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Laptop won’t reboot following a whs backup (backup, not restore) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Strange problem, after whs performs a backup (BACKUP, NOT RESTORE) of my Dell-D800 laptop, the darned thing won’t boot up after a restart. It just sits on a blinking cursor in the upper left corner of the screen. I don’t have any USB devices connected, nor have I changed anything else on the machine. Bios shows the HDD correctly, memory checks out, everything should be fine.

    This started about three weeks ago. If I restore to a backup dated 3/1/09, the machine will work fine. If I let whs do a full backup following the 3/1/09 restore, the laptop will not restart if I do a restart/reboot etc.

    It looks like the problem started on 3/2/09 where I had a successful backup.
    The machine was shut down until 3/09/09 and then would not reboot when I turned it back on.
    I restored to 3/2/09, but after the full restore, the machine still would not boot up.
    I tried the XP recovery disk to rebuild the boot sector(boot.ini). Everything in the boot sector was in good shape.

    I thought it may be hardware so I replaced the new 160GB hard drive with the old 40GB drive. That booted up just fine.  I connected the hard drive to an external adapter on the laptop, and I was able to browse the HD, so it's not bad.

    Since a restore to the 3/2/09 wouldn’t work, I thought I'd try an earlier back and restored to 3/1/09.  That works just fine; the machine can be shut down and restarted.
    I assumed everything was fine. On the night of 3/10/09 whs backed up the machine as scheduled and the next morning I shut the machine down. It wouldn’t reboot following the backup.
    I restored again to 3/1/09 and everything works. I manually forced a new backup and tried to reboot following the successful backup, the machine won’t reboot.
    I'm sitting on the 3/1/09 backup and not shutting the machine off till this gets fixed......

    I have all the latest connector software, whs updates and xp updates on all machines.
    So, I’m stuck.
    I look forward to your comments, help on this one...
    Thanks,
    Greg D.
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 12:10 AM

Answers

  • Hi Greg,
    strange indeed.
    Windows Home Server uses Volume Shadow copies to perform the backup, but I never heard of that damaging the boot sector or something else.
    Can you find something related in the event log after performing a backup, but before reboot?
    If you use a XP DVD, is booting into the recovery console and using the commands
    fixboot
    fixmbr

    correcting the issue (even temporary)?
    Finally, could you please register at Connect and issue a bug report, as outlined in the pinned thread on top of this forum?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, April 3, 2009 6:35 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Greg,
    anything in the event log of the client? Maybe run also chkdsk /f /r on the client disk.
    Does the machine reboot normally without a backup between?
    Did you install certain software on the client (i.e. Windows Updates) in a timely context with the starting of the behavior? (I had this experience on an old PCa few years ago.)
    Besides that, did you check if there are updates for the Bios, the mass storage controllers and the chipset of your laptop available? Faulty drivers may also block the reinitialization of the controller during reboot cycle. The Bios itself is reset to default settings?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 10:14 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf,
    Thanks for the reply.
    Yes, the machine does reboot normally w/o a backup in between.

    I don't think there were any updates to software.  I typically don't let windows automatically do updates.  I have set all of my systems to automatically downloaod and then let me decide when to install.
    Before I ever install an update I usually browse the net to find out what new problems the new and improved update may cause....

    Once I do this next rebuild (presently reformatting the HD before I do the next restore) I'll check the BIOS on the laptop.
    I have two other XP SP2 machines and two Vista machines that don't have the same problem, so BIOS could be the issue.
    I'll let you know.

    The BIOS is indeed set to default settings.

    I'm not able to get to the event log on the client pc, (the laptop) since it won't reboot and then once I rebuild it, the event log is gone.
    I'm not aware of a client side event long on WHS, is this what you were pointing to, or the laptop's event log?

    Regards,
    Greg D.
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 8:53 PM
  • Hi Greg,
    yes I referred to the laptops event log.
    Do you mean, the laptop never anymore reboots after a backup is done?
    Also not, after powering off and letting it cool down (just in case, the reason is some overheating affecting the disk or chipset or whatever other component due to the heavy activity)?
    How far to you get with booting? Do you see the Bios screen and the Windows load screen? If the later, what happens if you try to boot in safe mode?
    How full is the system drive?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, March 30, 2009 7:28 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf,
    Yes, that's correct.  The laptop won't restart whenever a WHS backup occurs, whether a scheduled backup or a manually initiated backup.
    It's not a case of the machine being hot.  The machine can be shut down for days following the backup and restart failure and it doesn't make any difference.
    When rebooting, I can access the bios, the bios sees the hard drive, CD etc.
    I can always restart from a CD, just not the hard drive.  It almost seems as though something is being corrupted in the boot sector when WHS does the backup.
    I've used the restore Cd to verify the boot.ini file, it seems fine.  I'm not sure where to check from there for boot up files.

    After the machine gets past the bios check, it just has a flashing cursor in the upper left corner of the screen. I'm unable to get to safe mode.

    I've completely formatted the HD using the Dell reinstallation disk and then do a restore to the 3/1/2009 backup.  I'd try a fresh install, but unfortunately I no longer have access to all of my programs and applications.

    Regards,
    Greg D.
    Friday, April 3, 2009 1:25 AM
  • Hi Greg,
    strange indeed.
    Windows Home Server uses Volume Shadow copies to perform the backup, but I never heard of that damaging the boot sector or something else.
    Can you find something related in the event log after performing a backup, but before reboot?
    If you use a XP DVD, is booting into the recovery console and using the commands
    fixboot
    fixmbr

    correcting the issue (even temporary)?
    Finally, could you please register at Connect and issue a bug report, as outlined in the pinned thread on top of this forum?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, April 3, 2009 6:35 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf,
    Yes I did attempt fixboot and fixmbr.
    It had no effect on the system.
    I'll register at Connect.
    Thanks for looking at this.
    Regards,
    Greg D.
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 2:22 PM