Server 2003 slow backup and listing of folder sizes and properties also slow etc URGENT

Hi There,

We had a virus strike our server and I have cleaned it up. The file server behaves well without performance issues for the users in a day to day use.

However, I ran a full backup after the virus with NTBACKUP and it went from the usual 6-7 hours to wanting 2 days to compete. I assumed this was an NTBackup issue so installed backup4all. This took 5-6 hours just to create the file list before evening beginning to backup, it then went on to say it would take 18 hours to complete on the 168GB of data we have.

I went to do a manual copy of the data and this seems equally as problematic. I did a right-click, properties on a folder holding all the data and it was taking a long time to list the folder size and all the items count. So long I cancelled it.

Again it seems weird as actual performance of opening and looking at the files seems fine..

I should clarify that the data is on two seperate drives that are on physically different drived and both drives have the same problem. The 'D' drive is on the same drive as the 'C' OS drive and the other is a stand alone data drive.

I am panicking as we have no backup at all currently and this is going to take so long.

Please advise me in anyway you can.
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Look at how much memory is consumed. Perhaps it is as simple that you are running out of resources? Is the system swapping out to disk?
Try to reboot just before your backup.

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navjumpAuthor Commented:

The server has always been low on resources and I would like to replace it, but the resource levels are the same as they have always been.

It doesn't appear to be swapping out to disk.

On a side note the virus effected folder attributes and hid files which I unhid etc, is it possible file/folder attributed would cause this.

I have ran the same backup from a laptop connected to the shared files and its backing up much quicker so the disk seems good its just the way its processed which I guess again boils down to resources?
VirastaRUC Tech Consultant Commented:

You can try these steps:

1) Check whether Anti-virus is interfiering with the backup operation.
2) Check for any disk related events in the System logs.
3) Try running sfc /scannow on the server to repair the Windows missing or corrupted  system files and registry.
Make sure tyou have a full backup of Windows 2003 Server before performing the sfc/scannow.

Hope that helps :)
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navjumpAuthor Commented:

the  sfc /scannow command where does it get the files from to repair the missing components are they stored in the OS somewhere or uses the install discs?

I'm a bit concerned about this as I don't have a full backup at this stage, catch 22
I agree. I recommend against any repair until you have a full backup.
At this stage you may consider using backup that is off-line (OS is not running).
Do the OS drive sector image using something like Symantec Ghost or Acronis products.
Only after that perform your repairs.
navjumpAuthor Commented:
Good idea thanks

I normally use a ghost product on my Hirens boot CD, that would be OK to use in the server?
More likely the answer is yes. There are few versions that may not see your HD's but if that is the case... No harm done.
If you have spare HD, do the OS drive clone second best option would be to save the OS drive in to a file.
Third option would be to save the OS partition to a file.
With option #1 replace the original drive that is now backed up with the copy, boot and attempt repair.
navjumpAuthor Commented:

navjumpAuthor Commented:
OK to update this.

I checked the processes and there were a few processes running that shouldnt have been. I have disbaled these in msconfig and now the server is running a lot better. HOwever I have still noticed the C drive size dropping slowly over the day.

It only has 1 gig of free space and very low system memory. Naturally when I reboot this space becomes available again.

Any clues on how to find out what is chewing the memory or is this just day to day operation and it only has a small amount so more noticeable?

I'm considering setting up a shceduled task of an auto reboot.

The backup is still slower than usual, so I have moved this to another computer that is backing up the data via the mapped drives and this is much faster than it ever was and works well.

We do not use the server features to there extent, basic file sharing so I think I may replace this box with a simple workgroup arrangement in the office unless anyone oposes this idea?

Thanks for any input
Your HD space is probably taken up by the memory swap file.
The swap file size is defined (if default) as size of your ram, so if you have 4 GB of RAM ... your swap file size will be 4 GB.
if only 1 GIG is free, this introduces another problem, and that is file fragmentation which I bet is severe.
Here is simple way to clean some of it up.

1. set the paging size to 0 ( System>advanced>Advanced>Virtual Memory
2. Reboot
3. Run disk clean up and possibly Local Disk>Tools>error checking
4. Run disk clean-up to remove as much as possible to free space
5. Run defrag several times ( if it refuses to run because there is inadequate space... se what else you can remove/uninstall or move away temporarily.
6. Go back and set the paging file to different volume of at all possible different physical drive.
7. reboot

You should see improvement.
navjumpAuthor Commented:
Thank you I will try this

All the drives are SCSI but I have a spare drive installed which is IDE (yes I know its old)

Would that be ok at the swap drive or too low in performance?

I always thought a swap drive managed itself, so would eventually empty the allocated space again?

navjumpAuthor Commented:
OI have just freed up 3GB of temporary files tucked away within the administrator/local location.

Maybe having larger space will stop this being a noticeable problem or will it slowly creap down to nothing?

I will monitor but this helps me no end finding this available space.

Is it possible the virus scan filled up this temporary space and thats why i have received a performance hit? (besides the running processes I've now killed)
IDE on it's own spindle is still better than full SCSI.
The swap file manages it self, but does not clean it self, so when low on disk space your defrag can not run and it creates a big "goulash" in your file system. moving the swap file on a separate drive will free up much needed space.
navjumpAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys as this appeared to be a combination of processes running and swap files I am not sure how to allocate the points?
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Windows Server 2003

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