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SQL Server Browser Service Continually stopping

Posted on 2012-03-26
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Last Modified: 2012-04-01
I have an Server 2008 R2 server running SQL 2008 SP2, the SQL Server Browser Service stops every 5 mins, I can start it again and it stops exactly 5 mins after the last time it stopped, to the second.

e.g it stops at 19:05:18, I start at 19:06, stops at 19:10:18, start at 19:13, stops at 19:15:18.

So far I've tried

enabling named pipes
changing the service log on account from local service to NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM
changing the service log on account to my own domain admin account
Rebooting the server

netstat -a -b to check nothing else is using port 1434

After a bit of googling I tried running sqlbrowser.exe -c to troubleshoot and I get no errors, and curiously that keeps running as long as I let it, it doesn't crash after 5 mins.

c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared>sqlbrowser.exe -c
SQLBrowser: starting up in console mode
SQLBrowser: starting up SSRP redirection service
SQLBrowser is successfully listening on ::[1434]
SQLBrowser is successfully listening on 0.0.0.0[1434]
[5172]: Waiting for next request...
[5004]: Waiting for next request...
[1352]: Waiting for next request...
[2912]: Waiting for next request...
[5172]: Received request...
[5004]: Received request...
[1352]: Received request...
[2912]: Received request...
[5172]: Waiting for next request...
[5004]: Waiting for next request...
[1352]: Waiting for next request...
[2912]: Waiting for next request...
[5004]: Received request...
CLNT_UCAST_INST w/refresh from 10.100.32.136[60843]
CLNT_UCAST_INST from 10.100.32.136[60843]
[5004]: Waiting for next request...
[2912]: Received request...
[2912]: Waiting for next request...
[2912]: Received request...
CLNT_UCAST_INST w/refresh from 10.100.32.136[60844]
CLNT_UCAST_INST from 10.100.32.136[60844]
[2912]: Waiting for next request...
[5004]: Received request...
[5004]: Waiting for next request...
[2912]: Received request...
CLNT_UCAST_INST w/refresh from 10.100.32.136[60845]
CLNT_UCAST_INST from 10.100.32.136[60845]
[2912]: Waiting for next request...
[5004]: Received request...
[5004]: Waiting for next request...
[5004]: Received request...
CLNT_UCAST_INST w/refresh from 10.100.32.136[60846]
CLNT_UCAST_INST from 10.100.32.136[60846]
[5004]: Waiting for next request...
[2912]: Received request...
[2912]: Waiting for next request...
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Question by:Martin81
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by:Ryan McCauley
Ryan McCauley earned 500 total points
ID: 37768259
I know this isn't really your question, but SQL Browser only handles requests for named instances of SQL Server - do you have any on this server? If you're only dealing with the default instance, then the browser isn't necessary and can even be disabled without any impact.

I've seen the SQL Browser service stop before, though it's very rare - has this only happened on a single server, and is it the only SQL Server on your network, or just the only one on which this is occurring? Perhaps it's a conflict with your AV software or some kind of Firewall - it's a longshot there, but just trying to come up with an idea of some kind.
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by:Martin81
ID: 37768476
Thanks, there are 2 instances on this server, and another SQL installation on another server at this site, that is SQL 2005 and the server browser is running on that one.

I'd not thought of AV, I'll give it a try with the AV disabled. Windows Firewall is off on the server so I don't think it's a firewall issue.
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by:Martin81
ID: 37768510
Tried with AV disabled and got the same issue.

I noticed that SQL server browser shows as a separate program in programs and features so I tried a repair installation, that failed as the msi it was installed from was missing. I found another copy of the msi from another server and ran the repair installaion - same problem. Then I ran the msi to re-install, it's actually a newer version. 10.5 so it ran an upgrade, rebooted, the service starts but still stops after 5 mins.
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by:Ryan McCauley
ID: 37768587
So you upgraded SQL Browser to 2008 R2 (that's 10.5) and it still crashes after 5 minutes?

Just to clarify, are you seeing the service actually stop every 5 minutes (and is it 5 minutes exactly, or in the neighborhood of 5 minutes?) or is the service just becoming unrepsonsive after around 5 minutes? I've never seen either before, but I'd troubleshoot them differently.

If the service is actually crashing, you can at least mitigate it by enabling the Windows Service to restart automatically if it stops unexpectedly, which will keep it generally available for users, though not resolve the actual problem.
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by:Martin81
ID: 37768685
It does stop, it shows as stopped in services mmc, I have the recovery options set to restart on failure but it doesn't actually start the service back up.

It is exactly every 5 mins it stops, not 5 after I start it either, 5 mins since it last crashed. So if I leave it stopped for 4 mins then start it, it will crash after 1 min.
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by:Martin81
ID: 37768714
"So you upgraded SQL Browser to 2008 R2 (that's 10.5) and it still crashes after 5 minutes?"

Yep
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by:Martin81
Martin81 earned 0 total points
ID: 37768732
I just tried deleting the service

sc delete sqlbrowser

Then re-creating it

New-Service -Name SQLbrowser -binarypathname "c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlbrowser.exe" -credential "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" -Description "SQL Server Browser" -StartupType Automatic

Still the same problem...
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by:Martin81
ID: 37768751
See screenshots of the 'service has shutdown' events I'm getting in event veiwer, exactly 5 mins apart.
Capture.JPG
Capture2.JPG
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by:Ryan McCauley
ID: 37768767
The service in your list is just a link to the EXE with some parameters - I wouldn't expect recreating it to alter the behavior at all, but it was worth a shot.

What happens if you wait longer than 5 minutes before starting the service again - does it crash immediately? Or does it wait until the next 5 minute interval and then crash at that time? Since it's happening every 5 minutes, I'm inclined to suggest that it's some kind of malformed request coming from a client - not something I've seen the Browser choke on before, but possible. I found an MSDN post here talking about it:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mangeshd/archive/2009/08/10/sqlbrowser-fails-with-the-sqlbrowser-service-was-unable-to-process-a-client-request.aspx

Do you have any related events in your Windows or SQL Server Event log around the time of the service crashes? If you do, please post them here.
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by:Martin81
ID: 37768871
If I wait longer that 5 mins, say 7 mins before I restart the service, it will crash exactly 10 mins since it last crashed.

Could it be a stored procedure causing the crash? I assume stored procedures would run on a regular schedule? We have an in house application that queries one of the databases that stores user information, then provisions AD user accounts based on the data it pulls. There's a service associated with that which I stopped to see if that made any difference, which it didn't, but I guess a stored procedure could still be running even with that service stopped?

I'm off home now, it's 23:15 here. I'll have a read of the article you posted and post back tomorrow. Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
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by:Ryan McCauley
ID: 37771537
I definitely suspect it's event-driven by something that's either happening locally or on a remote client, but is unrelated to the service itself - since it happens on five minute intervals, regardless of whether the service is running the whole time, that seems the most likely option.

I'm not sure what flexibility you have, but can you disconnect this server from the network during some kind of maintenance window? Then you could see if it still happens without a network connection - if it doesn't, then it's something happening as a result of a malformed client request of some kind. It would be less telling if it still happened when the network was disconnected, but at least then you could eliminate a remote client as the source and just look locally.
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Martin81 earned 0 total points
ID: 37773288
It looks like I've finally got this working. I completely uninstalled the SQL server browser program from programs and features, and deleted the service I manually created yesterday.

Then reinstalled an older version of the SQL server browser (10.0.1600.22), that didn't re-create the service so I manually created the service via powershell, and it's been running without crashing for the last hour. I think it was uninstalling and re-installing that sorted it rather than the change of version.
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by:Martin81
ID: 37792722
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