Windows Stuck in Recovery Mode Datto driver signing

This is a solution by Greg Baharoff, the owner of MTBW Services Inc. in Mount Airy, Maryland.

Symptom: During maintenance, the Windows Server became stuck in recovery mode.

Symptom: The following “regular” solutions did not work, such as bootrec /rebuildBCD  , sfc /scannow , and dism.exe /cleanup-image.

Symptom: Datto driver / agent was installed on the server before it went into recovery mode.

Root cause for Windows Recovery Mode after Datto install:

It looks like the Datto agent installed on the server was unsigned, or had an invalid signing certificate, which made Windows crash into recovery mode.

Here are the regular solutions for this problem, that normally work. At the bottom of this article are the steps to fix the Datto agent issue.

bootrec /rebuildBCD

Booting with a Windows 2008 R2 recovery DVD, the following steps allow the machine to boot normally.

  1. Put the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
  2. Press any key when the message indicating “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD …”. appears.
  3. Select a language, time, currency, and a keyboard or another input method. Then click Next.
  4. Click Repair your computer.
  5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
  7. Type Bootrec /RebuildBcd, and then press ENTER.

Cleanup image

dism.exe /image:C:\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions

Then

“sfc /scannow /Offbootdir=c:\ /Offwindir=c:\windows

How to fix the driver signing issue causing Windows recovery mode, related to Datto Agent

It has to do with driver signing.In my case I had installed a new driver – Datto Agent.  I restarted and BOOM!  Recovery, recovery, recovery, recovery…

Fix: Boot up the server, hit the F8 key a few times to get the Windows boot options.  Then choose “Disable Driver Signature Enforcement”.

That got me into Windows….

The Datto Agent started and is working at this point. I didn’t do anything to “fix” the system after I was finally able to login after Disable Driver Signature Enforcement.

The long term solution is to make sure the system certificates trust your Datto agent software then re-enable driver signature enforcement.  Installing a different version may be necessary.

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