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Unexpected Restarts Server 2003 SBS - RAID Problems and Backplane Issues?

Posted on 2010-11-29
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a server thatis getting a lot of unexpected restarts. When I review the system logs cannot find anything to indicate a problem prior to the restart.

I've had several problems that indicate input/output errors and as I eliminate them the system does seem to function better in every aspect. I cannot get past the unexpected restarts issue.

I have an Intel SRCSASRB. When I open the Intel RAID manager,the dashboard shows status as optimal, one enclosure, zero backplanes, six drives, one drive group, and one virtual drive.

I have exhausted everything that  know how to do in diagnosing these unexpected restarts. I believe they are in some way related to the RAID array or card.

I have to have a backplane, right? If this is true, then could the system not seeing a backplane explain the I/O errors? I don't see any items in device manager letter showing incorrect drivers, and correct functioning, or as unrecognized hardware.

Help!
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Question by:mnbookman
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7 Comments
 
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:dlethe
dlethe earned 100 total points
ID: 34233215
No, you need a non-RAID controller to run diags.  Then you can boot the system to an Ubuntu LiveCD, wire the disks to the non-RAID controller.   Boot - DO NOT INSTALL the LINUX distribution, then run the hd diags that come with the O/S.
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by:OrcaKnight
ID: 34234064
If this machine hosts printers, have you considered the third party printer drivers? Some HP drivers caused immediate or delayed restarts on SBS 2003 servers, and replacing them with other drivers usually solved the issues. The reboots caused by the drivers would not log any info, not even the print job.
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LVL 47

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by:dlethe
ID: 34234374
Or, boot the system to Ubuntu .. let it run over week-end doing system tests.  If it crashes, you can pretty much eliminate Micro$oft.
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 34234520
OrcaKnight, have you heard of this happening with Dell or Brother Printer drivers? I have both hosted on this server.

Is there any way to diagnose this other than swapping the drivers, waiting a few weeks, and wondering if the server is ok?
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 34241593
I disassembled the server last night and verified that there is, indeed, a back plane despite the RAID manager not detecting the back plane.

When I look into device manager, I see a device that doesn't match the actual physical hardware. The device in system manager is listed as "Intel SCA Hotswap Backplane" while the actual physical unit is an "AXXX6DRV3GEXP".

I understand that the system is using this device; it has to, since all drives are plugged into it. However, could it be using it incorrectly with the wrong drivers, even though it is functional?

I found that there is a memory dump available, so I'm looking into reading what happened. I looked at it in a text editor and the only thing I saw was "event storm."

I'm having trouble finding a program to read the memory dump! I feel really competent.
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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
OrcaKnight earned 400 total points
ID: 34243459
I have had it happen with MFP Brother drivers, so yes, it is possible the Brother drivers are a cause. Not specifically Dell drivers, though.
If the backplane is a basic pass-through device, there may not need to be any drivers for it to operate. The specific needs of backplanes are mostly to set how often it checks for drive SMART failures and/or firmware mismatches. The fact that your RAID controller sees all the drives, and you are not getting any red lights on the drives means that the backplane must be operating correctly.
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 34243560
Well, every other reboot I get an error that I have too many drives, and I just documented that. I started another thread related to this. I'm not sure how to divvy up points on this thread? You just answered my question with your last post.
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