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Verifier.exe on start/run

Windows Server 2008 domain controller blue screens on startup with STOP: c00002e2

Earlier in the year, I had a hardware issue which brought down one of my Hyper-V servers (and my virtual web server hosting this website along with it). When I finally resolved the issue (I had a faulty hard disk), I had to re-install Windows Server 2008 on the Hyper-V server and then bring all of my virtual machines back online. I wrote down my resolution steps, and now have finally had some time to share this.

I used Virtual Machine Manager 2008 to add the rebuilt server back in as a library server, and then copied my virtual machine files in to the Virtual Library share so that it would pick up the machines.

Each of my virtual hosts have two disks – One for the operating system, and one for the data. This meant that after I had finished creating the “new” VM using the .vhd containing the OS for each machine, I had to go back and attach the data .vhd as well.

It seems that when you do this (for whatever reason) the disk is not brought back online automatically. As I have my Active Directory database stored on my data drive, when the domain controller attempts to access the database, it can’t so it blue screens and then restarts. I don’t believe that this is the behaviour on Windows Server 2003 machines, so I am assuming it’s either the behaviour for Windows Server 2008 or maybe it’s just the Server Core install of Windows Server 2008.

In a nutshell, playing around with the virtual disks for a Windows Server 2008 domain controller can cause a lot of grief. If you ever get a BSoD with this message – “STOP: c00002e2 Directory Services could not start because of the following error: A device attached to the system is not functioning. Error Status: 0xc0000001. Please shutdown this system and reboot into Directory Services Restore Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.” – this just might be the reason.

EDIT (04/04/10): I have revisited this article as I ran in to another situation when moving a virtual machine recently. As F.H.R. stated in the comments below, Windows puts the secondary disk offline. If you bring the disk back online using diskpart or Disk Management, you might still have the same issues.

If you do still have a blue screen after bringing the disk back online, ensure that the disk is initialised. If you are using diskpart, select the disk and then use the command “attrib disk clear readonly” which should bring your domain controller back to life.

If you still have issues, follow the rest of this article.

In order to resolve this issue, I presented a new VHD to the domain controller and booted in to Directory Services Restore Mode. Once I was in there, I was able to move my Active Directory database across to this new disk, swap the drive letters around, and then restart.

I’m not sure why this is necessary, but I can tell you that 7 months later I have used this process a few times when playing around with my domain controllers, and with 100% success.