We have a fairly new server running Windows 2003 SP2, and the past few days we've noticed random slowdowns. When I'm logged into the server over remote desktop while this is happening, or if I'm physically sitting at the server logged in, suddenly everything becomes extremely laggy. Any UI element I try to interact with takes upwards of ten seconds to react, and then responds very slowly. Then a minute later everything is quite snappy again. During this, I have Task Manager minimized to the tray, and there's no CPU usage. I open it up right after this happens, and there's very little CPU usage on the graph, and no memory or pagefile usage above normal. (Normal being 1.5 GB free in the case of memory.) This is what I see logged into the server, and then users start calling saying things are slow, timing out, and failing--anything to do with our server.
No events in the Event Viewer around the times this happens. The context I'm working in (last thing I clicked, etc.) seems different every time--different programs active, different combinations of programs open. Never anything particularly stressful (like adding an event entry to a Cobian Backup configuration, or editing text in TextPad, which has been exceptionally stable in my extensive usage of it.)
I would've thought it was just the server, but a family member's home PC (entirely separate) running WinXPSP3 had the same thing happen to it last night a few times. Is this some new behaviour introduced by the latest Windows Updates? Either way, where do I even start to look when nothing seems to be chewing up resources?