2009-07-06 - I'm thinking its the hard drive.
I did a chkdsk, and it crashed with the same symptoms as before half way through the chkdsk. I'm using a Solid State Drive (SSD), the "PQI DK9128GD6R000A03 128GB SATA 2.5" SSD", with a MTBF of 1,500,000 hours. Despite having a MTBF of 133 years, it seem to have died after 2 weeks or normal use! To check my theory, I copied the VMware files to a standard hard drive. Ran chkdsk, and it worked like a charm. I'll see if the system survives a week of uptime, and if it does I can officially defenestrate my PQI SSD.
2009-07-07 - System crashed again. Back to the drawing board.
2009-07-08 - Rolled back a further 20 days to before I installed the SSD. We'll see if it crashes again (it did).
2009-07-09 - uninstalled OpenVPN, upgraded to the latest version of Skype, upgraded to SQL 2008 to SP1, removed TeamViewer. We'll see if it crashes again (it did, in the middle of an Acronis backup).
2009-07-09 - suspect that the amount of virtual memory available the VMware machine that runs the server is too small, I've got it at 4GB at the moment. Increasing it (this had no effect).
2009-07-09 - discovered that if the VMware container running Windows Server 2008 crashes with 100% CPU utilization, and I pause/restart it, then it uncrashes and resumes operation! This tends to point to a problem with VMware or its host OS (which is XP), rather than a problem within the Windows Server 2008 itself. Getting very close to the heart of the problem now.
2009-07-09 - Windows Server 2008 only crashes when the host OS is under very heavy load. Increased the number of CPU's it can utilize to 2 CPU's, this seems to have fixed the problem.
- Original problem was caused by a bad hard drive with bad sectors (it was actually a 128GB SSD from PQI - wouldn't expect a Solid State Drive (SSD) to fail two weeks after purchase but this one did).
- Next problem was caused by the host OS that was running VMware coming under high load. Fixed this by allocating more RAM and increasing the size of the page file.
- If it happens again, I have a workaround (just pause/restart VMware v6.5 to "unfreeze" Windows Server 2008 running inside of it).
Problem solved, thanks guys!