2008 DC not starting…

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    Alyred
    Member
    #144936

    Hi all… I’ve been doing some research for a few days but I’ve not had any luck. I’ve never had to go to a tech forum like this in the past so hopefully someone will have some constructive advice for me.

    My 2008 x64 domain controller w/Exchange server 2007 was happily humming along, when all of a sudden it stopped responding, a total lockup. I waited a while and pressed the power button, hoping to have it reboot — but it then just continually waited at the logo screen, the green bar floating across it. I gave it all night, but it got no further. So I started digging.

    From the recovery console, I was unable to get any luck with the startrep command, said it couldn’t repair it due to a damaged registry. So, I went and found the registry backups in c:windowssystem32configregbackup. I backed up the original files and put these in place, and still wasn’t able to boot (startrep still couldn’t fix anything, but now gave a more cryptic error — something like “I don’t know what’s wrong”). I ran SFC which did find some problems, I had it repair, and it still won’t boot. Now, it gets past the logo screen but freezes shortly afterwards — seemingly randomly, but before I get to a login screen. Strangely enough, Active Directory recovery mode runs fine, and I used the backups created by Volume Shadow Copy to restore the registry to a few weeks ago. Still no luck, locks up in random places. AD recovery mode still runs fine, so I think it’s a startup service — but can’t find which one it is.

    Startup logging records different “lengths”, where the log just ends after different files. I don’t see a consistency there. I’ve replaced the video card, updated video drivers, and system mainboard drivers from the AD recovery mode. DNS (and I’m guessing other AD-related services) cannot start in AD recovery mode, so I can’t log in with a domain account to get access to recover my entire windows directory from Shadow Copy (it’s there, but when I try it gives an error that I need administrator access to restore (copy) some of the files to a new folder).

    Can anyone tell me how to get domain administrator access in recovery mode, log on as a domain admin, find out which service is causing a freeze at startup, or if all else fails, back up my AD schema and data including group policies, exchange settings/databases, and then restore it to a new installation? I don’t mind doing the work and some research, but google’s been pretty useless due to the garbage/info ratio and haven’t gotten lucky yet on there. Pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for any help provided.

    Avatar
    Ossian
    Moderator
    #180064

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    Do you have another DC? – if so, nuke this one and rebuild

    Avatar
    ikon
    Member
    #354232

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    1 option would be to install over the top of existing installation, then restore from backup.

    You could try using “msconfig” to selectively load certain services and try to faut find your problem.

    try running a chkdsk /r

    Hope this may help.

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    Anonymous
    #367361

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    Hi guys, thanks for the reply.

    Sadly, I don’t have another domain server on this domain. Wish I did. :)

    As for restoring from backup — Sadly, the backup seems to have not been running properly. The drive, when scanned, doesn’t come up with valid sets to restore. I can access Volume Shadow Copies of the folders and drive, but that can’t be accessed from the recovery/restore console that I know of (Booting to the windows 2008 server disc and selecting “repair”). I can get to the drive just fine. Is there a way to make that “restore from disk” option recognize shadow copies of a drive?

    I have tried msconfig, and selected “diagnostic startup”… still locks on boot. It’s odd, because I can run the active directory recovery mode for hours without issue, but it simply WILL NOT boot into normal mode — even with limited services.

    Is there another way to make it log a bit better as to what it is loading on boot so I can see what is failing?

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    Dumber
    Participant
    #200463

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    You might try enabling the bootlog option to see what is happening.
    http://computertechnos.blogspot.com/2008/12/enabling-boot-logging-in-windows-server.html

    Avatar
    Anonymous
    #367362

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    Bootlog fails at different spots. One will show it loading a certain file last, but then the next bootlog will show a totally different file. It’s pretty odd in that regard.

    It’s almost as if a windows service is starting, and then failing after a short time.

    Avatar
    Dumber
    Participant
    #200465

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    Can you post the bootlog to see what is happening?

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    Anonymous
    #367363

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    At the moment, I cannot. But I can get that and post it tonight. I’ll get a clean one and try booting a few times for some history.

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    lieven
    Member
    #365012

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    Hi, I am having a similar issue, in my case the server boots and I can login to it but a lot of services will not start. (dns server, dhcp server, dfs etc etc)

    Manually starting just gives the error 1053 (timeout)

    the dependencies on the services are not even visible anymore…

    This server is:
    Virtual machine on ESXi 3.5
    windows 2008 enterprise
    exchange 2007
    CRM (I think this is the culprit)

    I recently did (about 2 weeks ago)
    an upgrade to SP2 for the server and for exchange as well, the server has been rebooted in the meantime without problems.

    I can still do network, copy files etc, even the active directory service is running and I can consult it with the aduc but nobody can use it for login, probably because the dns/dhcp is not working so they don’t know where to authenticate.

    I’m now backing up the vmdk that holds the system disk, to try the following:
    – put in the install cd and try to repair
    – safe mode system restore: I could not get the F8 menu so I had to change to safe mode using msconfig.

    If anybody has a good idea, please let me know. I’m not realy sure this is the same problem as described here so I already created another post. I don’t know if that is inappropriate.

    kind regards and thanks

    Avatar
    Anonymous
    #367364

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    Sorry about the lack of reply, I’ve been stuck in 2 12-hour shifts and haven’t been able to get back to this project.

    Attached is the boot log with the strange results. It’s now having a problem loading some drivers, though I’m not sure why.

    I had a suggestion from a coworker — to bring up another DC, boot to safe mode, and try to do a DCPROMO while the new machine is up. I have an old spare machine and a new mainboard and hard drive on the way just in case.

    Has anyone done a DCPromo with a DC that’s in safe mode? Any issues with mounting an exchange 2007 database in a new machine with a new installation? What pitfalls am I going to need to look out for? (never tried restoring an exchange server 2007, so not sure if it can just mount the datafiles or not). Thanks!

    Avatar
    lieven
    Member
    #365013

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    I have no idea about the cdpromo safemode part but yesterday, I restored a server with a backup from 3 weeks ago. In fact, I just replaced the system disk vmdk with an older file. (it was on vmware esxi)

    The system worked fine and after I installed sp2 and exchange sp2, the stores (which I kept on another disk) got mounted and worked as before without any further intervention. No mail was lost, the stores and logs which were on a seperate virtual disk were not touched by the system crash.
    (the sp2 was installed after the backup so that’s why I had to reinstall it)

    server: windows 2008
    exchange: 2007

    Another thing that might be possible: install exchange server, create new stores and then merge the old stores in the new ones, you should probably also replay the exchange transaction logs but I’m not sure on how to do that, there’s a lot of info about that on the net.

    Avatar
    Anonymous
    #367365

    Re: 2008 DC not starting…

    Good to know.

    I’ll probably begin tonight on backing up and re-installing. There are only a few accounts and those can be re-created (though it’ll be annoying to re-create my GPs) and will try moving the data file over. I’m thinking of trying the trial version of 2008 and doing a DCPromo and seeing what happens.

    Worst it can do is not work, right?

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