troubleshooting Question

Server 2012 R2 - Black Screen of Death on login.

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jhighwind asked on
Windows OSMicrosoft Legacy OSMicrosoft Server OSMicrosoft ApplicationsWindows Server 2012
13 Comments2 Solutions16282 ViewsLast Modified:
I have a server running Server 2012 R2 (with GUI) with all the updates. This server is not in production yet, so it's at the stage where I can reformat without too much stress if it comes to that, but I'm wondering if anyone has an idea on what to do with this.

Server was fine while I had it on my workbench doing all the prep work to it (load OS, install drivers, install HP management software, install Windows Updates, etc). Rebooted several times with no issues. This is also going to be a domain controller, so I went ahead and installed Active Directory services from add roles/features in Server Manager (although it is not a DC yet, nor has it even been joined to the domain yet). When I last shut this server down while it was on my workbench, it was happy as could be.

So I took the server to my client's office. Plan was to connect it to the network and do things like promote it to a DC and slowly start migrating file shares/apps and such to it over the course of a week (it will be replacing an older server that's still running Server 2003). Connected it to the network and fired it up. Get to the login screen and press ctrl+alt+del. Enter password for local admin account. At this point, I get a black background screen with a mouse cursor, and that's pretty much it. I can press ctrl+alt+del and open task manager, but that's about all I can do.

Note: I have read that this problem is something that people have experienced with server 2012 when trying to RDP into it, but I'm physically standing in front of the server, at the console. So RDP is not involved here.

Some things I've already tried (and a few other notes):

- Boot in safe mode with networking. The only difference I've found is that command line works in safe mode with networking. So in normal mode, I can fire up Task Manager, but running cmd.exe (from the "new task" option in Task Manager) does nothing. If I'm booted in safe mode with networking, I can actually fire up a command prompt from here.

- Create a second user account from command prompt using the net user commands and try logging on with that. I created the account successfully, but I get the same black screen after logging in as that user.

- Explorer.exe does not appear to be running. Attempting to run it from task manager (New Task -> Explorer.exe) does nothing.

- Tried to run sfc.exe. Get "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service"

- Server responds to some things while it's in this state (I can browse to administrative shares on it from across the network and ping it).  

So....again, this is a pretty fresh install of Server 2012. It's an HP ProLiant DL380 G7 server. Aside from installing HP drivers/management stuff (ilo configuration/system management homepage), Windows Updates, and a few things from Add Roles/Features, there's nothing else on this server.
Hypercat (Deb)

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