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We have a windows 2000 sp4 server which freezes up for about 1 minutes while its web-app does a ~500mb write operation.

I can see the webapp start to do I/O activity (through process explorer) then the RDP session becomes unresponsive, you can click on windows and buttons but nothing happens. When the disk write finally finishes the session 'catches up' on all the mouse clicks you did during the freeze in a mad flurry of window activity and the server returns to normal. During the freeze the web-app stops as well.

The same behaviour happens on the console of the server. (so I know its not a network thing)

Nothing appears in the Event logs. Its like nothing happened. I have upgraded all the HP hardware drivers to the latest proliant support pack. And also run a HP hardware diagnostics which found nothing wrong.

What would cause a disk write to lock the rest of the OS?

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Is there a chance you can put a keyboard, mouse and screen on the box itself, and see whether it is unresponsive on the console? – user3914 Sep 14 '09 at 18:20
yeah i tried it from the ILO console connection and it freezes up too – robert Sep 30 '09 at 21:57

If this is an old physical server I would check the event viewer (System log) for "disk" and "atapi" errors. If the hard drive is dying then it is possible that paging operations are taking longer than usual/timing out. If you hard drive is busy trying to write 500mb and read out page files on a disk that is failing I would not be surprised to see the system lock up.

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Are you trying to run Windows 2000 on hardware that's just too new for it? We upgraded a customer to a new Fujitsu quad-core Xeon server, and have similar freezes and general problems that the same machine running Windows 2008 does not exhibit.

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What version of 2000 are you running? I believe that the standard 2000 Server install only supported 2 cores, but Server 2000 Advanced supported 4 cores. It's been awhile, you know, so I could be wrong. – Avery Payne Oct 13 '09 at 13:44

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