Monday 6 June 2011

SBS 2008 On Dell T300 With DRAC KVM – Reboot to Windows Recovery?

For those that are familiar with how the Dell DRAC Java based KVM works, there are times during a server’s reboots that the DRAC KVM session flashes if we are working in another window with the subsequent loss of keyboard and mouse in the working window.

While running updates on a series of servers over the weekend, one of the servers came up after a reboot into the Windows Recovery window. It had booted from the SBS 2008 DVD.

Now, after a heart stopping few minutes the processes of elimination started.

The first thought was that the RAID array was no good and thus the boot into the WinRE. Just in case, we shut down WinRE and this time watched the Dell POST and BIOS messages.

When it came to the PERC 6/i the RAID controller’s BIOS indicated that all was okay.

Once the entire POST session was complete we saw the following:

Press Any Key to Boot to CD or DVD . . .

We left the KVM session alone and sure enough SBS 2008 began its boot cycle.

Put two and two together and we figured out that the KVM session must have interjected into our other window session _right at the Boot to CD or DVD_ screen.

Go figure. :)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Absoblogginlutely! said...

Looking back, that is pretty funny, but I bet it was heart stopping when it happened. It's even worse if it happens when you are not working on it overnight. Out of curiosity, do you always leave the dvd in the drive or leave the cd as the primary boot order?
Way back when I had to drive about a 100 miles to a client site when the NT4 cd was left in the drive. Diagnosing over the phone did not help as the client was completely unable to tell me *exactly* what was on the screen - describing a mix of a bsod AND the windows install cd.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


We leave the hard drive as primary and the optical as secondary.

We leave the SBS 08 DVD, the SBS 11 USB Flash, or ShadowProtect CD in the server to allow for remote boot and recovery by default.

Thanks for the comment,