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Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Virtual Machine failing to start after updates - black screen

Posted on 2014-12-14
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Last Modified: 2014-12-16
I have restarted a Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtual Machine for windows updates yesterday.  The updates installed as normal, but upon restarting, the VM will not come up.  It starts to load windows for a second, and then goes to a black screen.  Two other VM's running on this machine came back up fine.  

I've tried booting to a Windows install cd, and going to the repair console.  chkdsk /f finds nothing wrong.  I've ran the command bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force with no change.  I've also tried this:

Type the command:
bcdedit
You should see the windows boot manager in one partition and the loader in another one.
If that is the case, then type the following commands and then reboot the guest:
bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
If that is not the case, try the following command and reboot the guest:
bcdboot d:\Windows  

(when booting to the windows cd it finds the main c: drive as D:, so thats why I used d: above)

Does anyone else have any other suggestions?  Its an exchange server so it'll be a ton of work to rebuild.  

Thanks,
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Question by:rsoxhater
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Expert Comment

by:A Karelin
ID: 40499743
Can you load in safe mode or command line?
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Author Comment

by:rsoxhater
ID: 40500272
Safe mode does not load.  I can get to command line via "Startup repair" or via the windows install dvd then choose repair your computer.
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Accepted Solution

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A Karelin earned 500 total points
ID: 40500274
try to uninstall last updates
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Author Comment

by:rsoxhater
ID: 40500282
The virtual machine does not load or come up, I did try last known good configuration with same result.
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Expert Comment

by:A Karelin
ID: 40500287
you can try uninstall by command line
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Expert Comment

by:Philip Elder
ID: 40500417
How long was the VM left in this state before throwing in the towel?

I suggest the following, hoping your backups are good,:

Boot to OS ISO and down to the command prompt.
C:
cd \Windows\winsxs
ren pending.xml pending.xml.BAD
exit

If the VM does not exit after the above reboot it using the GUI.
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Author Comment

by:rsoxhater
ID: 40500423
this is the startup repair result, you were right about the patch it seems:

Root Cause Found:

A patch is preventing the system from starting.

Repair Action: System files integrity check and repair
Result: Failed. Error code = 0xa
Time Taken = 5406 ms

Is there way to see what update caused it?
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Expert Comment

by:A Karelin
ID: 40500449
Do you have WSUS? You can see last updates in your WSUS and try to uninstall them one be one.
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Author Comment

by:rsoxhater
ID: 40500457
WSUS for the desktops, I've always done the servers manually.
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Expert Comment

by:A Karelin
ID: 40500493
I have always done too. I use WSUS for servers and desktops, and for servers only like for reports and check states.
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Author Comment

by:rsoxhater
ID: 40500524
Renaming the pending.xml above let me run sfc /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=d:\ /OFFWINDIR=d:\windows.  It found the errors in the cbs.log file.   I had this same issue (although the system would boot) on a windows 7 with the cbs.log after the december updates.  

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3004394
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Author Comment

by:rsoxhater
ID: 40502591
ok, I was able to get the server back up.  I renamed pending.xml.bad back to pending.xml.  Found this command to revert updates, it was for windows 7 but worked fine on Server 2008R2

dism.exe /Image:c:\ /Cleanup-Image /RevertPendingActions

Changed the c to d since it was mounted as D in the recovery console.  Let it run through, and restarted.  Chose start windows normally, windows booted, did its thing to revert the updates, and I was able to login.  

I will definitely get in the habit of snapshotting before restarting for updates on the VM's.  Thank you both for the help.
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Author Comment

by:rsoxhater
ID: 40502596
And for anyone else finding this, I ran that command from the x:/sources/recovery folder on the 2008R2 dvd, not sure if it matters where its run from.
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Expert Comment

by:Philip Elder
ID: 40502809
Just keep in mind that a snapshot creates a differencing disk that continues to grow until changes are committed to the parent disk by deleting the snapshot.
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