Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

After a Windows 2008 update the server now shows a BSOD on boot, I can get into safe-mode, how can I restore it?

I've tried last known good configuration and that also blue-screens. There are no restore points and no backup of the C: drive. It's 2008 Standard with SP1.

Any suggestions?


share|improve this question
Do the event logs provide any additional information? – Dave M Dec 3 '09 at 13:57
There are mentions of services not running due to dependencies on another service that isn't running but these don't give me much of a clue as they are services like Network Locator service. There's nothing obvious. – Steven Dec 3 '09 at 14:28
Do any of the "problem" services use a specific account that could be a problem? So the service shows log on as domain\user name and a password. Can't imagine an update could change anything there but have seen the account changed and then on next boot there are issues when service tries to start. – Dave M Dec 3 '09 at 14:32
Don't want to write it like an answer, but the safest bet would be to rescue C: data in safe mode and then perform a clean install. Unless there is something really hard to recover on the machine (Exchange server?) it would be less of a work to reinstall it than to somehow make it to work and probably leaving some hidden problem behind... – nhek Dec 3 '09 at 15:31
Do you know what Windows Updates were installed? You could search for the update number and see if anyone else is having those problems. – Wesley Dec 3 '09 at 18:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Some simple troubleshooting methods here:

  1. In Safe Mode (that's a good sign that you can boot into Safe Mode, BTW), go into the MSCONFIG utility and use the process of elimination with the Services, Startup and General tabs to hopefully isolate the potential causes of the problem. That will give you a great base of operations to fan out from in the troubleshooting process.
  2. Hopefully you can then boot into normal mode and uninstall the Windows updates that you previously installed. BTW, uninstalling doesn't work in safe mode since the Windows installer service doesn't start except in normal mode.
    1. Having said that, can hack Windows machines to uninstall even in safe mode using this method. Your mileage may vary.
  3. You could go semi-scorched earth and repair the boot files using the installation disc:

If you take route number 1, let us know what you find out.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.