NBR-Bugchecks and Bootup/Reboot Problems



“No Boot” and “Reboot” issues are generally divided into two categories. No Boot is when Windows will not start or your system never boots to the logon prompt. Reboot issues are generally considered bugchecks, “blue screens,” or “STOP codes” 


Scoping the Issue


The first thing you will want to do is to try to determine the symptom that your system is exhibiting.  Is the system rebooting or stopping with a bugcheck?  Or, does the system seem to stop prior to a logon prompt?  

NO-BOOT Situations – Server will not boot all the way up to a logon prompt due to hang, reboot, or stop error

Unexpected Reboots – System that has already booted up and is Rebooting unexpectedly with or without a stop error.


Data Gathering


All Issues


·         What changed just prior to the problem starting? Did you install any new software, hardware, service packs, patches, add users or make any configuration changes

·         What version of Windows is installed on the computer?

·         Is this a localized version of Windows? If so, what language?

·         Are any service packs installed? If so, which?

·         What is the Make and Model of your Computer?

·         How are the hard disks partitioned?

·         Is Windows installed on an NTFS file system partition?


No Boot Situation


·         If the system stops on a “blue screen,” try to record the information such as STOP 0x00000050 PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA. Note that a reboot may be a stop error if the server is set to reboot on a stop error. To determine you can press F8 when booting to the boot menu and choose “Disable automatic restart on system failure” with Windows 2003.

·         If your system is a SAN attached system but does not boot from SAN, will the system boot will the HBA unplugged?

·         Will the system boot in Last Known Good?  Will it boot in Safe Mode?

·         If your system requires a 3rd party disk controller driver, you should have that on a diskette.

·         Please obtain and locate your Recovery Console password if your server cannot boot into any mode.

·         307852  How to start your computer by using the Last Known Good Configuration feature in Windows XP

o   http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307852

·         315396  How To Troubleshoot Startup Problems in Windows 2000

o   http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;315396

·         314058  Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console for advanced users

o   http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;314058

·         321305  How to log on to your Windows XP-based computer if you forget your password or if your password expires

o   http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;321305


Bugchecks or “Blue Screens”


·         When did the bugcheck first occur?

·         Can you perform any actions to reproduce the bugcheck?

·         Gather an MPSReports. Here is some step by step information on how to do this.

·         http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2009/05/01/two-minute-drill-the-new-mps-reports.aspx

·         Is there a “memory.dmp” file in the %windir% folder?  If not, is there an event from source “savedump” in the event log or a minidump? Minidumps sometimes contain enough information to diagnose the problem, however usually a kernel summary dump will be required. In some rare occasions a complete memory will be required instead. If the system stops on a “blue screen,” but has no memory dump try to record the information such as STOP 0x00000050 PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

·         Unexpected reboot without a STOP error.   If you are experiencing a reboot without a bugcheck or memory dump creation, look for NMI and other hardware errors. If you are not getting a memory dump generated.  Please determine if a valid memory dump (memory.dmp) file is present. If it is not, please check the following.

·         You may not have enough free space or your page file space may be incorrectly configured. Check for free drive space, page file space.

·         The OS will not have the opportunity to record any information about such a situation. Engage the vendor to review logs and run diagnostics.

o   Check for any automatic restart agents that may be rebooting the box (in an attempt to get the server operational again) while the Operating System is attempting to save the information that we need to diagnose the issue to the dump file. Vendors often have drivers, services, or BIOS settings that can be disabled to allow the dump to be created.

·         Run the memory diagnostics by booting from the Vista DVD.

o   http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/4edd5f80-def2-4d32-965c-116d49fb98721033.mspx

o   Or you can use the standalone Windows Memory Diagnostic with Windows 2003/XP

§  http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

·         If the hardware generates an NMI, Windows will not generate a memory dump unless you enable it in the registry. You can enable NMI dump generation using the following article:

·         927069          How to generate a complete crash dump file or a kernel crash dump file by using an NMI on a Windows-based system

o   http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;927069

·         254649  Overview of memory dump file options for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000

o   http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;254649

·         969028  How to generate a kernel or a complete memory dump file in Windows Server 2008

o   http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;969028