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SBS2003 unexplainably crashes.

I have a SBS2003 server which seems to randomly - in that there seems to be no pattern other than it happens once everyone has gone home - freezes.
I don't know if there is a blue screen as the output seems to go blank and the server needs to be hard powered down to come back up.

I have run hardware diagnostics on the server and all has come back without any issues, I have also performed all Microsoft Updates and performed a complete virus scan.

There doesn't appear to be anything related to why the server might be crashing in the log files other than the usual "the last shutdown was unexpected"

Any ideas what I can do to try and find out why the server keeps crashing?
Glen Knight
Glen Knight
1 Solution

Could be a memory issue - try to change the memory...

The other possibility check system & application logs just before the  "the last shutdown was unexpected"

Glen KnightAuthor Commented:
I have already replaced the memory as the first hardware diag failed it.

There doesn't seem to be any relevant logs just before the shutdown.
Hello demazter,

you can set the server NOT to reboot after a bluescreen, then you can check the bluescreen error.
Then check the c:/windows/minidump file with a dump analyser, there you will see what causes the error.


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Maybe is a CPU issue (or even cooling issue), hard to say, I would suggest you to call your servers' vendor, they should have the appropriate testing tools !
What kind of server is it?
When you replace the memory, did you get the exact part number, model, and made? Keep in mind that memory goes in a pair so the best practice is replace a pair.
Other thing to check is server fans, air flow to ensure there is no overheat issue. Also, check the NIC, power system to ensure there is no setting to hibernate or sleep.
When is the error "the last shutdown was unexpected" occured? Hopefully, it's not the error from when you hard power the server.
One last thing, when the blank screen shows up, did you hear the fan? Were the leds up? Can you ping the server from other PC?
Set the server not to reboot as the above suggestion in "Start up and recovery setting" is the good practice to see why it's failed

Have experience similare issues that were traced to a faulty PSU - won't show up on hardware diags. Might be worth swapping out if it is a relativley standard PSU or at least getting hold of a PSU tester to see whether voltages are OK and the supply is stable.
Glen KnightAuthor Commented:
Hi yes that is what I first thought so I gave already swapped this out.
I did replace both banks of memory.
I have checked all hibernation etc settings even though I do not ever recall seeing this option on Windows Server (I have worked with it for 12 years)

It is not blue screening, there is no output at all.  You literally have to press and hold power button for 10 seconds to turn it off!
Please reread and answer our question properly. Keep in mind that we are not sitting in front of your server so the more answer is the better. We are not asking you to check the blue screen, instead, we ask you to set your server stop automatic reboot or shut down so it can generate blue screen.

Start --> Run --> type sysdm.cpl  --> Enter --> Advanced --> settings button --> Automatic restart uncheck the box.

Glen KnightAuthor Commented:
I have already made the setting so that it does not auto reboot, I tried all the usual methods of diagnosis before I posted on these forums.  The difficulty I am having is there is no blue screens no relevant event logs and no output therefore no error messages on the screen.

What I need is some other way of monitoring processes etc so I can find out exactly what is happening before the freeze.
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