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Windows 2003 Server Standard R2 is hanging

I have a freshly installed copy of Win2k3 installed on my Dell2850 server.  
x2 Intel Xeon 2.8
x4 1gb ram
x3 73gb 10k scsi
x1 Dell PERC 4e/di Raid Controller * configured in a raid 5 array*

I have installed only the NIC drivers from the Dell CD everything else was auto installed by Windows
As far as software goes, I have ran ALL of the updates incl. SP2. I have three pieces of operational software that have been inspected by the developers and deemed "not the cause" of the hangs.  I confirmed this by un-installing and running tests.  Other than that no AD services or web or anything like that.
The system has been running one day and It HANGS all the time!  I checked the event viewer and I see this:
source: mraid35x
event id: 9
The device, \Device\Scsi\mraid35x1, did not respond within the timeout period.
source: application hang
category: (101)
event id: 1002
Hanging application rundll32.exe, version 5.2.3790.3959, hang module hungapp, version, hang address 0x00000000.
I also set up a tracer log in the performance utility to run for several hours and I set it to watch the "PhysicalDisk(_Total)\Avg. Disk Queue Length" & the "Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time"  

The processor time seemed to be fine however, the physical disks spikes up to 100% all the time.  In fact, the average usage was calculated at .675

I appreciate ALL input and if necessary I can email you a copy of log files.

1 Solution
Head to the Dell website and download the latest firmware and PERC 4e/di Raid Controller driver for Windows.  The driver from the Windows CD probably isn't the best driver for your system... I'd recommend that you get all your drivers up to date while you're at the Dell download site.

If that doesn't fix the problem and you've got hardware support on your system, call Dell Enterprise Support and get some assistance in troubleshooting your RAID card.  If it's still under warranty and it's bad, you can get it replaced pretty easy.  Just have your service tag ready when you call.
Gladys KernsCommented:
I'm not an expert on this but the first two things I would look at:

*  A full diagnostics on the RAID controller - see if Dell has a utility for this

*  A full diag. on each of the HDDs themselves.

I mean, depending on what your server is doing it's not all that unusual for disk activity to be VERY high... unless of course you're not actually using it yet in which case if it's seeking high disk activity regularly without anyone using it.... that's pretty wrong.

but the mraid35x event right before the rest of the system crashes seems telling.
rsmithgsAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I am going to update the firmware on the Raid Card after my users have logged off.

I will update afterwards.
When you setup a Dell server, it is a good idea to use the OpenManage Server Assistant. You then boot from the CD, and it will walk you through installation of your server, including the correct Dell drivers and firmware.

Generally when I'm upgrading an older Dell server to Windows 2003 R2, I perform these steps in this order:
Flash the system BIOS
Flash the RAID card BIOS
Download the current OpenManage Server Assistant (currently 5.2, with support for Win2003 SP2)
Boot from the server assist CD, and perform the installation.
If you are doing an in-place upgrade, you can flash all the firmware, and just collect all the current drivers from the Dell Web site, and extract them into a folder.
Note that the RAID driver MUST match the firmware version. If you install newer RAID drivers with older firmware, you can render your system unbootable.

After the system is up and running, install the OpenManage Server Administrator, which will allow you to manage the hardware and storage on the server.

You can download an ISO of server assitant from Dell, or from here: http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=RC956869&l=en&s=slg&releaseid=R146318&SystemID=PWE_PNT_P3C_2850&servicetag=&os=WNET&osl=en&deviceid=10655&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=8&catid=36&impid=-1&formatcnt=1&libid=36&fileid=204270
rsmithgsAuthor Commented:
ok, so I used the dell open server manager utility to extract the logs from the raid card and I found that all of my disks were periodically timing out.  When they timed out the raid card would re spin the drives to collect information from them. This process was causing my system to run like crap! After hours of Dell Technical Support they shipped me some new hardware.

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