SBS 2003 R2 SERVER NO-OPERATING SYSTEM FOUND ON BOOT

zoranradevski
zoranradevski used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi Experts,
I have a HP ML370 G4 (Yes I know she's old) that is (was) running SBS 2003 R2 Server that has a 'no-operating system' error on start up. I would dump the server but unfortunately, it is running a custom database that is very important to us and that I need urgently to get back up and running. The system was running reliably and Barr a couple of hard drive swaps over the years she has always rebuilt herself and been faithful. I do have it connected to a WAN as we have XAMP Apache running on it in conjunction with a customised mysql database that acts as a web server for informational access to our organisation internally. All was well until one morning I walked into our server room and on the console of this server read 'no-operating system' and the obvious loop of rebooting itself. I have boot into the HP smart start 7.7ver CD and all is well with the hardware, disk array controller, batteries, drives and the actual raid array and logical drives all intact but it does report that there is no operating system! I don't know what has happened but I do have a suspicion that because the server was on the WAN that I may have been hacked or the obvious that windows server 2003 has crapped itself. I do have a backup although it's not up to date and as a last resort will use that to get it back up. But I'm hoping to get the system up again as there was some critical data that I needed that was inputed into the mysql database just after the last backup.
Please help as I am stuck and have not done or touched anything in the event that I may destroy or ruin any possible chance of recovery.
Kindest regards,
Zoran.
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You may wish to consider installing the server software as a virtual machine and then recover your data from the backup to the virtual machine. Get it running and then make a backup of the server (Veaam) so that you can get up and running quickly if it fails again because it is now natively insecure.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
boot using a recovery disk and copy the needed (updated) files off to a network share, restore from backup, copy the files back and you should be back in business.

No Operating system could be
corrupted boot.ini
corrupted boot block.

Follow the rules for windows xp (which 2K3 is based on) https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-you-can-do-when-windows-xp-wont-boot/

Author

Commented:
Hi David,
Thank you for your super quick response! I will try that now and come back to you with an update!
Ensure you’re charging the right price for your IT

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!

Author

Commented:
Thats a great suggestion regarding a VM strategy - I will keep you posted - Thank you John!

Author

Commented:
ok so far this;
I booted off a windows sbs2008 server installation DVD and windows install shows the drives exactly as they were partitioned earlier so they are there and alive. just a matter of creating a startup so floppy disk now to try and boot in and try and repair boot files. I have had to dig up some old xp machines which I still have but creating the floppy disk is not proving easy as the floppy disks are very old and the floppy drives that I have dug up and revived are pretty stuffed. Am I able to create a startup disk from XP computer in a CD or DVD media instead and then boot from that?
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
yes use the iso and burn the iso to disk or use something like rufus to make a bootable usb (usb2)

Author

Commented:
Update:
I wanted to make a startup FDD from my spare SBS2003 server that I had sitting but unfortunately the HP spare Cache RAID battery needs replacing so once I replace that I can boot into this server and build a startup disk unless there is an ISO I may download from somewhere? Unfortunately the start up disk from an XP PC will allow me to boot into DOS on the stuffed SBS2003 server that this ticket is referring too but will need RAID drivers to connect to the drives. Any suggestions while I wait for a new battery?
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Driver is at https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_40d5a8e9fd4b4ab0aba7f6c996&swEnvOid=1005

BTW, you should still be able to install Windows on the spare without a cache battery although you may not be able to create arrays.

Author

Commented:
Ok, so I have loaded up the correct smart array driver (newer one than the original hp 642 smart array driver that’s on the original sbs2003r2 disk one installer btw) and now I can successfully access the original drives and windows directory in the non-system no boot disk C of the G4 server. How do I repair the boot files from here as I would like to try this before attempting a system restore. From what I can see and running the ho smart start CD it shows that there are no drive errors, that the array is intact and that the logical drives are all functional - just no OS as reported to boot into.
Where too now folks?

Author

Commented:
Update -
I ran bootcfg /fixboot, restarted - same error. Should I attempt are repair of the MBR now? Also, I tried to access some of my directories on the C:\ drive but DOS command line returns "Access Denied" - should I apply the DOS attribute commands to resolve this in order to access my directories as I want to copy them over?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
should I apply the DOS attribute commands to resolve this in order to access my directories as I want to copy them over?

You may wish to try this to get your data.

Author

Commented:
Hi John, once I am in the c drive and all my directories how do I use the copy command as the copy command wont work on moving files to removable media in windows recovery mode?
Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
If the system is running, and you attach the USB hard drive, do DIR and see if you can see the drive. I am not sure but I think that might work.

Assuming so, DOS COPY will work.   COPY /?  for help on the command

Author

Commented:
Yes, I can see my USB drive no problem. Everything is working and available; system root C:\ all files intact, D:\ data drive available, partitions check all fine and my Smart Array Controller shows healthy drives, healthy partitions and no disk errors. The only thing it wont do is boot as it gives me the 'non-system disk error'. Have tried the 'FIXBOOT' command, but I wont try the FIXMBR command as thats a last resort as I can still see everything.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
So get your data securely onto another media and then try FIXMBR command when data has been secured.

Be ready to reinstall the server if need be
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
fixmbr only overwrites the master boot record which resides at block 0

Author

Commented:
thank you all for your help! I was able to access the server OS through a windows recovery disk but was not able to fix the boot issue. what I did do is run EaseUS recovery software and it rebuilt the boot file and got me back in. Its running and I successfully have got back into a working server 2003 OS and am doing backups before I reboot.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thank you for the update

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial