Can problematic external USB hard drive cause the server to freeze

sglee
sglee used Ask the Experts™
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Seatools TestHi,
 
 Several days ago, I had SBS2011 server slowly froze on me (and I had to power it off).
 It began when one user was complaining that it was taking longer than usual to save a file on the server.  When I opened mapped drives from my workstation PC and browsed files and folders, I had no issues. But more using were complaining about the same issue as time went on (say about 15 minutes passed by since initial complaint). I checked network drives again from my computer and I could not access them. That is when I tried to remote desktop into SBS2011 server (locally), but I would not give me the server desktop screen. So I tried to log in in front of the server console, but the result was the same. I waited for 30 minutes and finally decided to power off the computer manually.

Due to exchange database corruption (which resulted in exchange database repair), I disconnected two external USB had drives (used by BackupExec and Windows Server Backup) to preserve the data.
Now everything is good with SBS and I connected the external USB HD used by Backup Exec. On SBS, my computer was showing the drive letter "H", but it failed to display Total Size or Free Space. So I suspected that this might have been the cause of server freeze. I disconnected it from the server immediately, hooked up to my PC, ran Seagate Seatools and discovered that it failed "SjprtDST" test.

Now I wonder if this failing external USB HD might have  caused the server to slowly freeze.
Has anyone out there experienced something similar?

Thanks.
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Commented:
External HDD's usually cause a server to react more slowly (as it's trying to read the bad sectors and fail at it). I never saw a full freeze myself, like in your case, but in theory it could be possible.
I would more expect a  full freeze from a system disk.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional
Commented:
It's possible that some process have been trying to access the external drive and the drive failing caused that process to fail, which locked the system, etc...

But I agree with Kim that it doesn't normally happen that way.

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Commented:
@Brian and @Kimputer
I agree with you. In the past, I have experienced that bad external USB hard drive created a feel like "computer not being responsive", but nothing like not being able to see the desktop icons from the console.
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Commented:
Now I wonder if this failing external USB HD might have  caused the server to slowly freeze.
Has anyone out there experienced something similar?
Yes, I have an old drive that causes the whole device to freeze when I plug it in
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
Like we said, if something goes bad, anything could happen. Depends on what is really causing the freeze "behind the scenes".

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