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Small Business Server 2008, will only boot with the Operating System DVD in the drive

Posted on 2012-08-27
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We have a Fujitsu Siemens Econel 200 S2 Tower Server. All was apparently working fine. Installed a batch of MS Updates and the Server rebooted fine - After a reboot, there were 4 remaining MS Updates (very simple updates - no service packs, etc) We installed these further 4 MS updates and the server requested a reboot. We did so, and the server failed to boot with the following error:- Reboot and Select proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot DEvice and Press a Key.

The server now ONLY successfully boots with the SBS 2008 DVD in the drive - When it says "Press any key to boot from DVD", we do not touch the keyboard and the server successfully boots to the desktop and currently is working in the office environment, supporting 10 client computers.

Fijutsu Technical support say this is not a hardware error, after viewing the diagnostic files - Fujitsu claim that this is now a software issue.

How can we get the server to boot normally without the DVD being in the drive bay ?

The belief is that the BCD has somehow become corrupted or is now missing.

As the server is currently running, we would appreciate any advice, that will make the server boot normally, without making our position much worse ?

We have two disks curently on a RAID 1 mirror, with no reported hardware issues, (confirmed by Fujitsu Technical Support) and eveything was all normal for reboots, until that last round of MS Updates ?

Any suggestions, please ?
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Question by:Assist-Netopa
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by:aindelicato
ID: 38337016
Did you check the boot order in the BIOS to make sure that your hard disk was in the list?

Run a CHKDSK on the boot drive to detect/repair any errors.
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by:footech
ID: 38337688
I don't see how there could be a problem.  Right now your server is set to try to boot from the CD/DVD drive first, then the HDD (there could be devices before the CD/DVD, as well as after but before the HDD, but if they're not present it doesn't make a difference).  So your machine tries to boot from the DVD.  With the Microsoft disk it prompts you to press a key to use it, most other bootable disks don't.  If you don't press a key it behaves as if there isn't a disk in the DVD drive and proceeds to try the next device in the boot order, which is probably the HDD.  The problem can't be with the BCD, or else when it gets to the HDD the OS wouldn't be able to boot.  Same goes for the MBR and boot sector.

Only possible thing I can think of would be a situation where the HDD (or RAID) is not initialized, and the extra time needed to go through trying the DVD allows the initialization to complete. But I've never actually seen or heard of that happening in real life.

I would guess that the error message was seen because it was trying to boot off some other device (e.g. a USB device or another HDD) that did not have all the proper boot files.
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 38337989
Interesting... I support a SBS 2003 that behaves exactly this way.  Has for a couple of years.  My theory is that the system needs a couple of additional seconds to present the RAID1 subsystem to the bootstrap, but I have not been able to prove it.

Is the controller rebuilding the array?  That might account for it.  On the system I describe above there is a very weak controller and SATA drives in RAID1, and it takes days to rebuild when needed.  Sounds similiar to yours.
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by:Assist-Netopa
ID: 38339689
The boot order in the BIOS was checked and appeared correct. A disk consistancy was checked and while it said it found errors, it also claimed o have fixed them. Fujitsu Technical Support found no hardware errors from the diagnostic reports. While there is normally an external USB drive connectd for backup purposes, when we had this boot issue, these were removed, to rule out trying to boot from these devices - no other usb devices are connected, other than the keyboard & mouse.

So if i am understanding correctly, having the DVD in the drive, and because we do not touch any key to actually boot from the DVD, the DVD itself is doing no more, than actually providing a delay in the complete server boot procedure ?

So that will rule out a corrupt or missing BCD or MBR, otherwise our server O.S. would simply not boot at all - the DVD is not substituting for anything during this phase - merely causing a time delay, by being there.

So do we have a RAID controller / driver loading issue ?

I did see this post on the Internet, where someon else had the issue on a Fujitsu :-

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-us/winservergen/thread/550533fc-f8c5-4a55-bd4b-23a6c61aad0d 

Was not SBS, but Server 2008.

Just to confirm, that the RAID controller is not currently rebuilding the array. The mirror set is currently healthy and not degraded, and has not been degraded throughout our reboot issue.

Other than leaving the DVD in the drive, for the life of the server, does anyone have any suggestions that could be tried, that will not make our position worse than it is now - bearing in mind, that from the client perspective, they have a working server.

Many thanks

Assist - Netopa
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by:footech
ID: 38340283
So if i am understanding correctly, having the DVD in the drive, and because we do not touch any key to actually boot from the DVD, the DVD itself is doing no more, than actually providing a delay in the complete server boot procedure ?
That's my understanding.  While there are CD's that you can boot from which provide their own boot loader, and which then allow you to select your HDD to boot from, thus skipping over a portion of the boot code on the HDD, that's not what's happening here.

I'm afraid I don't have any further recommendations for you beyond performing any firmware and/or BIOS updates that may be available for your devices (motherboard, RAID card, HDD).  Updating these is pretty simple, but no operation is zero risk.  Perhaps others will have better recommendations.
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 38342935
I have not found any adverse consequenses of leaving the DVD in the drive.  You could try any bootable one, or copy that one and use the copy.
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by:footech
ID: 38343206
I have found myself wondering if perhaps re-writing the MBR (or even the boot sector) would help at all.  I don't know enough about what happens when a Windows DVD is in the drive.  When it gets to the prompt "Press any key to boot from the CD/DVD", I'm thinking that this is actually part of the boot code on the DVD.  So perhaps when you don't press a key it is auto-selecting an action which skips forward to loading the boot sector, bypassing the MBR.

Thought's anyone?
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by:Assist-Netopa
ID: 38344228
footech

These were our initial thoughts - that the SBS 2008 boot DVD was somehow doing part of the boot process that we did not fully understand or appreciate, and then the server HDD would take over from there.

However, as we are not touching the keyboard to boot from the DVD, we were then uncertain.

I guess trying a completely different DVD that is bootable, may proove that all the DVD does is perform a time delaying action, to allow the RAID controller for the mirrored HDDs to somehow catch up ?
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by:footech
ID: 38346088
I don't have any numbers, but I think most DVDs, when you boot from them, don't have an option to then continue booting Windows.  I've seen it with some Acronis boot disks, but I don't clearly recall any others.

Actually one thing that might be good as a test is if there is a key you can press to select the boot device.  For instance on most Dells you can press F12 during post to present a list of the devices to boot from.  If you have that, and then wait a while before selecting the HDD, that would seem to introduce a delay which might tell us if that is all that is needed for the HDDs to boot normally.
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by:Assist-Netopa
ID: 38348899
It also seems to  be F12 on a Fujitsu.

We would need to schedule an onsite visit to the probelm server and organise this test with the customer. Very much worth trying at least to prove thsat a delay assists with the success of the boot process.

Then of course we would need to figure out why ?

Or what is happening with the RAID controller and/or the server HDDs
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footech earned 1500 total points
ID: 38794383
@Assist-Netopa - Can you please close this question?
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by:Assist-Netopa
ID: 38794523
We ended up replacing the server as the warranty was running out and extended support was not up to scratch
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