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Black Screen Of Death KSOD fresh reinstall Windows SBS2011 Standard

Posted on 2013-02-03
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Last Modified: 2013-03-04
I successfully installed SBS2011 Standard on an HP ML330 containing an Adaptec 5085 RAID controller. The OS was installed onto a new RAID1 volume.

Long story, but I needed to wipe down the volume so I performed a low level reformat of each disc (clearly wiping off the SBS install), then created a new RAID1 volume of exactly the same stripe and cache settings as before.

I insert the SBS 2011 Standard DVD-ROM to freshly reinstall the OS and, after the initial "reading files" and "starting windows" messages appear on the screen I get to Black Screen Of Death (black screen, white mouse pointer). Left the system like that for 3 days (I'm quite patient) but there is appears to be no DVD-ROM activity and very limited disc activits (judging from the LED on the front panel).

The HP ML330 is running the latest BIOS (it was before so that hasn't changed). I'm about to try to flash the RAID controller to make sure that's OK.

ANy other suggestions?

As I said, the install worked perfectly the firts time I tried. Now, clean install on exactly the same configuration of hardware and KSOD.
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Question by:MarcusN
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by:cpmcomputers
ID: 38848451
Download the latest Hp startsmart and create an Iso bootable and start your installation process from that
That should prompt you through the raid setup (and identify any problems)
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Author Comment

by:MarcusN
ID: 38848461
I have tried the HP SmartStart method.

SmartStart does not discover the Adaptec Array Controller.

It wants me to use anHP controller.
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by:cpmcomputers
ID: 38848510
Apologies

I assumed it would locate the controller

Does the final comment in this thread offer a solution

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/ProLiant-Servers-ML-DL-SL/Smartstart-and-Intel-82801GR-SATA-RAID-Controller/td-p/4115041
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Author Comment

by:MarcusN
ID: 38848559
Thanks, I'll try this.

What really confuses me is that the OS installed successfully in December.

Nothing I can think of on the hardware configuration and settings has changed...?
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by:cpmcomputers
ID: 38848571
No I was thinking exactly the same

Isn't something stupid like
The media is faulty or the raid had not syncronised fully before the install commenced ?
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Author Comment

by:MarcusN
ID: 38848597
I thought about the media as well. I tried to install SBS 2008 R2 instead of SBS 2011, hoping that the SBS 2008 would succeed and then I could "upgrade" over it to 2011.

SBS 2008 gets further than SBS 2011 BUT when I get to the "choose a partition to install the OS" on screen, I click install driver and select the Adaptec driver from a USB key, which completes successfully, the installer doesn't allow me to select the RAID volume that I have created. I get an error message saying something like "Windows does not recognise ...blah blah ... can't remember the rest" and the installation goes no further.

I am going to create a virtual machine on a workstation and see whether I can install SBS 2011 onto that - just to check the media.

Regarding the RAID sync matter; I hit F11 during POST, after the Adaptec controller has POSTed and all the disks are healthy and the RAID1 volume shows "Oprimal". I wait for an hour bedore selecting the F11 option to boot from CD-ROM. That should be enough time to ensure that the sync has completed.

So, I'm really confused.

Thanks for your continued help and advice. Installing an OS shouldn't be this difficult.
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by:cpmcomputers
ID: 38848604
It's Microsoft :-)
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Author Comment

by:MarcusN
ID: 38848646
Doh! What was I thinking...

"Easy" and "Microsoft Server"...  words that don't appear in the same sentence without the word "not" somewhere!
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by:cpmcomputers
ID: 38848658
Sounds as if the sbs2008 install at least finds the correct driver?
The windows blah blah error might be something to the effect
(Drive format not recognised?

I am out for a while do keep md posted
Apologies if I delay coming back to you
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 38848795
Are you sure you have an Adaptec 5085? It's just that without any internal ports it would be unusual to boot from that card. Admittedly there are cards from Adaptec that use the same drivers that have internal ports so it may juts be a typo.
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Author Comment

by:MarcusN
ID: 38848968
Sorry, typing error. The RAID Controller is an Adaptec 5805. I do also have a 5085 which has external ports and connects to a DAS storage device, but that's in a different server.

I have made some progress.

I have disconnected all the discs from the backplane in the ML330, leaving just one Seagate Constellation 1TB SAS disc connected to the backplane.

