Windows Rescue System on a Dedicated Server Use Windows

Please Note:

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For Dedicated Servers acquired after 10/28/2018.

Here you can find out how and why you can use the Windows Rescue System on your Dedicated Windows Server.

The Windows Rescue System allows you to access your server even if it is no longer accessible via the remote desktop connection.

With the help of the Rescue System you can do the following, among other things:

  • Analyze, edit and repair the Windows registry

  • Reset the password of the local Microsoft Windows user accounts

  • Activate/deactivate services

  • Disable an existing personal firewall

  • Delete/Copy/Edit Files

  • Start a command line

  • Debug the server after a crash (bluescreens debugging)

  • Checking and Repairing System Files with the SFC Scan Tool

  • Run CheckDisk under supervision (to repair a corrupt file system)

  • Recover disk partitions, volumes, master boot records (MBR) and partition tables

  • Restore files with File Restore

  • Back up data and copy it to your backup server e.g. via FTP

  • Manually configure TCP/IP

Note

In order to connect to the Windows Rescue system, outgoing connections via port 5900 must be allowed in the server's firewall.

Open Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset

To open the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset:

  • Log in to the Cloud Panel.

  • Activate the desired server in the Infrastructure > Server area.

  • Click Actions > Restart.

  • Activate the Rescue System option and select the desired rescue system. The bit rate of the rescue system (32- or 64-bit) must match the bit rate of the operating system installed on the server.

  • Click Yes. The server will boot into the rescue system.

  • To log into the rescue system on your server, click on the Start VNC Console link. The VNC Console window opens.

  • Select the desired keyboard layout.

  • To access the troubleshooting tools, click Troubleshoot > Microsoft ® Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset.

  • Select the desired operating system.

The Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset opens.

Other Important Programs

In the Windows Rescue System, you will find a number of other useful programs and tool collections in the X:\Apps folder. To access these programs, open Explorer in the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window.

Activate/Deactivate Services with the Registry Editor

Services cannot be activated/deactivated with a MMC SnapIn but must be edited in the registry.

The following example explains this using the Local Security Policy Service.

  • Open the Registry Editor.

  • Select File > Load Hive.

  • In the C:\Windows\system32\config folder, select the System file and click Open.

  • Enter a temporary name, e.g. RegTemp.

  • To load the file, click OK. The registry subtree is displayed under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\RegTemp.

  • Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\RegTemp\ControlSet001\Services\PolicyAgent.

  • Set the registry key 'Start' to 3 (manually):

  • Click on RegTemp.

  • From the File menu, click Unload Hive.

  • To close the registry, click Yes.

If you have configured the local security policies incorrectly, you can ensure that the Local security policies service is not started after the server is rebooted.

Note

Make sure that the boot mode is then set to local again.

The above example can in principle be applied to any service on your Windows server. You only need to know the service name in the registry.

Delete/Copy/Edit Files

The Explorer allows you to delete, copy and edit files. The integrated notepad also includes a text editor.

Backup Files

To back up files in the Windows Rescue System and upload them to your backup server via FTP, proceed as follows:

  • In the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window, open Explorer.

  • Open the directory X:\Apps\7-Zip.

  • Double-click 7zFM.exe.

  • Select the files and folders you want to back up.

  • Click Add.

  • In the Archive: field, select the drive and folder where you want to save the Zip file.

  • Click Open, and then click OK.

  • Open the directory X:\Apps\FileZilla.

  • Double-click filezilla.exe. The Welcome to FileZilla window opens.

  • Click OK.

  • Connect to the desired backup server.

  • Select the file(s) to be backed up and transfer them to your server using Drag & Drop.

Note

For very large files (>1GB) we recommend to split the file to be backed up into smaller files (e.g. 200MB) with 7-Zip before transferring it with FTP. You can reassemble the split files on the backup server with 7-Zip.

Evaluate Debugging Bluescreen

Driver errors, defective memory or configuration problems often lead to a so-called blue screen. With a blue screen, an image of the last memory used is always saved. This so-called Memory Dump File is located under C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP.

The Windows Rescue System includes the Crash Analyzer to analyze MEMORY.DMP files. The Crash Analyzer is part of the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset.

To analyze the memory dump file, start the Crash Analyzer. Then click Next and select the file C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Then follow the menu.

If a driver defect is identified as the cause of the bluescreen, the analysis shows you which driver is responsible for the bluescreen and thus for the crash of the operating system. If this evaluation does not help you, please contact Microsoft Support with the result of the evaluation for further analysis.

Checking the System Files of the Operating System with SFC Scan

You can use SFC Scan to scan and repair system files of the Microsoft Windows operating system. The program uses a repair wizard for this purpose. This repair wizard can automatically repair system files that are corrupted or missing. Alternatively, it can ask you which files to repair.

How to repair the file system of your server with SFC Scan:

  • In the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window, click SFC Scan. The System File Repair Wizard opens.

  • Click Next.

  • Select the Scan and prompt before doing an repairs option and the file system will be checked.

  • Follow the instructions in the menu. If any incorrect files are found, SFC Scan will ask you if you want to repair them.

  • To close the System File Repair Wizard, click Finish.

Uninstalling Hotfixes with Hotfix Uninstall

You can use Hotfix Uninstall to uninstall hotfixes or service packs.

Please Note

Uninstalling hotfixes is at your own risk!

Programs that were installed or updated after you installed a hotfix might stop working correctly if you uninstall a hotfix. For this reason, make sure that a backup is created before using the Uninstall hotfix.

To uninstall a hotfix:

  • In the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window, click Hotfix Uninstall.

  • Click Next.

  • Uninstall the desired hotfix.

  • Click Finish.

Note

If you have any questions about Hotfix Uninstall, please contact Microsoft Support.

Recover Disk Partitions, Volumes, Master Boot Records (MBR), and Partition Tables with Disk Commander

With Disk Commander, you can recover disk partitions, volumes, master boot records (MBR) and partition tables. This is possible by means of the following procedures:

  • Restoring the Master Boot Record

  • Recovery of one or more lost volumes.

  • Restoring partition tables with Disk Commander Backup

  • Saving partition tables in Disk Commander Backup

To recover disk partitions, volumes, master boot records (MBR), and partition tables, proceed as follows:

  • In the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window, click Disk Commander.

  • Click Next.

  • Select the desired procedure.

  • Click Next.

  • Follow the instructions in the menu.

Using Checkdisk to Repair a Corrupted File System

With a damaged file system (dirty filesystem) the so-called dirty bit is set. Simply put, this means that your file system is in an inconsistent state. This happens whenever, for example, changes to the volume are still pending and the server is rebooted before these changes can be applied. This is how you query a DirtyBit:

  • Click the Administrator window. X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe.

  • Enter the following command:
    C:\>chkntfs c: If a dirty bit is set, the following message appears:
    The type of the file system is NTFS.C: is dirty. Checkdisk can repair a damaged file system, but you cannot control a checkdisk immediately after a reboot. Therefore, we recommend that you use the following command to prevent Checkdisk from starting automatically after the next reboot:
    C:\>chkntfs C: /X
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    C:\
    Instead, boot your system into the Windows Rescue system to run Checkdisk there. Before you start Checkdisk, you should make a complete backup of your data. To start Checkdisk:
    C:\>chkdsk C: /F After successfully completing Checkdisk, the next check of the file system should result in:
    C:\>chkntfs C:
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    C: is not dirty.
    C:\

Your file system is now in a consistent state again.