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Server crashes inexplicably

By comm ·
I have a 4-year old Win2000 server Dell PowerEdge 4400 RAID 5 (8 60GB hard drives with 39GB free space) with 2 1000mhz Intel Pentium III, 768 MB installed memory that crashes (black screen, no BSOD, server is on but no keyboard or mouse response and comes back up no problem when turned off and back on) or reboots itself about every 2 weeks, usually when little to no traffic, rarely in heavy traffic times. Nothing ever in any Event log for hours or days prior. This has been happening since I took over the server a year ago. Sometimes I get a mini dump but I can't read or interpret them as I am not trained. Uses Active Directory. This is an internal LAN, no Internet connections, no viruses. As I am not trained, I don't know what to check or where to go with this. I've posted to other tech forums but get no responses. Please help!

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by BFilmFan In reply to Server crashes inexplicab ...

What is showing in the event log?
Is this a domain controller or a member server?
What OS hot fixes and service pack revisions are on the system?

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by comm In reply to

This is a domain controller.
About a month ago I installed SP4, prior to that it had no service packs, no other OS hot fixes. No change in crash pattern since.
The last crash was 9/4 at 8:26am. prior to that in System log is 8003 at 9:23pm the night before and at 12:42pm and 4:42am the day before 5 event 47's. In the next 2 minutes after the crash are events 6008, 6009, 6005, 9216, 2511, 8015, 606, 7023, 1001, 7013, 7000, 1001, 1002, 101, 26, then 3 minutes later is 2013, and 20 minutes later is 8003.
In the Application log an hour before the crash is 202, within 4 minutes after the crash are mostly info's: 4097, 2, 0, 400, 1013, 300, 100, 1005, 1000, 301, 9007, 2018, 9006, 1008, 332, 334, 9070, 1019, 1027, 1010, 2042, 9008, 8192, 9014, 100, 8195, 905, 102, 1216, 1032, 1044, 1033, 1016, 9095, 9096, 4145, 4137, 4129, 4130, 4137, with 2219, 2206, 2207 warnings and 116 error.
Let me know if you need any other data.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Server crashes inexplicab ...

Freezing with no keyboard response. Intermittent and increasing rate of failure. It's hardware. Bet a quarter it is bad video on the motherboard. What does the screen look like during a freeze?
So this has been doing this for a year and it gotten so bad now you need to fix it eh? you know, domain controller crashes are only allowed a couple of times in my network. then, i say "fun is over". anyhow, I am kidding and here is my story about hard to pinpoint crashes:
a Dell server running win2k svr sp4. it was not a domain controller. it was in a workgroup as a file server and backup to tape server. at first it only seemed to fail at night during the backups. so off we went chasing the problem down that way. and sure enough, we were several patches behind on backup software and tape drivers. plus we had been having trouble with the servers UPS, having had a couple in row go down prematurely so we had to wonder about that....anyhow we upgraded windows, the backup software, the UPS the UPS software, the bioses the drivers the motherboard stuff. everything. not a bad idea anyhow, imho. always a good excuse to put that time in...
anyhow, dang thing just kept giving problems, so i got them to keep a failure log and darned if it wasnt' worsening and now also during work day. I went in and called Dell. naturally we upgraded the bejabbees out of the system (most i had already done) then they allowed if i put a video card in, might fix it. only thing was it had onboard video so had Dell come out and put in new motherboard (btw it was 4 years old it had an extended warranty. which i always get now on servers). Has been crash free since.
My rule of thumb is: if it is weird inexplicable problem, think hardware.
worth a look to see if you have an extended warranty. that info plus drivers for that system found easily via the Service Tag number on the dell website.
the trouble with motherboard failure is it can be hard to diagnose because you have to rule out everything else.

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by comm In reply to

Thanks very much but this will take me quite some time to see if this will help me.

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by CG IT In reply to Server crashes inexplicab ...

Whats running on the network? Exchange? WINS, DHCP, and any W2003 programs like LiveCommunications and do you have an network AV?? RIS? RRAS [though you say no Internet Connections what about a dedicated TI to another location]

Many of the events you listed don't really deal directly with a DC rather something else.

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by CG IT In reply to

might be uninstalling and then reinstalling exchange that caused some problems. What also might be causing your wonky server is AV. AV can't scan the M drive in Exchange or it screws up Exchange. With Exchange screwed up you'll get intermittent problems even if you don't use it. you should be able to uninstall Exchange without effecting your environment including IIS.Here's a link to manually uninstall exchange http://support.microsoft.com/kb/260378/ not using the setup program to uninstall exchange.

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by comm In reply to

Sounded good, but now I've got a bigger problem. See my comments above. I've been doing nothing but trying to figure out what happened to Active Directory which is clearly messed up now. Not blaming you as I am the one who pushed the buttons, but it's 24 hours later, I have a new big problem I haven't been able to solve yet. Microsoft says restoring system state will restore AD but it didn't. Wow.

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by comm In reply to Server crashes inexplicab ...

I didn't figure the events log was of any help.

Running on the network is Exchange (although we don't use it and I can't figure out how to get rid of it because when I uninstall it IIS bugs and our internal webpage goes wonky), IIS, WINS, DNS. I don't know what FRS, SNMP, WMS are but they are there too.

DHCP is on auto but not used.

AV on the server is F-Prot, changed from Symantec when license ran out 1-2 months ago. Clients have various AV pgms, depending on when the PCs were set up, all individually run.

No W2003 pgms, no RIS, no RRAS - no external connections whatsoever.

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by comm In reply to Server crashes inexplicab ...

The article says to remove the IIS component and the Metabase.bin but not the Common Files, then reinstall the IIS component. I don't see the Metabase.bin option. Also, I take it this will not mess up what I already have on IIS?
If it makes any difference, after I had IIS problems from uninstalling Exchange, I didn't reinstall it but restored the earlier System State.

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by comm In reply to Server crashes inexplicab ...

Well, I tried the manual removal of Exchange, followed all the steps, looked great, but it still ate the LAN's website - said it was under construction - so had to restore the system state back again.
Maybe I'm supposed to tell the reinstalled IIS where the files for the website are???

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