Export (0) Print
Expand All

How Emergency Management Services Works

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

How Emergency Management Services Works

In this section

Emergency Management Services is a technology in Windows Server 2003 that supports remote management and system recovery for servers that are not accessible through an in-band connection. An in-band connection is a connection between two computers that relies on a standard network, such as a local area network (LAN) or the Internet, and on standard remote administration tools, such as Remote Desktop or Telnet. You can use this type of connection to remotely manage computers only if both the local and remote computers are in a functional state and accessible on the network.

Emergency Management Services redirects text output to the out-of-band connection. An out-of-band connection is a nonstandard connection between two computers, such as a serial port connection, and is useful when a remote server cannot access the network or is not fully functional. Emergency Management Services provides a command-line environment for managing a server through the out-of-band port. The capability of redirecting text output is also known as console redirection.

Emergency Management Services consists of the following three components:

  • Console Redirection

  • Special Administration Console (SAC) environment

  • !Special Administration Console (!SAC) environment

Emergency Management Services also supports headless operation for computers that have the appropriate out-of-band components. (Headless operation refers to computers that function without a local display or input devices, such as a keyboard or mouse.)

The following sections provide an in-depth view of how Emergency Management Services works in an optimal environment. An optimal environment for Emergency Management Services is defined as follows:

  • Emergency Management Services is one part of a complete management solution that includes in-band as well as out-of-band technologies. To support this solution, you have selected and configured the hardware that will allow you to access and manage the server at all times.

  • Your system firmware supports console redirection and the Serial Port Console Redirection (SPCR) table. If it does not, you must enable and configure Emergency Management Services manually.

  • You have configured your hardware and Emergency Management Services to use the highest baud rate possible. This gives you the best performance, and also prevents a slow text-mode setup process.

  • If you are using Emergency Management Services with a serial port, you are using a null modem cable with carrier detect.

  • If you choose to use a service processor, purchase one that supports Emergency Management Services. A service processor can provide additional management functionality that complements that of Emergency Management Services.

  • You have configured your server to restart automatically if a Stop error occurs. This allows the server to restart without requiring you to use Emergency Management Services or the power switch to reboot it manually.

  • Your hardware and firmware support the same terminal type that Emergency Management Services uses, preferably VT-UTF8 or VT100+. To prevent incompatibility, you must at least select hardware and firmware that support VT100. If the terminal types are not the same, it can be extremely difficult to send the proper command escape sequences.

  • You have limited physical access to your server. You protect sensitive areas such as racks, computer labs, server farms, and data centers by locking them, choosing hardware with built-in security features, and setting up a separate network dedicated exclusively to traffic management.

Terms and Definitions

Before you review the Emergency Management Services architecture, it is helpful to understand the terms associated with this technology. The following is a brief introduction to the three components of Emergency Management Services and a glossary of terms associated with each component.

Console Redirection

Emergency Management Services provides console redirection, or the ability to send and receive character-mode output or input by using the out-of-band port. This functionality enables you to manage a remote server that would otherwise be inaccessible. For example, a server that supports console redirection is able to receive keyboard input from a managing client computer and to send character-mode output back to the client computer by using the out-of-band port. If you enable console redirection, you can still use local input and display devices. Therefore, it is possible for a computer running Windows Server 2003 to process in-band, out-of-band, and local console input and output (I/O) simultaneously.

Console redirection uses a character-mode display instead of a graphical user interface (GUI) for the following reasons:

  • Hardware compatibility. A character-mode display provides compatibility with different types of communication media, from relatively slow serial port connections to higher speed technologies. The serial port is the most commonly used out-of-band device.

  • Software compatibility. A character-mode display simplifies interoperability issues with different types of terminals and terminal emulation software, including those running on other operating systems such as UNIX.

You can use Emergency Management Services in conjunction with hardware that increases your ability to access a remote server through out-of-band means. Windows Server 2003, hardware integrated into the motherboard, or add-in devices can provide the following types of console redirection:

  • Firmware console redirection. System firmware that supports console redirection provides for remote management before Windows Server 2003 starts. Types of firmware include basic input/output system (BIOS) for x86-based computers and Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) for Itanium-based systems.

