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Windows Server 2003 suddendly "FREEZES"

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Last Modified: 2012-05-06

We have a Server 2003 who runs SQL DBS that sometimes it just freezes, it answers to ping, you can move the mouse, yet, if you either connect via rdp OR locally, no login screen is prompted, just the usual grey background remains there, stalled, and it forces me to shut it down.

Any sugestion?
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Do you think explorer.exe corrupted?
Does a ctrl+alt+del get you to the task manager?  If so, end the explorer.exe task and see if your desktop pops back up.  If so, your explorer.exe may be bad.  Event errors?

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No event viewer errors, at all.

No taskmgr pop up after ctrl+alt+del, just nothing happens.
Try these:
1) remove any screen saver if it is loaded.
2) Reinstall/update of the video driver?  
3) Are you running a RAID controller on this machine?  Is all of your firmware for it up to date?
Is this a production server?  Is it something you can boot up in safe mode to see if the problem persists there as well?  If it does, most likely will require a repair/reinstall of windows.


video has nothing to do with it since the video is displayed, windows just stalls.

Yes, running a Raid controller and it's up to date, the problem is definitly something INSIDE windows, i can't boot it up to safe mode because it's totally random and people had to stop working (and we're talking about an energy production facility).

One quick question.  Do you have any type of printers that users use off of this server?
Kelly W.
How about a memory chip issue?


@Kelly W

Nope, it just acts as SQL server, nothing else.

It as an antivirus, Kasperksy.

My dilema is, why would it answer to ping, WHY would it stop/stall all dbs, not allowing this way network programs to work, why would it allow me to connect via terminal service, and why no login is shown?

@jimponder, hardware is completely fine, as i said previously it's not an hardware issue, it's software related.

I am just wondering if there is enough memory for the SQL DB to run efficiently.  How much memory does the server have?  Is this "enough" for the software that the SQL DB is being used by?  What I mean is that sometimes some canned software so that minimum specifications is 2 gig of RAM for their software and SQL DB to work.  Sometimes this minimum really needs to be bumped up to actually work correctly.
Kelly W.



The server in question runs 2  xeon quad core processors with 16gb of ram, it currently uses around 8gb, normally 7.4+-

Thank you.
So that is out of the question.
I have not worked inside of SQL for years but it used to have the ability to show errors.  Does the SQL show any errors (these are errors not found in event viewer)?
I vaguely recall that this happened to one of my clients a number of years (about 3) ago and it came down to having to make the RDP use only 16 bit and not 24 bit video.  Also not to use any type of screen saver on the server itself.
Kelly W.


In SQL Management there is no error, nothing, I can't find a single report from that server, a single error.

This happened 3 days ago and I was like "hm, bizarre.", and now again, I find it suspicious, tomorrow i'll run several hardcore tests on scanning for suspicious files, but I pretty much doubt about it, we never had a virus outbreak, not even Conficker..
Do you have a group policy running on this machine?
gpupdate /force in a cmd line will refresh it.  
Maybe load it without a GP in place?  
---  I'm throwing out ideas to help ya out bud.  ----
x64 bit?  If so, are you running a x32 emulator, if you are, replace it with a clean copy.
Do you have any network connections that don't exist any more?  Have they been removed from this server's registry?

Pulling your hair out yet?  I would be :-)


HI Jim,

Its 32 bit operative system.
Relative to the network connections, nothing old, just the actual in use.

No specific group policy here, it's all the same for all the servers

PS: no freezing so far, 1 day uptime
Another question... do you have those 'daughter' boards in this computer?  The ones that hold memory chips on them and they plug into the motherboard?  I had a server once that had one of them go bad.  I was getting random lock ups like you are... replaced all of the memory and finally those boards to resolve the issue.

Run defrag lately?  (diskkeeper is great for terminal servers)
Run disk error checker?

There's no way of keeping a log throughout the day?  Can you run each and every program on the computer one at a time to see if one of the programs is causing it?

Hibernation is turned off right?


None of them fixed it, system just started working properly, updates, probably

Thanks fellows!
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