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Netware 3.12 Crashing

Posted on 1998-09-18
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
System - Novell Netware 3.12 Server

Problem - Crashes roughly every 20 days but seems to be increasing

What i suspect as the problem - It seems that the Service Processes are being Maxed out. They where originally set to 20 and i slowly raised them after each crash by 5. Well I finally hit the Maximum Service Processes which are 40 and i still crash.

Crash info -  The crashes happen only at night either during or after the server backup is run. Processes are always maxed out. All the other setting seem to be normal.

Other info - I have all the Baseline Patches installed

??????
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Question by:mukkus
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by:jstegall
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What backup software are you using?  Some allow multiple processes to be started and allow you to set the maximum.
It may not be releasing resources completely so you have a slow
leak.
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by:mark2150
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What is the ABEND message?
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by:mukkus
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We are using FileSafe V5.4.2-SCSI Software from Mountain
DOS VERSION

I can't see an abbend message because when we freeze we are in Monitor and can't switch over to the command prompt.
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by:jstegall
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We need to know what software you are using to do the backup.
If you are using DOS software to back up your server you must
be running on a workstation for the server would have to be down
to run DOS programs on it.  Is the tape drive connected to the
server or a workstation logged on to the server?
I know of Mountain DAT products but the software they list with
them are;  ArcServe & ArcSolo, Backup Exec, Legato Networker &
Data Backup Utility, and NovaStor's NovaBack.  There are others
that will work with their hardware I am sure.

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by:mukkus
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A workstation running FileSafe V5.4.2-SCSI Software loges into the server at night and backs it up. The Mountain Tape Backup is connected to the workstation and is being run with a 10baseT ethernet card.  There is also no other traffic on the network when the server is being backedup
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by:jstegall
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The server must be waiting for a response from the workstation so
has a process waiting, and since it isn't responding it stays there.  We went to a server based backup before we upgraded from
3.12.  You could look at the server Monitor and see what the backup software is doing to the server,  what resources are being
allocated and see if they are released.  You would need to do this under the same conditions so night or weekend.  It may shed
some light on the situation.  Does it run up cpu utilization?
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by:jstegall
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Did you try changing the configuration of the backup software?
Reduce the number of concurrent processes it can start.
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by:calger
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If you are running this on a workstation at night, could it be possible that some type of power-save function is kicking in on the workstation, causing the w/s to stop responding to the server?
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by:simonlam
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pls focus on the AUTOEXEC.NCF

check the SET lines to ensure you increase the maximum number of files open and directory cache size

these lines might be set in STARTUP.NCF

pls also supply more info on your server, such as CPU speed and available RAM

if you have server version of Anti-virus program running while backing up, it would also be possible that there is a virus
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by:jstegall
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Can you give us some hint of what you tried and what happened?  We need more information
if we are to help.
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by:mukkus
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I will try and answer all the questions that where asked above.

CPU Utilization was very low (normal).


The Backup software can not be configured to reduce the number of concurrent processes it can start. It is an old Dos Program.


It is a Dos Workstation and does not have any kind of Power-saved fuctions. Just as a reminder this Crash doesn't happen everyday.


Here are my current System Monitors stats

Utilization 0-10
Original Cache Buffers 31,388
Total Cache Buffers 24,823
Dirty Cache Buffers 0
Packet Recieve Buffers 100
Directory Cache Buffers 244
Service Processes 9    ***but turns to 40 before it crashes***

Server - CPU is Intel Pentium 133
 
RAM - 128 MB SIMMS

No server Virus Software installed.


If there is any more System Monitor Info you need please let me know.


thanks

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by:paulnic
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could you list the NLMs that run on the server?  There's no antivirus or backup running there, but...anything else?

Peace^^Paul


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by:paulnic
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The server doesn't crash every night...but do the Service Processes increase every night?

If so, and there's a night when backup doesn't run, see if the increase doesn't happen.  Maybe try skipping one backup over a weekend or holiday when the data doesn't change.
If this narrows it down, then....