  • Emergency Management Services console redirection. Windows Server 2003 components, such as the Windows loader (Ntldr), support console redirection.

  • Service processor console redirection. If your server includes a specialized hardware component called a service processor, the service processor can also provide console redirection. For more information about service processors, see “Service Processors” later in this section.

Firmware Console Redirection

Your computer’s firmware might support console redirection and can work in conjunction with Emergency Management Services to give you greater control over a remote server. Typically, firmware for Itanium-based computers supports console redirection. For x86-based computers, contact your computer manufacturer for information about firmware console redirection functionality. If your x86-based computer does not support firmware console redirection, you might be able to obtain a firmware upgrade.

You can use firmware console redirection to remotely manage a server from restart until the initial load of Windows Server 2003. Without firmware console redirection, you cannot manage your computer remotely until Windows Server 2003 starts.

Note

  • A service processor can provide console redirection before Windows Server 2003 starts, even without firmware console redirection.

With firmware console redirection, you can perform the following remote management tasks before Windows Server 2003 starts.

  • Remotely view startup progress. You can remotely view computer status before Windows Server 2003 starts, such as power-on self-test (POST) information, disk-related error messages, and other text displayed by the computer’s firmware. A computer that has firmware console redirection typically allows the POST to complete successfully without an attached keyboard, mouse, or display device.

  • Remotely view and edit firmware settings. You can remotely access the configuration program provided by the computer firmware to change hardware settings. For example, you can remotely disable integrated peripherals or change the boot device order. Without firmware console redirection, you must make these types of changes locally.

  • Remotely view and respond to Pre-Boot eXecution Environment prompts. If a server’s firmware supports the Pre-Boot eXecution Environment (PXE) standard, you can use firmware console redirection to remotely view and respond to the F12 network boot prompt.

  • Remotely view and respond to the boot from CD prompt. With firmware console redirection, you can remotely respond to the Press Any Key to Boot from CD prompt when starting your server by using the CD for Windows Server 2003.

Emergency Management Services Console Redirection

If Emergency Management Services is enabled when Windows Server 2003 starts, the operating system assumes the responsibility for console redirection from the firmware. The ability to redirect console I/O to the out-of-band port is built into the Windows Server 2003 components listed in the following table.

Components that Support Emergency Management Services Console Redirection

 

Windows Server 2003 Component or Feature Description

Windows loader for x86-based computers (Ntldr)

The Windows Server 2003 operating system loader. When Ntldr is running, you can remotely view and select the Recovery Console or, on x86-based multiple-boot computers, which operating system to start.

Windows kernel (Ntoskrnl.exe)

The core (also called the kernel) of the Windows Server 2003 operating system. Code that runs as part of the kernel does so in privileged processor mode and has direct access to system data and hardware. The Windows kernel supports console redirection, which enables you to remotely view system information during normal operation, or remotely view Stop message text when a system problem occurs.

Recovery Console

A command-line environment that enables you to perform advanced troubleshooting and maintenance tasks, such as disabling a driver that you suspect is causing a startup problem.

Command Prompt (Cmd.exe)

A character mode command shell user interface that provides an environment for running commands and applications.

Text-mode Setup (including the CD-ROM Setup loader)

The initial portion of the Windows Server 2003 installation process when Setup displays character mode prompts and status information text. During text-mode setup, files are copied from the distribution folder to the local hard disk.

Startrom.com at 9600 baud for x86-based computers

Starts the x86-based Remote Installation Services (RIS) process. This file is downloaded and run by the RIS client to initiate the operating system installation procedure. Only special versions of Startrom.com that use 9600 baud support Emergency Management Services console redirection. For more information about Startrom.com, see “Remote Installation Services” later in this chapter.

Emergency Management Services does not provide console redirection for the components listed in the following table.

