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W2K Schedualed Task problem

By toreador ·
Hi All,
I have a problem I need some help with. I have a test lab of approximately 20 servers that are experiencing a strange problem that is wearing me out. All of the servers have scheduled tasks that frequently run. The problem is that suddenly, ever time they run, the CPU will peg at 100%, all connections will drop and the server is useless until the CPU is released. When I check task manager it shows one of three possible combinations of processes that are using up the CPU. Either mstask is 99%, explorer is 99% or one will be 50% and the other will be 49%. All servers are Windows 2000, SP4 and fully patched. The all have Symantec Corp. version 9 with up-to-date definitions. I have run Spybot-Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware to make sure there are no nasties lurking about. Netstat shows no unusual ports open. There is no strange traffic from any of the servers. Half of the servers are in the DMZ and half are not so it is not related to the firewall. I even created a task that does nothing to eliminate the SQL server, network, etc and even this task hangs the processor. I installed the latest version mstask.dll from Microsoft in the form of a hot fix (88402 to no avail. I do not want to open an incident with MS if I can help it but I am getting desperate. HELP!!!

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by yornthadude In reply to W2K Schedualed Task probl ...

when u sure it aint the hardware and theres nothing unusual running @ the same time i would recommend checking your memory paging file for its configuration and free disk space.
You could even try to change the best performance setting for your processor from programs to background services and visa versa.
U can get here by rightclicking on "my computer"->properties->advanced->performance settings->advanced

hope this wil help yah out...

Cheers
yorn

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by toreador In reply to

This issue is not hardware related as far as the servers go. The problem suddenly started occurring to almost 20 servers. I seriously doubt that that many servers could have the same hardware problem develop at the same time. I cannot find anything unusual with the LAN either. Same with page file and available space, this is not an issue with any of the servers. As far as I know nothing was changed on any of the servers before this started happening.

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by BFilmFan In reply to W2K Schedualed Task probl ...

A few questions here:

Are these Active Directory domain controllers or just Windows 2000 member servers?

How much memory is in each server?

What task is scheduler running?

I agree with yorn's previous comments on checking the disks, and in addition recommend that you run a performance monitor check on the memory and network utilization.

I'd recommend this section of the Windows 2000 Resource Kit as having some information in assisting in troubleshooting that issue:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/core/fned_ana_uxbb.asp?frame=true

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by toreador In reply to

They are all web servers and are all member servers. They are not all on identical hardware so there is anywhere from 256 to over 1 gig of RAM in each one. The tasks are all custom, anything from sweeping the event logs to a central server to adding the web data to a SQL server. What the task does doesn't matter. I created a task that does nothing and the processor still hangs. We have already sniffed the network and there is nothing unexpected with the traffic. There is nothing in the logs. Perfmon just shows the processor overload, nothing unusual. This is not a simple configuration or one server has a bad NIC problem. This is 2 separate subnets with 10 servers each all experiencing the same problem and it appeared to have started to happen to all of them at the same time. I have run full system scans using Symantec, Spybot and Ad-Aware and nothing was found by any of them. Unless it is an undiscovered virus they are not infected with anything. There are no signs in the firewall logs, snort or anywhere else that anybody hacked in.

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by Hazzard_005 In reply to W2K Schedualed Task probl ...

You could try running a program called Process Explorer which is a free download here:
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,23780,00.asp

This may help find out what exactly is going on. It is a better tool to use as a replacement of the task manager. Quoted from PC World: "Windows Task Manager tells you what applications and processes are running, but some process names aren't very clear to the casual reader. Process Explorer helps you get to the bottom of things by digging down to see which application started a process and which resources that app is currently using. This excavation can be a big help when you?re trying to figure out which background processes you dare shut down, and it can even help sniff out spyware, too."

Hope this helps.

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by toreador In reply to

Great tool! I will definitely add this one to my tool belt. Unfortunately it only shows the mstask executable running at 99% and did not give me any further clues. Thanks!

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by sgt_shultz In reply to W2K Schedualed Task probl ...

ALL of the servers?? ooh, this is a really good one. i envy you. i can't think hardware, can you? this is windows problem don't you think. did you say they are all IIS servers? hmmm. can't belive you haven't opend ticket with ms. might get free support for this one. they educate you good on performance monitoring...
if me i would just try to get something to not show this problem. since lab (sigh of envy) take one box, reinstall windows server on it?. see if you can get plain vanilla member server to run scheduled task w/o consuming processor... (you trie running task from command prompt to make sure it is scheduler,yes?) if can get that to work, go slow add next highest suspect common to all. maybe iis? etc until it breaks. then bet you have to call ms anyway. just to ask for free tickets in exchange for your valuable bug report

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by toreador In reply to

Envy! I wish I could give this chore to you. I am in the process of building a new server so we can start from scratch and install the web apps and tasks one at a time while testing. Yes, I ran the tasks from the command line and they perform perfectly, momentary blip of processor usage and then it disappears. The only reason I am not blaming IIS is that the apps and tasks they are developing in the labs (3 labs; go ahead and drool) are working perfectly in production. Here is the layout for anyone who is interested.
1. Inside subnet for the developers to do their thing.
2. Second subnet in DMZ for customers to see the apps in use and make suggestions
3. Third group of servers in this subnet for customers to test and approve software before software is delivered or moved to production servers.
The issue is only (so far) affecting the servers in the inside subnet and the second phase of testing. The production servers have only minor changes and the scheduled tasks do not change after the initial software development. I checked the version numbers of mstask against the production boxes and they were the same before I installed the mstask hotfix from MS. The boss wants me to open an incident with MS if I cannot get them fixed by this afternoon. Thanks for the suggestions!

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by yornthadude In reply to W2K Schedualed Task probl ...

You've described a problem thats way too bizar. This has to be some kinda virus you cant detect....

cant help yah out..

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by toreador In reply to

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