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We have a Windows Server 2008 R2 install on our company desktop server which has been working fine for the last 3 years (with regular updates)

Recently, we restarted our server (due to slow file transfers) and upon restarting. The server freezes at the login (aka Ctrl Alt Del) screen. We get no keyboard or mouse input and remote desktop connects but freezes at the welcome screen. Interestingly enough, file sharing and http server services work.

The keyboard and mouse works fine in bios and when we booted into the install CD.

We've restarted multiple times, ran SFC which checked and correct any file errors, ran memtest which found an error but was fine after we switched out the ram.

We're pretty much out of options and ideas at this point. Any comment or thoughts would be appreciated!

  • slow file transfers may indicate a bad hard drive. Have you tried running spinrite on the machine? – Edwin Oct 12 '14 at 1:38
  • Our hard drives are fine. The main issue is windows server 2008 freezing/nonresponsive at login and we can't access it though remote desktop either. – Dzstoyanov Oct 12 '14 at 5:12
  • @Dzstoyanov Try the following: 1. Logging with Sysinternals' ProcMon, maybe from the boot. 2. Check what's running on startup, especially drivers, with Sysinternals' Autoruns. 3. Try some remote process manager (there are plenty on SourceForge), maybe you'll notice something stuck. – EliadTech Oct 12 '14 at 7:36
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Firstly, since the issue only seems to affect logging on interactively, and not background services, I would try to open the eventlog on the server from another computer, to see what's going on. You might find that some service or driver is failing to start, and is leaving an error or warning in the system log.

This could be one of a number of things. If you're still stuck, I would suggest that you boot into safe mode, and set the computer to crash on ctrl+alt+scroll keystrokes, or if the hardware supports it, you can use a non-maskable interrupt(nmi) to force a crash.
Make sure the computer has a reasonable size pagefile and free space on C:, and then when it's hanging at the login screen, force the crash. Get the memory dump file and load it up in WinDBG, then run analyze -v -hang to see if any particular process/thread/driver/object appears to be the cause of the issue.

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