Weird lock-up affecting our entire LAN.

May 29, 2012 at 06:13:36
Specs: Windows XP Windows 7 Windows Server 2003 R2
Here is my problem. I work as an administrator for a small business (~30pc and a Windows 2003 R2 server ).

Recently, we started to have problem with our lan, the network start to kinda lock-up randomly. For example, browsing folders is fine then you switch to one and the explorer window just do nothing (with a loading cursor) and after 4 second everything refresh and work again, then in word or any other program (sometime not even related to network files/folder) you press the save button and it do the same, do nothing for 4-5 seconds then refresh and work again.

I'm positive that no process on the server take up enough CPU time to do that, it's not a per-pc problem since everybody is affected when the problem start and when I reboot the server it work like a charm for another day then the problem may restart the next day.

Nothing show up in the event viewer of both PCs and the server and we can't find a correlation between the problem and high CPU/LAN usage on the server (at worse CPU is used at 10% and LAN at 2%).

Our RAID controller and our SAS HDs are working flawlessly, we're in the process to change our infrastructure anyway but since I can refer to people that may know their stuff way more than myself I though Id ask here.

We first though that our switches may be in cause but then why rebooting the server would be correcting the problem ?

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May 29, 2012 at 06:40:20
Un a ping test - t to the server and to a workstation.

See what happens when the "lag" happens.

If just the server ping goes long but not the workstation look to the server
If both look to the switch

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May 29, 2012 at 07:15:12
Just tested it, both ping don't stop when lock-up occur.

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May 29, 2012 at 08:15:28
Run some disk logs on the server using performance monitor. Might be a drive cache issue or some disk space or failing controller or drive.

Hang up and live.

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Related Solutions

May 29, 2012 at 09:15:42
lookups are not occuring at the network level then if the pings didn't change in time.

if there was a server disk issue ping would have shown that access delay.

I would be looking at a commonly installed application with the first suspect being any custom software or recently added software.

You also might want to look into browsing like who is the master and backup browsers. There is a utility browstat that you could download from MS to check this.

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How to properly post a question:
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May 29, 2012 at 12:12:44
Wanderer: Thanks, that's exactly my current position at the moment. I even suspect a PC in particular and an employee who love to play with settings of our main application for no apparent reason, he's even taking a day off this Thursday and I'll see if it's the case.

Thanks to everyone, I'll keep this updated as soon as possible and choose the "best answer" accordingly.

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June 1, 2012 at 17:02:02
when the server appears to lag or go offline, can the PC's all still talk to each other? (sorry if i missed it, if you've already answered this)

i've had something similar, where all the file shares just seem to disappear and then you can't hit the file server until a reboot - i found it to be the version of Symantec Endpoint Protection that was installed. after upgrading SEP to the current version (at the time), it resolved everything

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June 6, 2012 at 05:41:06
Ktrott: Yea a ping -t on the server and on another PC on the lan isnt affected when we have the problem.

And my shared folder don't disappear it just take 2-3 second before responding again, like I browse network drive Z: then switch to Z:/Folder/ everything work fine, then I hit the back button or try to load another folder in Z:/Folder/ and windows just freeze for 2-3 second before loading the folder.

Every PC on the network is affected.

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