Server Won't boot
I have a Windows Server 2008 whose RAID5 entered a degraded state. It has rebuilt the RAID successfully (took about 40 hours!) but the server won't boot. Windows starts to load, the little green bar scrolls about for about 5 seconds and then the server reboots itself. It's stuck in this loop. The RAID now says "Degraded" again too. I have tried unplugging the drive it says is causing the problem and it made no difference. If this was an XP machine, I'd chkdsk /r it! It won't boot safe mode or last known good. Where do I go from here? I've never attempted to use a recovery console before. Is it any good? This is their only server and has all their data on it. We have backups, but i'd rather just get the server going again than wipe it and restore.
Thank you for any help
What server hardware is it?
Intel S5000VSA board, with RAID built in, 2GB RAM, 4x 250GB SATA drives in a RAID 5 config. It's about 4 years old.
what happens if you use the f8 menu and disable automatic reboot on error (or whatever the exact wording is)
id be tempted to boot from a windows 7/8 dvd (more drivers built in so hopefullt it will recognise the raid card by default and run a chkdsk
I'll give both of those a go. Thank you.
Originally Posted by sted
The raid is degraded because you must have more than one disk in trouble.
What does is the Raid status in the BIOS say?
This is typical of when a hotspare has been used and nobody has noticed it, a second disk fails and your snookered!
If a disk needs replacing I would make sure you do that first give the array a chance to rebuild on working platters.
If you keep rebooting and the only disks it can talk to are ones full of holes your not going to get very far!
As its on board SATA Raid it should hopefully be supported by native Windows DVD but your better off with a Microsoft DART disk at least you can boot run a chkdsk and even copy data off to another disk.
We have DARTx86 and DARTx64 images on the LAN so in cases like this we can F12 boot from LAN and load the DART Toolkit.
I have to agree, it does sound like more than one disk has failed in your RAID5 array I'm afraid. As others have stated the RAID BIOS will tell you this.
Is it a branded machine - in the past I found Dell Server Support superb - even when the actual server was just out of warranty.
According to the RAID, it is only disk 0 with issues, the other three are fine........ It says........
It was made by Hammer, but is basically an in branded server.
I had this with a server a couple of years ago with a failed raid disk.
I couldn't get it to boot, in the end I left it over night to complete the raid rebuild after replacing the disk and then ran chkdsk and then had to restore the systemstate from backup because of a corrupted registry.
The key thing was letting the raid rebuild complete because I couldn't even boot into window recovery until this had completed for some reason (might have just been grumpy).
Was it configured as a 3+Hot Spare? or just 4 in a Raid5.
If all 4 disks have been running 24/7/365 there is a chance they will all begin to fall off in short timeframe so dont be surprised if you find you have a second disk with smart errors.
Whatever happens you really dont want to be re-installing or even restoring data until this array is normalized so put a disk in it and get it healthy before doing anything else that might cause further loss.
If you can boot it from a support DVD and copy what you need off first thats another option.
Recovery from a failed array is expensive but I know a good firm that can do it if you get stuck. I just had a disk recovered from a click of death after some clown knocked his AIO off his desk.
£350 it cost... thats a single SATA they got it all though.
I had a similar issue with an unbranded server a while ago. It failed one of the drives in the raid 5 array (5 drives) and keep rebooting. Using the raid bios I marked the dodgy drive as 'defunct' and then it sucessfully booted. Ironically I then marked the drive as 'available' and after a 10 hour synchronisation it worked, and it still working now some 18 months later. I reckon the original fault was down to multiple power cuts one night (the ups was basically empty after the first power cut!)
have you tried to replace the first disk with other disk?