Windows 2003 SBS Premium Slow Server Performance

Posted on 2009-02-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a Windows 2003 Small Business Server with dual 2.Ghz processors and 4GB RAM. it's the premium edition so it includes Exchange and SQL Server. Normal CPU usage is between 2-15% and available RAM is usually about 330MB. Today, our system has been running really slow. Files stored on the server accessed via a shared drive take much longer to open. Intranet applications that access MS Access databases are also sluggish. Several of my vendors and customers have also had email server outages today.

Is there a virus going around? Any suggestions how which tools I can use to best monitor server performance and troubleshoot why the system is so sluggish?

Thank you,
Question by:brownmetals
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    By the way, the paging file is currently at 4096MB. The Windows O/S recommends 5700MB for our system. That's one of the 1st changes I'm going to make once my users are done today. Any other suggestions for monitoring performance would be appreciated.
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution


    You can use the Microsoft Baseline Security Analizer to monitor for best practisus.

    Systernials has a bunch of tools designed for performance monitoring.

    If you file access time is slow you can defrag your server. Defrag it like 5 or 6 times if you havn't ever defraged it. Diskkeeper makes a good defrag tool if you don't want to use the one built into windows.

    LVL 65

    Assisted Solution

    I don't think you can go above 4096 for a pagefile with the 32 bit OS.
    Have you run the SBS best practises tool on the system to confirm there is nothing wrong there?

    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the feedback guys.
    I ran the SBS Best Practices Analyze (BPA)r. Thanks for that - didn't know that was avaialble. It found a few minor issues with the server which I addressed. I also installed all of the latest Windows Updates and rebooted the machine. Here's where I'm at now:

    " Intranet applications written in ASP accessing MS Access databases are slow
    " File access performance has improved for  Word, Excel and PDF documents on the server's file share
    " The SBS BPA also mentioned the use of the /3GB switch in the BOOT.INI file not being supported on servers that run SharePoint 2.0

    While Sharepoint is on this server, it is not used. Slow performance of Exchange and the system had previously been corrected by adding the /3GB switch to the BOOT.INI (this goes back a couple of years). I've read conflicting info about the /3GB switch being good and bad. I'm hesitant to remove the /3GB switch considering it addressed performance issues previously experienced. It also does appear that the maximum paging file size is 4096MB.

    I'm going to download and install the Sysinternals Suite and continue to monitor the performance to see if anything in particular jumps out at me. Any other suggestions for troubleshooting would be appreciated.

    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Here's an image from Sysinternals Process Explorer. Does anything here look out of the ordinary?
    LVL 4

    Author Closing Comment

    I found the issue. A recent upgrade of our Sophos Antivirus product on a Windows 2000 member server on the domain was creating the performance issue. By default, the suspicious behavior scanning in the antivirus product was set to a level far greater than needed. Intranet Applications running on the Windows 2003 SBS server would make print requests to the Windows 2000 print server and the Sophos product would aggressively scan the remote request and adversely affect performance. These features were disabled in the AV product. All servers were defragmented and some updates suggested in the Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer were applied. The system performance is now better than it had been prior to opening this question. Thanks again for your input.


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