While at work today I ran into an interesting situation. A customer called and told us they were having trouble turning on their server after moving it. Come to find out they moved it by themselves and without contacting us first. They thought it would be a good idea to leave it on and let the UPS take care of the brief power outage. Generally it seems in consulting that, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong…” In this case they unplugged the server and it shut off seconds later. It was hooked up to a tiny personal UPS not designed for a server and definitely not for keeping it online during a move.
Here is where I come in. The server was saying Windows could not start because the \Windows\System32\Config\System file was missing or corrupt.
This error typically happens when Windows Server 2003 and XP are hard shutdown like in the event of a power outage. It basically corrupts the system hive. In most cases there are a couple quick fixes. Rebooting and pressing F8 to boot into Last Known Good Config is the best place to start. If that doesn’t work, running a chkdsk from Recovery Console on the Windows volume can resolve it. And worst case, replacing the system files from a backup.
In this case, thankfully, a chkdsk was able to resolve the issue but I had to burn a new ISO with the Dell Perc 5/i drivers slipped streamed into the disk.
Another reason to always have a backup…