USB Drive on Server May Affect Rebooting

More and more people are hooking up USB hard drives to their servers to do daily or image backups. A word of caution: if you find that your server will not reboot, it may be due to your USB drive getting in the way. Unplug your USB drive and if the server reboots, then you know the cause.

How do you fix it? Simple … repartition your USB hard drive as an “Extended Partition”.

Chances are your USB drive is formatted as a primary partition, and a primary partition will be scanned as a boot device. Changing it to an Extended Partition will ensure that the system does not consider this drive as a bootable device.

To change your USB drive from a primary to an extended partiton, perform the following steps:

1. Go to Disk Manager (Right click ‘My Computer’, click Manage, click Disk Management)
2. From Drive Manager, right click on the USB drive and click “Delete Partition”
3. Right click again and click “Create Partition”
4. Then click “Extended Partition” and let it default to use the whole disk as the partition
5. Then right click and select “Create Logical Drive” and again let it default to use the entire partition


Term Server & Install vs Execute mode

Most of my SBS sites have a second server that runs as a Terminal Server, since SBS2003 only supports Term Server on SBS in Admin mode, and not Application mode (see KB 828056). At times when in installing a utiliy piece of software, I need to switch the Term Server into “install” mode. KB 186498 talks about the Execute/Install mode.

Awhile back, I wrote a quick little batch file that let’s me switch between install and execute mode, and to query the mode. Perhaps someone else will find this useful!  Just copy and paste the following into a .bat file:

echo off
echo —————————————-
echo Select the Change User command to be run
echo —————————————-
echo 1 = Display current setting (Query)
echo 2 = Install mode
echo 3 = Execute mode
echo 4 = Quit
choice /C 1234QE /N /M Choice:
if %ERRORLEVEL% GEQ 4 goto answer4
goto answer%ERRORLEVEL%

echo Error encountered!
goto START

change user /query
goto START

change user /install
goto START

change user /execute
goto START

echo Exiting script