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Server freezes when I start IS Service...

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Server freezes when I start IS Service... - 2.Nov.2010 2:53:12 PM   


Posts: 7
Joined: 14.Sep.2009
Status: offline
Please forgive my ignorance, but this is the first time I've really had to deal with any sort of Exchange troubleshooting.

Here's what I have:
- Windows Server 2003 SP2
- Exchange 2003 Standard SP2

Essentially when I start up the server, the IS and MTA services don't run.  This has actually been standard with this server, oddly enough, but when I start the Information Store service, the server freezes pretty bad.  To the point where the NIC won't even reply to pings.

Restarting the server gets it into a responsive state, of course, but only after pressing and holding the power button to turn it off.  There are a lot of weird errors in the Application Event Log, some of which indicate the Information Store wouldn't start on startup, but it's hard to see what caused the freeze when I start the IS service.

Anyone run into anything like this?  This started yesterday around 5pm, where the e-mail services were suddenly down, but I wasn't in the office at the time.
Post #: 1
RE: Server freezes when I start IS Service... - 3.Nov.2010 1:52:51 AM   


Posts: 8232
Joined: 7.Jan.2004
From: California, USA
Status: offline
You have to start with the Event IDs you are seeing.  Also, download and run the Best Practices Analyzer.  What changed in your environment yesterday?  What Events are in the log around that time?



Dean T. Uemura
Microsoft MVP - Exchange (2007-2011)

(in reply to The_Dow)
Post #: 2
RE: Server freezes when I start IS Service... - 3.Nov.2010 12:35:24 PM   


Posts: 7
Joined: 14.Sep.2009
Status: offline
Thank you for the reply.

It has been exceedingly difficult to lock down event ID's as being the specific source of the problem.  I inherited the servers from the previous consultant, so I didn't do much in the way of configuration, and there has always been plenty to do. There are always a TON of Event Log errors and warnings, and it's difficult to now lock it down.  I need to spend some time getting rid of these errors, as they're becoming more of a problem.

As for what changed in my environment, nothing.  I can say that because I'm a 1-man shop. The day previous, I was working on backup issues on a completely different server, but only did a bunch of Long Erases of tapes and relabeling, trying to figure out why backups are failing so spectacularly.

I will take a look at the Best Practices Analyzer.  Hopefully it will help me to get things configured properly; maybe reduce some of these errors and warnings.

As for my problem, it disappeared very soon after posting my initial message.  Started up the Information Store service, then started up the MTA stack service, and no freezes.  The server restarted last night and everything came up just fine.  This is what bugs me about this issue.  Nothing changed in my environment to cause the problem, and nothing changed to fix it.

Tonight, I'm going to run isinteg on the stores and see if there's some sort of integrity problem, unless the Best Practices Analyzer reveals a more pressing need for my time.

Any other thoughts on things I might want to check into would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

(in reply to uemurad)
Post #: 3
RE: Server freezes when I start IS Service... - 4.Nov.2010 4:39:47 PM   


Posts: 30
Joined: 19.Oct.2010
Status: offline
If the server went down unexpectedly and left the stores in a dirty shutdown state, you can get a long delay when restarting the services because it has to go through and replay all the transaction logs. Ordinarily its not that long because there won't be many to replay, unless a backup was running at the time and there are a large number on uncommitted transactions at the time of going down, in this case it could take a significant amount of time to replay the logs during which it may appear as if the server has frozen, though I woudnlt expect it to go as far as not responding to pings.

Only time i've had it cripple the server though was after a dirty shutdown caused my transaction logs to get corrupted, server would hang on startup whilst it tried to replay the logs, then it would fail on the last 3 log files and the server would come online, but obviously with the stores in a dismounted state. Ended up having to restore from backup.

By the sounds of it though you have multiple issues going on here if you're seeing that many errors in the event log, and you need to address these first.

(in reply to The_Dow)
Post #: 4
RE: Server freezes when I start IS Service... - 5.Nov.2010 3:29:37 PM   


Posts: 7
Joined: 14.Sep.2009
Status: offline
I agree.  I have multiple issues.  And as is always the case, when I get close to locking things down, a fire breaks out.  :)

Now my backup tape drive has died and I have to come up with some sort of cost-light solution as quickly as possible.  No rest for the weary.

I will definitely get back to these Exchange issues, though.  I want to get this server running tip-top as quickly as possible.

(in reply to omni)
Post #: 5

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