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Server locks up

Posted on 2007-11-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
Several weeks ago, I began having problems with my server locking up. It is an IBM xServer running Windows 2000 Server. It is not a domain controller, we are only using Workgroup. It is primarily used to run Wymantec Backup Exec, Peachtree and Symantec AV Enterprise and to house the MyDocuments for the clients.

By lock up, I mean that all the processes appear to freeze; and I can do nothing except move the mouse. External users can not get to files, nor can I get a response from Ctrl-Alt-Del. I have to power cycle to get the server back alive. It only seems to do this when I am working at the console. I can do maybe 10 random things, and then it hangs. Sometimes these are file moves, sometimes starting programs (the last time I was beginning to run setup.exe to install a program.) It does not seem to lock up on its own - I have to be doing something. Tape backups and sytem scans all seem to run fine, as do remote access to the shared drives, etc.

Are there any log files that I can view to possibly track down the issue, or any standard, recommended steps that I should take to help me track this down. Is there something in the event logs that I should look for? All of the Windows updates are in place, as are the updates for the applications. Drivers are all from IBM Setup and Installation disk, so I can only assume that they are correct. I had not added any hardware with the exception of replacing a pari of failed SCSI hard drives several months ago.

Thanks, Rich
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Question by:Rich
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Expert Comment

by:JSoup
ID: 20366406
How to view and manage event logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427

Sounds Like  hardware But event logs will tell more.
Sugest Clean All Fans First..
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by:dan_blagut
ID: 20366417
Hi
From here it looks a driver/background software problems. This is happeneing also when you run on Terminal server?

Dan
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by:lnkevin
ID: 20366420
Did you check Event viewer in Computer Management to see if there is any errors or warning in both System and Application?

K
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20366554
Fans are clean - I was just in there.
I am not running Terminal Server, but using GoToMyPC to connect. It happens both from this interface and while sitting at the server.
I did check the System and Applications logs, but saw nothing strange last time. I did not check them this last time since I didn't want to lock the system again (users will get mad). I will look again in the evening, though I am not sure what I am looking for, since it seems to be random event.
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by:JSoup
ID: 20366568
red or yellow signs.
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by:dan_blagut
ID: 20366578
You can check the log using Admin tools from your wks. Also the config for terminal server take 1 min.
Dan
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20366652
Dan, What does the config for terminal server involve? I assume that would let me get in remotely, like GoToMyPC?
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by:dan_blagut
ID: 20366702
You need to add terminal server for Add remove programs - Windows setup
I'm not sure that this will work like GoToMyPC, because that is not 100% local console emulator. When you will be asked about desired type of terminal server say administration mode. That mode don't require any license. Prepare your Windows CD because the setup need some files.

Dan
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by:Rich
ID: 20366791
Thanks, I will try that when I get back to clients location - probably not until tomorrow evening. I can check the logs then, too.
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dreamyguy earned 500 total points
ID: 20368390
1. are u familiar with perfmon?
2. would it be possible to get a memory dump of the server at the time of issue?
3. it wud also be great if u could compress and upload the system and app event logs to www.ee-stuff.com and also mention the date and times when the server locked up.
4. u can also use process explorer to troubleshoot the issue
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20368759
Funny you should mention permfom. The first time this happened, I had just downloaded and installed perfmon, and when I went to run it, I got my first lockup.

Not sure how I would do step 2, since the system is locked. I can't use step 4 for the same reason. I will try step 3.
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by:dreamyguy
ID: 20368943
well for step 2, ud have to configure windows to generate a manual keyboard triggered dump.
for this we first need to know whether the kbd and mouse is responsive at the time of issue.
it mayve been coincidental that the issue occured while running perfmon, but perfmon couldn't have caused it. perfmon adds a small amount of overhead to the system so maybe it acted as a catalyst for an issue that was already there. the issue cud be anything, a driver issue, memory leak, a deadlock etc.
event logs, memory dump, perfmon and poolmon wud have to be set up on the sever to diagnose the root cause.
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20369080
I am not sure about the keyboard - Ctrl-Alt-Del is not responsive, and other keystrokes don't appear to be either. The mouse moves, but the system does not respond to mouse clicks.
Not sure how to set up for manual keyboard triggered dumps, and although I know how to check the event logs and run perfmon, though not sure which Counters would be useful, nor how to associate a keystroke with the manual dump, though I see there is something about a shortcut menu.
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by:dreamyguy
ID: 20373533
1. For memory dump:
================

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/244139 - Windows feature lets you generate a memory dump file by using the keyboard

2. For perfmon:
============

Download Perfwiz from the microsoft website.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=31fccd98-c3a1-4644-9622-faa046d69214&DisplayLang=en

Set up perfwiz on the machine that is experiencing the issue by following the wizard. Select all the counters, limit the log file size to 200 MB and set the sample interval as 5 minutes. Click next and then Finish to exit the wizard.

After that go to start-->run-->perfmon,  then select counter logs and start the log file that we just created using the wizard. Allow it to run till the time of issue. After that, stop the log file, compress the data and then upload it to any ftp site and provide the link here. I shall analzye it and provide feedback.
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20374114
Thanks - will be doing this evening.
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20398575
I have the Perfwiz configured to dump on 5 minute intervals, but the issue has not happened since last week. I set the perfmon up Saturday.

The memory dump info listed in 1 above is for Windows 2003 Server. I am working with 2000 Server on this issue. Not sure if it was the same, so I did not do it.

Thanks for the help so far, and I will be waiting for lockup...
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by:cgordon81
ID: 20401460
Wow, looks like a lot of responses to this thread.  Looks like your problem isn't too easy to troubleshoot.  Can you give some hardware specs/details?  Is it locking up during backups? You somehow need to isolate what is causing this or if it's a hardware issue or a software conflict, or a resource issue.  It wouldn't be hard to overload a server like this depending on how much it is getting hit.  How many proc's memory, etc.?  If you can take the server offline in the evening i would do a memory test on it to make sure you don't have bad memory, microsoft has a good tool for this.  I'm assuming you've already checked resource issues like too much memory being used, hard drive space etc. but would double check these issues.
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20402479
I have, and I had checked the memory a while ago. Unfortunately, there have only been sparadic lockups, but only when I am doing something from the console (either directly or through GoToMyPC) For example, I got one when starting a perf monitoring tool, a couple when browsing within MyComputer, and a couple more when just doing arbitrary things. I can not say for sure that what I was doing related to the lockup, since there are several other services running. However, to my knowledge, it hasn't locked up when I have not been administering it in some way or another. Another words, I am the problem!
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by:JSoup
ID: 20402931
You should consider GoToMyPC as a possible cause  
Display drive memory
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20403225
I guess, although I have personally used it for more than a year on my own systems (until I got RWW working) and had no problems. Also, I had been using it on this particular server for about a year with no problem, either. This lockup issue started about 1 month ago. I will say that GoToMyPC on this server does seem to slow it down considerably, howerver. Much slower than I have experienced before.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Rich
ID: 31411439
Thanks for your help. I have installed perfwiz and have not needed to use it, as the systems has run stablily since(knock on wood) Guess it was just one of those things.
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