SBS 2003 Server having major issues

Posted on 2011-05-11
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a Dell PE 840 with some pretty major issues.  I got a call from my client on Monday that the email wasn't working.  When I showed up on Monday the server was DOG slow.  It took about an hour to get it to load SuperAntiSpyware and to try to do an update.  I was planning on scanning it for viruses at the time.  Finally I gave up and rebooted the server.  I then decided to uninstall the SuperAntiSpyware since the version on there was pretty old and install the latest version.  Once I did that, the server was lightening quick again and email was flowing.  I thought we were all good. I did see in the following messages in the system log:

There was an unrecoverable disk media error during the rebuild or recovery operation:  Physical Disk 0:0 Controller 0, Connector 0

There was an unrecoverable disk media error during the rebuild or recovery operation:  Physical Disk 0:1 Controller 0, Connector 0

I thought bad drive or drives.  I looked in Dell's System Administrator at the physical disks and they show to be online and no failure predicted.  Not being convinced, I downloaded and ran a Western Digital drive utility to check the drives.  They checked out fine running a short test.  I thought it may be a false message in the event log.

I got an email late Tuesday that they were still having email issues.  I showed up on Wednesday morning and the server was up and running fine.  The only person in the office and I sent some test emails from her account to me and from mine to hers.  Also sent some to others in this company.  All went fine.  We figured it was a false alarm since the person complaining was actually using mobile me to check on their ipad.  A config issue perhaps.  

Wednesday evening I get another call that email has not worked since 11:00 am.  For the life of me I can't figure out why email is having sporadic problems.  I am in the process of making a backup of the mailstore and was thinking of booting to the mirror drive, but not sure that wil help since the event viewer is showing an error on that physical drive as well.

Any ideas or tips?  The problem seems to be affecting email very sporadically.
Question by:perk83
    LVL 1

    Author Comment


    I huist looked at the mailbox size of one of the biggest complainers (owner of the company) and his mailbox is 11GB with over 41,000 items.  Another user (co-owner) has a mailbox that is almost 12GB with over 105,000 items.  All together the other osers don't total 15GB.  I am not sure if these HUGE mailboxes would cause a problem for the whole store or just those users?

    Might have something to do with my problems but might not with the error message mentioned in my OP.
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    Sounds like you need to ensure you have a safe backup of that server including the exchange store.
    It sounds like you may have disks about to fail from that message. If the event log shows the errors were during a rebuild that would explain why it was extremely slow but I would also expect some history in the raid software of when the rebuilds have taken place.
    Are there any other exchange events being logged?  and are you able to look at the raid controller to see if it has any events being logged.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    LVL 31

    Assisted Solution

    You might want to update the RAID controller driver...
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment


    I was able to get the server up long enough to do a backup of the mailstore at least last night.  I checked the RAID config utility during boot up and it shows no sign of a rebuild or any errors.  That is the puzzling part that OpenManage nor the RAID software show any signs of problems.


    I did update the RAID controller driver last night as well.  This was done in applying all updates possible to the box.  


    I finally ran an extended test using the Western Digital drive utility last nght and it did come back with some errors found that need to be fixed.  unfortunately I am not certain I want to go through the time and effort of doing a backup, then trying to fix errors on bad drives.  The replacement drives will cost about $400 for the two, if we go that route or for about $2400 we can buy a new server, quad core, new drives and 3 yr warranty.  The backup time willbe better spent if we go to the new server.

    Thanks for your help.  I am going to split the points since you both suggested things that I had done.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    Thanks for the update and the points. Good luck with whichever route you decide to follow.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Sounds like a plan if you can buy the new server. Good luck.

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