SBS2003 New instralaltion onto a Dell POweredge 2900

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Gordon Keenan, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Been working on a new installation all weekend and I have to say that this
    has been one of the worst installs I have ever had in a long time.
    I have never experienced so many weird issues with SBS 2003 before so I can
    only assume that the issues experienced are down to the Dell hardware side
    of things as well.

    The server spec is:
    Microsoft Small Business Server R2 2003
    PE2900 III - Quad-Core Xeon E5320 1.86GHz/2x4MB 1066FSB
    PE2900 III - C4 - RAID 5 PERC5i/6i 3-8 HDD
    PERC 6/i Internal RAID Controller Card (256MB cache, battery backup)
    PV LTO-2-LT, 200GB, 24MB/s, Internal Tape Drive, HH, 39320A SCSI Controller
    4GB 667MHz FBD (4x1GB dual rank DIMMs)
    Broadcom TCP/IP Offload Engine functionality (TOE) Enabled

    I keep getting errors in the event log about the caching being an issue with
    drive C: (from what I have read online it would appear SBS is trying to do
    something to the cache side but the raid card is not allowing it - so
    possibly in theory the error could be ignored)

    EVENT ID 32: The driver detected that the device \Device\Harddisk0\DR0 has
    its write cache enabled. Data corruption may occur.

    If I create a VPN connection to the server then I can connect fine. From
    there I can log in via remote desktop, etc etc

    If I try to access the server directly via remote desktop etc I get either
    an incomplete login box, and the system times out of a blank grey screen and
    then it times out.

    If I try to go in via: https://ipaddressofserver/remote or
    https://ipaddressofserver/exchange again it tries to connect but then times

    In the event log I see the following error:
    Failed to load Terminal Server Profile path. Note that the profile path must
    be less than 256 characters in length. User Name: Administrator Domain:

    Now this installation is the same basic install that I have done year in and
    year out, and I have to say I'm frustrated in what the heck is happening
    here is a bit of an understatement!

    I have been searching for solutions all over the place, and the only thing I
    came across that does not really fit into anything above, but, I sorta
    thinking may do.. but with no reason other than blind hope, would be the
    network cards being used or the drivers? The cards are (and I'm only using
    one) - Broadcom BCM5708C NetXtreme II GigE (NDIS VBD Client)

    If it is the network card, can anyone suggest a way to sort them out? This
    is new gear and I don't want to have to swap NICs about when the things
    appear to be working ok otherwise!!!

    Typically I have a few users who (tomorrow) will all be looking to do remote
    work from home tomorrow night (yes I can give them the von workaround PHEW!)
    but heck I need to know why on earth I cannot get in via the normal routes I
    use on all the other serves I have out there!!!!

    Where's me gun.....

    Help and a new set of eyes/brain very much appreciated here people.

    Gordon Keenan, Mar 16, 2008
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  2. Hi Gordon:

    Please download (or copy over) the SBS Best Practices Analyzer and see if it
    finds issues. That tool is very good.

    It should flag the TOE settings. It seems to be an issue with SBS.

    Also, you might post a few of the more frustrating event id and source, or
    go to

    Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer

    Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated

    How to Use the Windows SBS 2003 BPA
    Larry Struckmeyer, Mar 16, 2008
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  3. Gordon,

    To enable cache on your PERC controllers, install the Dell OpenManager
    Server administrator, and navigate to `virtual disk`, there set cache to
    `adaptive read-ahead` and `write-back` for all your virtual disks. Then
    disable caching on the hard disks in the device manager.

    For broadcoms....jesus they are a pain. Download pre-latest drivers for
    them...they are most stable ones.

    Make sure the driver versions for card itself and for VBD driver (system
    device) are the ones that are mentioned in the download description.

    Then, as a MUST for all servers that have broadcoms, the following hotfix
    HAS to be installed:

    That disables Scalable Networking Pack - No. 1 problem of all dell
    networking subsystem and solves 90% connectivity and stability issues.

    Hope that helps.


