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I'm having an issue attempting a Windows Server 2003 Standard repair installation (or a normal installation for that matter). I have an Intel server motherboard and an add-in Adaptec SCSI RAID 2120s card with a RAID 5 array. Here are the things that I've already found and attempted:

  • Unplugging server, reseating memory, checking connections, etc.
  • Loading the latest Adaptec drivers via F6 (of course)
  • Trying alternative Windows Server discs (both 32 and 64 bit)
  • F5 during setup and selecting "Standard PC"
  • F7 during setup to bypass driver requirements
  • Installing from a USB optical drive
  • Removing non-essential devices from the server
  • Disabling serial ports and other non-essentials in the BIOS
  • Disabling the floppy drive
  • Booting from Window XP installation disc (same reboot at "setup is starting windows" result)
  • Booting from a Debian installation disc (boots normally)
  • Installing a separate PATA hard drive as the primary hard drive boot device

I haven't really been able to find any other solutions for other people having this same problem. Most of the posts that I've found stated that the installation at this point hangs or locks up instead of restarting the computer.

A little background on my issue. This server had a power problem with the UPS that it was plugged into and corrupted the RAID5 array. We had to rebuild parts of the array and was able to get it back to optimal status. Afterwards, our Windows server installation started blue screening with registry issues. This is why I was attempting a Windows server repair installation to begin with.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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what happens if you remove the adaptec board? –  tony roth Mar 27 '12 at 19:55
I just removed the adaptec raid controller to test and the Windows setup continued and didn't restart the server as it has been. I'm not sure why it's doing this though as I've correctly installed the adaptec drivers during the initial F6 option. Do you have any suggestions as to why the Windows setup breaks with this adaptec controller installed? –  Justin Mar 27 '12 at 20:42
the controller is bad. –  tony roth Mar 29 '12 at 1:06
Actually, the controller isn't bad. I was able to boot up with Hiren's Boot CD in Mini Windows XP, and I can see all of the partitions on the RAID array and browse the data without an issue. If the controller is bad, I wouldn't be able to read the data from any operating system. I would much rather run through a Windows repair installation rather than moving the data elsewhere as this is the PDC for the domain. Any other suggestions? –  Justin Mar 30 '12 at 15:30
very slight chance that the controller is still bad but I do agree that it might not be the controller, wonder if the repair process is reading the boot files and running into a corrupted file and freaking out? Does w2k3 repair process give you a chance to get to the command prompt, if so I'd run a chkdsk to see if it finds corruption. I would not do it with a /f though to start with. –  tony roth Mar 30 '12 at 16:20

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