Question

Locked

Windows Server 2003 Locks Up Hard - Freezes randomly.

By sbrown95 ·
This file server randomly(from 3 hours to a day and a half) locks or freezes hard(the screen just stays normal, but nothing happens and the system is completely non responsive from the console or the network).

- I have tested all 4GB of ECC DDR2 with memtest86+ serveral times with no errors.
- All reasource monitors on this system say temps are well below the thresholds and fans are up to speed.
- CPU burnin tests succedd without error.
- I have no event log error except the old faithful "Windows cannot query for the list of Group Policy objects" every time my server boots. I don't know if this is related or not.
- If i put memory into just one slot on this board it seems to run well - of course it's only been a day up, but none the less it seems to be working. If this continues to work, I'll assume it's a memory slot gone bad.


If ANYONE has any troubleshooting suggestions, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it!

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May want to check

by Dumphrey In reply to Windows Server 2003 Locks ...

into the unable to query gpo, it may be killing access because it cant fully apply GPO. I very much doubt that though. To really trouble shoot it, you should run memtest86 on each stick of ram individualy and in each socket =( and for 24 hours per test at that. Seems heavy handed, but It can deff tell you if you have a bad stick of ram, a bad socket, or both.

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I tested

by sbrown95 In reply to May want to check

the ram individualy, but not in the different slots - that's a good call. I will try that one out. As for the 24 hour wait, it's my only file server right now which is why this is so alarming. I can't afford to keep it down for too long so my only option is to run a couple cylces on each stick. Any more ideas would be appreciated. Thanks again.

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After checking the ram

by Dumphrey In reply to I tested

(which would be my first call) I would look into the services and extensions running and look for any that are un-needed and disable them. I would google a bit befor doing that though. Also, you said you werent getting any errors in the event viewer? Another attempt is to upgrade drivers, and or look and see if any new updates are available. Disk and video drivers are the big possibilities for hard locks in my experience.

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I have no errors

by sbrown95 In reply to After checking the ram

in the event logs, and I've upgraded the onboard intel video and Nic to most current drivers. I've disabled all services that aren't neccessary before this issue arose. I'm hitting the end of ideas for troubshooting. I'm still testing the memory. Still no errors.....

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Im still thinking its memory

by Dumphrey In reply to I have no errors

Even running a memtester, its not as intense as real worls computing. 24 hours straight od a memtest is approxamately a day of "inuse" but with out the variables and fluxuation that can cause flakyness. I would stick some new ram in if you can, even if you have to limit to 512mb to get good quality ram. memtesters are a decent tool, but they do not reliably locate intermittant ram problems, or as I have had problems with, RAM that was partially unseated. Sometimes just takeing the ram out and plugging it back in nice and tight helps a ton. Ill think about this some more tonight.

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Thanks again

by sbrown95 In reply to Im still thinking its mem ...

Isaak.. I think it is a memory slot on the MB, it's the only thing that makes logical since to me at this point. You are right about the memory tester not being as good as real world computing. It is good to see someone out there with enough technical knowledge to point that out. A lot of people do not understand the importance and the limitations of a memory tester. As much as I hate it, I am RMAing the board. I have 14 days to get it back, so after I temporarily transfer all files shares to something else, I'm going to test it a little more. I know at this point It HAS to be memory, but I still don't know if it's a slot or a stick. I'm going to go with a slot because I've tested all memory and tried each stick in slot one for 1 day with no failures. I sure hope i'm right. Would not be fun if I RMA this one and get the error again on the new one..

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Look into

by Dumphrey In reply to Thanks again

freeNAS or OpenFiler on some old hardware with a few decent disks inside. The OS is linux based with a web front end for configuration. Can be set up to authenticate against AD, and the OS's have about a 45mb footprint, maybe as high as 100 depending on drivers/randomness, cant always tell with linux. You should be able to turn an old p3 into a file server in half a day of playing, may seem like a lot of time, but in the long run, may prove to be a more stable alternative to windows server as a file server. At least, its will be as stable as Win2k3, but require 75% less hardware resources to support the OS. Glad you found the problem =) RAM issues have been the thorn in my side for years.

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just a thought

by Dumphrey In reply to Thanks again

but we had problems for a while with our e-mail server locking up every so often. Hard locked. Turns out is was a dns issue, and the hard lock was from services and RPCs trying to "phone home" and tying up computer resources. Turns out our DC was not registering with dhcp (had static address) and so was not getting updated in DNS on a regular interval. May want to look into dns/rpc issues, a file server would be getting a lot of rpcs so it may be getting DDS'ed if you have enough people at once requesting files. justa thought.

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Thanks again

by sbrown95 In reply to May want to check

isaak. I appreciate the help. If you ever need help from a Systems Admin down here in TX, let me know... sbrown95@gmail.com I wouldn't mind hearing about your experiences with those Linux distros either if you get the time.

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Its a funny little world

by Dumphrey In reply to Windows Server 2003 Locks ...

as this appeared as a feature on one of the TR mailers,
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/networking/?p=204&tag=nl.e101

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