Rescue Kernel for Windows

The Rescue Kernel Kernel is designed to provide our customers with the ability to bring a server online in order to troubleshoot system problems that would normally only be resolved by an OS Reload. The correct Rescue Kernel Kernel will be selected based upon the currently installed operating system. When the rescue kernel process is initiated, the server will shutdown and reboot on to the public network with the same IP's assigned to the server to allow for remote connections. The root/administrator password will be the same as what is listed in the portal for the server.

Placing Bare Metal Servers into Rescue:
The Rescue Kernel can be initiated by following this walk-through or by navigating to the control.softlayer.com portal >> Devices >> Device List >> Select Device Name >> Remote Mgmt tab >> Rescue button. The correct Rescue Kernel Kernel will be selected based upon your currently installed operating system.

Placing Virtual Servers into Rescue:
The Rescue Kernel can be initiated by navigating to the control.softlayer.com portal >> Devices >> Device List >> Select Device Name >> Actions >> Boot From Image >> Select Boot From This Image next to the public image, WindowsRescueStandalone.iso.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, SoftLayer uses the Windows Preinstallation environment which is a minimal Windows system that provides limited services based on the Windows Server 2008 or Vista kernel. The goal is to provide systems administrators with a set of tools to troubleshoot failing systems by allowing them access to NTFS file systems and hardware without booting to the local OS.
Windows PE is a hardware-independent Windows environment for both 32 and 64 bit architectures so it can be used on all servers in the enterprise.

Accessing the Rescue Environment for a Bare Metal Server:
Without connecting to the VPN, you can RDP to your public IP address using the VNC sofware which you can download here. For the other methods, you will first need to connect to the VPN, which can be done by following the articles found here
.
IPMIView and KVM/IP are the two methods of connecting to the Bare Metal Server. The IPMIView client software can be downloaded from http://knowledgelayer.softlayer.com/procedure/download-ipmiview. Alternatively, you can browse to the management IP address in a browser. You can find the IPMI/Management IP address by navigating to control.softlayer.com >> Devices >> Device List >> Select Device Name >> Remote Mgmt tab >> Look under Management IP column. You will use the root username and password listed next to the Management IP address to log into the IPMI, and you will use the normal Administrator user and password to log into Windows.

To return to your regular OS, reboot the server.

Accessing the Rescue Environment for a Virtual Server:
Two methods of accessing the KVM for a Virtual Server are through the portal and through third party software like TightVNC Viewer. You can access the Java based KVM in portal by navigating to control.softlayer.com >> Devices >> Device List >> Select Device Name >> Actions >> KVM Console. To get the information to access the KVM for a Virtual Server via TightVNC Viewer, navigate to the Java based KVM using the instructions above. The information you will need is the KVM IP address and port number. When you open TightVNC Viewer, you will need to give the IP address and port number in this format: IPADDRESS:PORT (i.e. 10.12.12.12:5900).The password is the Administrator password you have saved for the server under your passwords tab for the device.

To return to your regular OS, Navigate back to control.softlayer.com >> Devices >> Device List >> Select Device Name >> Actions >> Boot from Image. Once you click Boot from Image, the portal will give you the option of unmounting the rescue image and booting back into the normal OS.

Windows Administrator Password Resets:
Boot the server into the Rescue environment, and then access the KVM/
VNC (Virtual Servers) or IPMI (Bare Metal Servers). After doing this you will need to do the following to Change the Password:

1. Click Go and Then Control Panel
2. Then choose the Windows Password Changer
3. Click "Select a Target"
4. Scroll down to and highlight C:\Windows
5. Click on "Renew existing user password"
6. Select "Administrator" in the drop down.
7. Enter and confirm the new password.
8. Click Install to apply the new password.
9. Reboot Server per the instructions above for either a Bare Metal or Virtual Server

You can alternatively create a new administrator user and change the password via Windows.
1. Click Go and Then Control Panel
2. Then choose the Windows Password Changer
3. Click "Select a Target"
4. Scroll down to and highlight C:\Windows
5. Click on "Add New Administrator User"
6. Enter the new user.
7. Enter and confirm the new password.
8. Click Install to apply the new password.
9. Reboot Server per the instructions above for either a Bare Metal or Virtual Server

Please note: The Rescue Kernel for a Bare Metal Server has a 24 hour automatic reboot feature. After 24 hours, if still in the rescue kernel, the server will reboot back into the public network.