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Customer has Windows server 2003 for small business server that crashed

Posted on 2013-01-21
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Customer had a power outage and her server crashed, would just recycle continuously back to bootup.  Was able to get an error message of Unmountable_boot_volume  Booted up to a CD and ran CHKDSK /R and it found and corrected errors.  Rebooted and windows ran another chkdsk and found some orphaned files.  Now the unit  will boot up to a blank screen with the mouse pointer, but that is it.  In safe mode the pointer is larger but the unit will not complete the startup.

On the splash screen as it boots up it says Windows server 2003.  When I go into safe mode startup it states that it is "Windows server 2003 for Small Business Server"  Some quick research on the web states that it is not the regular Server 2003

I am not strong on servers.  The customer does not have any disks to allow reinstall and there is no product key sticker.  It is a Dell Poweredge 830 with the service tag JYM9Y91
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Question by:alanvcole
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Author Comment

by:alanvcole
ID: 38802466
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Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 38802608
You're probably not going to like this - and your customer will probably like this even less...

Time to migrate to SBS 2011.  If they didn't care to take care of the media (or perhaps they "barrowed" SBS from a "friend") then it you can't reload without media.  If they had good backups, you could reload from backup... unless they used the built-in backup - since that requires a re-load from media... It's cheap, but it does assume they care for the media.  Troubleshooting this further may be an exercise in futility.  MAYBE, with some luck you could get things restored, but it sounds like there was corruption and the only way to effectively repair that corruption is through a restore or reinstall.

Not surprised this happened - the server is almost 7 years old... time to be replaced.

Now the good news is it looks like they DIDN'T buy an OEM version which means:
1. they bought a retail version - they are out of luck for media
2. they bought a volume license version - they are out of luck for media (Microsoft no longer ships media for an 8 year old operating system and though MOST media is available for download, SBS was one of the exceptions)
3. they "barrowed" a license from a "friend"

What can you do to get them running now?

Find a computer - ANY computer - install a demo/trial of Windows 2012 Server or Hyper-V server and then install a demo/trial of SBS 2011 though I've had some difficulty getting one myself.

But, at the end of the day, if this is not your area of expertise and you and/or the client don't have the time for you to learn it, then you should hire a pro (it's like going to the general practice (GP) doctor when you really need a heart surgeon.  As the GP, you can diagnose what's wrong but as a pro, you know you're not qualified to do it).
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Expert Comment

by:sysreq2000
ID: 38802630
When chkdsk ran did it display running through thousands of files repairing the security descriptors?

If so, I've seen that many time on Vista but never on server. The only way I've been able to find to get around it is to copy all files off the drive by booting from a linux CD like ubuntu or knoppix, copying all the files to a network or USB drive, formatting the drive and copying all files back. Even at that, it was never perfect....random errors would still pop up, but I could at least run for while if I needed to.

On a server, I would say it's probably worth the couple hundred bucks to call Microsoft if this is an essential production server. They may be able to help you get back in. I also found this if it helps....

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913034

Are you able to access the server remotely maybe?
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Author Closing Comment

by:alanvcole
ID: 38802705
Customer inherited the server along with the business

They are calling in experts to do a repair/reinstall

TY for your time
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