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MS Server 2003 won't boot up!

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Got a MS 2003 Server that had a routine update and reboot which didn’t seem to sit well with Safeboot encryption because after the reboot came the error:

“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: system32\drivers\safeboot.sys”

Thinking it was an issue with safeboot they got the repair floppy and was able to run the removal tool of safeboot. But once that was completed, and after a reboot the same error message came back! It came up on the screen at the point where the safeboot app would normally start up.

The server couldn’t get booted into safe mode, but was able to boot up with a blank floppy, and at the “non-system disk” message, ejected the floppy and hit F8 which got them in. Then they could get into Advanced Options and select either Safe Mode or Last Known Good Configuration, but when they were selected that same “safeboot.sys” error popped up again.

The MS Server 2003 CD was found which can be booted from to get into recovery console. Would that help in this situation? Will a repair help since safeboot.sys is not a Windows file?

Safeboot.sys has to be getting called from somewhere within the O/S, and even though Safeboot might be gone, I guess it was never removed from within the O/S, and Windows doesn't know it’s gone and is looking for that sys file.

I’ve been told the server build is… drive 0 is the O/S, 1 is the mirror, 2 and 3 the data, and 4 and 5 the hot swaps. I imagine that the data is still on the other drives (and assumingly now not encrypted) but any insight on how the data can be obtained, or fix the O/S to get back to the data?

I truly appreciate your time and any suggestions!



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Any thoughts out there?

If safeboot.sys is getting called at boot up, is there a way to remove it so it isn't?

A friend was talking about WinPE... is that of any help here?



Also, I would like to confirm something. I booted with the Win Server 2003 CD and went through the options... I see that there is a C and D partition (assuming C is the O/S and D is the data), but I can't seem to find the Repair option.

I select the C partition but it gives me the options:

Format the partition using the NTFS file system (Quick)

Format the partition using the FAT file system (Quick)

Format the partition using the NTFS file system

Format the partition using the FAT file system

Leave current file system intact (no change)

I'm not sure if "Leave current file system intact (no change)" is my "Repair"? I just didn't see anything for a Repair during the steps.

I don't want to run "Leave current file system intact (no change)" and have it do something I don't want to the O/S, since I would like to initially find a way to remove safeboot.sys.

Do I just not have the "Repair" option??

Any thoughts? Thanks again

Edited by sysadmin99

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Since no answer, I'll give some thoughts.

Create a PE disk. Load reg hives and look "in the usual places" for any keys calling safeboot at startup. I recommend UBCD4WIN. It comes with some nice tools.

Is this a system you inherited (it seems)? I.E. you're the new IT guy? If you're on friendly terms with the last guy, I'd ask (obvious, I know, but I had to say it).

I just checked -- this is a file related to some McAffee s$i+ware product, so the last IT guy deserved to be let go :whistle:

As it turns out from what I see, my solution is ideal -- nuke the key entries from the machine's registry with a PE disk.


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Another tidbit - google-searched "safeboot.sys"...

"The SAFEBOOT.SYS is part of the HP Security Suite. There are two ways to

solve your problem.

Deinstall the Drive Encrytion and Security Suite" (etc...)

(...and won't help)

info only (probably, but may help)

another (HP ref. in "solution", but won't help you)

another reference -

"Safeboot.sys file description

Productname: SafeBoot Security System

Description: SafeBoot Encryption Driver

Company: SafeBoot International

File size: Various"

""Leave current file system intact (no change)" is my "Repair"?" <----yes

FYI - XP In-Place Upgrade (leaving OS intact; works with 2K3...);en-us;315341

(note - better slipstream latest Service pack into CD on a 2k/xp/2k3 box and burn to ensure not halted with "this is an older version" message - don't attempt slipstream on Vista or Win7)

Otherwise, as stated above.


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