Components that Do Not Support Emergency Management Services Console Redirection

 

Windows Server 2003 Component Description

The Press Any Key to Boot from CD prompt

This prompt appears when you start your system by using the Windows Server 2003 operating system CD.

GUI-mode Setup

Emergency Management Services processes only character-mode input and output. Emergency Management Services cannot display GUI-mode graphics, such as windows and dialog boxes, and it cannot redirect mouse input. You can, however, perform Special Administration Console (SAC) commands and monitor setup logs during GUI-mode setup.

Startrom.com at baud rates greater than 9600

Startrom.com supports Windows Emergency Management Services console redirection only at 9600 baud.

Operating system boot menu for Itanium-based computers

For Itanium computers, the EFI boot manager (IA64ldr), not the Windows loader, displays the list of operating systems installed on the system. To remotely view and select boot manager menu items on Itanium-based systems, you must enable firmware console redirection.

Special Administration Console

Special Administration Console (SAC), a kernel-mode component, is the primary Emergency Management Services command-line environment. You can use SAC to remotely manage a server through its out-of-band port when Windows runs in GUI mode.

SAC is available early in the startup process. You can use it to manage a server during normal system operation, safe mode, and the GUI phase of Windows Server 2003 setup. When Emergency Management Services is enabled, SAC is always active as long as the kernel is running. SAC is a separate environment from the Windows Server 2003 command prompt (Cmd.exe). You can remotely monitor the status of a server or troubleshoot problems by using terminal software to access SAC.

You can use SAC to perform the following remote tasks when the operating system is functioning normally:

  • Gather server information, such as computer name and IP address.

  • Obtain a list of the services and applications running on the computer.

  • Restart or shut down a server as part of planned maintenance.

  • Change the system time and date.

You can use SAC to perform the following troubleshooting tasks:

  • Raise or lower the priority of a process, or end a process that is consuming excessive processor time or other system resources. By establishing an out-of-band connection to SAC, you can continue to manage a server even when low system resources have caused it to become unresponsive to in-band management tools.

  • Restart or shut down a server that has stopped responding to in-band commands and tools.

  • View or change a server’s Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networking information to resolve issues, such as problems caused by a duplicate IP address.

  • Maintain communication with a server during network outages. For example, you might want to verify that a connectivity issue is caused by a problem that affects the primary network rather than by a problem with the server hardware or a driver.

  • Generate a list of drivers for diagnostic purposes.

  • View setup logs to determine the cause of a problem that prevents Windows Server 2003 installation from completing.

Note

  • SAC usage is not safeguarded by password and logon requirements. You must secure physical access to computers running Emergency Management Services by placing the appropriate restrictions on all connecting terminals.

!Special Administration Console

!Special Administration Console (!SAC) is an abbreviated version of SAC that accepts input and sends output through the out-of-band port. !SAC is a separate entity from SAC and the Windows Server 2003 command prompt. !SAC can become available while a computer is running Windows Server 2003 in normal mode, safe mode, or the GUI-mode phase of Windows Server 2003 setup. Unlike SAC, you cannot invoke !SAC directly. After a specific failure point is reached, Emergency Management Services components make the transition from SAC to !SAC.

!SAC provides a subset of SAC commands and enables you to perform a limited set of tasks, including the following:

  • Remotely view Stop message text.

  • Restart the computer.

  • View an abbreviated log of loaded drivers and some kernel events.

  • Obtain computer identification information.

Glossary of Emergency Management Services Terms

The following terms are used to describe the components and processes of Emergency Management Services.

Bootcfg

Configures, queries, or changes Boot.ini file settings.

Console redirection

Sending and receiving character-mode output or input by using the out-of-band port. A server that supports console redirection is able to receive keyboard input from a managing client computer and send character-mode output back to the client computer by using the out-of-band port. Enabling console redirection does not prevent you from using local input and display devices. Therefore, it is possible for a computer running Windows Server 2003 to process in-band, out-of-band, and local console input and output (I/O) simultaneously.

