Wow, SP2 really IS more secure



  • ...Because now I can't even connect to the damn thing.

    I tried installing Win2003 SP2 on a small web server. That failed, spouting some nonsense about not being able to copy NTLDR. Okay then, cancel-and-debug time. So it tries rolling back the failed partial installation. Then that fails. So I dismiss the message box alerting me to such. At which point, it decides to automatically reboot the system with no confirmation or warning.

    "NTLDR is missing. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart."

    Unbelievable.



  • Insert Install CD

    Recovery Console

    fixboot

    Problem solved :)



  • I can only guess but I think it propably wasn't a "conscious" descision to reboot. Windows automatically does a force-reboot if certain critical driver failed and left the system in an inconsistent state. And as wobbly the state of your machine sounds, it seems pretty plausible to me that this happened.



  • @XIU said:

    Insert Install CD

    Recovery Console

    fixboot

    Problem solved :)

    Precisely what I plan to attempt just as soon as I've got physical access to the machine. What I wouldn't give for a BIOS with built in RDP features. ;-)





  • Taking a few wild guesses here... but this sounds like PEBKAC.

    If it gave you an error copying files... then obviously your install media is messed up. I have seen this happen many times with bootleg CDs and ISOs.

    Get a real copy, that has no damage, and it will go fine for you. This isn't an issue with the software design.... it works fine for most other people.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    If it gave you an error copying files... then obviously your install media is messed up. I have seen this happen many times with bootleg CDs and ISOs.

    Or the hard disk is messed up. I've seen that too. Either way, though, blaming the software is dumb in this case... 



  • @reverendryan said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    If it gave you an error copying files... then obviously your install media is messed up. I have seen this happen many times with bootleg CDs and ISOs.

    Or the hard disk is messed up. I've seen that too. Either way, though, blaming the software is dumb in this case... 

    No it isn't. It should have stayed running to the best of its capacity, and not arbitrarily rebooted so that there could be a chance to do repair and salvage the system. Then I could have verified the existence of NTLDR and checked the disk for bad blocks and all the usual precautions without needing to go on-site to fix it. Here's some rather insightful folklore related to the "don't panic" mantra: http://www.justpasha.org/folk/rm.html This should be required reading in schools, if you ask me. ;-)

    And while I certainly wouldn't rule out a media problem, I was installing the service pack directly from the hard disk. I had downloaded it, and successfully unpacked it not 10 minutes prior to starting the installation. In any case, I'm definitely running a full surface scan after I get this sorted out.



  • @db2 said:

    No it isn't. It should have stayed running to the best of its capacity, and not arbitrarily rebooted so that there could be a chance to do repair and salvage the system.

    No it shouldn't have. When drivers get into that sort of state, real bad things can start happening. You definitely want the system to reset. 



  • @bobday said:

    @db2 said:

    No it isn't. It should have stayed running to the best of its capacity, and not arbitrarily rebooted so that there could be a chance to do repair and salvage the system.

    No it shouldn't have. When drivers get into that sort of state, real bad things can start happening. You definitely want the system to reset. 

    Unless disk I/O is very, very badly misbehaving, I want that sucker to keep churning until it kernel panics (or BSODs as the case may be). The fact that it was still able to execute a perfectly clean-looking reboot (sans the coming back up part) makes it very hard for me to believe the system was that badly borked.



  • @bobday said:

    @db2 said:

    No it isn't. It should have stayed running to the best of its capacity, and not arbitrarily rebooted so that there could be a chance to do repair and salvage the system.

    No it shouldn't have. When drivers get into that sort of state, real bad things can start happening. You definitely want the system to reset. 

    I've got to agree with DB2 here. Maybe it's just due to the fact that I mostly work with Linux/Unix, but having servers randomly reboot  without warning (barring hardware issues) just can't be a good thing. So unless the machine was also overheating or some such (which isn't the case, since it went through a clean shutdown), I've got to agree that this is a WTF.
     



  • @db2 said:

    Unless disk I/O is very, very badly misbehaving, I want that sucker to keep churning until it kernel panics (or BSODs as the case may be).

    I've been interpreting this thread so far as the automatic restart being the BSOD, given that when Windows BSODs it automaticall reboots by default...



  • @db2 said:

    Unless disk I/O is very, very badly misbehaving, I want that sucker to keep churning until it kernel panics (or BSODs as the case may be). The fact that it was still able to execute a perfectly clean-looking reboot (sans the coming back up part) makes it very hard for me to believe the system was that badly borked.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree that in your case it would have been better for the system not to reset, but I still think in the general case rebooting is the correct thing to do.

     
    The OS probably just detected some driver writing where it shouldn't be, which definitely has the potential to mess with disk I/O. If the system is otherwise healthy, I'd want it to reset so I can hold off disk corruption long enough to get some updated drivers.



  • @benryves said:

    @db2 said:

    Unless disk I/O is very, very badly misbehaving, I want that sucker to keep churning until it kernel panics (or BSODs as the case may be).

    I've been interpreting this thread so far as the automatic restart being the BSOD, given that when Windows BSODs it automaticall reboots by default...

    That was the weird part. It looked like a completely normal shutdown, and I could see all the usual "Saving your settings..." messages and the like before my RDP connection got dumped. It happened too fast for me to notice if there were any unusual messages, unfortunately.

    Fixboot didn't do the trick, since ntldr was completely gone from the boot loader partition. I tried copying it back, but the recovery console was spitting out the "Access Is Denied" errors that it loves so dearly, since the boot loader is on an 8 MB partition, with the actual OS on another much larger one. (Why the hell does it even care? I've already got physical access to the machine, for crying out loud. Copy the thing and leave me alone, like a proper, well-behaved root shell.) I've got a few other tricks up my sleeve, though.



  • Change "Access mode" or something-else-like-mode for your hard disk from "Auto" or "LARGE" to "LBA".

    ;) 


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