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I am having a random hang/lock up issue with one file server. It's running Windows 2003 SP2 (32bit) with 3 GB RAM and all patches up to September 2011 installed. Hardware is Vmware ESXi 4.1, iSCSI to CX3 SAN, with 3x 1.95TB LUNs. We restart for patches every month. The server was built 4 years ago and this problem started 3 months ago.

Now the problem is that about once a month the server will hang up, no RDP into the server, can connect to the shares but I am unable to save or open files. From the VI client you can see the server, but when you open the console, you get you the default blue screen (not BSOD) and you never get the log in box. I have waited up to 60 minutes for it to come back and nothing. Resetting the server from the VI client and server shutdown, reboot normally, and thing works fine again. Look at event viewer and only errors I get are event id 333:

Event Type: Error
Event Source:   Application Popup
Event Category: None
Event ID:   333
Date:       9/19/2011
Time:       2:34:17 PM
User:       N/A
Computer:   server name
Description:
An I/O operation initiated by the Registry failed unrecoverably. The Registry could not read in, or write out, or flush, one of the files that contain the system's image of the Registry.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 00 00 00 00 01 00 6c 00   ......l.
0008: 00 00 00 00 4d 01 00 c0   ....M..À
0010: 00 00 00 00 4d 01 00 c0   ....M..À
0018: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........

Where can I look for errors? Any software I can run for extra logging? I cannot rebuild the server currently due to a big project that is scheduled to be completed at year end.

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    Have you checked for hardware issues? I know you can install Dell Open Manage under the hood and check hardware if it's a Dell server. Any errors in vSphere? – Nixphoe Sep 19 '11 at 21:37
  • I've seen this go away after removing the /3GB switch from the boot.ini – GregD Sep 19 '11 at 21:51
  • Nothing in Dell Open Manage on the host, no errors in vSphere, no errors in Navisphere, the /3 GB switch is not on this server, 6 other servers on this host have no issues. Removed McAfee from server 2 months ago thinking that was the cause. Will go over the MS tshooting event 333 link to see if anything helps. – charlesstl Sep 20 '11 at 17:59
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    SMells like hardware - plus obviously the use of a SERIOUSLY outdated operating system (even at the time of server install). Time to pull, check hardware, rebuild with modern OS. – TomTom Jul 13 '13 at 8:11
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Aside from ESXi 4.1 now being very old (though this post is from 9/2011), try this:

"I had also used only 1 SCSI controller for all disks (OS .vmdk file AND shared mapped raw lun's) Once it has been tested, I'll let you know if it also fixed my problem.

I have now 2 SCSI controllers: SCSI controller 0 is used for the OS .vmdk, and SCSI Bus Sharing is set to None. SCSI controller 1 is used for all mapped raw lun's, and SCSI Bus Sharing is set to Physical"

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As GregD mentioned, plus quite a few other things to look at... Essentialy could be the /3gb when you don't need it, high i/o, messed up driver or app (Symantec NAV is common)...

MS TShooting Event 333

And here are many different examples on how people solved the issue from EventID.Net

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