Windows server 2003 small business locks up starting normally

mweaner
mweaner used Ask the Experts™
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Windows Server 2003 Small Business crashed for the first time two days ago.  Was able to restart it normally after disabling some Blackberry Entperprise services on startup.  Was eventually able to restart those, but mail reliability has been spotty since the crash.  Server can't find external DNS and today, server caught in a restart loop where it gets as far as "applying computer settings".  Server is NOT pingable at this point.  Hard shutdown and restart in safe mode, it comes up.  It's pingable.  Disable services like IIS, SMTP, Exchange, AV, etc and eventually it acts like it will start normally, but locks up by the time the login screen comes up.  It may or may not be pingable in this state.  It seems to vary.  Shut it down again, brought it up "normally" in Diagnostic startup via MSConfig.  It started; it's pingable.  Of course, there's almost nothing running,  and I can't look at Events in that state, but it starts.  Shut it down again, start it in Selective Startup, processing everything except Startup items and it comes up, and mail services are running and server can get to Internet, service login requests, etc.  The Startup items are pretty innocuous, Adobe startup, MS SBS Server management, VIPRE AV tray.  It's running now in the selective mode, but obviously can't leave it this way.  No evidence of hardware problems, have scanned it w/VIPRE and Malwarebytes and it appears clean.  Fairly current on crit updates.  Was running HP Insight agents until we turned all those down to try and isolate what service might be causing the lock.  Am approaching "stumped" and would appreciate any insight into a permanent resolution...
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Commented:
With all that going on I'm sure the event logs are a mess but is there anything in there that might help us.

Commented:
Review the windows update history and see if an update destabilized your system. You can uninstall it, even from a command line, and restart.

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Commented:
I've spent hours combing through the logs...and there's so much there, don't know how any one could reasonably expect to go through them now....can't decide what part of which logs to post that might help.  Most of what's there is complaints about things being off (I know, we turned it off) or notices of unexpected restarts (yep, know that, too, it's us turning the server off hard when we can't shut it down cleanly).  Oh, and lots of NDR's from the mail delivery issues that cropped up -- and are still making me think it's possible we've got some junk in the system I've not being able to find.  

Will go through Win Updates and see if there's anything that installed Monday, or later, that might be at fault.  We're still running in Selective tonight without startup items and w/Blackberry services off...no particular reason to have the BB services off at this point...starting to think it was coincidental that turning them off got us up the first go around with this....
Commented:
Even though it didn't look like an AV problem at first, through a number of Selective startups that amounted to trial and error, we found it was the VIPRE Enterprise AV services causing the server to destabilze.  We're running alternate AV for now, with the VIPRE services disabled, and determining whether we want to un/reinstall VIPRE or use something else.  In terms of server stability, this is solved.

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