Friday, August 05, 2005

APC: Windows logon screen disappears

So I had an interesting thing happen to a Citrix box that I came across the other day – if you’re interested… Metaframe XPa, Windows 2000 SP3 – Don’t ask, it’s not mine ;). Someone had rebooted the previous night, but when it came back-up it just sat there with a blue screen background, and a mouse cursor.

The mouse was actually responsive, and it was almost as if I was waiting for the box to finish booting… but the “Press-Ctrl-Alt-Delete to login” logon screen never showed up. Interestingly enough, when I went to RDP into the box (I was remote), I got the exact same thing. Very strange. In fact, the RDP session remained open waiting for the logon prompt as well… and it never closed down due to inactivity.

Not having the Citrix ICA client on my machine, I tried connecting via “services.msc” to a remote machine. Nothing was stopped. But interestingly enough, there were two services just hanging there with a status of “starting”.


Hmmm… That’s never happened before. A quick search of APC’s site turned up the following… (well, quick might be an overstatement… am I the only one who finds APC”s support and download site just a little bit clunky?!)

Ahh-ha… “Sun Java Runtime Environment certificate, versions 6.x of PowerChute Business Edition will cease to operate normally as of July 27, 2005”. Time to upgrade to Powerchute 7.04…

(Does that seem at least somewhat odd to you too?)

Well, I personally am not a fan of installing updates on top of “broken stuff”, and then hoping that the update fixes the broken stuff. And not being able to RDP into the session meant that I would need to find the registry keys to disable the APC services, connect to the registry remotely disable them, and then bounce the box either via WMI, or the resource kit

So before I did that, I decided that I would install the Citrix ICA client on my machine, and then try to connect via ICA - not really even expecting it to work. But it did. The only problem was that the services.msc kept hanging when I tried to disable the APC services. So I did have to disable the services via the registry locally… they were as follows:

On each key change the startup value to 4 in order to disable them.

Then reboot the server (after waiting 10 minutes to shutdown, I tried rebooting via WMI, and then via the resource kit)… neither worked. Eventually (and I cringe here….) I had the person who was on-site hit the reset button.

When it came back-up, the logon-screen was back. I could also logon via RDP and ICA, as well as the console. First thing I did was download, and update PowerChute to 7.04.

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