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Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

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  • Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

    I am having an intermittent “lock up” that is driving me nuts. I am pretty much ready to throw the towel in.

    We have an IBM eServer 325 (8835) 1U server with dual AMD Opterons, 4 Gig RAM, dual onboard 10/100/1000 NICS, onboard Rage XL video and onboard IDE with 2 drives (sliced into 3 partitions). We are running Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 (using Windows to mirror drives) and Exchange 2007 (basic roles with FSE 2007). Small office network (13 users) with a Windows 2003 DC in the same rack.

    About every 6 or 7 days the box “freezes”. The first indication of the problem is that clients lose their Outlook connection to Exchange. When I log onto the console I can view the logs, but there are never any relevant errors. I can never reboot the box. The more “stuff” I try to open, the quicker the box completely locks up completely. I have noticed two constants when the problem happens. First of all, the system clock (in the tray) is always frozen at the instant the problem started (Windows event logging also stops at the same instant). Secondly, the two NIC tray icons are missing from the tray. I can view the device manager and everything appears fine there even though the icons are gone. If I try to “remote” in during the problem, I get half way and then the screen goes black. I always end up having to pull the AC plug and let the box recycle that way.

    Once done, all is well and darn near perfect for another 6 or 7 days (other than the mirrors need to re-synch). On the DC there are no errors indicating a problem on the other box (other than a warning that the Exchange box has the wrong time, etc). This problem has occurred since we built it with W2K3 several months ago. I have no idea what was on the box previous to that.

    I have swapped memory, drives, CPU’s and finally the entire box with another 325e thinking this was a hardware problem. I keep getting the exact same results. I have upgraded every driver from the IBM site and even installed the latest drivers for the AMD processor and chip set from the AMD site. I have upgraded the BIOS and the firmware on the NICs and BMC. MSI made the IBM 325’s, so I looked on their web site too and took their appropriate drivers. I have taken all the Windows suggested updates and patches. I have spent days googling the problem. No changes.

    I am reluctant to reformat and start over because I don’t think it will solve the problem. Is there some AMD/Opteron/Windows 2003 R2 x64 issue/incompatibility I am missing? Does some hardware (like the BMC) just not play well with Windows 2003? Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Charlie

  • #2
    Re: Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

    Had a similar problem on an Acer Server and it turned out the software management had been installed incorrectly. Once uninstalled, no more lockups. Might be an angle to look at.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

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    • #3
      Re: Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

      Thanks for the advice. I was thinking it had something to do with the BMC (baseband management controller). Is this what you are referring to when you say "software management installed incorrectly"? I have nothing installed to manage the card. I even tried to remove it, but the server won't run that way.

      Thanks again.

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      • #4
        Re: Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

        Is there anything you can install to manage it then? It may have logs you can view? Never used an IBM server (to my shame) so not sure what there is. HP / Dell both have good management tools so I would expect the IBM to have the same.
        cheers
        Andy

        Please read this before you post:


        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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        • #5
          Re: Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

          I have installed IBM's Director utility. It supposedly talks to the BMC, but I didn't really see any value (or results). We have a 3 server company/rack, so unified monitoring isn't critical. I think the biggest problem is a) the server is old by server standards and b) it was made by MSI and badged for IBM.

          Charlie

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          • #6
            Re: Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

            Firmware for things like the FRU/SDR/BMC for Intel boards could be downloaded as updates, has IBM got anything available for your board (or MSI for that matter)?

            Maybe your HDD is on the way out as this could freeze windows.
            cheers
            Andy

            Please read this before you post:


            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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            • #7
              Re: Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

              IBM web site has just about every update one could think of updating. I have taken them all. MSI does not support the IBM version of the M/B they made for IBM.

              Good thought on my drives, but they are new and I replaced them anyway.

              I am still thinking this is a BMC issue having to do with eitehr the software or firmware updates not taking correctly.

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              • #8
                Re: Server freezes on irregular basis - AMD/Windows 2003 R2 x64

                I don't suppose you have tried the IBM support?
                I'm kinda stuck as to what to recommend now to be fair
                cheers
                Andy

                Please read this before you post:


                Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                Comment

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