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Thread: Non-booting Windows Install

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Non-booting Windows Install

    Damn server...

    So my entire server and everything it supports has been running from an 8gb SCA SCSI disk for almost seven years now. It's not large and it's noisy but it worked fine otherwise and I was planning to replace it very soon with a 16gb DOM on the local IDE bus. Of course nothing lasts forever and while doing a cleanup before a backup I ran into issues with bad blocks. Brought the system down and let chkdsk clean up some of the mess and it booted up after no problem and continued backing things up. Finally I rebooted the server again to clear a stuck process and that did it. System POSTs, detects the drive, spins it up and then when POST completes it reads something from the hard drive, stops and leaves me with a blinking cursor. No errors or anything.
    I'll be honest in that I don't know how to fix Windows when low-level boot issues crop up. I do have a backup of the disk and without yet checking I'm pretty sure the disk itself is still readable but I don't dare touch the system any more until I know a plan to get it booting again because you see, this was the last volume that needed to be backed up and the last backup was six months ago. If I trash things I *should* (never assume your backups are good) be able to get it back up but how should I progress with a disk that somehow put itself in an unbootable state?
    For the record, it's Windows Server 2003.

  2. #2

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    Can you run it as a slave and back it up from there?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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    Boot into the Windows Server 2003 Recovery Console from the CD (remember to do the F6 thing with a SCSI controller drivers on a disk) and then run fixmbr and fixboot. Assuming that all your data is still there this should take care of it.

    When you replace the drive with a DOM, I'd recommend you get 2, and use a controller that allows you to setup a RAID1 (mirror). This would help prevent data loss from a drive failure in future.

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    Lutiana is right on the mark. Wanted to add this: if your system has a need for special drivers for say controllers, PCI, SCSI or whatever, you will need to locate them to a floppy for use when prompted. If you've never used the repair console it can be intimidating, but is pretty much straight forward - just don't be in a hurry. Good luck!

    Check-out my thread (#111) for a brief walkthrough on the XP repair console:

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...-Deluxe/page12
    Last edited by Agent Orange; January 2nd, 2020 at 04:11 PM.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  5. #5
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    I didn't need any additional drivers to access the system disk the first time around, so unless the F6 way doesn't load the default Adaptec SCSI driver it should see everything. I don't have to worry about the RAID controller as for the sake of NOT accidentally hosing that again I'm just pulling the controller until this is done.

    Can you run it as a slave and back it up from there?
    Easily, no. In fact I really can't remember why the hell I went with a SCSI disk in the first place. I feel like for some reason the first time it would not boot from an IDE disk but that makes absolutely no sense in a machine that has onboard IDE and supports CD booting. I might still be remembering my initial failed attempts to boot using a CF card.

  6. #6
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    I'm almost done searching through my library of CD's and I can't seem to locate my Server 2003 Standard disc.
    I was however to track down my Enterprise R2 disc set and I'm wondering if the recovery console procedure still applies or if the versioning goes right down to the bootloader for Windows. I've actually never looked into this so I am having serious hesitations while trying to figure out how to proceed.

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    Isn't R2 based on W7? I have some doubts on whether or not that would fly.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...-based-compute

    You should be able to grab the repair CD off the web - don't know if straight XP would work or not, but the procedure is the same.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

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    LAte in the game for Server 2003 there was "Release 2", which is still Server 2003 but with a bunch of service packs and extras bundled in. Thing is, I don't know if that includes changes in how things boot.

    Windows Server 2008 is based around Windows Vista. I have no idea what came along later that would be based on Windows 7 but I probably do not have keys for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    LAte in the game for Server 2003 there was "Release 2", which is still Server 2003 but with a bunch of service packs and extras bundled in. Thing is, I don't know if that includes changes in how things boot.

    Windows Server 2008 is based around Windows Vista. I have no idea what came along later that would be based on Windows 7 but I probably do not have keys for it.
    If it's XP based you can get into the repair console with any XP repair CD. You just want to to fix the boot, correct?
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  10. #10
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    Assuming the failure is just that it lost its ability to boot with no warning, yes.

    Now I'm still basing off the worst-case scenario due to my anxiety that this does not fix the problem and the backup I have is no good. With that in mind I pulled out my old HP Kayak XU which has onboard IDE/SCSI under Windows 2000 and will let me hang the drive off it and have it on standby if we have to go the recovery route.
    Last edited by NeXT; January 10th, 2020 at 12:29 PM.

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