GUI mode

The portion of Setup that uses a graphical user interface (GUI).

in-band remote management tools

Microsoft Management Console (MMC), Systems Management Server, Telnet, Terminal Services Remote Desktop for Administration, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Service processor

A micro controller that operates independently of the computer processor(s) and operating system and uses its own custom firmware. Service processors are typically integrated into the motherboard or a PCI adapter.

Setup logs

A program used by Remote Installation Services (RIS) that is the first file downloaded to the client using Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP). Startrom.com is a small program that displays the Press F12 for Network Service Boot prompt. If F12 is pressed within three seconds, the Client Installation Wizard (OSChooser) is downloaded to begin the remote installation process.

Stop error

A serious error that affects the operating system and that could place data at risk. The operating system generates an obvious message, a screen with the Stop error, rather than continuing on and possibly corrupting data. Also called a fatal system error.

terminal concentrator

A network-capable management device that consolidates serial access to multiple servers. Terminal concentrators have at least one Ethernet port that you can connect to a primary or secondary network and multiple serial ports for connecting to the managed servers. The remote management client connects to the terminal concentrator through the Ethernet port and the managed servers connect to the terminal concentrator with null modem cables.

VT-UTF8

A character set for protocols evolving beyond the use of ASCII. The UTF-8 protocol provides for support of extended ASCII characters and translation of UCS-2, an international 16-bit Unicode character set. UTF-8 enables a far greater range of names than can be achieved using ASCII or extended ASCII encoding for character data.

unattend.txt and Winnt.sif

The Unicode-aware terminal type, based off of a VT-100 terminal type, that is used for transmitting data over an EMS connection.

Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART)

An integrated circuit (silicon chip) that is commonly used in microcomputers to provide asynchronous communication. The UART provides parallel-to-serial conversion of data to be transmitted and serial-to-parallel conversion of data received.

universal serial bus (USB)

An external bus that supports Plug and Play installation. Using USB, you can connect and disconnect devices without shutting down or restarting your computer. You can use a single USB port to connect up to 127 peripheral devices, including speakers, telephones, CD-ROM drives, joysticks, tape drives, keyboards, scanners, and cameras. A USB port is usually located on the back of your computer near the serial port or parallel port.

Emergency Management Services Architecture and Interfaces

The following table describes the three components of Emergency Management Services.

Emergency Management Services Components

 

Component Description

Special Administration Console (SAC)

The primary Emergency Management Services command-line environment hosted by Windows Server 2003 operating systems. It is separate from the Windows Server 2003 command-line environment and provides different functionality.

!Special Administration Console (!SAC)

An auxiliary Emergency Management Services command-line environment that is hosted by Windows Server 2003 operating systems. Like SAC it accepts input and sends output through the out-of-band port. !SAC is a separate entity from both SAC and the Windows Server 2003 command-line environment.

Special Administration Console Helper service (Sacsvr)

A user-mode service you can use to create Windows command-prompt channels when you type cmd at the SAC prompt. With the command-prompt channels, you can use in-band tools on a remotely administered server when an in-band connection is not available.

Emergency Management Services Physical Structures

This section describes the types of hardware and software you might choose to implement Emergency Management Services on a remote server.

Out-of-Band Components

Depending on the out-of-band management tasks you must perform, you might need to use Emergency Management Services in conjunction with out-of-band hardware components. You can manage nearly every operating system state by using only Emergency Management Services and a serial port. However, if you need to manage many servers or need to manage servers in situations when the operating system is not functioning, you need supporting firmware and hardware components. These components can support situations ranging from power up to operating system initialization to unresponsive servers. You might need any combination of the following components.

Out-of-Band Ports

Serial ports are the most common out-of-band hardware interface, but service processors sometimes provide alternative methods. For example, some service processors provide an RJ-45 Ethernet port for out-of-band connections. In addition, advances in technology are opening up new possibilities for out-of-band ports. For more information about types of out-of-band ports, see “Service Processors” later in this section.

To be compatible with Emergency Management Services, out-of-band ports must meet the following requirements.

