Started the week fighting a biological bug that I acquired at my 40th high school reunion which cascaded into the topic of this post… I restarted my Server 2008R2, it was running fine -- and on the reboot ended up staring at a “_” flashing on screen… nothing more…
“Oh dear, what could the trouble be…”
Well, my boot drive is mirrored (hate rebuilding machines) so I went in to the BIOS to verify that the drives were fine, that I had SMART on, no missing drives (loose cables) etc… Everything was perfect.
Did three or four more reboots, nothing changed…. I decided to walk thru every single BIOS setting in case there was something odd… After this it would be breaking down the machine and dropping each of the SATA drives into my eSata holder on another machine to verify the drive was intact [Although I did not do that, they would have all been perfect….].
Buried in the BIOS was a setting, Boot from USB was enabled. I turned this off, disabled every other boot source except the hard drives. Rebooted, it worked!!!!!
Looking at the USB ports, had a mouse, a keyboard and my Blackberry Storm (I had transferred some pictures off it yesterday)….. I was trying to boot off a Blackberry!
Bottom line: Check your bios to make sure that you are always booting from hard drive. Only enable other boots when you intend to explicitly use them.