SBS 2003 Server Freezing

Hi There,

We are running an SBS 2003 server and on the very odd occasion it just freezes. It is impossible to logon onto the console (no responce) and we have to force power it off and reboot again. Looking through the event log does not show any clues as the why this might be happening. No errors prior to the failure, the logs just stop.

Now I have a suspicion that this might be due to a memory leak in one of the sql databases. Previously I was investigating such a memory leak on the server when suddenly it froze and we had to reboot. Since then I adjusted the maximum amount of memory that that sql service could use, however, of course the server has frozen again since.

I guess what I'm really asking is, is the anywhere else I can look for evidence of what might be causeing this problem since the event logs look fine to me?

I've also attached a print screen of the logs incase you can see something usful I've missed.


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PlusITConnect With a Mentor Commented:
is numlock on the console still responding?

My first bet would be hardware related, i don't think a memory leak is causing this to be honest.  Make sure after a fresh reboot you keep an eye on memory and see if it only goes up.  

My first steps in troubleshooting this would be the next ones:
- check raid controller and disk logging to see if there are any errors on the raid
- check with hardware supplier for known issues, check for driver and bios upgrades
- disable anti virus software and test
- run memtest from a hirens bootcd or something.

good luck!
gikkelConnect With a Mentor Commented:
SBS 2003 is a fairly stable OS and freezing really shouldn't be an issue. How often is an odd occassion?  Its more likely to be hardware or device driver related.  Run chkdsk /r.  Update all device drivers and check for firmware updates.  If thats not the case, check your memory with windows memory diagnostics.
If you find errors, remove/cycle/reseat/swap memory modules and see if that alleviates the issue. After that you try tools in the ultimate boot cd to check other hardware issues.
Unfortunately freezing issues are fairly difficult to isolate...what hardware are you using?
I disadvice to run Run chkdsk /r. before checking raid or disk logs, if a disk is trying to fault you could acctually let it die a whole by stressing it max with chkdsk.
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jamesconveryAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,

Thanks for comments. From your input I decided to call Dell to confirm that we did not have a hardware issue, plus I remembered they have this DSET tool that can gather more logs than I would normally have access too.

As soon as I get something back I'll post here.

Also to answer a few of your quiries about the situation,

- the numlock I think was unresponsive but can't be sure now,
- after a reboot the memory usage does seem normal and steady, about 2gb free,
- could not see any errors related to raid in the event viewer, ntfrs logs are free of errors,
- bios isn't the latest version but not far off, raid driver is up to date,
- the frequency of the freezing is about once every 2-3 months, and has only happended twice,
- Good point about chkdsk on a failing raid, plusIT, I did that once on a failing raid card and ended up losing a whole load of data everytime I ran the check disk.
- If Dell don't prove to be any help, I'll travel out to the server and try some memtest and other boot of a CD hardware tests and let you know how I get on.

Thanks again for the input, will update soon,

Agree...but in all fairness I didnt even know you were running a raid volume (I probably shoud have assumed that given its a SBS machine) - this is why its important to list your system configuration.

Never run chkdsk /r on a raid volume.  Its always necessary to check your logs and make a full backup...if your system drive is configured in raid 1, you can break the volume and work with one of the drives - in which case chkdsk is completely acceptable.  You can also use chkdsk if your system drive is not a raid volume, given you have a current (and tested) backup.  
Your logs look very, very clean.  All events appear normal...including the logged "forced" shutdown - event 6008.  Are you using a battery backup?  With freezing 2-3 times per month, it may also be a power supply problem.  
Wait wait wait...2-3 months between a freeze-up?  Dont go nuts...occasional hiccups do occur.  
jamesconveryAuthor Commented:
Hey There,

Just thought I'd post a quick update, talking to the dell guy they suggested that we use verifier to monitor the drivers and look for any errors. This is because they also did not find anything interesting from the logs on the server.

However verifier does not start logging until you reboot the server and the server froze again before I could do this, as before, just this morning. Also usefull knowing when we rebooted the server verifier caused a blue screen, error - IO system verification error in TMTDI.SYS, so we had to go in in safe mode and remove the settings and reboot.

Fasinating huh? I will let you know what dell think of next.


jamesconveryAuthor Commented:
Well after talking to trend I was to disable, Trend Micro Messaging Security Agent EUQ Monitor service and Trend Micro Client/Server Security Agent Proxy Service service.

Not frozen since but the real test will be in another 6 months time I suppose.

Cheers for all the help,

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