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I have a Windows 2008 R2 Server which is running headless. It's a full installation, without a monitor, keyboard or mouse. For the last few days the machine has suddenly stopped responding at random times. It can still be pinged, however it's inaccessible via remote desktop, and none of the web application running on it responds. The only solution so far is to reboot the machine.

It's running a RAID1 mirror across 2 1.5TB drives, and I suspect one of the drives is failing, or at the very least has a bad sector that is causing the freeze. To confirm, I would like to run chkdsk on the drive, and was wondering if anyone knows an easy way to do this without having to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse to the machine?

Alternatively, what else should I be looking at that could be causing this problem?

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Could you use PSExec to run CHKDSK? Granted, you'd have to do this when the system is in a "responseive" state but it could be worth a go. – tombull89 Mar 30 '12 at 7:37
@tombull89 I want to try and do as much as I can while the system is responsive to try and determine what is wrong. I realize once it stops responding there isn't much I can do. – BinaryMisfit Mar 30 '12 at 7:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In my opinion the chkdsk really isn't very useful at detecting failing drives. It is aimed more at fixing filesystem issues like the *nix fsck command. There are several Linux livecds you could boot up headless with some tweaking (ie Can you take the server offline for a bit to boot to a linux environment and run badlbocks? Is the RAID1 setup in software or hardware? Badblocks won't help much if you have a hardwware RAID since it will only see the RAID volume.

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The RAID1 is hardware configured. However, the headless Linux option does look good – BinaryMisfit Mar 30 '12 at 7:43

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