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Video Driver Failed to Initialize RRS feed

  • Question

  • My Windows Home Server has today become stuck in a blue screen loop. It had been working "ok" - it would hang and need to be reset every day or so. However today it hung and I reset it and as the OS loads up it blue screens withe the message "The Video Driver Failed to Initialize". It now does this everytime it boots up even if you select "VGA Mode" or "Safe Mode" and it is impossible to get into the OS. The VGA is built into the motherboard and I have not updated the drivers since the day the OS was installed ~2 months ago.

    Can anybody:
    1. Let me know how to get out of this loop?
    2. If this is not possible, how can I get my data safely off the server?
    The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-M61P-S3 (with on board VGA), AMD Dual Core 4800 CPU, 1GB RAM, Promise SATA300 TX4 F29S3T41 SATA PCI Controller, 8x Western Digital 500GB HDD.

    Thanks in advance.
    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:00 PM

Answers

  • Grafight,

    Looks like you have either a motherboard/hardware malfunction or some problem with the video driver?

    As apparently the system can not boot into safe mode to check the drivers I personaly would go as follows:

    1. Disconnect the system and data disk(s)

    2. In case you have no backups: make a backup of all important data by connecting the disk(s) it to another system.

      (From here you now have the option to go directly to step 4 or 5)

    3. Try to boot from another disk and check the video hardware as well as the server hardware in general to find if the hardware is causing the problem. I can think of several ways to check the hardware, like
      - Reset the BIOS and if possible disable "fast boot" enabling additional BIOS diagnostics.
      - Try to boot it to DOS using floppy or bootable CD and maybe do some diagnostics on Video and memory
      - Check the memory sticks by removing/replacing them.

    4. If you have a spare "test" harddisk, connect it and optionally try a new WHS install on the "test" harddisk (no need to activate) to see if it can run succesfully.

    5. If no hardware failures or after repair:
      Reconnect the primairy disk and do a re-install of WHS.

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:36 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Grafight,

    Looks like you have either a motherboard/hardware malfunction or some problem with the video driver?

    As apparently the system can not boot into safe mode to check the drivers I personaly would go as follows:

    1. Disconnect the system and data disk(s)

    2. In case you have no backups: make a backup of all important data by connecting the disk(s) it to another system.

      (From here you now have the option to go directly to step 4 or 5)

    3. Try to boot from another disk and check the video hardware as well as the server hardware in general to find if the hardware is causing the problem. I can think of several ways to check the hardware, like
      - Reset the BIOS and if possible disable "fast boot" enabling additional BIOS diagnostics.
      - Try to boot it to DOS using floppy or bootable CD and maybe do some diagnostics on Video and memory
      - Check the memory sticks by removing/replacing them.

    4. If you have a spare "test" harddisk, connect it and optionally try a new WHS install on the "test" harddisk (no need to activate) to see if it can run succesfully.

    5. If no hardware failures or after repair:
      Reconnect the primairy disk and do a re-install of WHS.

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:36 PM
    Moderator
  • Personally I would start with choosing "Last Known Good Configuration" from F8 boot

     

    Most likely registry or one or more other system files got corrupted during crash / reboot, and normally booting last known good config  should be sufficient to recover.

     

    If this doesn't work your best option is to do server reinstall. This will also tell if your basic (VGA and other) hardware is still OK. Disconnecting secondary drives before you do this may be a good idea.

     

    I also suggest NOT to start messing around with BIOS settings unless you wrote down .  saved / remember all settings.

     

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 10:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for replying to my question. The ' "Last Known Good Configuration" from F8 boot ' did not work so I will try a re-install but need to remove the discs from the server and copy data across onto another system first (I hope that this is possible - not sure what the disc contents will look like in an XP or Vista machine).

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 7:06 PM
  • Thank you for replying to my question. I will try a re-install after I have followed your suggestion of removing the discs from the server and copying the data across onto another system first (I hope that this is possible - not sure what the disc contents will look like in an XP or Vista machine - especially as I am using data replication).

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 7:08 PM
  • It is possible to copy your files from the disk using XP or Vista. Look for the directory \DE\{sharename}.

    Quoting the "Technical Brief for Windows Home Server Drive Extender":

     

    Windows Home Server Drive Extender does nothing unique to the secondary data partitions or the files on them, which makes enables you to recover most of the lost data—even in worst-case scenarios. If the home server fails completely, all the surviving drives can be attached to a computer that is not even running Windows Home Server Drive Extender, and you can copy the files from the drives to that computer. Because the files retain their original names and paths (under the \DE directory), the files can be used with no specific recovery steps.

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 7:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Theo - that's really reassuring. I'll do this over the next few days when I have some time. Many thanks for your time.

     

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 9:22 PM
  • Theo - thanks for your answer. It took me a while to get around to doing this (I had to find some time to work on the server). However last weekend I completely rebuilt my WHS following your advice.

    The problem appears to have been one of the 500GB HDD - the primary one on which I installed WHS in fact. When I attach this HDD to an XP box, XP comes up with a load of errors etc and I am unable to do anything.

    I copied all the data off 2 of the other HDD onto USB drives. Then reinstalled WHS on one of them and added the other to the storage pool. I then reconnnected the other 5 drives one at a time, first copying the data off them to the storage pool (I installed MS Synctoy onto the WHS and used it's "contribute" function to rebuild all the directories) and then added each disc to the storage pool. Then I added the data back from the USB drives.

    This build of WHS seems to be *much* more stable. It hasn't crashed once and its been running for ~5 days.

    Also I was much more careful on what I installed on WHS, this time I basically installed nothing. I didn't even run the driver install applications, instead I just pointed WHS at the relevant driver directories on the CDs etc to load the driver only without loading any associated apps.

    I'm now a much happier WHS user :-)
    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 10:25 PM
  •  Grafight wrote:
    Theo - thanks for your answer. It took me a while to get around to doing this (I had to find some time to work on the server). However last weekend I completely rebuilt my WHS following your advice.

    The problem appears to have been one of the 500GB HDD - the primary one on which I installed WHS in fact. When I attach this HDD to an XP box, XP comes up with a load of errors etc and I am unable to do anything.

    I copied all the data off 2 of the other HDD onto USB drives. Then reinstalled WHS on one of them and added the other to the storage pool. I then reconnnected the other 5 drives one at a time, first copying the data off them to the storage pool (I installed MS Synctoy onto the WHS and used it's "contribute" function to rebuild all the directories) and then added each disc to the storage pool. Then I added the data back from the USB drives.

    This build of WHS seems to be *much* more stable. It hasn't crashed once and its been running for ~5 days.

    Also I was much more careful on what I installed on WHS, this time I basically installed nothing. I didn't even run the driver install applications, instead I just pointed WHS at the relevant driver directories on the CDs etc to load the driver only without loading any associated apps.

    I'm now a much happier WHS user :-)

     

    Hello Grafight,

    Great to here you have you WHS up and running, stable and without losing data!

     

    Just one remark. You mention using MS Synctoy?

    I would _not_ recommend using this as it is on the list of programs that might introduce data corruption. Best to use RoboCopy which is safe for use with WHS (FYI, I have been using it from the start without any problem)

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:27 PM
    Moderator
  • He just told you he is in a loop. Ergo, he cant go to safe mode. If he cant go to Safe Mode how can he do what you advice him?
    Saturday, July 2, 2011 10:09 PM