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No interactive or RDP Admin login on SBS 2003

wlfs
wlfs asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello experts,
this question is regarding a SBS 2003 in a small network (10 clients).
Trend Micro SMB Solution and Spamfighter installed.
Also around the time our problems started, IE7 installed.

An external HDD was used for SBS Backup.
3 weeks ago, the backup started to fail with write-errors on the HDD.
The backup job also never finished.
At the same time at the interactive logon no login dialog showed up.
Later we found out that it would need just very long (> 5 minutes, only if the server is idle) that the dialog shows up.
then login is possible, but the task bar, drive e (ext.HDD) and some other system apps respond in a extremely slow manner, so that practically the logon session freezes. All the server services for the network seem to run properly.

The problems cease as soon as we unplug all USB devices and reboot.
So we changed the ext.HDD (Seagate, FSC) and put in a new PCI-USB card to get around the internal USB controller.
No effect. All in all i have the feeling this is not Hardware-related.

please give me some guidance on how to track down the source of these problems.
the server has to run during the week, without a backup this is feeling very uncomfortable.
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