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SBS 2008 can't get to logon screen

Posted on 2013-01-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a client's Windows Server 2008 SBS standard that is having problems.

This is a Dell T-110 with a perc S100 controller.

It was running fine and then we lost all network connectivity with the server from the workstations. The server itself stopped responding so we restarted it. On start up, it gets to the point where you would expect to have the logon screen appear but you only get a black screen and a mouse cursor. It never gets to the logon screen. Same thing happens in safe mode and trying to start with a command prompt. Using last know good ends up with the same problem.

I have tried repair from the original disk without success. It indicated that it had fixed problems but the end result was the same. Couldn't use system restore as no restore points had been created.

Right now I have added an external drive (USB) to the system and am copying the data off after starting the computer in repair mode using xcopy. Slow but at least I'm getting data.

I inherited this system (yesterday) and they are only using offsite backup so I really don't know what state their backups are in. That's why the attempt to save whatever I can.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get this restarted? I really have only until tomorrow so this question will close quickly because they have to get running and if I can't get an answer, I'll need to start to rebuild the server (not my first choice.)

Thanks in advance for any ideas you can throw my way.

Regards,

Bill Marquardt
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Question by:w_marquardt
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by:JAN PAKULA
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1 can you start it with network cable unplugged? (looks like group policy/dns problems)

2 is array visible working and ok under array manager (from bios level)?
3 have you tried vga mode and using sbs recovery disk do cmd (under analyze) and run

bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /fixmbr

looks also like network card driver update went wrong - disable network card from bios -boot to system and uninstall driver to given network card
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by:w_marquardt
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Janpakula

Thanks for the quick reply.

Yes, we did (and are currently running) with the network cable unplugged.

The array is visible (Raid 1) and showing as normal in the Perc start up. Going into the Perc console shows both drives as healthy.

I don't think it's a boot issue. The computer actually does boot. When it starts up I get the screen with the Microsoft copyright line and the progress bar with the green moving bar.

As soon as I'm done copying files I'll try the network card idea. I hadn't given that a try yet.

Thanks,

Bill
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by:Olaf De Ceuster
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1: Make sure IPV6 is active and working. If not tick IPV6 on TCP IP propertiies and restart.
2: If running any AV packages: In Services: Set startup to manual and restart.
3:
Run Following Commands in an admin CMD:
netsh int ip set global taskoffload=disabled
netsh int tcp set global congestion=none
netsh int tcp set global autotuning=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=disabled

Hope that helps,
Olaf

Could also be a fault Network adapter.
Once upand running: Run the SBS BPA to make sure your system is running the way it should...
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6231
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by:w_marquardt
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Olaf,

Unfortunately, I can't get to any of the system settings for the server. The system hangs just before the logon screen and I get a blank screen (black) with a mouse cursor (which can be moved.)

The only thing I've been able to get to run is the recovery console from the 2008 server CD. Right now, I'm still copying data off the system (using xcopy)

Janpakula suggested a network issue as well and once I've copied everything I feel I'll need, then I'll disable the onboard nic and see if that gives me any joy.

Thanks,

Bill
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by:w_marquardt
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Janpakula,

I disabled the embedded nic. That didn't do the trick. In fact, the system wouldn't even get up to the point where it tells me that windows shut down improperly. I just got a blank screen. When I re-enabled the nic, it did get to the point where it tells you that windows didn't shut down properly. I tried a safe mode start (which I believe installs the VGA driver for video) and it got to a blank screen with a mouse cursor... same as before.

I hope there's still an answer out there.

Thanks,

Bill
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JAN PAKULA earned 500 total points
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can you run chkdsk /r on it?
also do you have nay hard drive leds flashing indicating that hard drives are working
any windows updates lately?
do that

You can also try to use Windows server 2008 R2 installation media perform a startup repair and rename the pending.xml file. The pending.xml file stores information of failed updates.
 
To do so, please follow the steps below:
 
1)      Insert Windows server 2008 R2 media and restart the computer from CD/DVD.
2)      Choose the language. Then in the bottom left of the installation windows, click Repair the computer.
3)      Choose CMD prompt to repair the computer.
4)      Enter the following command to rename pending.xml file.
 
takeown /f C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml
 
cacls C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml /G <EnterUsernameHere>:F
 
ren C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.old
 
5)      Restart the computer and run System Update Readiness Tool.
 
If the method above won’t work, I’m afraid you will have to perform an in-place upgrade to fix the corrupt files.
 
To perform an in-place upgrade of Windows Server 2008 R2, follow these steps:
 
Insert the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation CD/DVD, then double click to run the Setup from CD/DVD.
Choose the language and click Install Now.
Accept the License Agreement and Choose Upgrade.
Select the same edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 that is installed on server.
(Please make sure you have enough space in your System drive.)

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/winservermanager/thread/bfde9f80-c510-467a-8633-b86b038ced67
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by:Olaf De Ceuster
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Can you startup in safe mode (F8 before windows splash screen?)
Olaf
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by:JAN PAKULA
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@olafdc

"Same thing happens in safe mode and trying to start with a command prompt."
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Expert Comment

by:Olaf De Ceuster
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Reseat the Ram?
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Author Closing Comment

by:w_marquardt
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Ended up doing a full rebuild on the server. Unfortunately, it couldn't do the in place upgrade since it's a domain controller. I guess that's not allowed. Anyway, thanks for the help. We're back up. I was hoping for an easier solution. At least going forward, they will have backups in place.
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