I’m stealing your email, John!

On November 15, 2004, in news, by

So I just got a SRX follow up email to close my case and I’m stealing part of John Behneman’s email given that even Incident.org suffered a RAID failure today:  There is nothing worse than a failure of a drive..in my opinion…that sinking feeling you get.  I can troubleshoot my way out of software issues.  You can’t as easily on hardware.  Gary found out today that an old USB driver caused a mess of a Windows Update issue.  Hardware drives are just as icky.  Most of the Dr. Watson issues are third party stuff you know.

SBS 2003 Disaster Recovery Preparation

Your best defense against a system down situation like a BlueScreen is preparation. The following procedure with help get you back up and running by updating your c:\%systemroot%\repair directory with a current backup copy of your system registry and provide a local copy of your other important system state files in a local folder on your Servers system drive.


1. How to backup the SYSTEM STATE in preparation for a future Blue Screen or other calamity.

To update the repair directory do the following on a Windows/SBS 2003 server:


A. Create a folder on a Drive with at least couple of gigabyes of free disk space and name it SYSTEMSTATE

B. Go to Start -> Run and type NTBACKUP and click OK.

C. If this is the first time you have run NTBACKUP you will be in Wizard Mode, please click on the Advanced Mode link.

D. Select the Scheduled Jobs TAB, click on the ADD JOB button, then click NEXT

E. Select “Only back up the System State” option and click NEXT.

F. On the “Type of Backup” screen select COPY and click NEXT button twice.

G. On the Backup Options screen insure that you select APPEND or REPLACE depending on how much free disk-space you have, Click Next.

H. Select LATER on this screen and give the Backup a Name like SYSTEMSTATE then click on the Schedule Button

I. On the SCHEDULE TASK drop down menu select weekly or monthly depending on how often you want backup your system state

J. Next select a START TIME some time in the late evening or early morning went nothing else is scheduled to run.

K. Choose a day when you want the backup to run, a day with no one is around would be perfect, Click OK, Click NEXT.

L. Choose an Account that want the Job to run under, Administrator is the default, you may wish to create a special account for this purpose and add it to the Backup Operators group so that when you change the Administrator password it doesn’t cause your backup jobs to fail. Enter the PASSWORD for the account twice and click OK.

M. Click NEXT, you may be prompted again for the Username and Password click OK, then click FINISH.

N. If you need to modify the Scheduled Backup Job, go to the CONTROL PANEL, SCHEDULED TASKS and select the job you wish to modify. This is also a good place to determine when other jobs are running when implementing step J.


NOTE: If you choose APPEND in step G you will want to archive and delete this file at some point in the future to prevent your backup storage drive from filling up.

2. Another task that can expedite recovering from a blue screen is installing the Recovery Console on the server while it is functioning properly and testing logging into the Recovery Console to verify that you know the correct Recovery Console Password. If you do not know the Recovery Console password during a disaster recovery you are resigned to doing a parallel install of the Operating System in order to repair it.


How to install the Recovery Console



How To Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows 2000



Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console



How to Change the Recovery Console Administrator Password on a Domain Controller



How to add more power to Recovery Console by using Group Policy in Windows XP Professional



Miscellaneous articles regarding the Recovery Console:

How To Use Recovery Console on a Computer That Does Not Start in Windows 2000



How To Use the Recovery Console on a Windows Server 2003-Based Computer That Does Not Start



 How To Troubleshoot Startup Problems in Windows 2000



 How To Troubleshoot Startup Problems in Windows Server 2003



Recovery Console Starts Without Prompting for a Password



HOW TO: Replace a Driver By Using Recovery Console in Windows Server 2003



Description of the SET Command in Recovery Console



Recovery Console Prompts for Administrator Password Even If Administrator Account Has Been Renamed



Description of the BOOTCFG Command and Its Uses



How to Maintain Current Registry Backups in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000



How to Add OEM Mass Storage Drivers to the Windows Recovery Console



P.S.  Yes, you can close the case!  🙂  Now keep in mind I called Texas at about 6 p.m. Sunday night my time and got a VERY coherent, VERY great SBS techy.  How they man that 24×7 is amazing, but they do.  I hate to sound like a broken record, but we try to get to the SBS “family“ for tech issues.  They know us best.  When you call, make sure you say SBS.



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