I have created a simple Volume of 250GB using the Adaptec Array Configuration Utility.

Now, when I boot I DON'T get the Black Screen Of Death!

I get to the stage where MS Server installation asks for drivers which I install. I select the Volume (listed as Disc 0) and click "next" but the installer throws up an error and prevents me from completing the installation onto the new, blank partition.

I am now massively fed up with HP. We have a reasonable number of HP servers in the business and we are decomissioning all the hardware running SBS or Server 2003 and thinking of replacing them with hardware running SBS 2011 and Server 2012. In the past we could use Adaptec RAID cards with little trouble (we have a lot of Adaptec RAID adapters!) and the management console allows us to manage a large disc and RAID estate. The problems that we are having with this HP device is going to change our purchasing strategy and we will probably dump HP for hardware that can work with other RAID technology. Being forced to buy HP P410 etc cards (junk) is a non-starter.
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by:andyalder
ID: 38848989
You should be fed up with Adaptec, or rather with yourself for trying to use one in an HP server. P410 isn't junk, in fact the ROC chip it uses is made by the same people who bought Adaptec's business. You've probably had slow performance from them due to lack of cache battery. Doesn't the HP ACU let you manage large disks and your RAID? Everyone else manages to use them without problem and being guaranteed to be able to read the data with a later generation card is a big plus.
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Author Comment

by:MarcusN
ID: 38849586
I'll come to the Adaptec versus P410 issue in a moment. I have made some significant progress.

Now I have a simple Volume defined on the RAID Controller.

I power up the server and it boots from the DVD-ROM and I get all the way to the point where it asks me to choose a partition to install the operating system on.

Now I DON'T click the link to install the RAID Controller driver, I just hit "Next" and the OS gets installed onto the selected partition!

With the OS installed, the server reboots a couple of times and we get into the Migration Wizard. Real progress.

With respect to the Adaptec versus P410 matter. We have some RAID6, RAID5EE and RAID60 configurations in our estate of DAS. We use a lot of Adaptec RAID controllers and we can manage everything, everywhere, from a single Management Console. The P410 card may be fine but I am not aware of any enterprise wide tools and applications that would allow me to manage a mix of Adaptec and HP cards from one Console. I am also not aware that the P410 can do much other than RAID1 and RAID5, both of which are fine but not in line with our storage and resilience policies.
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by:andyalder
ID: 38850563
P410 does RAID levels 1, 10, 5, 50, 6, 60 but license is required for 6 and 60 so you don't see them by default. As far as central management HP SIM can launch the HP ACU but it's just using a remote connection to it and of course it doesn't manage 3rd party controllers.

I'd be tempted if you do stick with HP and want to use Adaptec cards to use the 100 series since they generally don't have inbuilt Smart Array controllers that may get in the way.
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Accepted Solution

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MarcusN earned 0 total points
ID: 38933385
OK, I finally resolved this myself. The issue was with the "write cache" and "read cache" modes of the Adaptec cards.

For some reason, if either or both of these modes are enabled when the arrays are created prior to installing the OS, then the installer can't find the volumes or, if the volumes are listed, it doesn't recognise them as suitable for installation.

The solution was to set both "read cache" and "write cache" to "disabled" (there was no need to recreate the arrays, just change the cach settings).

Rebooting and booting via the DVD-ROM then goes through the OS installation process successfully.

Finally on the matter of Adaptec versus HP RAID controllers, I don't like the HP approach in which to get functionality that other people offer as standard from their top end products HP expects you to pay to "unlock" it in theirs. I want the versatility of choosing the products that suit my organisation's enterprise architecture, not being forced to use some monopoly that forces me to buy more and more from them. We are seriously considering our entire hardware strategy now and, whilst we don't buy 1000's of servers, we buy quite a few.
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by:andyalder
ID: 38933459
Cool. Glad you resolved your Adaptec problem.
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by:cpmcomputers
ID: 38935569
Glad you got this resolved
(Sorry we were not able to help)

Pleased you took the trouble to post how you resolved this - will benefit others :-)

Good job
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Author Closing Comment

by:MarcusN
ID: 38949105
I investigated the issue myself and no-one else suggested I explore the read- or write-caching as sources of the error that I encountered.
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