So I usually keep my virtual servers all nice and backed up just in case something dies. My production servers are backed up nightly, databases more frequently…. You get the drill. Backup or die.

Today I died. I have a server that I reserve for IT use. Holds some tools that scan my network, keep an inventory and host an internal blog for notes and whatnot. I don’t back that one up. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I figured it wasn’t REALLY production. Not THAT important. When it died, I sure realized how important it became. Enough of berating myself. On the the issue!

So the server rebooted itself. One of my other monitoring tools (nagios) let me know it went down, then came up, then went down….

When I attempted to connect, nothing. no website access, no RDP. The console through Hyper-V manager didn’t fly either. I’d see the message “Windows module installer is loading” followed by “Preparing to configure Windows”. Then the server would reboot. Rinse repeat ad nauseum.

I googled around some and found a number of faux fixes that didn’t work for me. mostly boot into safe mode and remove the offending hotfix. No dice. Then I remembered that I had downloaded Microsoft Deployment and Recovery tools from Technet. I gave that a shot. The automated recovery tools didn’t work. So I loaded up the System manager from the tools menu and just disabled the windows module installer. Low and behold it worked. It did load once, then reboot though. I quickly backed up my databases and files and got the heck out of dodge. Data saved!

Just a note, I was able to attach the .vhd file to another functioning server to get direct access to the file structure. Its just SO much easier to do database backups from the tools themselves than moving the flat files.