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Windows 2003 SBS Freezes for 10-15 seconds

By jmiller ·
I have a Windows 2003 Small Business Server running
MSExchange 2003
Norton AV Corp Edition
Symantec Backup Exec 10d

Stats are:
3.2GHz Dual Xeon processors
3.5 GBs of RAM (About 2 GBs in use)
37 GBs of free space on the OS drive.
About 15 users.

Issue:
Users complaining that their applications that are accessing files on the server are periodically frozen for 10-15 seconds and then resume. Users with Outlook, describe being disconnected and then reconnected.

For debug purposes, I have done the following:
I have the Task Manager open on the server, Performance monitor open and monitoring a number of things, and I have a Command prompt open doing a constant ping of another computer on the network. I am monitoring the server via a Remote Desktop Connection.

After noticing the issue, (my RD connection stops updating for a period of time), and I am reconnected, I notice the following:
CPU utilization in the task manager does not show any odd spiking or maxing out, it stays at about the level it was when the freeze started. The constant ping window seems unaffected, and not so much as an increase in response time is noted, it appears to have continued to ping uninterrupted during the freeze.

This is the interesting part...
The performance monitor skips the period completely. All data that was being monitored is completely missing from the graph for the period of time that the freeze occurred. This is making it difficult for me to determine what the cause is, as I can't see what is actually happening during the freezes.

My last test was to disconnect our internet connection during a 15 minute period that this issue is prominent. We had no issues. While this doesn't definitively point to an external source, it does imply that something is initiating our problems via the internet.

Any suggestions as to how to better troubleshoot/fix this problem would be appreciated. Thanks.

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