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Remote Access Connection Manager service hung in start-pending state

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  • Remote Access Connection Manager service hung in start-pending state

    We use a Windows 2012 Standard member server in our domain to control remote access. This has been fine for some time but a few months ago staff reported not being able to establish a VPN connection. The error was the typical 'connection may have been interrupted' or similar. I tracked it down to the Routing and Remote Access service not starting after Windows Updates have been installed after the server is restarted. The services console showed the service as Stopped. Starting it allowed VPN connections to be made.

    This server takes a while to restart. It runs WSUS and hosts the Sophos Enterprise Console and a stand-alone installation of Sharepoint Search 2010 (free version). It has 8GB RAM and an i3 CPU 2 core/4 logical processors @ 3.10GHz. When running, memory utilisation is about 6GB and CPU is negligible. Opening and closing e.g. Sophos Enterprise Console takes about 20secs so it is not the fastest of servers...

    After identifying the failed service issue I used the services console to configure the Routing and Remote Access service to restart after 1st, 2nd and 3rd failures. This did not work. Next, I created a scheduled task that runs 15mins after startup and which runs a batch file with a command to start the Routing and Remote Access service. This worked fine on the next two reboots, but after last week's round of updates, the service failed to start.

    Trawling through the system log I can see the following related to remote access etc. (some services are reported as stopped without a start event log entry preceeding it):

    Shutdown initiated at 19:22
    Service Control Manager logs services stopping for the next 2mins.
    System restarts at 19:26
    Network Connectivity Assistant enters stopped state at 19:32
    Remote Access Management service enters running state at 19:35
    Remote Access Connection Manager service hung on starting at 19:36
    Remote Access Connection Manager dependencies:
    Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol service: entered stopped state at 19:24
    Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol service: entered running state at 19:35
    Telephony entered running state at 19:35
    RPC entered running state at 19:26
    The Routing and Remote Access service depends on the Remote Access Connection Manager service which failed to start because of the following error: service hung in a start-pending state at 19:36
    Remote Access Connection Manager service hung on starting at 19:39
    The Routing and Remote Access service depends on the Remote Access Connection Manager service... at 19:39
    Remote Access Connection Manager service entered the running state at 19:40


    The scheduled task ran at 19:37 and failed with error code 0x8007042C (The dependency service or group failed to start). The remainder of the entries in the system log comprise '... service starting' and 'Windows installer' notifications.

    I can see that the Remote Access Connection Manager starts at about the same time as the Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol service and the Telephony service.

    I have now extended the trigger time for the scheduled task to run 20mins after the system starts. I've not had a lot of luck finding information about what might be causing the RACM to hang. Once the RACM service gets going the Routing and Remote Access service starts without any problems.

    Anyone had anything similar and know what might be causing this? Is it simply that the server is over-burdened installing Windows Updates and its i3 processor is struggling to keep up?

    All thoughts welcome

    Thanks
    A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

  • #2
    I use a single VM (3 cores, 8Gig RAM) to handle WSUS, Backup Exec, WDS, Sophos AV Enterprise Console, McAfee ePO and SysAid Help Desk, and don't have the kind of thing you're talking about, but have seen issues with services not starting up due to resource conflicts, elsewhere. You might try changing the startup type of the RACM to Automatic-Delayed, or adding another dependancy to the RACM startup so that it can't start until something else does, like Update Services for example. The reg key you'll want to change will be along these lines: 'HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<servicena me>\DependOnService'. Using the example, open your Services Console and look at the Properties of Update Services. At the top of the General tab is the Service Name. Add that value to the reg key and add an Enter character after the new entry so the cursor goes to the next blank line. Save it all.

    To decide which service you'll want to use as the new dependancy, try disabling the RACM/RRAS services and restart the server to see how long the server takes to come up otherwise, and then see which service is a later-starting one and set RACM to depend on that one. Drop your script when you do this to see how well it comes up without being scripted. I've done this once or twice on my customer's servers for stability reasons with no ill effects.
    *RicklesP*
    MSCA (2003/XP), Security+, CCNA

    ** Remember: credit where credit is due, and reputation points as appropriate **

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    • #3
      Thanks a lot. I've changed the startup type to delayed. I'll let you know how it goes after the next round of updates are installed.
      A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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      • #4
        After yesterday's reboot during the Windows Update installation remote access was available 15mins after the server restarted. I doubled the amount of RAM from 8 to 16GB two weeks ago which has speeded up the general running of the system. The good news is that remote access was available before the batch file was triggered (it reported 0x80070420 - service already running), and can see that the routing and remote access service starts immediately after the remote access connection manager. There are no 'hung on starting' or 'hung in a start-pending state' messages in the events.

        Still not the fastest of cats, but at least it is starting under its own steam.
        A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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        • #5
          Glad to hear it's working, I'm guessing no change to the service startup sequences?
          *RicklesP*
          MSCA (2003/XP), Security+, CCNA

          ** Remember: credit where credit is due, and reputation points as appropriate **

          Comment


          • #6
            That's right. I wanted to implement just one change at a time so that I could keep track of the effects of each. As the server was slow, the first change was a RAM upgrade. If it deteriorates I will make changes to the services as per your instructions.
            A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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