I have a development laptop running Windows Server 2003 and this afternoon my programmer brings it to me and its hung at the Windows "Ctrl+Alt+Del" screen. The point doesn't move and no keyboard response. I've tried booting to SafeMode and even to Last Known Good version: no dice. When its gets to the Crtl+Alt+Del screen it hangs. I also get a message that "at least one service failed to start" which of course I have no idea what this is. One interesting thing is that if I attach a USB mouse then I'm able to move the mouse pointer eventhough nothing else works.
Any advice? I'm rather desperate as this is a development system and I'm really not wanting to reinstall the OS and everything else that's necessary.
Oh one more thing, I tried removing the hard drive and installing it in another, identical laptop with the same results. I also stuck the hard drive in a drive enclosure and ran a chkdsk against it. The chkdsk said it found some errors which it repaired but it did not resolve the problem when I reinstalled the drive in the laptop.
So I've worked with Server 2003 a lot lately, and I might have a couple ideas of what could be going wrong. I could see where the fact that Server 2003 is being installed on a laptop could cause problems because of drivers and the way laptops are built. I would think that the ACPI feature could cause a problem, as well as the built in keyboard, touchpad. The ACPI I would bet has to be dealt with. For instance, in Linux, there's the acpi=off command that needs to be added before boot. Other than in the BIOS, I'm not sure where you would change this without booting to 2003 first. And although the keyboard/mouse drivers idea might sound kinda ridiculous, it's a possibility because I don't know for sure how those particular drivers would interact with the Server, which doesn't include a lot of Plug-N-Play support? The fact that an external mouse works seems to support this theory. Maybe try a USB keyboard?