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I'm really sorry for very vague question title, but I don't know how to put it in a better way.

Server is HP ML150 G5 (2gb ecc memory, quad core xeon), and was running Windows 2003 without any problems. After installing 2008 R2 server system is behaving erratically.

After boot, everything is fine for several days, several being from one to two days max. Then, fax service hangs and cannot be killed or restarted. Server manager hangs while collecting roles data. Closing server manager does not work because of modal dialog "waiting for mmc snapin" that loops forever. Explorer also starts hanging and offers to restart if taskbar is clicked.

System is up to date with windows update patches. SQL Server 2008 works without any problems.

Event log shows no errors that could shed light on this. Any ideas on where to start looking?

UPDATE - after installing PES and bunch of other things, nothing worked. If anything, the situation got worse. Print spooler hung immediately after boot, fax service also. I was even so desperate that I replaced modem (ext US Robotics) with internal pci-ex (also from US Robotics) - no change. So, back to drawing board once more, format C:, install Windows. This time I only installed important Windows updates (last time I installed opional also) and PES from HP. So far everything works as expected, hope it stays that way.

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Was this an upgrade or a new installation? –  user48838 Aug 28 '11 at 19:04
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Format C:, clean install –  vnuk Aug 28 '11 at 19:05
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Gawd I hate it when servers play up like this :( –  Pure.Krome Aug 28 '11 at 23:45
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3 Answers 3

Look in the HP iLo and see if it reports any hardware issues in the log. 2008 plays differently with hardware than 2003 does.

If nothing stands out, download the latest PSP from HP's website and make sure your underlying windows drivers are up to date. If after all of that the issue persists, disable all HP bios power management (it doesn't always play nice with win2008).

Good luck

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Would you mind elaborating on that a bit please, I'm not quite sure I follow? (Specifically 2008 plays differently with hardware than 2003 does) –  Ben Pilbrow Aug 28 '11 at 19:06
    
iLo (or integrated Lights out) is HP's remote background monitoring and management system on server-class hardware. It maintains a list of hardware faults that the system (even if unreported to windows) has found. If you haven't set up a dedicated IP address for it, you usually can get to it with a function key during the initial boot process of the server. I believe on that model they came with iLo version 2. –  Nate Aug 28 '11 at 19:09
    
Sorry Nate, I modified my comment to be more specific. I didn't mean the iLo stuff (I have that set up on all my servers already), but the 2008 playing differently with the hardware. –  Ben Pilbrow Aug 28 '11 at 19:13
    
Microsoft re-wrote parts, or replaced in the case of audio, some of their stacks as well as hardware drivers. So technically it isn't a hardware issue, but driver issues (especially with an initial upgrade). That's why I added the PSP part to the answer. –  Nate Aug 28 '11 at 19:22
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As Nate has indicated, there is a high probability that this is more than likely a driver situation. You should check all installed drivers against your hardware and 2008R2 for compatibility. You should also go through the HP resources to ensure the appropriate drivers are in place. You might also check to see if there is a specific 2008R2 HAL for the system from HP.

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i would be thinking that 2GB of memory would be more of a problem, could the server be running out of ram (very quickly!) then using the page file, using all that (only 4GB?) then being totally out of memory?

Yeah, reading again, Fax Service, SQL server etc, i would be suspecting lack of ram

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