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Windows server 2003 locks up during format of HDD

We have a windows 2003 server running on an HP ML150 G2 with SATA HDDs on the embedded Host Raid adapter from Adaptec - the AAR81xx series.

There are 4 internal SATA HDDs and 1 external USB HDD on this server.  Drives 0 and 1 are 80 G (software mrrored in Windows, not in host rAID), Drive 2 is 160 GB - 1primary partition , drive 3 is 230 GB - 1 primary partition, drive 4 is the external USB 230 G drive.  We want to reformat Drive 2.

We are using Windows Server 2003 Disk Manager to format the 3rd drive (drive 2).

Accessing the server via RDP going to the console mode (mstsc /v:serveranme /console), I started disk manager and then right-clicked on the drive2 and selected "Format",  After I stared the format of drive 2 in diskmanager, , I right clicked on drive 4 (the 5th drive -  the  USB drive) in disk manager, and then selected properties, the disk manager window went into hourglass mode displaying nothing.  Then any attejpt to go to menuyes, right click on task bar, etc ... all things did not respond. Disk manager window still has hourglas, rest of desktop shows mouse moving, but the session responds to nothing.  when I go to another computer and try to connect via remote desktop to a non-console session, I see message about computer being busy and later that client could not establish a connection.  In either case, no access was possible.  meanwhile, back at computer where I established the original RDP /cosnole connection, the RDP window was still open, the mouse over the Diskmanager still whent to hourglass mode but returned to mouse pointer over other parts of desktop - but the sesionis responding to notheng - not even ctrl-alt-end to force console up.

 What's the underlying problem?.  Is it really stuck in a tight loop?  Do I hve any way to get control again without going to the big red solution (power off/power on)?  
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grant-ellsworth
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grant-ellsworth
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grant-ellsworthAuthor Commented:
Further comment ... even the taskbar clock in the RDP console session is not advancing. It's locked up ath the time I tried to display the properties of another drive not even on the SATA RAID adapter -  during the format operation.
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bkellyboulderitCommented:
Did you let it finish task 1 (format) before doing something else (properties)? Are you sure the drive is good?

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grant-ellsworthAuthor Commented:
>> Did you let it finish task 1 (format) before doing something else (properties)?
********** No - I tried to do "Properties" on drive 4 (5th drive) before the 1st task was done (format on drive2(3rd drive)).    Was that a no-no?  Is this expected behavior of the W2K3 DiskManager?

>> Are you sure the drive is good?
No - It's a suspect - that's why we're trying to run a format on it.
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bkellyboulderitCommented:
Ah. I wouldn't say expected, just wondering. My thought is usually, what variables are being introduced, that maybe needn't be.

Have you pulled the suspect drive and see if the mahcine behaves normally?

Sorry for all the questions....

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grant-ellsworthAuthor Commented:
>> Have you pulled the suspect drive and see if the mahcine behaves normally?
I can pull the drive.  But, I don't have another drive or partition I'm willing to format right now.  However, I will note one other symptom - when I copy a 20 Gig file from another drive to the suspect, that opaeration also hangs the server and we need to restart via 'big red'.
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bkellyboulderitCommented:
That drive sounds like it's bad. (Obviously) if you copy the data from good drive to another good drive, then it doesn't exhibit this?
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grant-ellsworthAuthor Commented:
>>if you copy the data from good drive to another good drive, then it doesn't exhibit this?
No it does not fail.   I'm wondering:
a) Can I fix the problem by deleting the partition and then reformatting?
b) Is there any possibility that it could be the controller - controller having a half-fried port?

HP has yet to diret me to any diagnosticsoftwre i can use to test the controller .....
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bkellyboulderitCommented:
a - well, worth a try...

b - Is it in a hot swap backplane? That could be bad (part). I've had that go out before the card. Unfortunately you don't have an exact duplicate of either to test most likely. :-)
Card usually freaks everything out. Bad backplane freaks some things out.
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grant-ellsworthAuthor Commented:
It is a hotswap backplane.  The SATA RAID controller is embedded, not a separate card.  I got into the controller's bios.  It has only a  verify and format functions for the HDDs - no real controlleer test.  This problem goes on hold for several days now.  we can work with the remaining drives = the problem drive was a spare storage area.  Wc can copy small files from it, but hang when we copy to it.  We'll be trying a replacement drive later this week when the users can tolerate a little down time.
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bkellyboulderitCommented:
Sounds prudent.
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