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Win2000 Server Slow Down

By Brent A ·
As I work for a small company we run a single Win2000 Server. It is used primarily as a file server, but also functions as domain controller, DHCP server, and DNS host. It has filled this role reliably since 2002, but recently has begun exhibiting a problem.

It will run for 2-3 weeks (unfortunately not quite long enough to match the MS patch schedule) and then access to our database becomes extremely slow. I can log onto the server locally and have no problem performing normal day-to-day operations, i.e., backups or reviewing log files. Eventually overall disk access is affected and the system becomes unusable, even locally. A simple restart and everything is back to normal? temporarily.

I have not been able to find any explanation for this; nothing unusual in the logs; no runaway processes tying up CPU cycles; peak memory usage is around half the available physical memory; no error messages; in short nothing giving me a hint where to start. Anyone have any ideas?

Dell PowerEdge 2500
Win2K SP4
Dual Xeon 1.4Ghz
1GB RAM
3 Disk RAID 5 Array (10K RPM SCSI)

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by NZ_Justice In reply to Win2000 Server Slow Down

Try running performance monitor to see if you can find the bottleneck, here is a 2003 perfmon guide, but most aspects of the guide will be backwards compatible with 2000.

http://computerperformance.co.uk/HealthCheck/GettingStarted.htm#Let%20us%20clarify%20Windows%202003s%20two%20Performance%20Monitors

If it is a network problem try running this tool.

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=255

You could also try running a hard disk diagnostic tool, to see if the problem is with any of the hard disks.

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by Brent A In reply to

I should have posted that I ran diagnostics on the array without any errors.

While I'm not convinced that the problem is a bottleneck, the link you posted has some good info on monitoring. Thanks!

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by tommymcbrayer In reply to Win2000 Server Slow Down

hmmm, I have seen this one before. :) Take a look at this KB 907404 and see if it is applicable to your environment. I have seen it do wonders on 2000 machines.

TL McBrayer MCSE 2003, MCSA + Messaging, CNE 5 & 6, CCNA, CCNP, CXE

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by Brent A In reply to

Interesting? Microsoft states, ?As soon as the large writes are completed and the disk subsystem catches up, the computer returns to ordinary operations.? In my case the server never recovers, but continues to degrade.

As a test I transferred approximately 10GB of data in the form of 31 files, the smallest of which was 81MB with most being around 350MB. While server performance was slower than normal during the transfer, it was still faster than what we have experienced when this problem occurs, and I have seen no lasting performance degradation. At no time did the server become unresponsive.

So folks? Was this a good test for the problem described in KB907404 or not?

Thanks for the post!

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by tommymcbrayer In reply to Win2000 Server Slow Down

Not necessarily. The patch is a suggestion and it is up to you to apply. All I am saying is that I have seen it do wonders for performance on 2000 servers. You can transfer large files until you are blue in the face. More than likey you have a memory leak as the server over time degrades to a state in which it has to be rebooted. You can run Microsoft's pool snap to find the gremmlin. Most liekly cause is AV such as Symantec or another 3rd party software. Seen that one too but hey what do I know. I only work for the company.

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by Brent A In reply to

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by Brent A In reply to Win2000 Server Slow Down

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