2008 R2: Regular boot is fine but all Safe Modes don't work?!
This is a new one on me. We have a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (fully updated, though not yet SP1) system that's working and booting fine. Disk is a single drive SATA, CPU is a Core i3. We wanted to test Safe Mode, however, so we rebooted with F8 and proceeded to try Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, and Safe Mode with Networking and Command Prompt. All three get to the login screen and then reboot before we can type anything. The separate command prompt in repair options works, but that one isn't as useful since it doesn't let you run any command that you want. How can we correct this?
February 19th, 2011 12:08am
I always like to start with the system event log. Regards, Dave Patrick .... Microsoft Certified Professional Microsoft MVP [Windows]
February 19th, 2011 6:00am
I checked that, but the System log (or the Application log for that matter) was never written to at all during the time we were attempting the safe modes. I also checked the Administrative Events custom view and found that none of the logs that it tracks were written to during that time either.
February 19th, 2011 7:56am
Is the Windows Event Log service running? In Control Panel System|Advanced|Startup and Recovery I'd turn off Automatically restart to see if it BSOD's or not. Regards, Dave Patrick .... Microsoft Certified Professional Microsoft MVP [Windows]
February 19th, 2011 8:09am
Yes, it's running, and there are normal events before and after the time period in which we were testing safe mode, but a complete blackout during it, very much like the service didn't have time to start yet or it didn't get a chance to commit what it was recording. I've made that change you recommended. I'll report back when I get the opportunity to retest (unfortunately, I can't just do this any time I like), but I noted that the MEMORY.DMP option is also enabled and that the MEMORY.DMP file that exists predates our safe mode testing. So if it was BSOD'g, it wasn't writing out that file, though generally speaking I don't think that's necessarily unusual.
February 19th, 2011 8:39am
Yes, I wondered about the memory.dmp file dates as well. Possibly. Windows does not save memory dump file after a crash http://support.microsoft.com/kb/130536 If the disk controller or bus is suspect it may be the reason nothing is written. Regards, Dave Patrick .... Microsoft Certified Professional Microsoft MVP [Windows]
February 19th, 2011 8:45am
I was finally able to get back to this. Updating the Nvidia driver and updating to SP1, surprisingly, did not help. Gigabyte motherboard firmware updated too. All three safe modes continue to restart just as my hands approach the keyboard to login. Normal login always works. EV continues to record nothing about a problem. I have set the system to stop on a BSOD, but there is none to stop on in this case. No new MEMORY.DMP. The disk situation is as generic as possible: 250GB SATA hooked to the motherboard (Intel 5 Series chipset). Since I intended to do it anyway, next I'll try flipping the Registry bit for ACHI, installing Intel's RST disk driver, and then rebooting and setting the BIOS to AHCI, but I highly doubt that's going to make a difference.
February 28th, 2011 10:13pm
If there is no BSOD then it may be some hardware. Power supply or possibly disk controller. Regards, Dave Patrick .... Microsoft Certified Professional Microsoft MVP [Windows]
March 1st, 2011 2:22am