  • Exclusive access. The Windows Server 2003 operating system must have exclusive access to the out-of-band port. Instead of requesting input and output operations from the Windows I/O Manager, Emergency Management Services writes information directly to Universal Asynchronous/Receive Transmit (UART) hardware.

  • Single out-of-band port. Emergency Management Services supports only one out-of-band management port. Windows Server 2003 does not support a configuration in which one out-of-band port is used to send data and another one is used to receive incoming data.

  • Continuous availability. Emergency Management Services requires that the out-of-band port be available at all times, including when the Windows loader is running, the operating system is fully loaded, and when a Stop error occurs. Furthermore, the device must not be powered off while the system is running.

Serial Ports

The serial port, which is also referred to as a COM port, is the default out-of-band device for Emergency Management Services. This is because serial ports have the following characteristics.

  • Universality. At least one serial port exists on most computers.

  • Simplicity and cost effectiveness. Traditional serial ports use common 16550 or 16450 UART integrated circuits. UART interfaces are standard equipment on most motherboards. Hardware manufacturers can also incorporate inexpensive 16550 or 16450 UART interfaces into add-on adapters that provide out-of-band ports.

  • Hardware flexibility. UARTs can be logically located at I/O addresses other than those traditionally reserved for COM1 or COM2 (provided that Emergency Management Services is properly configured to use the corresponding hardware settings). Serial ports enable external connectivity to other serial devices such as terminal concentrators, which act as network interfaces to out-of-band hardware.

  • Interpretability. Several well-defined serial port communication standards exist, enabling interoperability with terminal hardware and software running on operating systems other than Windows, such as UNIX. The computer’s firmware initializes serial ports early in the startup process and serial ports are detected and usable before Windows Server 2003 starts.

Note

  • When you use Emergency Management Services with a serial port, use null mode cables that support the Carrier Detect (CD) signal. Cables with the CD pin directly connected to the Request to Send pin also function correctly.

Requirements for Serial Port Compatibility

In addition to the general requirements described earlier in this section, serial ports must meet a number of other requirements to be compatible with Emergency Management Services.

  • UART device standards. The UART control register must function as a standard 16450 or 16550 UART device. Before using a UART device for Emergency Management Services, Windows Server 2003 tests for this compliance.

  • UART device availability. The UART device must be available before the Windows loader starts. As a rule, out-of-band devices must be configured by the firmware as part of the POST process.

  • UART device I/O address. The UART device I/O address must not change. Emergency Management Services does not support Plug and Play. If you change UART hardware resource settings without making corresponding changes to Emergency Management Services settings, data might be written to an invalid system address.

Technology Trends for Out-of-Band Ports

A recent industry trend is the movement towards legacy-free computers, that is, those that do not use super I/O chips or serial ports located on the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus. (A super I/O chip is a single chip that contains integrated drive electronics (IDE) controllers, a floppy controller, serial ports, and a parallel port). The PC 99 and PC 2001 System Design Guides strongly recommend alternatives to super I/O chips for such legacy-free designs. In these systems, a UART placed on a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) adapter is the preferred mechanism for implementing out-of-band ports.

Additionally, hardware manufacturers might develop proprietary out-of-band solutions that combine custom hardware and software solutions. Other possibilities for out-of-band external interfaces include connectivity based on industry standard Universal Serial Bus (USB), IEEE1394 Firewire ports, or other proprietary connections. Contact your hardware vendor for more information about technologies compatible with Emergency Management Services.

Service Processors

Emergency Management Services requires that the Windows loader or kernel be at least partially functioning. If you need to communicate with a server when this is not the case — such as when the computer is completely unresponsive due to a severe error — you might need a remote management channel that is independent of the operating system. Service processors can fill this need.

Service processors are micro controllers that operate independently of the computer processor(s) and operating system and use their own custom firmware. Service processors are typically integrated into the motherboard or a PCI adapter.

