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WSE2012 will not boot

    Question

  • I have been using WSE2012 since its initial release as a home server without any issues. A day or two ago, it apparently "crashed" and will NOT reboot. The system drive is a 256Gb Samsung 830 flash drive and the system includes two WD 1Tb drives and six 2-3Tb Samsung drives and 32Gb of RAM. During boot-up, all of the hard drives are recognized and there are not any apparent problems that show up in the ASUS UEFI bios. When Windows starts loading, the Windows Server logo appears as does the "circle of dots" that supposedly shows that the system is loading. However, no matter how long I wait, the system never loads. I do not receive any error messages. There are no "apparent" problems or issues. The system just never loads.

    I tried to do a "system recovery" using the original DVD but the same thing happens. After all of the files load from the DVD and the Windows Server logo and "circle of dots" appears, nothing else happens. It just stays like that until I power-off or reboot. I never get to the installation or recovery menu. The exact same thing happens if I use a bootable USB drive containing the WSE2012 installation files.

    I am at a total loss as to what is going on. There does NOT appear to be an issue with the system drive or any of the hard drives. I don't know if WSE2012 is the problem or, more likely, it's some kind of hardware or software issue. The only thing I can think of to do next is to start running some of the ASUS diagnostics and a memory checker. I guess I'll try that. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've never seen an issue like this in my 25 years of using computers where I cannot even start an OS installation from a disk or USB drive without any error messages or apparent problems.

    Please HELP!!!


    Denis W. Repke

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:28 PM

Answers

  • I finally got my WSE2012 server working again. I was on the right track in trying to restore the server to an earlier time but I had not been able to get to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen which I needed to accomplish this. Apparently, there does not appear to be any way to boot directly to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen -- at least I could not find any information on the internet and no one replied to any of my forum messages about doing this. You can get there during a "restart" but NOT during a hard boot. I had to find "someway" to get to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen.

    I tried swapping SATA ports for my system drive (Samsung 830 128Gb flash drive) by moving it from the SATA III port on my ASUS P8B-WS motherboard to one of the SATA II ports on my IBM (actually LSI) 8-port SATA/SAS card where all of my 2-3Tb hard drives were connected. After swapping these ports and rebooting the server, this minor configuration change apparently caused the "Preparing automated recovery..." message to appear during the boot process and that took me directly into the "Advanced Startup Options" screen from which I was able to restore the server to an earlier date (I chose September 18). The restore completed successfully without any problems and the server finally booted directly into windows. I made sure everything was working okay, ran a few updates, backed up the server and all clients and rebooted again to make certain it was still okay. Then I shut it down and "un-swapped" the SATA ports so that all the connections were back to normal. I rebooted again and the system booted without any issues.

    The only problem I found was that the Dashboard showed that one of the ServerFolders was missing (i.e., "Videos") even though it was NOT actually missing. It was exactly where it was supposed to be and was fully accessible but, for some reason, WSE thought that it was missing. So I had to rename that folder, re-create "Videos" and move the data to the new "Videos" folder.

    It still is very disconcerting to me that there does not appear to be any way to get directly to that "Advanced Startup Options" screen during a hard boot, which is needed to access the recovery options -- UNLESS the system finds an "apparent" problem during the boot that triggers the "Preparing automated recovery..." message. And, until I played around a bit with reconfiguring my drives, I could not get there.  I just cannot believe that there is no way to get to that screen directly. Microsoft should definitely NOT have removed the "F8" option. There should be some easy way to get to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen.


    Denis W. Repke

    • Marked as answer by DRepke Monday, September 30, 2013 7:14 PM
    Monday, September 30, 2013 7:14 PM
  • Remove all external drives and try rebooting.

    Don't Retire TechNet

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 3:15 AM

All replies

  • I recently had a Samsung flash drive totally crater on me on a laptop.  Do you have a backup of that c drive?  I'd replace the flash to start with.

    Don't Retire TechNet


    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:48 PM
  • I am seeing this same issue with my WSE2012 server.  At some point around 9/19, windows update installed some updates and required that I restart my server.  Ever since I've restarted, I cannot get past the splash screen with the progress spinner.  I also reverted back to the system image (from 9/19), but I still get the endless splash screen (regardless of if I disable/enable automatic restart after doing the system restore).  If the issue is related to Windows Update, then my 9/19 image might have the Windows Updates already installed, but there are no other dates that I can revert back to, so I'm not sure if there's anything I can do about that anyways.

    I've tried all of the Advanced startup options as well (Safe Mode x 3, Last Known Good Configuration, Debugging Mode) and again got nothing but an endless splash screen.

    When I enabled Boot Logging, then reboot to the WSE2012 built-in recovery mode and start up the command prompt, I can't find the ntbtlog.txt anywhere.  I do see my boot drive, and all my Server Spaces drives from the command prompt.

    To echo Denis, Please HELP!!!


    • Edited by nmielnik Wednesday, September 25, 2013 2:17 AM
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 2:12 AM
  • I've not seen any reports of issues due to Windows update.

