locked
Reinstalling WHS: BSOD / Code 18 / txtsetup.oem cannot be found - Can't seem to load drivers. Really screwed. RRS feed

  • Question

  • My WHS had been acting funny for a while, in particular, not allowing any updates, so it was time to reinstall.

    I booted off the DVD. I had to load drivers for my sata card from a USB stick (this may, in retrospect, have been a bad choice). But then my drives showed up, so I continued.

    When it rebooted in the "text mode" setup, it got to Setup is Starting Windows, and then crashed with a BSOD 0x0000007B error.

    Research led me to believe this had something to do with it not loading the SATA card drivers. Rebooting, F6 is ignored, as I didn't have a floppy drive, and text mode setup can't take a USB stick. Fine. I get a floppy drive/disk loaded with the drivers.

    Now I get a screen asking me what kind of computer I have.
    - When I select "other" it says that txtsetup.oem cannot be found, and shunts be back to the former screen
    - When I select something else, like Standard PC, it thinks for a second and then says

    -----------
    File \$OEM\i386\ulsata2.sys could not be loaded
    The error code is 18

    Setup cannot continue - Press any key to exit
    ------------

    Searching all the other threads, the one consistent answer was something about not having the floppy in the drive when you reach the F6 point. That's fine, but when I do that (of course putting it back in before selecting other/standard pc), it just goes right to Setup is Starting Windows, and then crashes as per usual, ignoring the floppy drive completely.

    I've also tried booting up with a vista disk and going into command prompt to copy those files over however:
    1) There is no windows directory
    2) There is an $OEM$ directory, but it already has the requisite files in it.

    The only thing that is kind of hinted at is that I should have loaded the drivers from a floppy in the GUI section rather than the USB stick. However, I'm beyond that now, and if I try to boot up into the GUI install, the reinstallation option is gone - only new install, and I have 6TB of data I'd rather not lose/manually copy back over.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Any workarounds? I've tried everything I can think of. Any help would be greatly, greatly appriciated.
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:14 AM

Answers

  • Though I'm hoping it won't come to this...

    You don't have a choice at this point.  If you want to get Server Reinstallation again as an option, you need to do what I said.

    If I do that - wipe out the 20GB system partition - then what? If I do a "new install" at that point, will it figure out that the rest of the drives contain data and "adopt" my existing array?

    No.  That's why you don't do New Installation.  New Installation will wipe everything.  Server Reinstallation will only wipe the OS partition.

    Isn't the database for all that stored on the system partition?

    No.  The "tombstones" (reparse points) are stored on the DATA partition on the primary drive, not the OS partition.  When the Server Reinstallation nears completion, the last step is it re-creates "tombstones" for every file on every drive in your server.  (NOTE:  This final step can take quite a while and will appear to be frozen, but it's not.)

    For the time being, I'm stuck in the textmode stage. I'm still hoping there's some way to get it to proceed.
    Also, in order to make the OS installation simpler, you should put the SATA ports on your mobo in IDE/Legacy mode (otherwise, you will have to deal with supplying drivers, twice if your primary hard drive is SATA and, as you already found out, the second time requires a floppy drive).
    • Marked as answer by MikeMulligan Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:44 PM
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:10 PM
    Moderator
  • Putting the SATA controller into legacy mode will cost you a small amount of theoretical performance. In the real world, the additional performance would be masked by other bottlenecks in the system as a whole: network latencies, Drive Extender overhead, etc. But there are IDE drivers in the sealed Windows Server 2003 installation, and there are no SATA drivers (probably because Windows Server 2003 came out before SAS/SATA was a commonly used storage bus technology in the server marketplace).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by MikeMulligan Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:44 PM
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:20 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • My WHS had been acting funny for a while, in particular, not allowing any updates, so it was time to reinstall.

    I booted off the DVD. I had to load drivers for my sata card from a USB stick (this may, in retrospect, have been a bad choice). But then my drives showed up, so I continued.

