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Cannot Boot Server - possible Raid issue?

After applying some updates and rebooting one of the servers (Server 2008 R2) there was no boot volume detected. The BIOS just cycled the boot order and never loads. It just says Drive 0: Failed Boot. This is an IBM X server, 3620 M3 to be precise with a 5015 RAID controller.

I am able to start the MegaRAID tool and it appears that everything is in order. Can see the drives, everything is green and looks good to go. During POST, I see the message that 1 virtual disc was found.

The server was acting squirrely before I rebooted it. It usually gest restarted every weekend but it has been at least a month since last reboot because of other projects.

With the RAID screen looking good, that lead me to believe that perhaps one of the updates confused my OS and was hiding it from the system. I popped in the server repair disc and it fails to see any drives.

On the IBM Forums, there was a note about older BIOS versions being unable to boot so I did the task of using their build-a-disc utility with all of my specific drivers/firmware on it and ran that on the server. It updated everything successfully, or so it says, but no luck.

I don’t want to tinker too much in the RAID tool since I don’t think that is the problem. But Im not sure how to get my OS repair going if it cannot find the drive where the OS is installed.

This is our exchange server and I pray I don’t still have issues Monday morning but just looking for some info to stop chasing my tail. I’ve made no progress. Booting into Diagnostic mode once more to look around.

I think I may download the ServerGuide CD from IBM to see if that has any options, but just grasping at straws here. Any other input is indeed welcome.
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jmiller2781
Asked:
jmiller2781
2 Solutions
 
Sajid Shaik MSr. System AdminCommented:
try

Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) to repair it..

boot with MS DaRT and uninstall the latest updates what u updated... selecting by date...  and check..

http://4sysops.com/archives/how-to-recover-a-non-bootable-windows-installation-the-microsoft-diagnostics-and-recovery-toolset/

all the best
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Sajid Shaik MSr. System AdminCommented:
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Sajid Shaik MSr. System AdminCommented:
To recover from this error, use the bcdedit command-line tool. To do this, follow these steps:
Start the server by using Windows Server 2008 R2 media.
Select Repair your computer.
Select Command Prompt.
At the command prompt, run the bcdedit command. Lists of items appear under Windows Boot Manager and under Windows Boot Loader.
Look for the values for the following items :
Under Windows Boot Manager, the Device item should be set to unknown.
Under Windows Boot Loader, theDevice and osdevice items should be set to unknown.
Run the following three commands to correct the settings, and then restart the computer:
bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:
Or, locate X:\Sources\Recovery, and then run StartRep.exe to start a quick automated startup repair utility that corrects boot environment values.

source

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2261423

all the best
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CompProbSolvCommented:
The suggestions above are very good, but there may be another issue that makes them more difficult.  If the Windows Repair disk doesn't have the proper RAID drivers, it won't see the disk, just a you observed.  You may have to download the drivers and then load them once it tells you that it doesn't see the drives.
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KorbusCommented:
Can you confirm the hardware is indeed trying to boot to the correct drive?
>>Drive 0: Failed Boot
When you go into the BIOS boot order, can you see your RAID volume listed as Drive 0?

>>I don’t want to tinker too much in the RAID tool
I agree.  Based on your description of the RAID screen, it sounds like the array is functioning properly.  However, there may be an option to allow the RAID volume to be BOOTABLE. If so, better double check that is enabled.

>> ServerGuide CD
If this is the software that help you install windows on the server,  that's a good idea.  It will automatically use the needed RAID drivers to allow windows setup to see the RAID volumes.  Knowing if this works will be a useful fact.

Another way to test that hardware IS indeed properly showing the RAID volume to software:  What kind of backup software are you using?  Can your backup recovery boot disks see the volume?

Couple shots in the dark:
-I would also recommend you disconnect any external storage, like usb memory sticks, or hard drives, if you have them attached.
-Re-seat your RAID controller card, if not built-onto motherboard, maybe HD cables too.
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jmiller2781Author Commented:
Thanks for all of the input. The issue seems to be resolved. I did boot to the repair option of the server CD and attempted to run the automatic detect and repair. It said it was not able to repair the system. I think due to the fact that I have about 4 server 2008 DVDs in there and it may not have been the exact one used for install. It said version mismatch.

Anyway, thinking I needed to boot to the proper CD, I went into the bios and was going to set CD as the primary since the POST takes F O R E V E R. When I went in this time... I had been in about 15 times testing various boot options, there was a NEW boot item. I had been using Disc 0, which should have been for the RAID but this had some very long path name.

I let it run and boom, the server was back up. So in short, just by booting to any disc and attempting to do an automatic repair, in my case, worked.
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KorbusCommented:
Glad you got it working, though I must admit I hate stuff "randomly" starting to work again.

Agree regarding those IBM server POST times, they are just stupid long:  which SHOULD at least provide you with consistency, or diagnostics of some kind-  thought it sounds like in your case it's providing neither.

Now that it's working, you probably have other stuff to deal with, but if the inconsistency drives you nuts, like me, here is one other thought:
You mentioned in your original post you mentioned you updated firmware, but based on the inconsistency of your POST detection, you might want to double check that EVERYTHING got updated.  In particular I remember an issue with an IBM server where updating the raid firmware was insufficient, I had to ALSO update the HARDRIVE firmware, witch was NOT done with all the other components, and required a special step.
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