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It's a self build Core2Duo 8 GB workstation used as a 24/7/365 server, started in 2007. Installed Windows 7 on February 2010, running flawless till last week. Nothing specials happened / installed last week. Last weekend I notices video freezes (played over the network to a laptop).

I thought to update the already downloaded 18 updates, end rebooted with a real power down. Still freezes, system restore to a point before all those updates, still freezes. Rebooted again, started to check with a Ping what happens, the ping times out for 1 to 3 times. The it comes back, the event viewer isn't giving me any clues besides the 'regular' errors I always encounter (for months now). I suspect:

  • hardware failure , perhaps memory, maybe not because corruption should occur
  • Root kit / Root Virus , it's used as a server for 4 months now (no keyboard, no screen) only 'normal users' with no admin right log on sometimes. So I expect it won't is a virus / root kit
  • driver failure / stall

I almost gave up after using Google, then I stumbled on "Tom Wijsman" he can see something when sending a trace, created just after the freeze / stall. So I hope he is willing to take a look at it, my trace.

I'm already thinking of taking some day's off to re-format and re-install Windows 7. But now I'm hoping Tom (or someone else) can pinpoint or direct me in the direction to disable / replace a driver / service / something else.

For more info on what I found from Tom Wijsman check his procedure.

Best Regards, Tom

share|improve this question
A little tongue in cheek, but why don't you use Linux as your server? It's usually more reliable, and service packs often mess stuff up for the first month or so... – tjameson Apr 5 '11 at 19:18
Does it have this problem before you install security software? – Moab Apr 5 '11 at 20:02
@user75097: Ah, new users can't comment, you must be very lucky to have me pass your question. I'll look at your traces and see what it tells me. As for Linux, if you have bad hardware or a bad driver over there it is as reliable as Windows, or when updates break stuff... – Tom Wijsman Apr 5 '11 at 23:45

Opening the trace, the first thing I immediately see is a CPU related problem.

enter image description here

Even for a server, you shouldn't have your CPU at 100% all of the time...

Let's look at what processes are causing this:

enter image description here

What do we see:

  • Two virus scanners (avguard.exe and OnlineCmdLineScanner) that are overly aggressive.
  • Four virtual machines if I understand the VMWare architecture right.
  • Your search indexer might be inexing too much.
  • Is viewing photos and using Dropbox necessary?
  • What is Nuria.exe exactly, I think it is related to iPing/ADSLGuide, do you need this for operation?
  • There is a back-up running?
  • For the rest, there might be unnecessary things listed there, see for yourself.

Let's look at the I/O usage, which can tell us more:

enter image description here

What do we see:

  • Disk trashing to the page file, check your memory usage.
  • Indeed four different VMs, are you sure your server can handle this?
  • Je kijkt een film, serieus? ;)
  • It seems your are installing one or two Microsoft Offices.
  • You also have Windows Defender running, so that's three virus scanners?
  • For the rest, there might be unnecessary things listed there, see for yourself.

Furthermore, your network driver is doing a lot, see if you can trim/filter some unnecessary network traffic.

To summarize it: You are asking too much of your machine, this easily can turn in freezes.

So, my suggestions:

  • Trim down your CPU and memory usages to something that your server supports.
  • Upgrade your server in case you really require everything you are currently doing.
  • Choose a single solid virus scanner that is meant for servers and doesn't bog the performance.
  • In essence, you should aim with the performance monitor to have at least:
    • Your CPU and memory aren't higher than 75%.
    • Your Pagefile isn't in the top 3 accessed files anymore.
  • Plan on monitoring the performance of your server regularly or through notifications to prevent this.
share|improve this answer
- NOD32 Online scanner is running and trigger Free AV - Defender shouldn;t be doing Virusses, only Spyware - Will check the Indexer - 4 VM's I will shut them down - Dropbox / Nuria will be shutdown - Backup can be paused - Not sure If my Son was watching a movie during Xperf I Will try to make a new Xperf with minimum loaded, Did you see the Freeze? I try to make it with a RDP session (no KBD Screen on that workstation) So perhaps when the RDp session is back, the Xperf command is Entered to late. It's increnable what you can tell from the trace :), I know i'm a little demanding from the HW. – Tukker Tom Apr 6 '11 at 6:09
@TukkerTom: I did not see the freeze because of the high activity, please make sure you stop the trace right after the freeze returns control to you. As you can see in the first screenshot only the last two minutes are recorded or else the log file would grow too big in size... – Tom Wijsman Apr 6 '11 at 9:52

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