That was interesting.  Tonight I was finishing up rebooting a remote server and got an interesting rebooting experience.

“Please wait for the Windows Modules Installer”:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/pl-PL/windowsserver2008r2general/thread/e213e094-651e-4a41-96a8-d6b0a1cc0c69

The server took longer to come to the point where I could rdp to it so I knew something was up and when I logged into it, it was stuck on “Please wait for the Windows Modules Installer”.  Like the post, it ground on that message for a while and then finally rebooted the machine.  Lovely, says I, I’m going to have to log in via the kvm and see if I can do a repair install or something. 

Fortunately the second time it booted it successfully booted up.  But it does make for a fun, exciting evening of rebooting when you think one is about to get stuck.

 

9 Responses to Please wait for the Windows Modules Installer

  1. I hate rebooting remote servers.
    Especially since most of our clients didn’t want to spend extra for an ILO license… At least there I could follow what’s going on.

    Sigh.

  2. Dean says:

    “I’m going to have to log in via the kvm and see if I can do a repair install or something.”

    You need to stop breathing in that California air. It’s so full of second hand weed smoke that it’s affecting your judgement.

    Don’t you think that it’s a pretty big step to start doing repairs before you know exactly what happened ? What ever happened to rolling up your sleeves and looking at the event logs and running diagnostics ? Maybe there isn’t even anything wrong. Maybe that message is OK but it just never came up before.

  3. bradley says:

    My air is fine here – it’s called air conditioning.

    I searched on that message and found numerous posts of servers that would keep rebooting and not stop.
    If they deleted the pending.xml file the server was toast and had to be rebuilt. The KB that people pointed to – including in some MS forums was one where you had to boot into safe mode and do a restore to last known good boot up.

    Based on various posts, it potentially would be rebooting over and over again to where I couldn’t get in and see an event viewer.

    Ergo my comment that based on what I was seeing in my investigations, I was looking to not have a fun time over a KVM.

    Fortunately it did boot up, but it for sure kicked a second reboot of it’s own accord.

    “Or something” means whatever I found it would take to get this server back operational, including, all the way to a rebuild if it didn’t go well.

    It’s not an okay message.

  4. Dean says:

    “My air is fine here – it’s called air conditioning”

    See, it is affecting you. Air conditioning doesn’t change what’s in the air, except the amount of water, it just cools it. 🙂

  5. Dean says:

    I hope your not going to leave us hanging on the fix for this ?

  6. bradley says:

    It fortunately booted properly the second time. But there was a oh #$#@ moment when I realized I might be rebuilding that server. It kicked a second reboot of it’s own accord.

  7. Dean says:

    So are you saying that there are times when that message IS ok ?

  8. Dean says:

    For what it’s worth, here is what I am trying to get across.

    You searched on that message and came across someones left over pasta sitting in a bowl. You then proceeded to pick up that bowl of left over pasta and throw it at your server. In doing so you almost took a drastic measure for a problem that didn’t even exist. Most of the so called “solutions” from people are incorrect because they don’t know what they are doing. They just throw pasta.

    My theory is that what you found when you searched was a compound thing. That message, “Please wait for the Windows Modules Installer”, which is a normal message, came up at the same time as another problem which caused a reboot loop. So everyone just assumed that it was the cause of the problem. So now you have people who get that message panicking and “fixing” their servers for a non existant problem.

    Just because a part of windows reboots a machine by itself does not mean that there is a problem. It can happen because a certain part of the OS needs to be replaced before another and in between there needs to be a reboot.

  9. bradley says:

    I searched on that message when the system was taking an EXTRAORDINARY amount of time to boot and then it kicked a reboot rather than coming up to a log in screen. I threw no spagetti, I merely started thinking about the ingredients I might need to get out. I’ve RARELY (if at all, now that I think about it) had a server kick a reboot spontaneously a second time during a patching session. This is not normal. The length of the grind was not normal, seeign the message on the screen for as long as it was, was not normal.

    This was not a normal patching session. In the threads above a few kept on rebooting over and over again. Fortunately mine did not. Should it had kicked constant reboots, that’s when I’d need the cooking pot and the wooden spoons.

    I did my normal mental thoughts of what I normally do when there’s a DR potential – got kvm – where’s repair media if I need it – where’s the server located? Do I need to go through a support ticket to do anything to it… etc etc…

    Did I end up having to do anything? No. Did I trust in my DR process that should worst case scenerio that I’d need to rebuild it, I knew I had backups and media and thus could put it back.

    If you know you have absolute ability to rebuild, and you should know this before you start, then you know you can handle the kitchen blowing up. Obviously that’s worst case scenerio that you’d not like to do, so after reading the worst case recap I looked around for other options. Another option was booting into last known good – but for that you needed KVM access – which I did.