I have a HS20 (Type 8843) blade in an IBM BladeCenter chassis that was giving me problems. When I attempted to run CMD > chkdsk c: /R > yes on reboot, the chkdsk procedure would briefly begin at startup and then fail, reporting that chkdsk was canceled. Windows 2003 would then boot normally, though chkdsk failed to run as requested.

I figured something like antivirus or some other service was getting in the way during startup moments before chkdsk could run. So I ran msconfig > boot.ini > enabled /SAFEBOOT. I then told chkdsk to run at startup.

The problem is the Java-based KVM for the IBM BladCenter H chassis apparently cannot display the monitor while the OS is in safe mode. So I'm able to watch post, Windows 2003 startup, and then a blank screen. I assume the machine is on and maybe chkdsk is even running, but I have no way of knowing.

After waiting an hour or so (giving chkdsk time to complete in case it ran), I used the KVM to perform a hard shutdown of the OS. But when I power the machine back on, it keeps going into Safe Mode (e.g. msconfig /SAFEBOOT). I have no monitor. F8 during startup doesn't prevent Safe Mode.

So, how do I configure the OS to boot normally knowing that I have no monitor? I likely have keyboard access, so perhaps I could note on another machine the exact keyboard commands to log on and get me out of safemode. Any other ideas?

  • Is the kvm firmware and software completely up to date? – Zypher Jul 12 '11 at 3:43

Using another server, I figured out the keyboard commands, which I was able to perform on the server that was stuck in Safe Mode with a monitor output the IBM Bladecenter Java-based KVM doesn't support.

Here are the steps to take via keyboard only to configure a Windows 2003 Server stuck in safe mode to boot in Normal mode:

  • Type local password (assuming Administrator is entered as username)
  • Return
  • Return to say OK about safe mode
  • Tab to highlight Start menu
  • Return
  • R to select Run
  • Type msconfig
  • Alt N to select Boot Normally
  • Alt A to select Apply
  • Return to select Close
  • Return to select Reboot

My troubled machine rebooted with monitor support and I could begin troubleshooting my initial issue once again.

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