You can communicate directly with a service processor by using an out-of-band connection, regardless of the state of the computer. Depending on the manufacturer, a service processor might use any of a variety of out-of-band communication channels. The most common out-of-band channels are serial ports and RJ-45 Ethernet ports. However, if the out-of-band communication channel is a serial port, you can use only one tool at a time — either Emergency Management Services or the service processor.

Serial port connections to service processors

When a service processor uses a serial port for out-of-band connections, it passively monitors the traffic between the UART interface and the serial port. This behavior is sometimes referred to as pass-through mode. When the service processor detects information in the data stream that applies to it, it takes control of the out-of-band port. The service processor then presents a remote management user interface. The service processor must release control of the serial port when either of the following occurs:

  • The service processor detects control sequences in the serial data stream instructing it to immediately release control of the out-of-band port.

  • The firmware POST process completes and the Windows Server 2003 loader starts.

The following figure illustrates how Emergency Management Services, the UART, a service processor, and a serial port fit together.

Serial Port Null Modem and Pass-Through Service Processor Configuration

Modem and Processor Configuration
Ethernet port connections to service processors

Some service processors include an integrated RJ-45 Ethernet port that is dedicated for out-of-band use. These network-enabled service processors typically use an Internet Protocol (IP) address different from the host computer and can be connected to a secondary management network for added security and redundancy.

Service processor features

Manufacturers vary in the management tools, features, and client interfaces they provide. Management tools and client interfaces range from simple Telnet consoles to complex Web browser environments. Some service processors also include their own power supplies to enhance reliability. Service processor features that you might want to use with Emergency Management Services include the following:

  • Remote reset

  • Console redirection

  • Remote power on

  • Remote power off

Firmware Console Redirection

Firmware console redirection works with Emergency Management Services to provide out-of-band support for any operating state. If you do not have firmware console redirection — or a service processor that provides console redirection — you cannot manage your server’s remotely until Windows Server 2003 begins loading.

For a seamless transition from firmware console redirection to Emergency Management Services console redirection, the firmware or service processor must completely release control of the out-of-band port when the Windows loader starts. For best results, terminal software running on the client computer needs to use serial port and terminal definition settings that are compatible with firmware console redirection and Emergency Management Services console redirection.

Terminal Concentrators

A terminal concentrator is a network-capable management device that consolidates serial access to multiple servers. Terminal concentrators have at least one Ethernet port that you can connect to a primary or secondary network and multiple serial ports for connecting to the managed servers. The remote management client connects to the terminal concentrator through the Ethernet port and the managed servers connect to the terminal concentrator with null modem cables.

By using a terminal concentrator, you can establish an in-band connection from a remote management computer, typically by using the Telnet protocol, to monitor many servers simultaneously. By sending specific commands to the terminal concentrator, you can switch from one serial port to another, and therefore from one server to another.

Although the in-band connection from the management client eliminates physical security concerns, it does introduce logical security concerns. Some terminal concentrators provide authentication and encryption security for the in-band connection. For example, some terminal concentrators support Secure Shell (SSH), which is a secure alternative to Telnet. Because security features for terminal concentrators are not standardized, however, you might need to provide your own logical security. For example, you might set up a secondary private management network or use a secure router. It is important to ensure that only authorized users can access a terminal concentrator, because it provides access to the credentials for multiple servers.

Intelligent Uninterruptible Power Supplies and Intelligent Power Switches

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is an optional component that provides a backup power source to a server in the event of a power failure. Some UPS units, known as intelligent UPSs, enable you to remotely cycle power, providing rudimentary remote management. For Emergency Management Services systems with firmware redirection enabled, an intelligent UPS can enhance remote management capabilities by responding to remote commands sent to it.

When used with Emergency Management Services, an intelligent UPS must passively monitor the serial port traffic and support the key sequences that apply to it and must not affect communication between the managing client and the server running Windows Server 2003. If you also use a service processor, the intelligent UPS must be able to differentiate the key sequences directed to itself, the service processor, and Emergency Management Services. The UPS must also be able to inform the system of a planned power shutdown.