    When it rebooted in the "text mode" setup, it got to Setup is Starting Windows, and then crashed with a BSOD 0x0000007B error.

    Research led me to believe this had something to do with it not loading the SATA card drivers. Rebooting, F6 is ignored, as I didn't have a floppy drive, and text mode setup can't take a USB stick. Fine. I get a floppy drive/disk loaded with the drivers.

    Now I get a screen asking me what kind of computer I have.
    - When I select "other" it says that txtsetup.oem cannot be found, and shunts be back to the former screen
    - When I select something else, like Standard PC, it thinks for a second and then says

    -----------
    File \$OEM\i386\ulsata2.sys could not be loaded
    The error code is 18

    Setup cannot continue - Press any key to exit
    ------------

    Searching all the other threads, the one consistent answer was something about not having the floppy in the drive when you reach the F6 point. That's fine, but when I do that (of course putting it back in before selecting other/standard pc), it just goes right to Setup is Starting Windows, and then crashes as per usual, ignoring the floppy drive completely.

    I've also tried booting up with a vista disk and going into command prompt to copy those files over however:
    1) There is no windows directory
    2) There is an $OEM$ directory, but it already has the requisite files in it.

    The only thing that is kind of hinted at is that I should have loaded the drivers from a floppy in the GUI section rather than the USB stick. However, I'm beyond that now, and if I try to boot up into the GUI install, the reinstallation option is gone - only new install, and I have 6TB of data I'd rather not lose/manually copy back over.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Any workarounds? I've tried everything I can think of. Any help would be greatly, greatly appriciated.

    Once a Server Reinstallation fails for whatever reason, you normally won't get a second chance at it without completely eliminating the OS partition (which is 20 GB) on the primary drive.  You can try removing the primary drive from your server, connecting it to another PC, then delete the 20 GB partition.  If that doesn't work, you might have to use diskpart to get rid of that partition instead.  NOTE:  Make sure you are eliminating the correct partition as the other partition might have share/backup data (and if you don't have Folder Duplication enabled on all shares, you might lose data forever).
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:21 AM
    Moderator
  • Once a Server Reinstallation fails for whatever reason, you normally won't get a second chance at it without completely eliminating the OS partition (which is 20 GB) on the primary drive.  You can try removing the primary drive from your server, connecting it to another PC, then delete the 20 GB partition.  If that doesn't work, you might have to use diskpart to get rid of that partition instead.  NOTE:  Make sure you are eliminating the correct partition as the other partition might have share/backup data (and if you don't have Folder Duplication enabled on all shares, you might lose data forever).

    Though I'm hoping it won't come to this...

    If I do that - wipe out the 20GB system partition - then what? If I do a "new install" at that point, will it figure out that the rest of the drives contain data and "adopt" my existing array? Isn't the database for all that stored on the system partition?

    For the time being, I'm stuck in the textmode stage. I'm still hoping there's some way to get it to proceed.
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:55 AM
  • Though I'm hoping it won't come to this...

    You don't have a choice at this point.  If you want to get Server Reinstallation again as an option, you need to do what I said.

    If I do that - wipe out the 20GB system partition - then what? If I do a "new install" at that point, will it figure out that the rest of the drives contain data and "adopt" my existing array?

    No.  That's why you don't do New Installation.  New Installation will wipe everything.  Server Reinstallation will only wipe the OS partition.

    Isn't the database for all that stored on the system partition?

    No.  The "tombstones" (reparse points) are stored on the DATA partition on the primary drive, not the OS partition.  When the Server Reinstallation nears completion, the last step is it re-creates "tombstones" for every file on every drive in your server.  (NOTE:  This final step can take quite a while and will appear to be frozen, but it's not.)

