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Windows Thread, Server 2003 not starting up in Technical; Came in this morning to find one of the servers starting up. However, it doesn't get any further than the ...
  1. #1
    Gibbo's Avatar
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    Server 2003 not starting up

    Came in this morning to find one of the servers starting up.

    However, it doesn't get any further than the Windows logo with the little scrolling bar underneath.

    I've done a diagnostic of the server, hard drive, CPU and memory is all ok.

    I managed to get into Safe Mode, everything seemed ok, with only one entry in the event log for last night at 23:30 "unknown stop error".

    I then tried a LKGC (Last Known Good Configuration) which doesn't get any further than the logo.

    I've since tried getting into safe mode again but it doesn't go any further than acpitabl.dat.

    I've booted from the Windows CD and gone ito the recovery console and done a CHKDSK /R, everything was fine.

    Any ideas where I can go next?

    I was following KB article 325375 but as I can't get into safe mode can't do anything else on there.
    Last edited by Gibbo; 19th June 2008 at 11:06 AM.

  2. #2

    Gatt's Avatar
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    Hmm.. you tried a repair install?

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    flashsnaps's Avatar
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    If it restarts after windows splat - then its usual the drive, with desktop machines anyway. Run a FULL test diagnostic on the drive.

  4. #4
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    Came in this morning to find one of the servers starting up
    Is it a Dell server?

  5. #5
    Gibbo's Avatar
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    No, a HP Proliant ML350.

    Just done a Google search for "hangs on acpitabl.dat" and brought back loads of results so going to check them....

  6. #6

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Weird file for it to choke on (acpitab1.dat) usually when booting up in safe mode it is mostly dlls and other system type files.

    I would suggest a couple of things, first run the full disk scan that everyone is suggesting then if it is still iffy use a tool like UBCD Windows (if it supports your raid controller) and have a look at the file in question, it could be that it is cooked or the NTFS security has become corrupt on it. If the security checks out then I would rename the file in the hopes that Windows would skip it. Better to restore it from a backup if you have one.

    Given the file name (acpitab1.dat) it sounds like it could be related to the advanced power managment stuff. You may be able to get it working again by changing the ACPI settings in the BIOS to the lowest levels (S1 suspend state etc).

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    I've already run a full disk check (both CHKDSK /R and the HP management tools) - all is ok.

    The Google search on acpitabl.dat suggests unplugging removable drives (I have none) or to replace UPDATE.SYS in C:\windows\system32\drivers - but I'm getting ACCESS DENIED when I try and expand the original from the Windows CD.

  8. #8
    Gibbo's Avatar
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    OK, had no luck replacing the UPDATE.SYS file, so tried to do a repair install, but now only gets as far as this:

    Autochk program not found - skipping autochk

  9. #9

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Its not looking good, have you installed any software recently?

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    Nope, nothing at all.

    It looks like the machine will have to be wiped and everything reinstalled.

    I've done as much as I can at this end. If the school won't pay out for a professional support contract and I have to rely on the extent of my knowledge, Google and this very useful forum, they'll have to accept the inconvenience of the loss of a server.

  11. #11

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    What does the server do?

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    Faculty Applications and Veritas Backup.

    Thanks for all the help though guys, much appreciated.

  13. #13

    Michael's Avatar
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    Last Known Good Configuration only works if you can't logon at all, but you did manage to logon in Safe Mode so the Last Known Good Configuration would be taken from when you logged in, in Safe Mode.

    I had a similar problem about 8 months ago. Windows would get half way through the loading process and then blue screen. Running chkdsk revealed nothing, but I later found out that the file system had been changed from NTFS basic to NTFS dynamic, which could be used with software RAID for example.

    I never managed to work out why it happened, but in the end I was forced to re-install Windows and restore the system state along with everything else on the system drive.

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    OK so I have had this on a number of desktops within the last few months. I dont know if it will work but it is defo worth a try, get to the BIOS of the machine and restore the factory defaul settings, if you can that is. Obviously I do not know enough about your current setup to know if this is possible but a piece of added hardware may be the root of the problem i.e. a SCSI card or ethernet card. Try starting it up with one of these items removed at a time e.g. take just the ethernet card out and try it, if no joy put it back and take the SCSI card out. I have seen machines die on me after having them for over 5 years simply because of a failing piece of hardware, it worked fine for years and then all of a sudden it is the cause of a system failure.

    Just give it a go, cant hurt!

  15. #15

    Michael's Avatar
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    @whiplash2006 - I would agree with what you're saying, but the server does appear to POST which would indicate everything hardware wise is fine.

    I've tried googling acpitab1.dat and nothing useful comes up. Be interesting to know what this is used for.

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