I have here a Windows 2000 Server that I am desperately trying to resurrect after a HDD crash.

The HDD crashed with the Seagate BSY Bug. After unblocking the firmware via the TTL/Serial port, we could finally access most files with mounting a dd_rescue image of the drive (there were few bad sectors that restricted access from normal ways, like juste plugging it in windows it says the drive is not formatted). We tried just dd-ing back the image on a clean hard drive, but the partition table was all messed-up, so what we did is create a new NTFS partition and copy manually all the files from the image to this new partition.

The computer then tried to boot-up Windows 2000 (yay!) but there was an error saying some system file file was damaged and it suggested repairing it from the CD.

We did try a CD repair (Install->License+F8->Repair) and it got better, now windows splash screen shows-up saying "setup is being restarted...", we even get kind of a desktop (no mouse) for a few seconds, and then a black screen with a flashing underscore for a fraction of a second, and it reboots.

  • No BSOD (Not even in C:/WINNT/Minidump)
  • No Error message
  • Nothing abnormal I've seen in the logs...

Any idea? Rebuiling this server would cost lots of time and headache for reconfiguration (the original configuration is... let's say undocumented) and everything...

(Yes next time we will RAID everything)

Thank you!!

  • 2
    Maybe add a backup along with RAID and more documentation? – Dave M Jan 4 '13 at 22:22
  • Do you have a backup you can restore from? – Joel Coel Jan 4 '13 at 22:41
  • RAID isn't the problem, you not having backups is, apart from still running windows 2000, which also brings a lot of security problems. – Lucas Kauffman Jan 4 '13 at 23:02
  • Reimage the drive to another fresh drive. Then launch a repair from the CD and run the Recovery Console. Then run fixboot and fixmbr and see if that gets it going again. – joeqwerty Jan 4 '13 at 23:03
  • "We tried just dd-ing back the image on a clean hard drive, but the partition table was all messed-up" at this point you can try using testdisk with a linux livecd {and after use windows CD repair if needed}. – user130370 Jan 4 '13 at 23:45

Winnt.exe and winnt32.exe are the setup files of Windows 200 (ALSO NT4, XP,2003 server and I think even nt 3.5) and appends the setuplog.txt that I'm unsure if it sits at the root or inside the embryonic yet non functioning %systemroot% (c:\windows) directory.

The messages will be ambiguous but decodable via Google, even Bing.

You're also well served with the /sos and /bootlog flags in your boot.ini file, since you've completed CLI setup these flags should function regardless if you're successfully completing setup and initaiting a user shell.

It is hard to refer you to Microsoft's offical articles on the matter since Microsoft has officially dumped support for Windows 2000 and seemingly destroyed vast amounts of documentation the way a divorcee slices their ex from all of the photos, however the boot.ini flags haven't changed much and applicable details are still relevant in the 2003 server and XP article found at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/833721

I'm hoping and assuming you have the ability to access the damaged / partially installed drive with bootable and network accessible slave drive or Ultimate Boot CD, the advice to run testdisk was sound but may be presumptious since you seem to have a working partition table and beyond partition repair, testdisk is left with raw file rescue and you're past that point.

But what I haven't heard you describe is whether you've performed a chdsk using another OS, it should've already run during the initial GUI setup but that iteration is set for a very rudimentary scan then fix mode. NTFS chkdsk has a simple scan mode, a better 3 phase mode than the full monty five phase thorugh index and deeluxe duper full price that feels like picking car washes and it can take hours to complete depending on the amount of data.

chkdsk slave drive letter BUT NO SLASH /f /x /i /v /r e.g. chkdsk e: /f /x /i /v /r

The advice to fixdisk and fixmbr was for yesterday since you can boot now and it won't help. Raid isn't the issuem your problem was hardware relkated and this affliction would've just pierced the drive on a RAID controller and using Windows RAID is as awkward as kissing your sister with tongue.

Your bullet 3, you mentioned log files, you mean you're mounting windows event files or parsing the setup logs like I suggested ?

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