Server crashed

IT_Fanatic
IT_Fanatic used Ask the Experts™
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My server crashed yesterday. My drives and green not red lights no errors. I saw a bunch of errors regarding dns. DHCP gpos etc and users were not able to surf the web. I bunch the server and it came back to the login page but when I press control alt delete nothing happens. Move the physical mouse cursor doesn’t move. Rebooted pressed F8 and selected last known good configuration and issue persists. It’s not the keyboard and mouse because I’m able to select options prior to getting into the login page. Any ideas what’s going on and how to get into the OS
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Can you start the Server in Safe Mode?  If so, can you log in while in Safe Mode.

Author

Commented:
I'll try that once I get into the office. If I can what next?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Try running System File Checker from an Admin Command Prompt.

SFC /SCANNOW

If it is available, try running DISM.

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Restart after this and see if you can now log in.
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Author

Commented:
I'll try that thank you. If I cannot get into safe mode any other ideas? If I can get into it and run those scans but still nothing what next?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You may be able to try a Repair Install from the Server Installation DVD. Make sure you have a backup.

Author

Commented:
A repair install is that like completing wiping out the os with a fresh install and getting rid of all the data and configs we have in place?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If you have a working Repair Install, it should keep everything.

If not, you may need to reinstall and recover from backups.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
I take it this server is your Domain Controller? Do you have another one?

Author

Commented:
Nope

Author

Commented:
I moved dhcp to the firewall do users can Atleast work since all our data in now cloud based.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
Okay, good news so at least your files are safe.

If you can get into safe mode, the first thing I would recommend you do is check the Event Viewer logs to try and identify what is going on. There may be a simple fix. Doing a repair does have some risks and may take longer to recover. You also risk repeating whatever the problem is if we don't take a few minutes to understand what went wrong.

If we can't make sense out of that, John's repair suggestion is the next best thing.

Author

Commented:
I'll try the boot into safe mode run sac scan now and see what's happens. Regardless we need to get a new server for the client but just want this to run and hold off until customer approves the sale and thanthe install
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
To build on that, if this is their only DC, getting at least back to a running state would make it easier once the new server is in, since you are adding a domain controller rather than building a new one.

Author

Commented:
Pressed F8 selected safe mode. When I get the to the control alt delete window keyboard functions not working and mouse lights up but cursor still doesn't move like in the normal boot up operation
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Something went seriously wrong, so you need to look at Repair Install to see if that works.

Author

Commented:
So pop in the cd and select which options? Sorry for repair install I've done

Author

Commented:
Meant to say first repair install I've done
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Is there an option to repair?  

If not (older server) then you may need to start the install

Author

Commented:
I'll check.we are running server2008 standard R2
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Server 2008 is a Vista kernel.  I think (not certain) that you can do a repair.

Author

Commented:
If I do not see the repair function when I boot into the cd than basically im at the point of a complete reinstall? How much time do users have before they can no longer logon to their computers?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Several days, so stopping to do a reinstall should not cause user errors.

Author

Commented:
I'm sure we have to buy a new server and now the client says let's change the domain name from abc to abc1. When I disjoin and rejoin computers to the domain how do I get the profile data back?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
You have to get the User profiles from the old server.  

There is reason to suggest for a new Server and new OS that you build new profiles for future stability.

User data should be in other folders, not User profiles
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
No need to worry, there should be a repair option when you boot off the 2008R2 CD.

Unless you are using roaming profiles, they are stored on the individual PCs. You'll just have to copy the relevant information (i.e. Documents, Favourites, Desktop) from the old profile to the new one.

Here are a couple of relevant links about repair that might help you:
https://www.backup-utility.com/windows-server/how-to-repair-windows-server-2008-r2-using-command-prompt.html
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/cd3d665f-3d95-4617-946d-55d8c03448fe/windows-server-2008-repair-install?forum=winserversetup
(edit: Actually, on closer look, this second link seems to be just 2008, not R2, but the issues they discuss may still help if you run into any errors)

Author

Commented:
Hi Brian. Anyway you can call me for a second please
Technical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
Commented:
Grab a wired USB keyboard and mouse and plug them in to the server. Boot the server. Do the status lights for Scroll Lock, Caps Lock, or Num Lock light-up when they are toggled on and off?

Is there a backup?

EDIT: Use ForensiT's Profile Migration Wizard to automate the domain change. Make sure the new domain is different in some way from the old name or Group Policy tattoos will bite (there's GUIDs associated with everything so a rebuilt domain with the same name will hit all sorts of problems).

Author

Commented:
So I got a pc and installed win server 2016 essentials and created a new domain since the client wanted to change the domain a while back so took advantage now. Recreated all the users and used forensit to transfer profiles (awesome software). Once I get the new server I will make that the PDC and this pc acting as a server the secondary DC. What do you guys think?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Might work.  You might also consider Azure for a backup DC or a small and inexpensive server for a backup DC.  If you really need the backup to come into action, you will want and need the server functions.

Let's see what others say.

Author

Commented:
I closed the question by mistake. Can you still respond to a closed ticket? Just wanted to hear your thoughts on my plan. Thank you
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I answered above and others can still answer here - no problem.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
Yes you can undo your solution or add another one. You can also mark any comments that you found helpful.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Probably best just to ask another question.

Author

Commented:
But making the new power edge the PDC and leaving the current temp pc acting as a server for the back up
Should work?

That's plan B if they don't want to buy two servers or deal with azure costs.

Current setup now

Pc running server 2016 essentials
With the new domain name the client wanted.

New power edge once that comes in will become PDC and the current PC "server" as secondary

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