    Andrew Lomakin, Mar 16, 2008
  4. Hi there,

    The system is SBS standard and I installed fresh aftera weirdy happened with
    one of the drives.
    Stilll to speak to Dell.. but you know what that can be like....
    If I am on-site I can access the server fine via remote desktop etc... it's
    only fom the outside in.
    The router has not changed and as this is a new server replacing an old one
    I KNOW all the settings are the same and should just work!!!

    My system I ordered is below:

    Order QTY Item Description Item #
    1 PE2900 III - Quad-Core Xeon E5320 1.86GHz/2x4MB 1066FSB 210-19546
    1 Promo - DYM 1GB to 2GB FBD 235-12952
    1 Free Raid Controller Upgrade 235-13228
    1 English - Documentation and UK/Ireland Power Cord 340-13539
    1 PE2900 III Server Tower Chassis 350-10225
    1 4GB 667MHz FBD (4x1GB dual rank DIMMs) 370-12971
    1 Additional Quad-Core Xeon E5320 1.86GHz/2x4MB 1066FSB processor
    1 No Floppy Drive Option 385-10407
    1 PERC 6/i Internal RAID Controller Card (256MB cache, battery backup)
    1 48x SATA CDRW/DVD 429-12930
    1 LTO2 Tape Cartridge, 5-pack, Dell-branded 440-10684
    1 PV LTO-2-LT, 200GB, 24MB/s, Internal Tape Drive, HH, 39320A SCSI
    Controller, Internal cable 440-11036
    1 UK/Irish - 220V Spare Power Cord 450-10184
    1 APC Smart-UPS 1500i, 980Watt, tower mount 450-10609
    1 Redundant power supply (2 hot plug PSU) 450-11290
    1 Display : Not Included 480-10611
    1 Broadcom TCP/IP Offload Engine functionality (TOE) Enabled 541-10001
    1 Dell Black 2 Button USB Scroll Optical Mouse 570-10441
    1 UK/Ire (QWERTY) - Dell Quietkey USB Black Kybd 580-12513
    1 English - Microsoft Small Business Server R2 2003, Standard, 5 CALs, with
    docs 609-10092
    1 OpenManage Server Software, with CD & documentation 631-10100
    1 You have chosen not to take the Dell PowerEdge installation service
    1 Base Warranty 709-10089
    1 1Yr Basic Warranty - Next Business Day 709-10090
    1 3Yr ProSupport for IT and 4hr On-Site After Diagnosis 710-11721
    1 PE2900 III - C4 - RAID 5 PERC5i/6i 3-8 HDD 780-10931
    1 PowerEdge Order - United Kingdom 800-10511
    1 Free Freight 990-10548
    5 160GB SATA2 (7,200rpm) 3.5 inch Hard Drive (hot plug) PE2900 only
    Gordon Keenan, Mar 16, 2008
  5. ANDREW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I installed the 948496 patch first, reset the server and the remote desktop
    works fine! Accessing outlook via web works!!!!!

    Heck! I'm so happy and so bloody angry all at the same
    I have been working on-site today since 7:30am dealing with a range of
    issues and there you go.... 5 minutes with the people on here and my sanity
    is restored!!!!!!!

    Andrew, if you are ever in Glasgow and need a few beers please drop me a
    note and I'll make sure you have enough to give you the mother of all
    headaches for the next day!!!!

    I'll look at the hard drive side tomorrow I think... I don't want to push
    things, but heck..... I really cannot thank you enough for the help

    Gordon Keenan, Mar 16, 2008
  6. I would agree. I have a Dell 1900 with a Broadcom that I got at the end
    of last year. I had an awful lot of issues on install - most of which
    could be attributed to the Broadcom NIC. In the end I completely
    re-installed from scratch with a new Intel NIC (and disabled the
    Broadcom NIC) and haven't seen any issues since.

    Also run the BPA as this flags all sort of things to do with the NIC
    that should be disabled.
    James Hurrell, Mar 17, 2008
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