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Windows 2008 Server very slow performance


I have a Dell PowerEdge T110, Windows Server 2008 R2, Intel Xeon X3440 2.5 GHz 8 MB Cache, 16 GB 1333MHz,PERC S100, RAID1, 2 x 250GB 7.2K RPM SATA

We're running Quickbooks V12 and have up to 7 users connect to it using Remote Desktop.  When there's one or two users connected to the server, it consistently hangs in Quickbooks, Word, Adobe Acrobat and pretty much everywhere.  Physical memory usage doesn't seem to be a problem as it runs around 40% usage.  I've scanned it for malware, viruses and rootkits but not a trace anywhere.  I installed Defraggler because it has this little hard drive benchmark utility that I like to use to gauge the performance of a hard drive.  It was running random read tests at 1.5 Mb/s which seemed a little slow to me.  After a full defragment, it was running at 2.5 Mb/s, which still seems like it should be faster.  I'm not sure what else to try or how to diagnose this issue.  Please let me know if I've left out any information that might help.  Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?
Matt Kendall
Matt Kendall
2 Solutions
Thomas Zucker-ScharffSystems AnalystCommented:
How is the drive (s) set up? If there is partitioning that may cause some problems.  I used Paragon's partition manager for servers to repartition a production server (worked like a charm). I believe the product is now called something like Drive Manager Suite.
This is a PERC S100, RAID1, so likely the disks are long, long, past their useful life.  The disks are likely doing deep error recovery and reallocating bad blocks.   It can hang 5-10 seconds for every single bad block.   Since you are in a RAID1 config then the system is repairing the bad block from the other HDD and remapping.

Unfortunately nothing will show in the windows logs.  The PERC S100 doesn't have much in way of reporting.    But if the disks are > 5 years, then just replace them because it is highly likely that is the issue.

Make SURE you get enterprise class drives with the Dell firmware.  Best to just call them to get the model of HDD they now support as a replacement.
Use some third party temporary file cleaning and registry cleaning utilities. I think would solve the problem. Also clean chkdsked file of generated and clean it.
Jeff PerryWindows AdministratorCommented:
I agree with dlethe. Your raid 1 is highly suspect as the culprit.

Buy another RAID card that supports Raid 5, Raid 10 preferably SAS get some faster drives 10k - 15k rotational speed and transfer your hosted files to the new drives.

The reason I suggest a new raid controller and drives is that
1.  The S100 only supports 4 drives
2.  Having a new controller to handle the user I/O separate from the OS I/O will scale better.
Matt KendallTech / Business owner operatorAuthor Commented:
Thank you dlethe and Jeff Perry for your feedback and recommendations.  I was thinking that was possibly the case.  The drives are only 2.5 years old but the more I work with SATA drives in a server environment, the more I come to realize that a server environment is no place for SATA drives.  I will only use SAS drives in servers in the future.  This is the second server this year that I've had strange issues with after only a few years.  I will be replacing the drives with SAS drives and install a better RAID controller.
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