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Problems with SBS 2008 server since replacing faulty RAID 1 drive

I had to replace a faulty SATA300 drive in a RAID 1 mirror configuration on an SBS 2008 server on Wednesday.

I had to take the server offsite as the drive took 25 hours to rebuild, a long time for 500GB.

Since then I have rebooted 3 times, each time taking 2.5 hrs to complete. It is stuck on "applying computer settings" for 70 minutes and the same time on "applying user settings."

Once into Windows I can open the menu from the START button but nothing responds from the meny using either the mouse or keyboard, The desktop icons do respond, but I wanted to get into services to check if anything had stopped.

Any ideas please.

Many thanks,


Tom
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bill2013
Asked:
bill2013
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3 Solutions
 
David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
What is the make and model of the server?

Are both drives running at the same RPM?

Did you replace just the drive or do a restore as Olaf suggested in your previous question?
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bill2013Author Commented:
It's a Fujitsu TX100 S1 and both drives are 7200rpm.

As I went with one of the Fujitsu recommended drives, I simply replaced the drive.
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
Can you get into event viewer at all when booted?
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noxchoCommented:
Try repair from Windows boot DVD.
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
Maybe worth doing a consistency check on the RAID as well.  It maybe that the other original drive also has an issue.
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bill2013Author Commented:
I can create a shortcut on the desktop. Trying to find a command line to open Event viewer??
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bill2013Author Commented:
OK, found it, "eventvwr", but it just sticks on hourglass.
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bill2013Author Commented:
It uses an LSI controller and a consistency check looks like another 24 hour routine, so I have replaced the second original drive and it is currently rebuilding the new drive.

As you say there could be an issue with the other original drive, so no point in leaving it in, when I have the chance to replace it.

Fujitsu says it can take 10 hours to do a rebuild, so I am checking to see if it gets to 1% within 6 minutes. Nope 10 minutes and still on 0%.

I have several backups on Symantec System Recovery 2011 for SBS and may need to revert these tomorrow. I have one backup a few hours before the problem.
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
Leave it for an hour and check the rebuild then.

Are you doing the rebuild whilst online and booted to windows or with it offline?
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Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
As long as you're going through this, wanted to make sure you are aware of AF drives.  May not fix problem, but thought you'd like to know since you're using 2008 and putting in new drives.  Previous discussion on EE regarding mirror problems...
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28270595.html

And here is a description of the fix ...
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2618914/en-us
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bill2013Author Commented:
I had to pick up 3 XP PCs that need to be upgraded to WIndows 7 - back now and checking David's and Chris's replies.

Three hours and the new drive is 4% into the rebuild, so looks like it could be the cheap and nasty LSI controller?

David, I am going into the RAID bios (Ctrl+M) and letting the RAID 1 rebuild itself - before I do anything else, is this method wrong?

Chris, I will go through the links you provided thoroughly now and come back as soon as I taken it all in.
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bill2013Author Commented:
Chris, the problem in the ee thread could well have applied to me initially as the size/sectors etc would have been different. However, I am now using two identical drives ordered together and yet it took three hours to get to 5% in the rebuild. With the non-identical drives I would be at 12%.

My gut feeling is a faulty RAID controller.
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bill2013Author Commented:
I only have the original new drive connected to test on it's own and save the rebuilding time.

It took two and a half hours to go into Windows and is fully responsive to goes to the SBS console as if I have to set everything up again.

Not sure on how I progress from here. I had the same SBS console with the mirrored drives and by bypassing it, I had an unresponsive system.
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Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
I would reseat and check RAM elsewhere, then reinstall.  Or at least check it during POST if it gets that far.

Apparently drives are not hot pluggable for that server, so if that happened your controller gut feeling might end up right.

Fujitsu wants you to use their ServerView software that allows wizard config of RAID and install of OS as described in manual.  It seems like it would be worth trying.  PDF manual attached.  See page 43-45.

Here is the Fujitsu download link and navigate page using left margin...
http://download.ts.fujitsu.com/prim_supportcd/SVSSoftware/html/index_e.htm


and it looks like this...
Fujitsu downloads screen grab.

Please let us know which way you decide to go, and how it goes.
FujitsuServertx100s1-ba-en.pdf
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bill2013Author Commented:
Thanks Chris,

I will try your suggestion, but even with the RAID sorted, I will still hit the problem I am having at the moment.

When Windows loads and the icons finally appear after 3 hours, the SBS console appears and IS responsive. If I go to Start > .Admin Tools > Services (to check if any have stopped), it does NOT respond,

I will try running the basics on the console, connect to the Internet, etc., and see if that helps, but I might whack in another blank drive and do a recovery from the last backup.

Then I can backtrack and follow your suggestions,
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
It is worth checking the RAM in the server as suggested.

Having the RAID rebuild in the bios is fine. You can still boot to windows and then monitor the rebuild via the software.

How much ram is installed?

It could be the controller.

Has the rebuild been completed now?l and are you still experiencing the same speed issues?
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bill2013Author Commented:
I've switched the memory around now and reconnected the two identical new drives.

I did try to get it into Windows to do the rebuild later, but it wants to do it within the bios.

So far it's reached 2% after 20 minutes, so it's 50% faster than before but still taking too long and I am really tempted to reinstall from the last backup to a new SATA drive and live with one drive for a week, just to have it ready for Monday morning.
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bill2013Author Commented:
RAID 1 rebuilt and nearly finished a recovery of last backup using SSR 2011.
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
That's good.

Sorry I didn't see the notification for your other comment.

Let us know how it recovers.
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bill2013Author Commented:
Thanks David,  it took about 4 hours and 2 attempts to recover the system partition. I'll move over the data partition within Windows now that everything is working well.

Just need to check it works well onsite before I close the thread.
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
Good to hear.

These types of situations are always a pain. It just proves though that a good backup system is always a life saver.
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bill2013Author Commented:
Damn, spoke too soon.

All going well then system stopped responding.

Also, doesn't see drives if USB drive connected?

So, apart from the USB issue, the system starts up normally, slow like all servers but 5 minutes better than 3 hours, but the system fails to respond. Click an icon or select a program and nothing happens!

Hardware or software?
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
Sounds like a hardware issue.

If you have more than one slot of RAM, remove one and retest.  Do the same until you can rule out the Ram being an issue.

Can you open task manager and check performance?  Is so, check to see if the CPU is utilising ok.  Check for high usage processes.
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bill2013Author Commented:
Unfortunately, task manager's a non-starter.

4 x 2GB memory and I imagine they work in pairs. Not sure how well 4GB will work woth 2008, but worth testing. It does sound a memory type issue, now you mention it.

I will do in the morning and let you know, need to get the third of three PCs upgraded from xp to 7 before getting some sleep and I;m only 30% there.
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
Hello,

Just wondering if there is an update on this one?  Has the server been taken back to site?  Any RAM modules found to be causing an issue?
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Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
Hi guys.
Found this checklist from previous EE post about SBS 2008 that may give you some new ideas for your situation.  He specializes in SBS2008 and is also on EE.  You might leave a comment on his blog which is linked in his EE profile...
http://www.experts-exchange.com/members/MPECSInc.html

here is his checklist...
http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2009/04/sbs-2008-setup-checklist-v10.html

Also found lots of tools and ideas here, but thread is long, so you could jump to halfway down then start reading fast.  You may already have all these tools...
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/39a04479-2fd9-40bd-bde0-9ca7b90a1a5c/small-business-server-2008-extremely-slowlong-boot-hanging-on-black-screen-with-mouse-cursor?forum=smallbusinessserver

Hope it goes great.
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bill2013Author Commented:
Hi, plugged it in onsite and all worked perfectly.

I suppose the moral is, don't take a server offsite.

Many thanks for all you ideas.
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David AtkinIT ProfessionalCommented:
Glad it is running ok now.

Dave
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