What could cause a server to lockup?

By jfuller05 ·
My server is freezing at intermittent times after a few minutes of booting to the desktop, even when opening my computer, it freezes/locks up and I have to reboot. After several reboots, it worked for a couple of days, then the same problem occurred. I see nothing unusual in event viewer. I thought it could be a ram problem, but after running the server fine in safe mode, I doubt it's a ram problem. I scanned it with A-Squared malware scanner; clean scan.

I also ran disk cleanup, I thought the server was bogged down with files. It still freezes after a few minutes when booted to the desktop.

I'm at a loss.

Any suggestions?

specs: Windows Server 2008 Single domain

-Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool reported no errors.

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All Answers

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Check your Hard Drive

by jdclyde In reply to What could cause a server ...

A bad hard drive could cause that, as could a system overheating?

What kind of server is it? (Hardware)

Does the server have a diagnostics disk or partition you can test the hardware with?

Also possible there is a problem with the account? Try making a new account and boot to that and let us know if it still locks up.

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Hardware specs:

by jfuller05 In reply to Check your Hard Drive

-Intel Motherboard and Xeon processor
-1 Terabyte HDD
-16 GB RAM
-Running Windows Memory Diagnostic tool now

I'll try booting with a different account. I want to try and save this server.

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Couple of things

by patb071 In reply to Hardware specs:

as jd had said. what is the make of the server? Dell, HP, etc? Is the system under warranty? I would recommend making sure you have a full backup of the system in case it crashes for good.

Also you should create a performance monitor and check the logs and see if you have a spike in ram, harddrive, or cpu usage.

That is if it is a hardware issue. You may need to repair or reinstall Server 2008.

Good luck

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Custom build server

by jfuller05 In reply to Couple of things

Yeah,the server works fine in safe mode. I disabled any possible startup errors, but when I boot into normal mode after a minute or two the desktop hangs. Very annoying, especially for the employees that use software on the server. We are ordering a new server, but I want to get this one going so they can use it now.

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by netwrk_admn In reply to Custom build server

Just a suggestion - I once had Sophos doing on-access scans on my file server, locked it up completely during back up (even ICMP packets couldn't get through) and if it got hit by my end users pulling files, it was very slow.

Only completely froze during back up hours though.

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Thanks for the suggestion,

by jfuller05 In reply to Antivirus?

but there isn't an AV on the server, since its primary function is for the Treasurer's software, we don't have an AV on it. I did scan the server just to be sure, but the scan had clean results.

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Server Freeze?

by oldbaritone In reply to What could cause a server ...

Temperature conditions below 0 degrees C.

Turn up the thermostat.


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by jfuller05 In reply to Server Freeze?
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Problem solved.

by jfuller05 In reply to What could cause a server ...

Thanks for all the help you guys provided. I'm a little shocked at the results of the problem.

As I said, the server would run fine in safe mode. Of course, I couldn't leave it in safe mode because the users wouldn't be able to, well, use it. :)

So, I began to run a clean startup, with only needed programs running and still, the server would hang/lockup/freeze (you choose the word). I couldn't find the program causing the lock up. Even viewer wasn't beneficial either. I scratched off hardware too. Windows Memory Diagnostic tool didn't detect any errors, so RAM wasn't bad. HDDs are fine too.

So, as a last result, I took the case cover off and now the server is working great. If the computer was overheating, wouldn't it have locked up in safe mode too?

I'm a little shocked at how the problem was solved.

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Correction: It's not solved...

by jfuller05 In reply to Problem solved.

One of the users started screaming for me this morning, "It's [server] is down!" So, once again confused, I go to the server room and not to my surprise, the desktop was stuck again. I give it a hard power down and boot into safe mode (the magical world of this server) and start poking around in event viewer. I actually found an error in the system log a minute or two before I was contacted by the user.
Here it is:

"DCOM got error 1084 attempting to start the service ShellHWDetection with arguments in order to run the server"

So, I start running diagnostic tests. Now, bear in mind, I'm running diagnostic tools in the dark. I can't tell you why this problem is occurring, but I'll find out.
I run the following:
-Auslogics disk defragger...there was only 3% fragmentation.
-CCleaner's Registry check
-Virus/spyware scans both clean
-Memory scans...error free
-CCleaner, which only found files to be deleted in the MBs...nothing huge.

So, I do all of that, boot it up and it's working again. How long? I don't know how long it will work, but hopefully at least until the users can finish their work for the day. After that, I'm repairing the Windows Server installation. I'm on a limb.

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