An intelligent power switch is an alternative to an intelligent UPS. An intelligent power switch can provide features similar to an intelligent UPS, except that it does not provide a backup source of power.

Note

  • To take full advantage of intelligent UPS or intelligent power switch capabilities, you need to configure servers to automatically start up when power is applied. Your servers firmware might provide an option to enable this feature.

Emergency Management Services Processes and Interactions

The following section describes certain tasks that you can perform using Emergency Management Services.

Remote Tasks Supported During Normal Operation

With Emergency Management Services console redirection, you can perform the following remote management tasks when the operating system is functioning normally.

Verify that Windows has started

When the Windows loader starts, it displays the following message by using the out-of-band port:

Windows is now starting

The preceding message indicates that the Windows Server 2003 startup process has begun.

When the Windows kernel is initialized, it displays the following prompt by using the out-of-band port, indicating that Emergency Management Services is enabled:

SAC>

Choose an item on the operating system boot menu (forx86-based computers)

For multiple-boot systems that have Windows Server 2003 installed along with Recovery Console or another Microsoft operating system, the Windows loader (Ntldr) automatically displays an operating boot menu, both to the local display and to the out-of-band port. By using this operating system boot menu, you can start the Windows Server 2003 operating system or Recovery Console. You also have the option of viewing the Windows Advanced Options Menu by pressing the F8 key. The following is a typical operating system boot menu.

Please select the operating system to start:

Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Recovery Console

Use the up and down arrow keys to move the highlight to your choice.
Press Enter to choose.
Seconds until highlighted choice will be started automatically: 29

For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows, press F8.

Monitor the progress of Windows Server 2003 text-mode setup

The text-mode setup phase displays character-based information, which supports Windows Emergency Management Services console redirection. Therefore, you can remotely view and respond to text-mode setup prompts.

View and respond to PXE environment prompts

If the server’s firmware supports the Pre-Boot eXecution Environment (PXE) standard but does not support firmware console redirection, an alternate version of the Startrom.com file provides Emergency Management Services console redirection.

Remote Tasks Supported for Problem Resolution

With Emergency Management Services console redirection, you can perform the following remote management tasks to troubleshoot problems.

Use Last Known Good Configuration to troubleshoot problems

Last Known Good Configuration is a troubleshooting option you can use when a driver or application installation problem prevents a computer from starting in normal mode. By using Last Known Good Configuration, you can recover from a problem by reversing the driver and registry changes made since you last started Windows Server 2003. You can invoke Last Known Good Configuration from the Windows Advanced Options Menu. You can display the Windows Advanced Options Menu by pressing F8 during system startup or at the operating system boot menu, if it appears.

Use Recovery Console to troubleshoot problems

Recovery Console is a command-line environment that you can use to remotely perform advanced troubleshooting operations, such as manually replacing system files. You can invoke Recovery Console by installing it on your computer and then selecting it from the operating system boot menu or by starting it from the Windows Server 2003 installation CD.

Ports Used by Emergency Management Services

Emergency Management Services redirects text through an out-of-band connection, typically a serial port connection. Serial ports are also known as COM ports. The following table lists the COM ports used by Emergency Management Services and their settings.

Typical Serial Port Resource Settings

 

Friendly Name Typical Hexadecimal I/O Address Interrupt Request (IRQ) Value

COM1

Emergency Management Services supports the industry standard 3F8 (this is typically the firmware default or AUTO value for COM1). Values of 2F8, 3F8, On, and Off might also be available.

4 (this is typically the default or AUTO value)

COM2

Emergency Management Services supports the industry standard 2F8 (this is typically the firmware default or AUTO value for COM2). Values of 2F8, 3F8, On, and Off might also be available.

3 (this is typically the default or AUTO value)

Note

  • It is important to realize that EMS does not use both COM1 and COM2 at the same time: it uses one or the other. In addition, it can use a non-legacy serial port address provided the system designer builds an EMS-aware design.

Related Information

The following resources contain additional information that is relevant to this section.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft