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Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Mike Gale
Advisor

Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

I have a Proliant 400 that has been running NT 4 for years.

Last week it failed on boot:
The screen got to:
OS Loader V 4.01
and showed 8 dots before freezing.

I took this for a corrupted driver loading during the boot sequence.

Anyone have similar experience?

Suggested action?
13 REPLIES
Sung Oh
Respected Contributor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Hi Mike,

What has been done to server prior to this event? Any updates on Firmware or drivers?

you can check your current firmware and drivers list as below.
http://h18004.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/locate/7_1132.html

also, try to recover from NT4 recovery disk to recover the system but not reinstall.

Regareds,

Sung
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Thanks Sung,

Absolutely no updates preceding the situation.

All drivers etc. were, as far as I know, up to date and the OS was patched when updates were issues. (Which stopped a while ago.)

System had firewall and anti-virus running.

My main thrust has been using an XP based recovery tool that boots from CD.

This tool (from Winternals) has not been successful. I gave it what seemed the latest drivers for the NIC and SCSI drives but it didn't work.

This is with a lot of options like Safe Mode (F8), check config, remove CD burner (9200i) etc.

Among the messages received (under XP) have been, after some issues I made changes, grabbed new (same?) drivers, installed under F6...:

1) STOP: 0x0000c5 which looks like a driver writing outside it's area.

2) BAD_POOL_HEADER STOP 0x00000019 which might be about an NTFS issue (??)

3) Boot freezes and CD writer light activity seen, seemed wrong.

4) Boot gives a 601 Diskette Controller error and a 162 System options not set.

5) Boot gets into XP screen, then can't find HDD, then reboots after a few minutes.

After some of those disabled CD Writer.

6) There was weirdness when installing SCSI drivers (F6), it seem to fail when reading the drivers from floppy.

7) After all this a message when booting from hard drive "Error loading operating system" which implies that the MBR can't locate a boot sector. At this point I'm pretty much flummoxed.

Overall I assume that a single thing has gone wrong. The wide variety of messages may be due to the setup of the XP recovery tool but ...

I haven't worked at these issues for years, so I've forgotten what I knew and this has me stumped. (Is it a corrupted file? HDD problem? SCSI controller? ...)
Sung Oh
Respected Contributor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Hi Mike,

Looks like you have done many different tests to get to where you are now. I would suggest that you start with HDD and work your way up to SCSI controller.

The HDD MBR might have gone wrong to begin with and if you have another system that you can access then you could install the HDD to another system and try to mount the file systems. And run check disk utility to test HDD geometry.

On SCSI side you can use different port to start. Your system must have extra SCSI port on board.

if everything does not works, try load bootabel CD(WIN95, WIN2000, WINNT, etc) and check the hardware configuration.

Also check BIOS for any changes.

Regards,

Sung
Regards,

Sung
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Thanks very much for that.

The behaviour of the machine has changed.

1) The clock had rest when I booted this morning.

2) Now I get a "non-system disk" message when I attempt to boot from the HDD.

I hope to set aside some time later in the day to explore the options you suggest.
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

That is clock had "reset".
Sung Oh
Respected Contributor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Hi Mike,

Also you can try SmartStart CD and run "Run System Erase Utility" to clean the system. After erase has done to system, you could try to configure the system.

Regards,
Sung
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Hi Sung,

I've now run some tests with different SCSI ports. There is an unexpected observation:

Twice I got nonsense text on screen where it should identify SCSI device 0 (HDD).
One time it started ID-00 then went into nonsense characters, the other time it was all nonsense characters.

The next boot (no Setup run) and the SCSI listing is completely readable.

(The clock is still running fine, see previous.)

In all cases I later get the "Non-system disk..." error from the HDD.

This is starting to look as though the integrated SCSI controller might have problems.

On your suggestion to nuke the HDD, I will go for not doing that unless it's inevitable.
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Next I'm thinking of testing the drive on another machine.

I've not done this before so I'd appreciate some confirmation.

The drive is (wide) Ultra2
the other machine has SCSI 320.

I believe I can reset the ID then plug into the other machine.

Any issues I need to be aware of?
chongkan
Trusted Contributor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Hi Mike,

Try to run the ADU (Array Diagnostic Utillity ), save the report to a report.txt file and then process it with the tool attached. (replace extension to .exe)

I've made this tool for my personal use but it might be useful to you too. The only thing is that I havent test it with more than one array controller with drives attached to it.

On the output screen look for:

Cammand timeouts, parity errors, bus faults or predictive fails.

Any of this may indicate a posible SCSI backplane or cabling issue.

If so, reseat the SCSI backplane and cabling, look for any broken cable or loose connection on the SCSI system.

Then try to boot as usual, if still not booting, the problem is the drive or some corrupted file like you suggested.
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

Thanks Chongkan,

I've had the system apart for a few days.

Does the system have to boot to use the ADU, or can I easily run it from a CD / floppy?
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

I removed the SCSI HDD and installed in another machine.

On that other machine I found the drive worked. There were ten system driver files that were corrupted but checkdisk was able to recover them.

These were the ten last drivers in an alphabetical list in the ...\drivers directory (NT 4).

There was also a single *.tmp file, first in the directory list similarly damaged and unreachable from the filing system.

There was some issue with a file that I think is associated with anti-virus updates (McAfee) but no other files appeared to be affected.

Does those files indicate any particular sort of failure?

On re-installation I get a "non-system disk" and "disk read error" message so still not working.

I guess the problem may be:
1) MBR / Boot sector issue
2) Cable (though I've tried 3 alternate port arrangements).
3) SCSI / multifunction card
4) Mother board.

At this stage it may be that my only available option is to check MBR and use one of those repair tools. Any suggestions about which to try?
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

I ran a product on the machine that checks, and saves to floppy, MBR details etc.. (This was an evaluation version so should not have written anything to the disc.)

After that (and a few days shut-down) the machine started first time. Wish I knew exactly why, the previous start bombed.

Time will tell if it keeps working well, but so far it looks good (seemingly only two damaged files).

So it runs with the NTFS of Windows 2003 (presumably) under NT.
Mike Gale
Advisor

Re: Proliant 400 experiencing boot problems

The problem seems resolved, see details in thread.