Windows 2003/SBS 2003 Restart Problems
I've been working with an increasing number of small business clients the last few months, as I work to grow my personal consulting business; along with a greater variety of enterprise clients.
A very common problem - servers don't reboot.
In the enterprise environments a few months ago, I was seeing common reboot problems revolving around the Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack (which I documented in this blog entry).
In the enterprise environments, disabling the TCP Chimney usually seems to have fixed the server not rebooting issue. Apply patches, and on your way you go.
However, something else is going on with SBS 2003. Even with TCP Chimney disabled, many folks (including me!) are seeing that SBS servers are not rebooting when instructed to do so.
Interestingly, the server continues to work - you simply cannot RDP to them, and they don't reboot as instructed.
I have discovered (yeah, I know, it's pretty obvious if you know that the shutdown command exists!) that if you have access to another server or to a "modern" workstation (XP or Vista) that you can make the server reboot via the
shutdown -r -f -m \\servername
command. So, if you are applying patches remotely, make sure that you have a way to access another server or desktop in that environment, in case you get bitten with this "bug".
Microsoft is aware of the problem, but I don't have any official word on it.
Writing on this same problem, Susan Bradley, an SBS MVP, recently reminded people that Dell and HP servers often ship with remote controller cards, called DRAC (Dell Remote Access Card) and ILO (HP Integrated Lights Out) that can enable you to do a remote reboot of your server. I would add that you need to configure these before-hand for them to do you any good!
Until next time...
As always, I hope this article has been of use to you. If there are topics you would be interesting in seeing me cover, please drop me a line and let me know!