Windows SBS 2011 big problem

Hi, I wonder if someone could help, as I am tearing my hair out over this one;
I am looking after a SBS 2011 server, has been running absolutely fine up until now.
The problem was that no updates were being deployed through WSUS to new Windows 8.1 clients.
I read up a little on the situation, and found what I thought was a solution.
KB2734608  - an update to WSUS 3.0 SP2.
I installed it, it took about 5 minutes.  I restarted the server, and once it had started, I went to the SBS console, and did a synchronise.  Sure enough, communication was re-established between the 8.1 clients and the SBS server, and the updates soon followed.
Then my problems started.
After a server restart, first of all I noticed my VPN connection to the server dropping (I maintain this server remotely).
Then the users reported losing drive mappings, network printers.  Funnily enough, Exchange seems relatively unscathed.
In a roundabout way, I established a Teamviewer session to one of the PC's in the network, and RDP'd into the server.  Sometimes it would go in ok, but everything was really slow.
At the moment, I can't seem to RDP into the server at all.
I'm getting messages like;
Please wait for the group policy client
Please wait for the user profile service
Preparing Your Desktop
Then a black screen
Sometimes in the past, I've managed to get logged in, but just get a black desktop, none of my icons, and a message similar to
"the server process could not be started because the configured identity is incorrect"
or
"C:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer or on a network. Check to to make sure the disk is properly inserted."

I've been trying to restart the server remotely using the command line in the past
shutdown /r /m \\server
but now I'm just getting the message
the entered computer name is not valid, or remote shutdown is not supported on the target computer........(53).
So I really don't know what to do!

Please could someone help?!

Many thanks
Alex
alexh75Director, Websters Ltd.Asked:
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Have you tried going into "Service" then on the "Action" tab connect to another computer, select that server then start shutting down the server services to get it to shut down that way?

If that doesn't work, you'll have to have somebody physically turn the box off then turn it back on and hopefully everything will come back up working properly.
Wayne88Commented:
First thing first, stop the WSUS service because the slowness sounded like the SBS is doing a massive download of new updates, while also rolling out updates that weren't rolled out before to the workstations.

If the problem stop then it's a WSUS issue and start your process of elimination from there.  Start WSUS again (maybe in Windows safe mode) and deny all updates then start narrowing the update policy (what's approved automatically, manually and what's denied).  You don't want to WSUS to automatically approve all and any updates.
alexh75Director, Websters Ltd.Author Commented:
Scott, thanks for your help.  I managed to get logged in eventually by RDP, and could restart the server.  It's now back up.
Wayne88, thanks for that.  I have disabled the service "Update Services" (WSUSService).  Will that be enough?
Would it be helpful if I posted some logfiles from the Event log at this stage?
Alex
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Wayne88Commented:
It will be enough to allow you to gain control of the server to allow you to start troubleshooting.  Did the problem went away?  If yes then it's WSUS.

You can start looking for any abnormal event log in regards to WSUS but eventually you need to start WSUS service back so you can tweak and test.

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alexh75Director, Websters Ltd.Author Commented:
I don't know yet Wayne, it usually manifests itself after the server has been up about 45-90 mins.
Certainly, the disk and CPU activity is below what it was before.
We'll wait and see.....I'll post any updates.
Thanks
Alex
alexh75Director, Websters Ltd.Author Commented:
Over 2 hours and so far so good.  Has also gone through a scheduled backup (which is quite resource intensive) with no problems.
Is it possible that the WSUS service is simply hogging to much memory and crashing the server?
I have already limited the size of store.exe some months ago, and I think this can be done for WSUS too?
Alex
Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
It's possible like Wayne said, that WSUS was getting updates and trying to service the workstations at the same time and it was overworking your server.

If that's the case, then what you'd want to do is have everybody (or almost everybody) turn their computers off over the weekend, let WSUS get it's updates then roll them out to the workstations.
alexh75Director, Websters Ltd.Author Commented:
OK, unfortunately I spoke too soon.  This morning,  I used Teamviewer to get back into one of the clients.  The remote desktop session established to the server from the client is still live, and the server is responsive (I can move around the screen, go into events log etc.), but on the client, the P drive is disconnected, and the printers are greyed out.  
Would greatly appreciate guidance on what to do next.  Have just restarted the server.
Thanks
Alex
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
I'd agree with the others.  It sounds like the Sync could be putting too much load on the server. Did you re-enable to service?  Or did the problem start again even though the service was stopped?

Personally I would be tempted to remove the KB2734608 update if the problem persists.
alexh75Director, Websters Ltd.Author Commented:
Hi David
The problem surfaced again even with the WSUS stopped.
I'm really stuck now.  Although the client can still see the mapped drive, it takes an age to open up any files on it.  When I RDP into the server, it also takes an age.
When I try to manage the server remotely through computer management, it says that the RPC server is busy.
When I try to RDP into the server it takes an age;
Please wait for the group policy client
Please wait for the user profile service
Preparing Your Desktop
Then a black screen, and a Windows desktop, but the only thing I can really only do from here is restart.
Please help guys?!
Thanks
Alex
Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Run ExPerfWiz on the server before the issue is happening and while it is happening.

https://experfwiz.codeplex.com/

Run it with the "threads" option and an interval of 5.  

After you have collected this run it through PAL.

https://pal.codeplex.com/

I'm having you run ExPerfWiz and this server also has Exchange on it and we don't want to rule anything out.

Look at the PAL generated report and look at the red entries.

See what they are and address and/or post back what they are so we can assist.
Wayne88Commented:
Hi alexh75, is this a physical server or VM?  Also, you will now have to start monitoring the server to see which program is slowing down the server.

When troubleshooting something like this, I normally break it down into two general steps then narrow it down from there:

1st - you want to find out what resource is being exhausted (memory, hard drive, cpu, etc.) that's causing the slowdown.

2nd - find out which specific process is the one causing the problem then you would want to test it by killing the suspected processes (best to do this afterhours).  If correct, you will see the resource usage drop dramatically.  Then you will have to analyze and fix the problem to why the culprit process was acting the way it did.

The two tools I use for this are process explorer and process monitor from Microsoft.  Have a look and get yourself familiarized because we're now trying to find a needle in a haystack.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb896645.aspx

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Let us know how it goes.

Wayne
alexh75Director, Websters Ltd.Author Commented:
Thanks for your continued support guys.
Quick update.
I restarted the server around 7 hours ago.
David, thanks for your comment about removing the update.  Beforehand, I was looking in the Windows Update section of Add/Remove Programs.  Although I could see the update, there was no way that I could see to remove it.
But I found the WSUS 3.0 SP2 update program in the general section of the Add/Remove Programs.
I uninstalled it (no reboot).
And since then (touch wood), the server has been absolutely stable.
I will leave it overnight to see what happens in the morning.
Wayne/Scottcha, thanks also for your suggestions, I may still have to use them, but hopefully not.
Will update you all tomorrow morning.
Alex
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Just bear in mind that by removing the KB you're probably going to have the Windows 8 update issue again.  You may have to re-apply the KB and monitor to see if this reoccurs.

At least though you can do this on your own time.
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