Sunday, November 7, 2010

2003 and 2008 server fails to restart.

Some of you may have experienced an issue where Windows Server 2003 and 2008 will install updates automatically and attempt to restart. When the system attempts to restart it hangs.

Now here is the strange part...

You RDP into the server with Console access, and you get the message windows is shutting down and then you get kicked off. (and system restarts correctly)

This only happens when you have a KVM switch connected to the server, and it's currently switched to another system, when you switch it to the server in question then the screen flashes very quickly and then restarts correctly.

The reason this is happening is on the login screen the system is showing a screen saver. For some unknown reason, the screen saver will not close down for the restart unless an active mouse/keyboard is connected.

The fix: After much research, simply disable the logon screen's screen saver. But this is harder to do then you may think. This screensaver is not always easy to disable. But is easy once you know how.

Modify the following registry key to disable the screen saver on the server in question. This should fix your problems and allow windows updates to automatically restart as needed without a mouse/keyboard actively needing to be connected.

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]

Hope someone finds this helpful.