    For the time being, I'm stuck in the textmode stage. I'm still hoping there's some way to get it to proceed.
    Also, in order to make the OS installation simpler, you should put the SATA ports on your mobo in IDE/Legacy mode (otherwise, you will have to deal with supplying drivers, twice if your primary hard drive is SATA and, as you already found out, the second time requires a floppy drive).
    • Marked as answer by MikeMulligan Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:44 PM
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:10 PM
    Moderator
  • If you don't have a floppy drive onboard the computer, here is a solution for sata drivers. I copied the files for the sata drivers onto a CD drive and then loaded them from the CD drive. I had no problems after that.
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 2:53 PM
  • In a similar situation I managed to boot from the Vista DVD, open the command prompt in the system repair options here, and copy the driver files to C:\Windows\system32\drivers and the inf files to C:\Windows\inf.

    If your board has a floppy connector, you could also borrow a floppy drive from an old PC, or get an USB floppy drive (which may or may not work).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you. That answered my questions. I'll give this method a shot.

    If I put the SATA controller into legacy mode, will that not possibly cause an issue? Will it reorder drives, or maybe think they're not the same ones? I had hesitated to make any "hardware" changes before for this reason.
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:46 AM
  • I do have a floppy drive which is what I've been using to try and load the drivers in text mode to no avail.

    As for the booting from vista, it doesn't seem to have even created a C:\Windows\ directory yet for me to put the files into.

    Thanks to everyone for all their advice so far...
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:47 AM
  • You are having the exact same issue as me - with the txtsetup.oem - that is one of the files needed that have to be on the USB/floppy download the latest set of drivers from your MOBO/Sata Card driver site and copy them all onto the USB - and it will load them at the beginning when it says 'cannot find HDD capable of installing WHM'
    when you get to the F6 bit - you need the same drivers you used on the USB to be on a floppy.

    I am having the EXACT same issue and its very annoying that SATA is not supported by the OS!
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:37 AM
  • Putting the SATA controller into legacy mode will cost you a small amount of theoretical performance. In the real world, the additional performance would be masked by other bottlenecks in the system as a whole: network latencies, Drive Extender overhead, etc. But there are IDE drivers in the sealed Windows Server 2003 installation, and there are no SATA drivers (probably because Windows Server 2003 came out before SAS/SATA was a commonly used storage bus technology in the server marketplace).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by MikeMulligan Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:44 PM
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Ok, so in the end, I did the following:

    I set my sata controller to legacy mode in bios. When textmode started up again, it proceeded as usual and completed the installation. I was very worried that it would have screwed up my drive order/assignment which would have borked my array, but it didn't. Amazingly it was the motherboard sata ports, not the add-in card that was causing the problem. Odd, since I didn't have to load drivers for it in the GUI portion.

    A couple things to note
    The installation seemed to be stuck at "Installing Windows Home Server", forever. Literally a day and a half, but then it continued. I guess it was checking out my array, which is 5tb. Big, but in the grand scheme of hard drives these days, not that big. Hopefully MS will put some sort of progress indicator (or some indicator that something is in fact happening) at this stage in future releases.

    Now my only issue is that for some reason, it has "forgotten" how big my array is, and when I go into the console, it's "calculating size" for an hour already. I'll let it keep going, but sheesh. I want to add a new drive, but I want to wait till it sorts itself out.

    Next I will be posting a thread on how do I identify one drive amongst nine identical drives for removal as I phase out my 500gb for 1tb drives.

    Thanks to all who responded. It's very much appreciated and saved me a lot of headache and heartache.
    Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:49 PM
  • Can someone post a screen shot of where legacy mode is in the BIOS as I have built PCs for years and I have never seen that option available.
    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 11:16 AM
  • Your hardware may not have that option. You should consult your motherboard manual for exactly where to set it, if it's available, as it will vary from board to board. Sometimes it will be referred to as "legacy" mode for your SATA ports, sometimes "IDE" mode, or "compatibility" mode, etc.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 4:02 PM
    Moderator