- what network client version is on the backup PC?   (at least latest VLMs I hope)
- try another NIC or newer NIC driver in the backup PC
- try moving the tape drive to another PC and see if the problem continues
- find newer backup software that will work with your tape drive
- if desperate, reboot your server every week so you never hit 40 service processes ;-)

Peace^^Paul



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by:mukkus
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The service processes would be around 9 but then after a crash it would be maxed at 40. So the answer is no, they kinda make a large jump over night.

It also seems like the more i have to backup the more frequent it happens. Like I was backing up about 800 MB and it would happen about every 3 months. Now i backup about 1.5 GBs and it happens every 20 days.

I will gladly give you a list of our NLMs but is there an easy way to list them on my server?

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by:mukkus
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Client Version - SMC ETHERNET ADAPTER DOS ODI DRIVER V5.01
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by:simonlam
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mukkus,

you haven't responsed whether you have made any changes to AUTOEXEC.NCF on the server.  i was not talking about C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT.  You've mentioned that the more files you backed up, the more it crashes.

pls ensure you have more directory cache, eg.:

SET MAXIMUM DIRECTORY CACHE BUFFERS = 1000
SET MAXIMUM PACKET RECEIVE BUFFERS = 1000
SET MAXIMUM OUTSTANDING NCP SEARCHES = 100

the backup may try to open some files and have difficulties.  a process was then created to carry on the operation.  it seems to me that old processes could not be killed after timing out.

cheers
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by:mukkus
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I have not changed anything in the autoexec.ncf

I have also just changed the following

Max Dir Cache Buf to 3000     Orginally - 1500

Max Outstanding NCP to 500

Max Packet Receive Buffers = 1000   Orginally - 600


I will let you know how it works out
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by:jstegall
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please post your net.cfg file, use fake names and addresses if you want.
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by:mukkus
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ok here is my net.cfg
------------------------------------


Link Driver SMC8000
      ; FRAME Ethernet_802.2
      FRAME Ethernet_802.2
      INT 5
      PORT 280
      MEM cc000

NetWare DOS Requester
         PREFERRED SERVER=Server1
         FIRST NETWORK DRIVE = f
         ;SET MESSAGE TIMEOUT TO 91 FOR 5 SEC....
         MESSAGE TIMEOUT = 90
         USE DEFAULTS = OFF
         VLM = CONN.VLM
         VLM = IPXNCP.VLM
         VLM = TRAN.VLM
         ;following two changes will disengage packet signature
         ; also remember to insert SET NCP PACKET SIGNATURE OPTION=0
         ; in the server's startup or autoexec NCF files....
         SIGNATURE LEVEL=0
         ; VLM = SECURITY.VLM
;           VLM = NDS.VLM
         VLM = BIND.VLM
         VLM = NWP.VLM
         VLM = FIO.VLM
         VLM = GENERAL.VLM
         VLM = REDIR.VLM
         VLM = PRINT.VLM
         VLM = NETX.VLM


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by:jstegall
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I didn't see a PROTOCOL section:

PROTOCOL IPX E0 ETHERNET_802.2

If you are not low on memory in the workstation, why not load NDS.VLM and SECURITY.VLM?
What version of VLMs are you using?
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by:mukkus
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I have no idea what version Vlms i have. All i know is that they must be very old. How can i tell what version
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by:jstegall
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Version 1.20 have a date of 10-02-95 on the *.vlm files.
If you execute the vlm.exe file with " -?" it  will give the version number.  It does it when it loads at boot time also.
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by:mukkus
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I have found out myself why i am crashing. It had to do with the 3com drivers on the server.  

Thanks everyone
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by:michelandre
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Do you have enough free space on sys???
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Accepted Solution

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trath earned 100 total points
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I know that this is a rather unorthadox answer due to the fact that I dont really know why it fixed it, but it did.

I had the same problem not too long ago except on a 3.11 server on which backups were being run every night, so it crashed every night. We were at the time running 10B2 and I happened to move the server to a different segment for some reason and it never crashed again.

So my suggestion is to try moving it to another segment and see if it still continues. I'll bet it dosent, and I dont know why.
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