Server 2003 slows to a crawl but why?

I have two servers at a client of mine.  One is 2003 Small Bus. and the other is 2003 Enterprise running Terminal Server.  The Enterprise server has run great for a couple of year, but over the past few weeks it has had increasing periods of really really slow performance.  I don't see any obvious errors in the Event Log nor do I see any problems with CPU utilization ( Idle Process usually 90% whether it's running fast or slow).  We've checked backup processes, disabled antivirus, etc.  Any ideas where to look?  Thanks.
jhuntiiAsked:
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BawerCommented:
these issues normally happen becuase of the HDDs where after some years the hard discs performance is slowed down...
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Mr_GrumpyCommented:
Which AV are you using? Disabling rarely helps if it *is* an AV issue, try uninstalling it. Are you using RAID? Check the RAID health.
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angelrieraCommented:
Sounds like a hardware issue.
A raid degraded for a hard disk failure is the most common cause because the system must reconstruct every word from parity. at start look for "raid # degraded" message.
other cause is memory, same efect.
in multiprocessors system, a malfunction in one processor must be the cause.
all of these are listed in diagnostic screen at startup.
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BawerCommented:
as i mentioned earlier, if there are no raid level issues and other obvious hardware problem then finally it comes to HDDs you have to replace the hard drives if you have raid you can do it quite easily by placing HDDs one by one.
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angelrieraCommented:
be aware any mistake is dead.
formated disk (blanks) one by one, if working must be a lot of time (depending capacity) go to brand web site and read about the procedure, it's easy but dangerous.
make a backup before touch any hard drive handle.
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BawerCommented:
yea ofcourse in any case backup is 100% must,, i hope the user has this understanding...
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BarepAssetsSys AdminCommented:
run perfmon in logging mode on the disk check reads and writes disk que lenght  for few hours replay the logs see if there is issues you will get a more definite answer from this
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jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
This is a Supermicro server with dual processors and running RAID1.  I've checked the RAID and they are not degraded, running in full optimal mode.  I thought it might be an out-of-date RAID drivers?  Would the post info at startup tell me of CPU problems???  I'll also try running perfmon in logging mode.
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jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
Starting PerfMon shows Avg. Disk Queue Length at nearly 100% with CPU around 10% and Memory Pages fluctuating sometimes low, sometimes high.  I turned off the Swap file a few days ago and that actually helped performance at the console, but not much for the users.  Shall I turn it back on while I run Perfmon to get a clearer picture?
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angelrieraCommented:
check cpu's supermicro continues trying work with a unstable cpu.
definitely is not a software isue.
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angelrieraCommented:
also is a 1U case temperature is other factor,
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angelrieraCommented:
sorry, for no read in full, if performance is better without swap or virtual memory, go for the raid.
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angelrieraCommented:
or raid card
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jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
I downloaded the latest RAID drivers from Supermicro, but these are written by Adaptec (not Intel) for the 631/632xESB RAID controllers.  I was hesitant to try them because if they didn't work, then I really have a downed server until I can get those drivers switched back (and I'm not exactly sure how to do that if the server doesn't boot... :)  I did notice that one drive seemed to have a lot more activity on it that its mirrored counterpart.  So, I pulled that drive and I'm running a hard drive test on it.  I have another good drive, same brand, and size, but an earlier manufacture date that I think I will put back in and let the mirror re-sync itself.  I may even try that new driver in that scenario.  What do you think??
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jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
I'm also running a memory test (memtest 86).  I only have 4 GB in the server, but the test is running really slowly.  It's been 45 minutes and it's only on test #7 (out of 15 I think).  I'll pop out a stick and see if that makes any difference.  Still searching.
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angelrieraCommented:
have the disks the same speed and cache
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jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
To end the story, I swapped places with RAM sticks.  I also took one of the mirror drives out and put in a spare hard drive and let it repopulate that drive.  Speed has kicked back up to normal.  But the drive tests good...  Go figure.  Thanks for all your help.
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Windows Server 2003

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