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Basic Troubleshooting of Windows 2008 Server

Created: 12 May 2009 • Updated: 07 Jul 2009
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When it comes to troubleshooting 2008 Servers, there are some basic steps that can be performed based on problems that have been discovered. This article will cover some general steps when troubleshooting is required.

Boot Menu Options

Repair your Computer

Along with the options that are usually presented when you press F8 key, - the new option that has been introduced is Repair your Computer, provided if you have installed Windows RE locally to the server.

Safe Mode

This option starts the server with fewer drivers and services that are running on the server. This option is usually used when you are facing some issues with device drivers. As the server boots the drivers are also loaded on the screen. The list of drivers that are loaded during this process is CD, and hard disk. Services are event log, plug and play, RPC, WMI, and cryptographic.

Safe Mode with Networking

It's like safe mode but it has the drivers for networking support. It also loads network drivers along with networking services.

Safe Mode With Command Prompt

This is command line interface if you want to run some commands with cmd.

(5)Enable Boot Logging

It is used for debugging, it will show which drivers load and failed. It is written in ntbtlog.txt file which is in windows folder.

Enable Low Resolution Video

Useful to keep the resolution 640*480 mode. Useful to troubleshoot graphical resolutions that are set higher.

Last Known Good Configuration

If you made any changes to the server and then that server is not logging you into Windows, try this option. This is useful if you have installed any drivers and after reboot you are unable to login.

Directory Services Restore Mode

This is used only in Active Directory servers. Used to restore AD using methods (Authoritative and Non-authoritative.)

Debugging Mode

This mode is widely used by developers.

Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure

As the name suggests, for any errors observed the server will reboot and you can control that with this option.

Disable Driver Signature Enforcement

With this option you can allow non signed drivers to load in server system; however the recommendation would be to use the signature drivers wherever possible.

(12)Starts Windows Normally

If by mistake, you press F8 and want to start Windows in normal mode than please press this option.

What is Windows Recovery Environment?

Actually RE is the part of Windows 2008 Media, to use this feature boot from CD. You need to install and repair your computer. It checks for integrity of hardware, drivers, etc.

Tools Section

Reliability Monitor

It has been introduced in Windows 2008 Server; it indicates system performance based on hardware, windows and other failures.

Event Viewer

Event viewers can give to lots of information. There are three critical logs that are available in 2008 server:

  • Application Logs - Where application related information is written
  • Security Logs - Where security information is noted down
  • System log - Where system components write the vent for E.g. hardware

MSconfig

This utility provides system configuration information, you can use which mode (e.g.-diag.) Mode needs to be used for troubleshooting.