Fix Windows Server 2012 Reboot Loop Issue [Updated]

Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai

If you encounter a Windows Server 2012 reboot loop issue, let me share a workaround for it. The workaround here is to uninstall the updates or interrupt the boot and use Safe Mode.

Update – Microsoft released the Windows Server 2012 R2 KB5009624 update, Windows Server 2019 KB5009557 update, and Windows Server 2022 KB5009555 update as part of the January 2022 Patch Tuesday. Installing these updates will cause Windows domain controller boot loops.

The updates also affect the Hyper-V servers and most admins have observed the Hyper-V not starting, and inaccessible ReFS volumes until the updates are rolled back.

Note: All these AD patches are bad, seeing tons of wacky and unexpected behavior after install

  • KB5009624 – Applies to Windows Server 2012
  • KB5009557 – Applies to Windows Server 2019
  • KB5009555 – Applies to Windows Server 2022

Windows Domain Controller Boot Loops Issue

Installing the updates KB5009624, KB5009557 and KB5009555 are causing the domain controllers to reboot and cause the boot loops. These updates are impacting the LSASS.exe process that use all the CPUs on a server and then ultimately terminate.

As LSASS.exe is a critical process on Windows Server required to operate correctly. The server operating system will automatically restart when the process is terminated and cause Windows Server 2012 reboot loop.

The Windows domain controller server boot loops issue is reported on Reddit by a user who says January 2022 updates causing unexpected reboots on domain controllers. Looks like KB5009557 (2019) and KB5009555 (2022) are causing something to fail on domain controllers, which then keep rebooting every few minutes.

After installing the updates KB5009624, KB5009557 or KB5009555, Windows Server 2012 reboot loop issue occurs and the following details are logged in the event viewer.

"The process wininit.exe has initiated the restart of computer [computer_name] on behalf of user for the following reason: No title for this reason could be found Reason Code: 0x50006 Shutdown Type: restart Comment: The system process 'C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe' terminated unexpectedly with status code -1073741819. The system will now shut down and restart."

Fix January 2022 Updates Domain Controller Boot Loop Issue

If you have updated the domain controllers with the January 2022 updates, the only way to fix the domain controller reboot issue is by uninstalling the updates.

If you have installed any of these updates on Hyper-V servers, you may encounter the following error while powering on the VMs.

“Virtual machine xxx could not be started because the hypervisor is not running.”

System admins managing the Windows Servers can manually uninstall the updates with the following commands.

Windows Server 2012 R2: wusa /uninstall /kb:KB5009624
Windows Server 2019: wusa /uninstall /kb:KB5009557
Windows Server 2022: wusa /uninstall /kb:KB5009555

Note: Some users are noticing that from the above command removing the KB prefix from the command works. So, you can use the below commands if the above ones don’t work.

Windows Server 2012 R2: wusa /uninstall /kb:5009624
Windows Server 2019: wusa /uninstall /kb:5009557
Windows Server 2022: wusa /uninstall /kb:5009555

If your Windows Server 2012 goes into boot loop, don’t worry because a lot of IT admins are actually dealing with the same issue. It’s not your fault, either, it’s an update that has caused the reboot loop on your Windows Server 2012.

We have still got few VM’s running Windows Server 2012 while most of the VMs are running 2012 R2 and above. Today, on two VMs’s running SCCM distribution point role, I noticed the reboot loop issue.

After restarting the VMs I never saw any login screen. It just stays at “please wait” and then the server restarts.

Fix Windows Server 2012 Reboot Loop Issue

If you do a bit of research on why this reboot loop issue occurs, you will find a lot of info on the web. A reboot loop on Windows Server 2012 could be due to the installation of the Servicing Stack Update (KB4523208). In this thread, one of the users identified the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) update, KB890830, as the cause of the installation loop.

The workaround here is to interrupt the boot and use Safe Mode. It will still reboot at the same stage trying to boot into safe mode but next boot works.

Fix Windows Server 2012 Reboot Loop Issue

To fix the Windows Server 2012 boot loop issue, perform the following steps.

  • First of all restart the VM or machine running Windows Server 2012.
  • Go to Advanced Boot Options by pressing F8 key.
  • Under Advance boot options, select Safe Mode and press enter key.
  • Once the OS boots in safe mode, don’t login. Reboot the Windows Server again.
  • This time let the server start normally. You should see a login screen.
Fix Windows Server 2012 Reboot Loop Issue
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Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
Prajwal Desai is a Microsoft MVP in Intune and SCCM. He writes articles on SCCM, Intune, Windows 365, Windows Server, Windows 11, WordPress and other topics, with the goal of providing people with useful information.