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Black Screen of Death Server 2008 with Exchange

By Jesse | September 30, 2011

We encountered a server this morning that only booted to a black screen with a white cursor.  It happened to be one of our customer’s corporate exchange servers and nothing seemed to help resolve the issue.  Safe mode resulted in the same behavior, as did last known good configuration.

After some very intensive troubleshooting the issues was tracked down to a service using 99% cpu utilization.   In this case it was the Exchange Search indexer service.   After disabling this service, the machine booted normally again.

How did we disable it if we couldnt boot?  ah… in this case it was a VM image and we happened to have a snapshot of the machine in the live state.   We restored the snapshot, disabled the service, rebooted the server then restored the exchange databases from backup.

 

 

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