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Windows Server 2003 - Grey Login Screen


I wonder if anyone can shed some light on this?

We have a Dell PE1900 server which has the sole task of running a large database application.  Up til now it has worked fine with no problems at all (it's been installed for about 8 months).

Twice in the last week it has not been possible to log in to it via the console or RDP - all you get is a blank grey screen.  It remains available on the network and users don't notice a problem and it responds well to a remote shutdown/restart.  After a reboot it works fine.

There's no real evidence of the cause of the problem in the event logs - first time it happened there were no errors at all, the second time (it started some time over the weekend and was noticed Monday morning) there were some Windows Search Service errors but these only occurred briefly for maybe 30 times Sunday afternoon and stopped at 17:17 that day.  The USB backup failed saying the device was in use.  I suspect that if these are related, they represent a consequence rather than cause of the problem.

The server's running AVG AntiVirus 8.5 and APC software services - I have seen APC s/w known to cause similar behaviour but these symptons are a little different so I'm not confident that this is the cause.

The server's running 2003 with SP2 and is fully patched as far as I know.  The RAID (RAID 10) is healthy.

Does anyone have any ideas?  This is a nuisance at the moment but if it keeps happening will become a bigger problem.


1 Solution
I have seen APC do something very similar to this as well. The backup issue may be caused by the antivirus software, but only in the fact that it may be scanning the device while the backup service is trying to write to it.
comphilAuthor Commented:
We have since found that a 3rd party software company updated Pervasive SQL on the server from 9 to 10 - this happened around the time the problem started.  They have now rolled it back to 9 and the problem has stopped so it now lies with them to find a resolution.

The backup was a red herring, turned out to be complete coincidence and now fixed as well.

Thanks for your suggestion MiniDevo, will request points to be refunded.
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