locked
WHS will only boot to Safe mode (login fails) RRS feed

  • Question

  • As subjects states, my WHS will ONLY boot up properly if I hit F8 and choose Safe mode. 
    If I start 
    Normal mode I get to the login (locally) and then no further. No access to the server through any console or remote desktop. I does respond to ping. If I try to login as administrator the login dialog disappears and the WHS background image is displayed. Waited for several hours but nothing. Reboot many times. Ran scandisk from safe mode and so on.

    This happened after I ran the backup of the backup add-in. (duplication of backed up PC's). This backup never finished (I think) but WHS hanged during it and when I finally (after 1 hour wait) decided to reboot the machine that was it. No more access to it.

    Are there any ways of restoring the server without a complete reinstallation of WHS? Is there a repair-install? Any other tips?

    Fortunately my machine is brand new and the first backup I have run where only tests. Even so I don't want to put another few hours on reinstall if I don't have to...

     

    The rig is a homebrew with Intel Core2 Duo, two s-ata 500Gb disk (so far) and 2 Gb RAM.

    Regards
    Jonas

    Friday, December 12, 2008 11:40 AM

All replies

  • Please try "Last known good configuration" instead of safe mode.
    Friday, December 12, 2008 2:16 PM
    Moderator
  • WHSwed said:

    As subjects states, my WHS will ONLY boot up properly if I hit F8 and choose Safe mode. 
    If I start Normal mode I get to the login (locally) and then no further. No access to the server through any console or remote desktop. I does respond to ping. If I try to login as administrator the login dialog disappears and the WHS background image is displayed. Waited for several hours but nothing. Reboot many times. Ran scandisk from safe mode and so on.

    This happened after I ran the backup of the backup add-in. (duplication of backed up PC's). This backup never finished (I think) but WHS hanged during it and when I finally (after 1 hour wait) decided to reboot the machine that was it. No more access to it.

    Are there any ways of restoring the server without a complete reinstallation of WHS? Is there a repair-install? Any other tips?

    There is a Server Reinstallation option.  It will format the entire OS partition, but leave the data in tact.  Once it's complete, you need to re-install any add-ins and re-create any users you had before.

    WHSwed said:

    Fortunately my machine is brand new and the first backup I have run where only tests. Even so I don't want to put another few hours on reinstall if I don't have to...

    The rig is a homebrew with Intel Core2 Duo, two s-ata 500Gb disk (so far) and 2 Gb RAM.

    Regards Jonas



    Friday, December 12, 2008 3:01 PM
    Moderator
  • I did try "last good..."
    Friday, December 12, 2008 3:21 PM
  • the re-installation option, is it shown by just booting from the install-dvd? I could of course just try that :)
    Is the re-installation as time consuming as a complete install?
    Friday, December 12, 2008 3:22 PM
  • WHSwed said:

    the re-installation option, is it shown by just booting from the install-dvd?


    If the drives are set up in such a way that WHS sees the primary drive in a specific port, yes.  When you boot from the DVD and you get to the installation option screen, there should be 2 choices:  New Installation and Server Reinstallation.  You want Server Reinstallation.  If you get to that point and don't see Server Reinstallation as an option, cancel out and post back here so we can give you some ideas of what to look for.  (Do NOT do New Installation as that will format all of your hard drives.)
    Friday, December 12, 2008 3:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Before you continue, you can still try to continue following:
    • Login to WHS locally.
    • Click Start/Run and type msconfig.
    • Click OK.
    • On the services tab click Hide all Microsoft Services and uncheck all others.
    • On the Startup tab you may deactivate all items in a first run.
    • Click OK and reboot.
    Does the system still hang?
    If not, you can try to figure out now, what is guilty by enabling the services/startup programs step by step.

    Also: Do you see any errors or warnings in the event log of the server?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, December 12, 2008 7:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf Engelke said:

    Before you continue, you can still try to continue following:

    • Login to WHS locally.
    • Click Start/Run and type msconfig.
    • Click OK.
    • On the services tab click Hide all Microsoft Services and uncheck all others.
    • On the Startup tab you may deactivate all items in a first run.
    • Click OK and reboot.
    Does the system still hang?
    If not, you can try to figure out now, what is guilty by enabling the services/startup programs step by step.

    Otherwise: Do you see any errors or warnings in the event log of the server?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf



    I will try this from safe mode as soon as I get back home.
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:02 PM
  • I disabled all items in the start up tab from Safe mode and rebooted. (there where no other services than MS's) Then it booted up fine in normal mode. I enabled startup item for item and after 6 reboots the server ran fine in normal mode, all items enabled again. Strange! During this time one or two updates where installed from Windows update. I didn't pay attention to what they where.

    So, after this I accessed my server through http://server:55000/ and downloaded the software for Windows Home Server Connector. Installed this on one of my network PC's. No luck! It won't find the server and thereby configure the connector software. Odd thing is that the remote access through IE7 works fine and also I can access the server through file sharing on my network.

    Next step. I downloaded and installed Windows Home Server Toolkit to get some help with the connector software issues and I got a lot of faults when running the trouble shooter. Several of them said one or more different services weren’t initiated correctly and that I have to reboot the server. ( it didn't specify what services)

     

    Now I will try to boot from the WHS install dvd and see what a the re-installation option will give me.

    Sunday, December 14, 2008 6:37 PM
  • Hi,
    for checking services you can also login to the server and open Services applet in Start/Control Panel/Administrative Tools.
    Sort the services by startup type and check, which services should be started automatically, but are not running. One or two are usually off after that, if there are more (and especially critical services for WHS) try to start them manually.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Sunday, December 14, 2008 7:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Did that. Only one service that is "automatic" wasn't started. "Performance Logs and Alerts"
    The info displayed when I tried to start it said it wasn't supposed to run at all times.
    Sunday, December 14, 2008 7:13 PM
  • Strange, indeed. 
    Which version of the toolkit did you install and did you follow the proper procedure to install it?
    (Version 1.0 is not fully compatible with Power Pack 1, and installation must be done on a client with the downloaded file and then "published" to WHS via the clients start menu. After that you get the new Add-In available to install in the console.)
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, December 14, 2008 8:01 PM
    Moderator
  • I ended up doing a reinstall. I takes a while... :(
    After doing the backup of my second PC the server hanged and when I logged in on it locally (only way to access it) a dialog informed me that "a least one service or drive is not functioning properly... " or something like that.
    I looked in the event viewer but can't really find any problems.  Tips on what to look for?
    Can I have a malfunctioning drive? Bad memories?

    Monday, December 15, 2008 10:04 PM
  • Non functioning services or devices on the login screen must not always have a meaning - sometimes the start of a service or driver (which may be dependent from another service or driver) delays long enough to show this warning. Since the service or driver finally starts successfully, you cannot figure out in detail, which was it. Such kind of analysis is added to the event logs in Windows Server 2008/Vista.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, December 15, 2008 11:20 PM
    Moderator