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Our server hosting SQL Server 2008 is set to reboot nightly. Recently it developed following problem: after server reboot SQL Server 2008 agent won't start sometimes. Doesn't happen all the time but about once a week. Causes obvious problems because jobs don't run when scheduled until someone notices and starts it manually. Agent runs under domain account. Same domain account is used for the rest of SQL Server services and they all start fine, including database engine.

1) Anybody has any idea what the problem might be and how to fix it?

2) In Services Manager one can set up service to restart after first and/or second and/or subsequent failures. Is this a good idea to use this functionality as a workaround? If I use this - is there any logging so that later I can see that startup failure has occurred?

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Just out of curiosity, why do you reboot this server nightly? – GregD Oct 7 '11 at 14:47
Anything in your event logs? – GregD Oct 7 '11 at 14:47
When you say "won't start", do you mean that attempting to start it fails, or that it just doesn't start up automatically as its set to? – Coding Gorilla Oct 7 '11 at 14:48
Nothing in the event logs (Application and System) – Joe Schmoe Oct 7 '11 at 14:55
When I say "won't start" I mean it sometimes doesn't start up automatically as it is set to. Manual start always works – Joe Schmoe Oct 7 '11 at 14:56

Before doing anything else you have to investigate why it's freezing up.

This is NOT common on windows servers and usually indicates an impending hardware failure. It might be heat, hard drive, controller or even RAM related.

Quite frankly, I haven't seen a Windows server lockup or blue screen due to a non-hardware related event over the past 8 or 9 years....

Further, the cause of that freezing might be related to why your SQL Agent isn't starting.

share|improve this answer
+1 It's quite possible that the same cause of the freeze is the same cause for the service failure. – squillman Oct 7 '11 at 16:50
+1 I would have to agree. The SQL Server Agent not starting is the least of your problems... – GregD Oct 7 '11 at 21:13

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