Windows 2008 R2 power surge, now stuck booting on "Microsoft Corporation"

DrGangles
DrGangles used Ask the Experts™
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Hi, we suffered a massive building power surge last night. Three of our four servers booted fine. They all have UPS power.

The one that WON'T boot is our domain controller.  It's stuck on the black "Microsoft Corporation" screen.  Safe modes didn't work, neither did "last known good".

We're desperate. Please help.
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Commented:
Do you have the media for server 08?  I would try booting with the disk and run a repair....or can you get into BIOS or any diagnostics from bootup?

Author

Commented:
Thanks. Yes, I've tried to run a repair, but unlike instructions I've seen, no operating system shows up.  It appears to have crashed in the middle of last night's backup, so we'd need to go back a day, and we DO NOT want to do that.

Commented:
Resead the hard drives?  Does the hard drives show in bios?  If it is a RAID 1 (or no RAID) you can try to remove one drive.  If it is a SATA drive try booting it on a desk top or USB and run checkdisk on it.  

Try kicking it yet?
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Commented:
So when you boot off the disk...
Select next after making sure the language options are correct.
Select Repair option
Select CMD
CD into recovery
Type Dir
Run the StartRep.exe command in the list.

Author

Commented:
@jramsier HAH! No kicking yet.

It's a RAID 5 Promise array. So far, we've gotten to the loading drivers part for the Promise controller, but now it's taking FOREVER to load the drivers.

Everywhere I turn, brick wall.

@PaulD77 There's no CMD option.

Author

Commented:
Driver install failed. Of course. They're the EXACT drivers we used in setting up the server last year. Same disk.

Commented:
When you run the repair, is it finding any current installation of server 08?  If it does, but does not have the cmd options available, start the repair and the dialog box should have a cancel button, if you cancel it, does the cmd option become available?

Author

Commented:
It's not finding an installation, so I'm guessing that's why it's asking for drivers.  When we try to install the Promise drivers, we select the proper controller, see MS's non-progress progress bar for several minutes, and then the driver install fails.

Thanks again for the ongoing help.

Commented:
hmmm.  Well I thinkl you can access the cmd by hitting  Shift F10 at the select language screen..if you get a cmd, run a dir on the c: to see if windows files are there...if ther are, try run the StartRep.exe from the CD

Author

Commented:
Even on last-known good configuration, it just SITS at the black "MS Corp" screen with the non-progress progress bar.

@PaulD77 Thanks, I'll try that next.
Commented:
Take out one of the raid drives. to see if it boots.  Someone did it here to get it works (they swapped it)

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winservergen/thread/f83e5e0a-a2fe-4e22-92b2-2cb1f722ea9d

Author

Commented:
The array is 100% functional, and it's RAID 5, not 1 (which I would be happy to try). I really don't want to mess with that.  While it does have a hot spare, a rebuild takes about 6 hours.

Author

Commented:
Any other ideas? Please?
Commented:
still no cmd prompt? when hitting shift F10 at the first install screen off the boot disk?

Author

Commented:
Thanks, the command prompt DID come up. I found startrep.exe, ran it, and it says I have no hard disk.  That would explain why it has no operating system.

The Promise interface says the array is functional, but this is obviously a Windows driver issue now.  And since I can't seem to load the drivers in the LOAD DRIVERS part of the recovery, I'm stuck again.
Commented:
Well, its looking more and more like you've got a bad drive in your array.  Do all your drives show up in BIOS?  Are they hot swappable and do you have a spare to replace a bad drive?

Author

Commented:
All the drives show up, the array is functional and healthy, and the hot spare is still set up correctly.

Again, I don't want to pull a drive and start it rebuilding.  I can't have this down for another six hours.

Commented:
Does your bios have any diagnostic tests for the hard drives?  What make server is it?

Author

Commented:
Promise has no diagnostics. It's an SX-4300 controller on a Tyan S3950G2NR board.  These boards have been rock-solid for us for three years, but the other three servers use Adaptec 1420SA RAID1 controllers.

I'm almost to the point where I may clone the contents of the Promise array to our spare-parts 1420SA and one of several new spare drives.  I wish I could do this outside Windows, though.  The partition is small enough that it would fit on one new drive, then I could put that drive on the Adaptec and make a RAID 1 array from it.

Any idea how I can clone the Promise SX-4300 RAID 5 array to a blank drive, but outside of Windows?  Gparted won't recognize the Promise array (didn't think it would).

Author

Commented:
Thanks again for the replies. I don't know exactly what the problem was, but we finally fixed it by moving the entire RAID 5 array (card and drives) to spare computer. We copied the array to a single bare drive using Acronis True Image (a lifesaver of a program), moved the bare drive back to the server along with a new 1420SA, booted it, installed the 1420SA drivers, shut down, installed the new drive on the 1420SA with an identical blank drive, rebuilt into a RAID1, rebooted, and we're up and running again.

My guess is that the surge did something to the Promise controller, which is why we couldn't install its drivers to do a system file repair.

Out of every crisis, there's something better, and now we don't see some of the performance warnings we saw with the Promise controller.

Sorry for the babbling.  We're pretty happy it's fixed, and it seems to be an improvement.  Happy holidays!

Author

Commented:
While no reply was an exact answer to our problem, they all helped to point us in the right direction.  Thanks again to both of you and happy holidays!

Commented:
Sorry I got caught up in my own issues yesterday, but was absolutley going to reccomend Acronis.  Glad to hear you're back up....holiday miracle.

Author

Commented:
Thanks!  And BTW, Acronis cloned a 468GB RAID5 Promise array to a bare drive in just over an hour.  THAT was a good part of the miracle.

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