    What hardware are you running on?


    Don't Retire TechNet

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:08 AM
  • It's a PC w/

    • AMD Phenom II X2 555 (3.2 GHz Dual-Core) CPU
    • GIGABYTE 770TA-UD3 Mainboard
    • 6 GB RAM
    • ATI RADEON X1550 VPU
    • 8 x Internal SATA Drives
    • 2 x External eSATA Drives
    • 2 x External USB 3.0 Drives
    • 2 x External USB 2.0 Drives


    I have an external UPS - connected via USB - that I've disconnected.  I've also disconnected the network cable and still not gotten past the splash screen.
    • Edited by nmielnik Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:51 AM
    Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:47 AM
  • Remove all external drives and try rebooting.

    Don't Retire TechNet

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 3:15 AM
  • I'm not sure exactly when my issue started. I didn't think it was immediately after the update -- but it could have been. I hadn't thought of the update being the cause. However, if it is the update, why (or how) would that prevent me from running the installation DVD or bootable USB drive. A reboot always stops at the "Logo/Progress Spinner" screen no matter how I reboot the system: from the system drive or the installation DVD or a bootable USB drive. I have plenty of backups available on the hard drives but haven't been able to get to them yet because I can't get to the installation/recovery screen.

    You said that you were able to revert back to an earlier system image. That's exactly what I want to do but cannot figure out "how" to do it since I cannot get past the Logo screen. I've been searching the internet about how to get the "advanced startup options" menu to appear. I found information about using the settings menu within Server2012 to have the server reboot and display that menu but I cannot find anything about getting to that menu directly during a reboot (not a "restart", which does me no good since I cannot get into Server 2012 in the first place).

    I cannot believe that there is not some way to force that advanced startup menu to appear during a reboot -- but if there is, I have not been able to find any information about doing so in Server 2012. I was hoping that there was some setting in my ASUS UEFI bios to do that but I cannot find anything useful there.

    This is getting very frustrating... I have no idea what to try next.


    Denis W. Repke

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 4:52 PM
  • Here's how I would approach this... you guys have server backups right?  replace the c drive with another drive and restore it.

    I honestly do not believe it's patch related but patch coincidence.... sometimes boot problems can occur right after a reboot. 


    Don't Retire TechNet

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:43 PM
  • So my problem seemed to be related to an issue with one of my external USB 3.0 drives.  Once I detached the drive, the system booted right up and reverted itself back (it seems like the Windows Updates were not able to complete correctly due to this issue).

    Thanks a lot for pointing me in that direction!  It still remains troubling that something like that could prevent the Server from even being able to boot in safe mode, debugging mode, etc...since there is no logging or information on what is happening, just a splash screen.  However, I'm just glad my server is back.

    Friday, September 27, 2013 4:41 AM
  • I finally got my WSE2012 server working again. I was on the right track in trying to restore the server to an earlier time but I had not been able to get to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen which I needed to accomplish this. Apparently, there does not appear to be any way to boot directly to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen -- at least I could not find any information on the internet and no one replied to any of my forum messages about doing this. You can get there during a "restart" but NOT during a hard boot. I had to find "someway" to get to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen.

    I tried swapping SATA ports for my system drive (Samsung 830 128Gb flash drive) by moving it from the SATA III port on my ASUS P8B-WS motherboard to one of the SATA II ports on my IBM (actually LSI) 8-port SATA/SAS card where all of my 2-3Tb hard drives were connected. After swapping these ports and rebooting the server, this minor configuration change apparently caused the "Preparing automated recovery..." message to appear during the boot process and that took me directly into the "Advanced Startup Options" screen from which I was able to restore the server to an earlier date (I chose September 18). The restore completed successfully without any problems and the server finally booted directly into windows. I made sure everything was working okay, ran a few updates, backed up the server and all clients and rebooted again to make certain it was still okay. Then I shut it down and "un-swapped" the SATA ports so that all the connections were back to normal. I rebooted again and the system booted without any issues.

    The only problem I found was that the Dashboard showed that one of the ServerFolders was missing (i.e., "Videos") even though it was NOT actually missing. It was exactly where it was supposed to be and was fully accessible but, for some reason, WSE thought that it was missing. So I had to rename that folder, re-create "Videos" and move the data to the new "Videos" folder.

    It still is very disconcerting to me that there does not appear to be any way to get directly to that "Advanced Startup Options" screen during a hard boot, which is needed to access the recovery options -- UNLESS the system finds an "apparent" problem during the boot that triggers the "Preparing automated recovery..." message. And, until I played around a bit with reconfiguring my drives, I could not get there.  I just cannot believe that there is no way to get to that screen directly. Microsoft should definitely NOT have removed the "F8" option. There should be some easy way to get to the "Advanced Startup Options" screen.


    Denis W. Repke

    • Marked as answer by DRepke Monday, September 30, 2013 7:14 PM
    Monday, September 30, 2013 7:14 PM