Yikes - Windows Login goes Kablooey
April 5, 2005 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Once upon a time there was a Windows 2003 Standard Server. Then one day an automatic process filled the System Disk (C:) until it was 0 bytes free. The system still works, but login is busted. What can I do to fix it? 30k gifs inside.

This probably applies to Win 2k, Win Xp, and everyone else. Anyone ever hit red line? How can you recover? I cleared some space, then I tried Windows Recovery but did not know which cabinet to expand. Where does the login box come from? Task Manager/locked/all display fine.

Starting login:

If I enter something poorly, it complains with a sign


Note THIS LOGIN STILL WORKS, you just have to close your eyes while you type.
posted by cavalier to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
 
boot to "DOS" prompt, manually delete some files to free up space.
posted by skwm at 2:09 PM on April 5, 2005


Sorry -- I wasn't clear - I logged in with a blindfold on and deleted files , so the drive has space.

It just appears that while it was at 0 space it ate things.

:(
posted by cavalier at 2:50 PM on April 5, 2005


is this a live server?

can you try running the Windows repair utility?

I've never seen something get corrupt like this before.

mefi hasn't shown itself to have a ton of windows sysadmins in the past so i'd make sure to turn to google.

and a tenative search (first try!) turns up this which i think should answer your question quite well.

here's the search i ran

learn to use google well! It'll be your most important administrative tool!
posted by fishfucker at 3:09 PM on April 5, 2005


Complete excerpt from the linked page for archiving purposes:

We had a server at work that whenever you tried to access the console or TS into the server it just displays a black screen. You could do a ctrl-alt-del and if you tabbed just right you could log into the server. The server then functioned correctly. We finally got around to dealing with it the other day. I did the standard Google searches and checked out Microsoft's knowledgebase but had no luck. I finally broke down and called Microsoft. Turns out this is a known issue, but not enough people have called in for it to become a knowledgebase article.

The cause of this issue is because the colors for the Default user are all set to black (0 0 0). This was caused by the system drive running out of space. The disk space issue was caused by a Computer Associates product that went out of control and filled up the drive. To correct the issue I had to export the "HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" key from a working server and import it into the broken server. Once I changed the registry entries the server started displaying the login screen just like you would expect.

posted by fishfucker at 3:10 PM on April 5, 2005


fishfucker, i kiss you!

i tried google but obviously your google fu far surpasses mine
posted by cavalier at 3:12 PM on April 5, 2005


sometimes you get lucky.

glad it worked out for you.
posted by fishfucker at 4:57 PM on April 5, 2005


BTW: if you can "remote desktop" into this server from another machine, iit might make the task before you a bit easier...
posted by curtm at 5:09 PM on April 5, 2005


If this hadn't've worked, I would have recommended loading the server boot drive as a slave on another Windows system. You could just go in an prune away the offending files and then reboot it and log in. I've done this with Linux and BSD (OSX) servers, but never for the same problem. I can't vouch for Windows 2003. Officer, I have never seen this man.
posted by squirrel at 10:04 PM on April 5, 2005


to be clear, squirrel, the problem wasn't the logging in -- that worked fine; and after the login, if I understand correctly, everything was normal. The problem was is that BECAUSE at one point the drive was filled, Windows decided to puke all over the registry and trash the Default profile, which is what it considers everyone to belong to before they identify themselves at the login screen -- cavalier had already managed to delete enough files to free up space, but this doesn't resolve the condition; windows is kinda crazy like that.

it's a strange beast but some of us are into it.

mostly for the clicking.

ah sweet sweet clicking.
posted by fishfucker at 1:30 AM on April 6, 2005


(condition being that the Login screen worked but wasn't drawn properly)
posted by fishfucker at 1:30 AM on April 6, 2005


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