I have a MOSS 2007 farm with two Front End Servers and one back end server all running Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2. Initially I had two back end servers one of which was hosting Office SharePoint Server Search. However there were issues with the machine - everytime automatic updates were installed and the machine had to reboot it would hang. The machine was still pingable, but could not be accessed remotely and when we went to the server room to see what was going on, the machine was non-responsive - it wouldn't display anything just a black screen. The only thing for it was to force it to power down. After restarting everything was fine.
So, we moved the service off of the problem server onto the other back end server & took the problem server off of the farm. Now the remaining back end server is exhibiting the same behaviour.
The Event Viewer logs are uneventful - nothing to see because that service actually stopped. I looked at the logs in the 12 hive and nothing really jumps out at me as to the cause of the problem. However, the one thing that does stand out is that the logs there don't stop - the server keeps logging the entire time that it is hung.
Any thoughts as to why/how Office SharePoint Server Search is preventing the machine from shutting down?