2K3SP2 Hangs on preparing network connections

By spacejock_1 ·

I've been racking my brains on this one for a while. This happened not long ago and forced a complete reinstall of the server, which fixed the issue but it's cropped up again.

When I reboot the server, the system hangs at "preparing network connections" for a while, and eventually presents the error "at least one service failed to start" (paraphrased). I can boot into safe mode (but not safe mode with networking) as well as Directory Services Restore Mode.

The VERY interesting thing is that I usually leave a continuous ping going so I can see when the server comes up. I noticed that the server responds to pings for a very short time, during the boot screen and before the initial attempt at a logon screen. After that it stops responding.

After perusing log after log and searching google (and here), I think I have an idea as to what is going on: something is causing DNS to fail to start correctly, which causes AD to fail, rather ungracefully. This makes the whole machine hang "forever". But I can't find any indication as to what it is.

Other notes: with no NIC active (mobo NIC deactivated in BIOS) the system boots, but it takes a bit and still presents the error message. The only service that I can see that has actually failed to start is the DNS server.
The system is DC, DNS, DHCP, and a few other apps server for the network (only one server, very small network).
DNS is active-directory integrated, accepting changes only from AD-authorized sources.
An initial thought was that I had a bad NIC; I replaced it and the system booted almost immediately. However, upon resetting the NIC to the proper IP and rebooting, problems resumed.
In DSRM, I've noticed that some of the zones in my DNS file are missing. Specifically the ones that pertain to SRV records for the domain (!). Could this be as a result of AD failing to start properly, given that it's AD-integrated?
In DSRM, DNS server service starts properly with no issues.

Any help here would be appreciated. I'm at wits' end for a Sunday afternoon.


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by spacejock_1 In reply to 2K3SP2 Hangs on preparing ...

Removal of AD and de-integrating DNS from it fixes the problem. The second I reinstall AD, however, the problem comes back (even with a non-integrated DNS).

NB: The ping issue was caused by the software firewall. Duh.


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NVidia Integrated Graphics?

by kevin In reply to Update

Hi Spacejock, I had a similar problem with the one or more services error, and it was actually just the NVidia display panel trying to initiate (Integrated nvidia graphics on the server in question) but the display had defaulted to No Hardware Acceleration (Display Properties->Settings->Advanced->Troubleshoot->Hardware Acceleration)

That wont help your main issue, but maybe it will alleviate your service failure warning?

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Nope, ATI...

by spacejock_1 In reply to NVidia Integrated Graphic ...

It's actually ATI integrated graphics. I was able to solve the problem using the tried-and-true OS reload; definitely not the preferred solution but I was out of time.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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