sure.
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Question by:Fluid_Imagery
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Expert Comment

by:rtay
ID: 37789555
Try booting to last known good configuration.
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Expert Comment

by:rtay
ID: 37789565
You may also want to try a clean boot.  then disable any antivirus/firewall on the system and check for any ms updates, drivers that may have installed automatically.  

Here are clean boot instructions.  

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 37789568
My first guess is that you have a misfiring group policy and some of those timeouts are quite long (a few are 60 minutes.)

I'd attempt your login and then be *VERY* patient. Unless you allow the login to succeed (after whatever is hanging finally fails) then no events will be written and therefore even viewing the event log remotely will provide no information. In these types of problems, you really have to let the process complete. I'd at least see if the server *eventually* comes up given an hour or two before I did anything drastic.

-Cliff
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by:rtay
ID: 37789569
You may want to check for hardware issue, such as a disk problem just to make sure the hardware is ok.  at least run a chkdsk
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Author Comment

by:Fluid_Imagery
ID: 37789575
After disabling some startup items, and rebooting it went through login and was on a GPO Printer Policy.  I didn't want to check so I restarted back into safe mode and DNS was pointing to itself (192.168.10.10) but I changed to 127.0.0.1

Restarting again and waiting.
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 37789581
Printer policies are ones that will take 60 minutes to time out if a driver install issue arises. The system will not finish logging in until the driver installer fails, and that is a strange UAC issue that causes the system to hang (temporarily.) Forcing a shutdown/reboot runs a high risk of both exchange and AD corruption so, as I mentioned, I'd wait it out. Once you get in, you can use GPMC to temporarily disable the GPO causing the issue and then add security or WMI filters to prevent it causing problems again in the future.

-Cliff
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Author Comment

by:Fluid_Imagery
ID: 37789585
What is odd is when I enable all the existing startup items (msconfig) when I reboot all I see is a spinning circle on the Welcome Page.

When I disable the startup items, it atleast gets up to the GPO Printer.

Do I restart, disable the items and then wait it out, or just leave it on the welcome page?
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 37789594
I'd leave it on the welcome page. There are built-in timeouts for MOST login processes (although some are quite long) so you really should eventually see movement. Not gracefully shutting down a server is bad (so is a desktop, but a desktop is usually less critical) and a server that requires consistency in its databases (the AD database and Exchange databases) are even worse. I know waiting is frustrating, but the alternatives are even moreso...especially if, as you said, a domain rebuild is not an option. Booting up a server, getting the "no login servers are available" and seeing AD errors in your event logs is one of the worst experiences an SBS admin can have.
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Author Comment

by:Fluid_Imagery
ID: 37789595
What is the GPO Printer one for?  Workstations or server?
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Accepted Solution

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Fluid_Imagery earned 0 total points
ID: 38247427
Ended up having to wipe server.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Fluid_Imagery
ID: 39137753
fixed it ourself
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