Registry Corruption and Power Cuts

Server 2008 Still Has Problems with Power Interruptions

Winter in Colorado can be brutal, and this past week we’ve seen some low temperatures, high winds, and (partly as a result) some power cuts. In fact there was one at my own office yesterday. The power was out for most of the day. The servers in my office are on battery backup, and I performed an “orderly shutdown” of each of them when the lights went out. Even so, upon reboot of one of my Longhorn systems, I was informed by Windows that the system could not start properly because of Registry damage. This was a bit of a mystery, as I had been able to properly shut down the server before the battery backup unit ran out of juice. I speculated that perhaps when the power went down, the battery backup unit allowed a dip or a surge to get through to this particular machine, perhaps during a Registry write operation. Who knows. In any case, I had some distinctly unpleasant flashbacks to the old Windows 95 days, when the “damaged Registry” message was disconcertingly commonplace. And the first thought that came to my mind was: how on earth are we still having to deal with this issue, almost 15 years later? The Registry still appears to be as much of a delicate flower as it was when Mark Wilkins and I wrote the Dummies book about it in the Windows 9x era. By now one would have thought it would be up-armored a little bit. Anyway, safe mode boot didn’t work so getting into the recovery environment was the next step. Recovering from a recent system state backup using Microsoft’s server backup tool was ultimately effective, if decidedly more complicated than it needs to be. (Server 2008’s recovery environment does not include the handy Startup Repair tool that Microsoft provides with Vista.) The moral of this story: Even if you have your servers on battery backup, make sure you take a couple of hours every now and then to go through the procedure for recovering a Server 2008 system that doesn’t want to boot. This is an area that Microsoft has neglected for many years and it’s still a pain in the backside.


Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022