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Domain controller won't boot.  No backup, drives are healthy.  Repair install failed.  Options?

Posted on 2014-10-13
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We do IT for various small business. Of course this results in the inevitable calls about "Our server won't boot" and we do what we can to help.  So, what I have is Server 2003 standard R2 x64 machine that is the primary and only domain controller.  They appear to have had a power outage and at that time, or when they shut off the UPS possibly without shutting down the servers first, the server croaked.  

We've run the hardware diagnostics (Dell PowerEdge 1800) and everything tests out OK.  Array manager was checked and both arrays are healthy.  RAID 1 for OS and RAID 5 for data.  However, a large portion of their software runs from the C:\ drive on RAID1 (of course).  

naturally, there are no known good backups.  There is a backup disk (RDX) onsite, and possible using the included Yosemite software, but there are no known good backups since we don't have access to any kind of log for them.  

We attempted Last known good and safe mode to no avail.  As a final shot, we tried a repair install.  The repair install hangs at "installing network" 32 minutes.... We left it for an hour, but no drive activity... so, we tried researching that issue, and tried disabling the network card (onboard) and removed the addin network card as well.  No change.  We drive disabling as much as possible in the BIOS from the integrated tab (Audio, etc) with no change.    We tried the following: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_27961999.html  Also, attached as a photo is the setupapi.log file which I've come to understand may help troubleshoot the repair install, which I'm open to if it will get the system to boot.  

In addition, we have access to the data on the C: drive where windows is located.  Is there any way I can restore the system state from the raw data there? We really need some help on this one.
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Question by:bkready
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40378963
There is nothing attached.

How far does the system get when allowed to boot on its own?
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Author Comment

by:bkready
ID: 40379614
Oops, hit attach and forgot to upload.  It should be there now.

Allowed to boot on it's own, before the failed repair install, it booted past the Windows splash screen. Get's to a plain grey screen and hangs.  

Of course now, it's pretty much stuck in a loop from the repair install. The repair install tanks, then it reboots on it's own back to the repair install setup.
20141013-183611.jpg
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Accepted Solution

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bkready earned 0 total points
ID: 40470764
Another thread with few answers. What am I doing wrong that my questions do not attract attention?  To specific, not specific enough?  

Anyway, reloaded the server, rebuilt the apps and restored the data.
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Author Closing Comment

by:bkready
ID: 40478153
No responses.  Had to do something.
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