Microsoft Server 2003 Standard SP2 Freezes

I have a Server 2003 Standard Edition SP2 that act's a a file sharing server as well as runs SQL 2005 and Backup Exec 12d. For some reason it freezes daily. Used to be every couple of Months. Nothing in the event logs points to anything. I have tried uninstalling Symantec Antivirus Corp. and have updated all firmware, drivers etc... I have installed all Microsoft updates. I have no idea what is causing it. The motherboard is an Intel SE7500CW2 with 4GB of RAM. I want to test the memory so can someone reccomend a good program? Is microsofts memory tester suitable for a server? Any help is appreciated.

clifford_m71IT ManagerAsked:
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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Out of frustration I have uninstalled Symantec Backup Exec 12D. I let the server run for a couple of days with no backup. I then re-installed it on D: Drive (RAID 5 Array). Since then the server has not frozen. I am still not convinced but so far so good. If things don't hold up I will re-open this issue.

For now I would like to reward half the points to EugeneZ. While there is not a definitive answer yet I believe I should upgrade the HDD's to faster models as EugeneZ suggested.
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Eugene ZCommented:
<file sharing server >
how fast your server HDDs?


Check memory setting for SQL SERVER, OS..
run perfmon, etc


try
Windows Memory Diagnostic
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp
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Eugene ZCommented:
one more:
what are you running on your sql server? "bad" queries (for example without indexes) can freeze server
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BanthorCommented:
Can you be a little more desriptive on 'FREEZING'

Is Windows Search installed?
 
 
 
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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
EugeneZ,

Thanks for the quick reply.
The HDD's are  Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 ST3250823AS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s.

Can you give me a little guidance on the performance monitor. What counters should I use?

The SQL database runs a third party software. I have talked to our application provider and they say no one else is experiencing these issues. Basically I don't know if bad queries are running but I assume that if no other client is having the issues then they should be fine. How can I check?

FYI: When I say freeze I mean freeze. You can see whatever is on the screen at the time it freezes but nothing works. Can't move mouse, use keyboard, remote in, ping, use SQL.....nothing. Have to manually shut down and restart.




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Eugene ZCommented:
7200 RPM  is very slow - good for file server - not sql server; what is RAID configuration?
this is very "standard" issue- when CPU jumps to 100% , etc. in many cases server memory, etc - effected by bad sql code performances..
BTW: did you patch sql server 2005 - there is fresh sp3, etc..?

check
Understanding Perfmon Counters while troubleshooting SQL Server Performance Issues
http://blogs.technet.com/vipulshah/archive/2006/11/30/understanding-perfmon-counters-while-troubleshooting-sql-server-performance-issues.asp

also
run sql profiler to see what is running on the box
Introduction to SQL Profiler
http://www.developer.com/db/article.php/3482216


<third party software>
it can have memory leaks, etc
--
Again - you probably need to think about better server for sql server...
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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
We have Adaptec 2410SA SATA RAID Controller. 6 total HDD's. 2 mirrored for OS and 4 RAID 5 for data. The SQL is installed on the RAID 5.

We have Dual 2.8 Ghz Xeon Processors that never reach 50% of capacity.

When I ran a SQL trace I had no idea what I should be looking for as far as errors. I do know that the file I saved it to reached 924KB in about 20 minutes. Is that a lot of activity?
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Eugene ZCommented:
raid config is ok -  :( does not make hdd speed faster

size is ok depends what are you tracing -> try to select templates- >  duration for example:
1 MB in 20 mins - no big -> see duration (1000 is 1 sec) and queries
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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
EugeneZ,

This may be a question for another forum but if I want to replace my HDD's with faster models can I simply remove one of the drives on the OS mirror then put in a new hard drive and let the mirror rebuild then do the same with the 2nd OS hard drive?

As for the RAID 5 array....can I remove one drive then put in a faster model and let the array rebuild and so on....and so on....

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BanthorCommented:
There is a template in SQL Profiler called Long Running Queries.
This would be a good place to start
Locks could be the issue.
I am still unclear what you mean by Freeze.
If the desktop is frozen, can you still connect to the database VIA SQLCMD or another workstation.

Can you connect VIA MMC?
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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Banthor,
When I say freeze I mean it is as if the server were shut off. NOTHING works....No SQLCMD, no logging in from another workstation, no MMC.
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Eugene ZCommented:
yes, you can as long it is hotswappable  just make sure to have all backups - just in case
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BanthorCommented:
How about errors in the Event Log ?
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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Banthor, There are no consistent or critical errors in the event log when the server freezes.
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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Oops! I forgot to add.....how do I reward half the points?
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