Help get my Windows 2000 Server running for just a few more weeks
June 10, 2010 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Windows 2000 Server suddenly won't boot, even in safe mode. Any way to get it running for just a few more weeks? Difficulty: No installation disks.

The non-profit where I work is running a Windows 2000 Server SP4 at the heart of our IT infrastructure. I walked into the office this morning to a server that won't boot at all - it gets stuck about 75% through the boot process. It was working fine - I restarted it yesterday morning - and there have been no changes or additions of programs or hardware since then (except for a windows update...).

Things I have tried:
Booting in safe mode - it crashes at the same place and then restarts the boot process
"Last Good Configuration" - same
"Boot and repair the domain controllers" option - ran through fine, no change afterward
Server 2000 floppy boot disks - tells me there is no hard drive

The PERC (PowerEdge RAID Controller) utility tells me that the RAID3 array is working fine, and all physical disks are fine with no errors. The only things plugged in are the keyboard/mouse/monitor.

I don't have the the Windows 2000 Server installation disks, unfortunately. They walked out of here at some point about a year ago...

We are in the process of planning a complete IT overhaul, which includes a new server. I just need our current server up and running for another two to three weeks! Any ideas?
posted by gemmy to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: Been a while since I've worked on one of those, but I believe there is a "step by step confirmation" option in safe mode. If it's always failing in the same place, you can skip loading that driver and hopefully get the system up and running, and repair\reinstall the broken driver from there.

The floppy boot disks won't see your disk unless you load the RAID driver separately (press F6 to install 3rd party drivers, or whatnot.)
posted by sanko at 9:02 AM on June 10, 2010

Best answer: Run the repair console and chkdsk c: /r.

The physical array can be good, but the data contained on it can be bad. I've also seen issues where there ARE errors on the disks, but the RAID subsystem missed them and you only find out when a disk fails and then the array won't rebuild.

Failing that, you will need to get the installation disks and do a repair install. but that's going to mess a lot of stuff up and potentially take a long time to get back to working order.

(How large is the array? If it's bigger than 137 gb, you might be in the situation where the "big disk" driver hasn't loaded yet, and some other driver that needs to be loaded was rewritten past the 137gb barrier.)
posted by gjc at 2:03 PM on June 10, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks to the gentle prod of sanko, I remembered how to get the recovery console to recognize the hard drive. I then ran chkdsk c:/r from there, which didn't make any difference - still crashes on startup. There is only 80GB total for the array.

I tried the startup option that logs the boot up process. I was then able to look at the log (ntldr.txt) using the recovery console. But I"m not sure that it tells me anything of value. I didn't see any specific error messages there.

There is no "boot with step by step confirmation" option (I think that was in Win98)

This afternoon, I sat in front of the computer while it tried to boot, and it loads the bar that says "starting windows" until about 75%. It sits there for a few minutes, then flashes the bar to full. After that, there is a brief flash of a BSOD for a fraction of a second, but there is not enough time to try to read the error text.

I'm trying to procure some Win2K Server install disks, to attempt a repair install.
posted by gemmy at 3:51 PM on June 10, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for trying to help. For posterity's sake, I'm pretty sure it was flmgr.sys that was the culprit. I managed to procure a Win2K Server install .iso, burned it to a CD, and ran a manual Emergency Repair Process after booting to the disk.

This seems to have restored the system to working order, with no major issues for now.
posted by gemmy at 8:39 AM on June 11, 2010

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