Windows 2003 File / Print Server Event SRV 2020 Paged Pool

We have a file / print that hosts files and printers for about 100 users.  The server origonally was hosted on a Windows 2000 Dell server.  Running for a few years we started to get the following error in the event log and the server had to be rebooted.

Source: SRV Event: 2020
The server was unable to allocate from the system paged pool because the pool was empty.

This was noticeable when trying to access files on the server, an error to the end user states that no enough memory when browsing shares hosted on this server.

Since then we have migrated this server to a newer Dell server running Windows Server 2003.  Intel Xeon 2.8Ghz with 2GB of RAM.  250GB disk space in a hardware RAID5 array.  When migrating to the new server we copied files over and reshared along with using the Windows Printer Migration tool to migrate print queues.  The same error showed up after about 2 months of operation and seems to happen about once every 2 to 3 weeks and a reboot is required.

On the origonal server monitoring the Pool Paged Bytes performance counter during these problems would show the spoolsv to grow extremely large, after the reboot or restarting the print spooler this would come down and the server would be available again for file sharing / printing.

I think it is a printer driver problem or a memory leak relating to the spooler service.  I have tried newer drivers, making sure they are all for Windows 2003, no kernel mode drivers, etc.  This has not stopped the problem.  I have also read some MS KB articles on AV software causing this, but we have had the same Symantec AV software for a few years with no problems, and it is on other servers as well.

Any help would be appreciated as to what to look for or more information to collect to narrow down this problem.

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redseatechnologiesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
How much RAM is reported by the system?

I had all manner of problems with a Dell server because it was throttling itself to 256MB of RAM (even though it had 4GB Installed) - the resolution of that was a switch in the BIOS.

That is a long shot though, surely it would happen quicker if it was throttling.

There is a hotfix available for this problem, assuming it isn't printing but rather a bug in NTFS (as you said you had the problem in 2k, I thought this unlikely, but there are 2 hotfixes for this with that as well...);

I would also be highly inclined to uninstall Symantec - just for laughs.  If you are really worried about virii, scan it from another machine over the network.

Got a linux client in there somewhere? ->

General switches to resolve this if there is no underlying problem ->

There is also a VERY sketchy looking process here (from Dell) it alleges to refer to NT4, but there is a registry key change for 2000.  If you are really out of ideas, it would be worth a look.  Google "dell  support  document  number  tt1061426" and you should be able to get a cached copy.

Generally, I would not spam randomness like this, but figured it could help as you are unlikely to get any more responses (and will probably delete it anyway).  Plus, I have enjoyed reading some of your solutions in Exchange, and saw you had an open Q (so I HAD to have a go :))

Good luck!

Hi there,

I believe you could have a problem running out of resources.

Follow this KB to maximize the resources:

MATTHEW_LAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  I am looking through that doc, some of those things I have already tried.  I'll let you know if any of that helps.  If anyone else has had this problem any ideas would be appreciated.
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Both file and print sessions require freespace on the system partition (usually c:) of the server.  Are you running low on freespace?  Are large documents or large numbers of documents routinely printed consuming freespace?  If so you can try moving the spool directory to a partition with more space.

To do so change the value of:

Start>Control Panel>Printers and Faxes>File>Server Properties>Advanced>Default Spool Directory

You can also save resources by setting your pagefile to a static size and moving parts of it off to other partitions with more freespace.  To support crash dumps the pagefile on the system partition should at least be equal to the amount of system system memory on your server.  The total size of all pagefiles should be no more than 3 times the amount of system memory.  Because having any more than 4 GB of virtual memory (system + pagefiles) does little good on a 32 bit Windows OS I also try to keep the total under that also but will go over to support crash dumps.  For example on a system with 512 MB of system memory I will usually place a 512 MB pagefile on the system partition and a 1 GB pagefile
on a second partion (preferably on a seperate lightly used physical HD - not required just better performance).  On a server with 1 GB of system memory I would place a 1 GB pagefile on the system partition and 1 GB (some will argue for 512 MB and be right - a 1.5 GB pagefile is usually enough) pagefile on a second partition.  On servers with 2 GB or more of system memory I would only place a single pagefile with a size equal to the amount of system memory on the system partition.

To set up your pagefiles:

1. Start>Control Panel>System>Advanced>Performance/Settings>Advanced>Virtual Memory/Change
2. Select the partition
3. Choose custom size
4. Set the initial and maximum size to the desired value
5. Hit the Set button
6. Repeat 1-5 to set pagefiles on additional partitions

Good luck

MATTHEW_LAuthor Commented:
C has 107GB free
D has 100GB free

Spool directory is default and currently on C.  Large files are printed, no larger than 100MB however.  2GB of RAM also exists in the server.  Currently a 2GB page file exists on C.

It's clearly not a freespace issue.  How many users use this server for file and print services?
MATTHEW_LAuthor Commented:
There are 100 users that would use this server.  At any given time it is around 50 - 100.  Printing and file access occurs all day.  This server performs absolutely no other roles.  The problem only happens one every few weeks and a quick reboot fixes it.  I have found that the spoolsv service gets quite large which made me think this was related to drivers.  Printers use standard tcp/ip and drivers from the manuf.  I removed a few kernel mode drivers and replaced with newer updated drivers from the manuf.  None of this has seemed to make a difference.  And like I said the problem existed on the previous Win2k server hosting the same roles.  This is what leads me to believe that since the problem has followed it must be related to printing or file access, but I cant seem to track down exactly which one or an imperticular print queue etc.
MATTHEW_LAuthor Commented:
Also as a side note, we have another Windows 2003 server configured identically to this one.  The difference is that one is just a file server no printing, no problems with that server.
MATTHEW_LAuthor Commented:
Any other suggestions from anyone?
MATTHEW_LAuthor Commented:
Thanks red.  Yeah, i am kind of out of solutions.  I am going to take a look at those you left for me.  Hopefully one fixes it up.


MATTHEW_LAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your help.  I had tried that support article you mentioned before and it hadn't worked.  So what I tried a while back is to keep increasing the values of the following keys.


Finally got it.  It has been 100% stable for a while now.

Paul SDesktop Support Manager / Network AdministratorCommented:
    Can you share what values eventually solved the problem?
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