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Unable to allocate work items?

Posted on 1999-06-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Can anyone tell me why this is happening, and what exactly it means thus I may find a resolution to it.  Or maybe tell me what needs to be done to resolve it.

On an NT Server, only when loading an application on client pc's that, accross a network open an MS Access database via TCPIP Alert messages are logged.

The Error Code is 2021 and the description : The Server Was Unable to allocate a work item "X" times in the last 60 seconds.

The program itself is run on many other similar installations without such a problem being experienced, and all it is doing is reading data periodically from the database. It would seem to be a problem with the NT Server unable to handle several people accessing one file at a time?

Question by:Cardo
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Expert Comment

ID: 1784168
Check the settings for the database. It could be that it is set to be used in exclusive mode in which case the server cannot allocate a work item if the database is already locked.

Author Comment

ID: 1784169
I know its shared as multiple pc's are able to access it without problem, just these errors generated.

What exactly does it mean by allocate a work item?

Expert Comment

ID: 1784170
Here are some possible answers:

InitWorkItems REG_DWORD 1 to 512
Default: (depends on configuration)
Specifies the initial number of receive buffers, or work items, used by the server. Allocating work items costs a certain amount of memory initially, but not as much as having to allocate additional buffers later.

The Windows NT Event Viewer Application log may receive multiple Event ID 2021 entries every few minutes. The event description is:
   The server is unable to allocate a work item.
The entry in the
value is not large enough to provide efficient server operation. This value determines the maximum number of receive buffers that a server can allocate. If this limit is reached, server performance may be degraded.

The above are excerpts from various technet articles. It looks like work items deal with receive buffers that a server can allocate. Do a search in technet on "work item" and you may find some info that applies to your issue.

Luck, Sparky

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Accepted Solution

Sclegg earned 600 total points
ID: 1784171
InitWorkItems and MaxWorkItems are set according to the configuration of the server service (control panel\network\services)  These, and other settings under the LanManServer key are usually hidden because they are self-tuning parameters used by NT.  You should first try to change the setting for the server service before making any of these registry entries because once you add the entry to the registry, NT will no longer automatically adjust these setttings.

Author Comment

ID: 1784172
That will do.. Thanks.  Actually found an article on MS website detailing what to change!

Expert Comment

ID: 11227918
Need the explanation on this. Windows 2000 Server with MS Sql 2000


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