Slow Server

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by wr8y, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Ok, I have a server running Windows 2003 Server. This machine makes digital recordings of phone calls and radio traffic. It has two DSP boards in it that take the audio from my equipment and process it to make WAV files.

    These files are then written to mirrored C and D drives. There are two DVD archiver drives, one runs at a time, which backs up continuously (more or less) the files from 29 days ago. So, each day, it moves to the next day - and any recordings on the C and D drives more than 30 days old are overwritten.

    PROBLEM: It is barely getting it's job done. Sometimes, just the act of logging on and copying a WAV to a temp folder on the DC1 server will lock it up! We have to reboot it to get it back. It has become slow to respond to keyboard commands (like a logon) but it seems to be making it's recordings reliably, so far. The machine has served well since 2003, it started slowing down in December of 2008. It had a bad DVD drive, we replaced both of them successfully and archiving works again - but it's still "scary slow".

    In task manager, memory usage looks to be about 20% and CPU usage is (ready for this?) usually around 15% or less! This is at the very time it's responding slowy - it took it over 1/2 minute to bring up the task manager and display that information!

    WHAT is slowing it down? Memory? A bus problem? Bad hard drive? The ghost of someone killed on the property in 1942?
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Is it on the internet? And how does it do after a reboot?
     
  3. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Found the Problem! :D

    j/k, I'm MS Systems Engineer, but a linux geek.

    Download CPUID from Sourceforge, and the Microsoft 2003 Admin Pack from M$, install them.

    I'll be back and figure out what's wrong.
     
  4. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Reboot does not help - and the reboot takes FORE ... EV ... UR.

    This equipment is in a 911 center - no internet. It's a closed, small network with only a RAS modem for maintenance.
     
  5. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    To go that route, usually, I'd have to get tech support's permission. But at this point, since they have been screwing around for two months - I may just do it anyway!
     
  6. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Weird things like that can happen with things like too little space for the swapfile on the HD. And my oldest still tells about the fun he had booting up a W98 machine to get one last file off the drive, but only had 4K memory left on the MB. It took something on the order of 40 minutes to come up. Something about the HD thrashing every time he moved the mouse.

    How much memory does the system manager report, and how much space is left free on the drive/s?
     
  7. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    I'll be over there tomorrow and find out.
     
  8. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Did this start occuring right after the latest update or service pack from Microsoft?

    Run services.msc, and turn off everything you know the function of, but don't use.

    Then you want to run procexplorer from the adminpak, it will tell you which process/handle/thread are eating up CPU and RAM.

    From there, it's pretty straightforward to determine the problem, especially if it worked fine for a while, then decided not to.
     
  9. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    If it is so "straightforward", then why can't tech support (not the computer manufacturerer's tech support - but the guys from the company who supplied all of these systems and equipment. Don't answer ... I already know.) Anyway, it ran for almost five years with complaints.

    EDIT: NO COMPLAINTS.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  10. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    I know it is frustrating.

    After looking at procexp graphs sorted by CPU, then RAM to see which one is low, look at the Event Log under admin tools to see if there have been device errors.

    Sometimes an older device will act like a floppy drive and make the entire system non-responsive while it is being accessed but not responding.

    I guess when I said "pretty straightforward", I was referring to just a ton of stuff from experience. Luckily, most of those are now on the net, if not, we will talk you through getting it going. :)
     
  11. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Well, didn't get over there today. I'm going monday - I'll update you all then!

    And thanks for your input guys!
     
  12. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    I will TRY to answer all questions put to me so far.

    First, Windows shows 256M of memory (261,684K under Mycomputer/properties)

    Drive C: Used 1.59 GB and Free 1.33 GB / Capacity 2.92 GB
    Drive D: Used 8.16 GB and Free 65.2 GB / Capacity 73.3 GB

    It is real slow this morning - REAL SLOW but Task Manage reports 2-3 % CPU use and Memory used 12-15% at times, other times (most times) much less than that.

    I have no ADMINPAK to run, as this is a Windows 2000 system and Microsoft only provides AdminPak for Windows 2003 at this time. Gonna go check the error logs (those I know how to find) for any alarms, error or events that might tell me something.
     
  13. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Event Viewer shows many, many errors:

    S.M.A.R.T Failure on Disk Maxtor 6Y080L0 (Channel 1, Master)

    This one occurs several times a day. With it, I also see:

    ECC Error: Disk Maxtor 6Y080L0 (Channel 1, Master) at LBA 0xb951f6


    And here is a clear one:
    The device, \Device\Harddisk0\DR0, has a bad block.


    I think the first idea proposed (by our "computer geek kid" at work) that it has a bad drive, was right all along. The pre-loaded drive is $2100. This is gonna make SOMEONE real happy. :rolleyes:
     
  14. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    SMART is a self diagnosing protocol that is built into the HDD Bios

    It doesn't always predict a drive going bad, but I have never seen it wrong when it calls a drive bad. i.e. Drives have stopped working, but the SMART online diagnostics don't find a problem..

    There are a few freeware bootable CDs you can download that have the SMART offline tests, and online tests, as well as partition copy, memtest, etc.

    256MB RAM is a little on the lean side for working with audio files. 2GB can be found for cheap (double digits). I suggest you upgrade that.

    At the same time, replace the "C:" drive. That is typically mapped to the master/HD0, unless you are running it in a RAID or have some other SCSI/SATA/SAS drives installed. "C:" is also where all the operating system files are stored, which would explain the slowness.

    The new drive and memory should be around $170 total, and a bit of time.
     
  15. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    It's got RAID in it and SCSI - so I guess the drives are, on some level, redundant. But when I look at them, only the C drive has the OS on it.

    I agree on the memory, but the drive has to come from Mercomm, with all the software custom loaded for this customer, as in-field support is not all that good. Even then, I am told to be prepared for a full 6 to 9 hour day to change the drive and get it set up! I have no idea how or why it could take that long...
     
  16. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    There is no guarantee this will work, but we just cranked out 16 working copies of Win XP Pro with all the other installed software using XXClone - http://www.xxclone.com/.

    It's freeware, and it might be able to clone your failing drive and save some time. If it works, all your system parameters should copy over and spare you the long setup time.

    Do this with fingers firmly crossed.
     
  17. wr8y

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    232
    1
    Ok, let me go look over that site... back in a bit.
     
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