Server gone slow

This is an SBS2003 server which has started giving performance issues. Users are reporting that disk access is very slow and often there are 20 second pauses while they wait for something to happen. I can see also when I log in on Remote Desktop, it takes ages to get my desktop whereas it used to be almost instantaneous. When I look at TaskManager, it is usually showing the systemidle process at 99%. So I dont understand what is going on.

I run TrendMicro antivirus on this server. I was suspicious that this might be causing the problem. TrendMicro have superceded the program with another called Worry Free Antivirus. So I uninstalled the orginal software to see if there was any improvement.  Unfortunately there wasn't. I've installed the SBS BPA and carried out all the recommendations. I've also re-run the CE-ICW.

What else can I look at in order to see why this server is performing so badly?

Ian
ipendleburyAsked:
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ipendleburyAuthor Commented:
I noticed that Store.exe is using 548M. Is that relevent at all?
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Don S.Commented:
Store.exe is your exchange information store and it will use as much memory as is available.  Unexplained slow performance like you are describing often indicates a problem with disk access.  Very often a failing disk.  With the server basically idle, the disk access light should blink but not be on steady - if it is, then either the disk is constantly retrying or some other process has run amok and is hitting the disk drive(s) hard).  Check the system log file to see if there are any disk failure event.
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ipendleburyAuthor Commented:
The Event log is relatively clean. Nothing major in there at all. Certainly nothing disk related.

Something which has been reported to me several times is that the when a user encounters one of these go-slows, closing their application and re-opening it will cure the problem for a while.
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Don S.Commented:
That report indicates the problem is on their computer - not on the server.
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ipendleburyAuthor Commented:
All clients simultaneously start having similar issues. That's too much of a coincedence.

I'm seeing dreadfull performance also on my TS session. I just saved a small text file in Notepad. It took 20 seconds for the Save As dialog to open. I had Task Manager open at the same time and it was showing 99% system idle. I'm wondering if there is a networking issue that can affect my TS session in the same way that the clients are being affected.
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LMiller7Commented:
I suspect that unless the disk system is seriously overworked or there are serious memory issues the problems are network related. What happens if you log on locally and run applications that way?
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ipendleburyAuthor Commented:
That's a bit dificult to say in a short space of time because sometimes the clients run ok. I'm working remotely over TS and seeing problems. I got the client to log into the console and try a few things. At that point in time he got one pregant pause and then everything else was ok.

I've downloaded the diagnostics program from the disk manufacturers website (Western Digital). I've got 2 mirrored disks in this server. The basic tests all succeeded. I'm worried that if I run the extended tests, it may screw up the mirror.
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Don S.Commented:
From what you are saying now, it does sound like a network problem.  Can you login directly to the console of the server and test performance?  If you are logging in remotely over the network to a TS session, then that could be a local server problem or a network problem.  I'd check for broadcast storms in the network first, then cabling issues, then network switch issues, then Nic driver on the server. - Most likely to least likely.
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ipendleburyAuthor Commented:
Tonight we updated the NIC driver without any success. Tomorrow we'll take a look at the cabling.
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ipendleburyAuthor Commented:
It seems that we had 2 problems....

On Friday I got a call that nobody could access the server on the Lan. This server has supermicro motherboard with a dual onboard lan adapters. I installed another network card into a spare pci slot. Then I disabled the old one and re-ran the CEICW. That fixed the network connectivity problems and things speeded up a little afterwards.

I then noticed in the application log that Exchange was trying (and failing) several times per second to send an email to an external recipient. I deleted that email and this also made a big difference to the speed. I'm logged in on remote decktop. It's dificult to tell if it's fixed or not, but now it seems the fastest I've seen it in a long while.

So thank you both for your comments. I'll award some points now.

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