Never, ever leave a disc in your server’s CD-drive

This may sound hilarious but gave me quite a start. My (Windows) server has automatic updates switched on. Once in a while it reboots, never a problem. Until last night. In the drive was still a (bootable) disk. After reboot it’s been prompting all night whether I wanted to install a 32-bit or the 64-bit version instead of firing up my web and mail server again.Lesson learned: check and double check if the drive is empty after finishing maintenance.


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  • Darren Kopp

    if you server supports it, disable boot from cd rom. then just use the f* key that will bring up the boot menu, whenever you need.

  • Larry

    Got one better than that. While installing some software on a IBM server, the USB key was left in the slot. The server would not boot. Strange thing here is that there was NO SETTING IN THE BIOS to not boot off of the USB key. Even the IBM tech on site was suprised.

    The error was something like “cannot find disk array”..That was a fun night!

  • Darren Kopp

    Yeah, at least on my home computer, i never have boot from cd enabled because now more and more motherboards have a key you can press to pull up a boot menu.

  • pvanooijen

    @Stevey and Will I _thought_ I had that setting set. An alternative advice would be allways check this setting. Alas the way to change it has to be done with a local kbd and monitor. My server allready went under the guillotine, it is “headless” and can only be administrated remote. That is from the internal network, so I can walk towards her and insert the disc. Removing the disc can be done remotely over the phone. That’s something my wife does understand :)

  • Will

    You can’t say to never leave a cd in the drive, I leave purposefully a cd in all my server drives with windows installer so I can remotely add or remove stuff, the only thing is that you have to take the prevision of disabling booting from cd.

    Telling people to never do that is like using the guillotine to cure dandruff.

  • Stevey

    There is a better solution than “Never do”.
    Even there is a disc in my CD-drive, my computer will ask to press a key to boot up from CD in 30 secs. After 30 secs, without get a key press, it will boot from hd

  • Egil

    Happened to me as well until I learned my lesson and disabled the “boot from CD” option in the BIOS on my servers…