SBS 2008 stuck at scrolling dots

TimFarren
TimFarren used Ask the Experts™
on
Merry Christmas experts..

I have a big problem.  Domain controller won't boot.  

The OS is server 2008 SBS.

After some troubleshooting, I've determined I have a bad system registry hive.  It is big enough to have enough content stored within it (50 MB) but won't open even offline.  Windows 7 Regedit says, "Error while loading hive" when I try to open it while the drive is attached over USB.

I've tried the copies in the regback folder - same result.  I've tried last known good - no good.

The server attempts to boot but hangs at the scrolling dots.  HELP!!

Are there any good offline registry analsis and repair tools?  I've looked and can't find any!

Thanks..
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Commented:
Also.. sorry forgot to mention - long story, but no, we don't have a good backup.

Author

Commented:
Can I do another install onto a brand new hard disk and transplant the SYSTEM. file from that?  Same hardware and same install media.  

I'm trying to preserve as much of the configuration as possible.  (Active directory has about 50 users), etc.
Can you try booting into safemode and selecting Last Known Good Configuration?
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Author

Commented:
That's not an option.  Picking safemode starts the loading process.  Then it shows the files it's loading - stops at CRCDISK.SYS
Possibly try running a repair from the CD

Author

Commented:
Startrep from the CD just reports corrupt registry and can't repair.

SFC won't run either.  I forget the error, but I can try again and post back.

Commented:
Truhfully, SBS is so intertwined, which makes i so wonderful when it working, that when it failes it's almost not worth salvaging.  I don't know how big your user count is, but if you're going to attempt a reinstall on a new machine only to move a hive over, why don't you just migrate your current infrustructure over to the new machine?

Author

Commented:
I don't understand your question.  New machine?  Existing machine isn't broken.  Windows is the only thing with a problem.

Author

Commented:
Can anyone suggest tools to recover active directory from the failed disk once I reinstall the OS onto a new hard drive?
I'm trying a product called UMove.  It looks very promising.  It's getting the AD, Exchange, and Sharepoint from my failed drive and integrating it!  Amazing!

http://utools.com/UMove.asp

Commented:
Wow!  I just ran UMove on a test machine.  It is an amazing product.

Good job.
Ok - all finished - but man, what a stressful week.  About 80 hours later and I'm finally in a place that works for all concerned.  The UMove product did aid in the recovery of Active Directory, the only problem is that the OS was WAY unstable after it finished.  I basically had to do swing migration after the product got the AD database up.  I was no picnic getting the product to work in my situation due to a corrupt SYSTEM registry hive.  I got lots of errors, and probably ran the product about 4 times (having to completely reinstall SBS each time - gobs of hours wasted) each time attempting with different versions of the SYSTEM hive that I could find sprawled across my 2 hard disks from the failed mirror.  Why did I have to reinstall SBS you ask?  Because for some reason, each time UMove ran and repaired things based on the failed disk, it took something from the bad registry hive that caused the repaired install to BSOD at boot up.  Safe mode won't even work.

Overall - UMove is still an amazing product.  I would highly recommend it!  It saved my butt!!

 - Tim

Author

Commented:
The product I found was key to getting the issue resolved.

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