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Fresh new server, runs so slow

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April 18, 2010 12:52:43 AM

Hello all,
I built a watercooled server and it runs so slow. Here are the specs:
dual xeon quad core processors
6gb RAM
two 1tb WD hdd's in raid 1
tyan motherboard

So after a fresh install of Windows Server 2003 R2 the computer is slow. It runs slow, sometimes even freezes for minutes, and then catches up with everything at what i would expect it's normal speed it should be running at, and then freezes again. Even though the computer is frozen (time clock doesnt even move) i can still right click on desktop, select and deselect icons on desktop, and even bring up the task manager sometimes. I dont get whats wrong with this, i re-installed twice. On boot up there is a SQL error message and then another error message saying that a device failed to load, but everything still works at it should. Could it be a device driver issue? Maybe faulty hardware? The server is only weeks old. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Dave

More about : fresh server runs slow

April 18, 2010 1:21:58 AM

You can't ignore errors. Check the Event Viewer to determine what fails and make appropriate corrections.
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April 18, 2010 1:19:10 PM

The device was an audio driver it seems. Any other ideas?
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April 18, 2010 1:31:34 PM

Based on your components selection and comments, I presume that you built a nice home server. You could set performance counters to help in determining what's causing the slowdown. Also check Event Viewer for errors. You can disable the sound controller as it serves no purpose on a server.

I don't understand why you'd have a SQL error if your hard disks are fine. Can you provide full details about your hardware (motherboard, processors, type and number of memory modules, hard disks, etc.)
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April 18, 2010 3:50:33 PM

Tyan S7002 motherboard, Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB (x2)
Wintec 6GB DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) ECC Registered Server Memory
Corsair 750TX 750W Power Supply
Xeon E5504 Nehalem 2.0Ghz 1366 80W Quad Core (x2)
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April 18, 2010 3:52:58 PM

I check Event Viewer and i seem to be getting Active Directory errors and DNS errors. Would that cause the complications?
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April 18, 2010 4:14:08 PM

What errors are you getting? Is the DNS configured properly? Is it listening on all interfaces? On your zone, do you allow non-secure and secure updates?
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April 18, 2010 5:41:21 PM

I would expect i set up DNS correctly, otherwise i dont believe the network would work. Im getting timed out errors for the domain and some others i dont quite recall since it's sitting in my office at the moment. It is listening on all interfaces, and i believe it's set to not allow updates.
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April 18, 2010 7:49:21 PM

If you get timeouts, then the forwarder(s) might not be reachable at boot. Just to make sure, is your server configured with a static IP address?

Not allowing updates means that PCs on the network have to be added manually and they have to use static IP addresses if they should all be reachable.
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April 18, 2010 11:20:58 PM

All pc's on the network dont timeout on boot. Everyone connects just fine, it's just the server that is running so slow.
Yes, the server is set up with a static ip. The server serves DHCP, giving IP's to all connected components, so then yes, updates are on.
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April 19, 2010 12:09:54 AM

I'm confused. You use it as a DHCP server, but you don't allow non-secure updates. Why?

Did you use performance counters to determine what causes the slowdown? It should be fast as you have quite a nice server.
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April 19, 2010 12:40:03 PM

Is there a lot of HDD activity going on or high CPU usage during those slowdowns you've described?

Most likely a particular software or driver problem.

[EDITED]And is it 2003 R2 x86 or x64? (for drivers sake)
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April 19, 2010 1:57:35 PM

Non-secure updates are allowed. What should i use for performance counters? Yes, i built it as a file server for my office. Ive built systems many of times before, but never encountered this after a fresh install.

No, it can slow down on file transfers or simply by opening my computer, or any program. It's 2003 R2 x86.
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April 19, 2010 2:20:25 PM

Also, it seems that the Event Viewer errors I'm seeing all correlate to the server freezing, hence creating network connectivity errors. What do you think? Userenv, Netlogon, KDC, TeamServDevices, Service Control Manager, and DNS are reporting errors but not constantly except for DNS.
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April 19, 2010 7:55:15 PM

Try various counters until you at least determine what's causing the issue, e.g., too much disk activity, LAN issues, etc. It's a bit surprising that you have no issues reported in Event Viewer, other that DNS issues that I presume you now have corrected.

If you're not that familiar with Performance Counters, then this might be a good start: http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Win...
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April 20, 2010 3:14:04 PM

Ah yes, im not too familiar with Performance Counters, thank you for the link.
There is no other errors in the Event viewer, but there are a few warnings. Yes, the DNS issue has been resolved. Thanks for your help!
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April 21, 2010 1:39:51 PM

After doing some research and running Performance Counter, it seems that the issue is the hard drive. Primary HDD disk time and queue hits 100% for the simplests of tasks like opening a folder. Also, Memory usage is at 5.6 out of the total 6gb available. Any ideas to solve the HDD problem? I'm adding 6 more GB to the system and maybe swapping out the HDD's to some 10k RPM Raptors. Maybe that will solve the issues?
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April 21, 2010 6:11:17 PM

If the system freezes like that, it is certainly a hardware problem. Are you using on-board RAID? Whatever you're using, make sure your drivers and management software are up to date. Also, what drives are you using?

If you're using WD consumer drives, then they may not work well in this setup. I've read a lot posts in which people were having problems using WD consumer drives in a RAID setup due TLER. Basically, the RAID controller and the drive are fighting over error correction.
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April 21, 2010 7:54:32 PM

turbowrx03 said:
After doing some research and running Performance Counter, it seems that the issue is the hard drive. Primary HDD disk time and queue hits 100% for the simplests of tasks like opening a folder. Also, Memory usage is at 5.6 out of the total 6gb available. Any ideas to solve the HDD problem? I'm adding 6 more GB to the system and maybe swapping out the HDD's to some 10k RPM Raptors. Maybe that will solve the issues?

To start with, the WD Caviar Green are not designed for that type of application. Why don't you use 4 or 6 smaller 10K or 15K SAS drives preferably connected to an enterprise class RAID controller? Performance would be a lot better.
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April 22, 2010 2:39:02 PM

You dont think two mirrored 10k raptor drives will cut it? SAS drives would be a lot better but since i have raptor drives sitting here i was wondering how big of a difference it would be from those...
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April 22, 2010 7:56:44 PM

Two raptors should definitely be better.
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April 26, 2010 1:57:46 PM

New HDD's did the trick, thanks!
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April 26, 2010 7:51:26 PM

Are you using raptors?
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April 28, 2010 3:41:30 PM

Yes, i am in raid setup.
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!