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SBS 2003 Server Hard Locks Not Many Clues

Posted on 2012-12-21
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Last Modified: 2012-12-27
Hello,

We have a client with an SBS 2003 server. In the last few weeks it has started hard locking. We get an alert via our RMM tool that it is offline. When we go onsite the numlock key is on, the monitor is sleeping. Pressing any key or moving the mouse does not make the screen resume and the numlock key is stuck on. The hard drives show some occassional activity (I assume this is just the raid card syncing). And the computer cannot be pinged from any other computer. This is an HP Proliant server. We hard power reset it and all is well for about another week. What is weird is there is not many clues in the event log as the entries that are there have been happening for years and there has not been any recent changes to the server.

The last time it crashed was 12-19 @ 8:32PM. That is when the event log says "unexpected shutdown" There are no entries in the event logs until 6:15AM when we reset it.

I am assuming hardware at this point. My plan is to get a new server and do a P2V transfer to it until we can load a new server from scratch and migrate from the old SBS 2003 to the new.

Any ideas?
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Question by:borgmember
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Tony Giangreco earned 500 total points
ID: 38712928
I had this same problem on an old Dell PE1750 server running 2003. We finally brought in a 2008 server, moved all the apps and data to it and reinstalled 2003 on that server and now use it as a second DC.  That was six months ago and it hasn't locked since.

We had the same symptoms and couldn't get any difinitive anser after running dioagnotic software and scouring the event logs.

Hope this helps.
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by:borgmember
ID: 38712989
Thats what I was not wanting to hear. We had another client a few weeks back to a similiar thing with the server hardware testing good. But it would lockup. We moved the SBS install to another similiar server and the problems persisted. So this might be an OS issue.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38713007
Yes, this process can be painful, but for us, blowing 2003 away and a clean install worked wonders. After years of Windows updates and having apps installed and uninstalled, I think 2003 had major O/S issues.
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Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 38714810
With the number of SBS 2003 servers and plain 2003 servers in play, there are few reports of such lockups.  More likely is an errant app eating up the available memory.  Everytime I have seen this it has been the AV software and disabling or removing it has caused the lockups to cease.
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Author Closing Comment

by:borgmember
ID: 38725190
New OS on same hardware fixed the problem. Thanks!
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