TO: SBS Support Team (I'm sooo frustrated!!! PSS did not help at all)

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Jack Ping, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Jack Ping

    Jack Ping Guest

    This is so frustrated, I called PSS and they had no clue at all.
    My case ID is "SRX040414608569", pls help and you can check for more
    details through this ID.

    Okay, the story is as follows.
    Dell PowerEdge2600 Server, 2.0GB RAM, dual Xeon 3.0Ghz, RAID10, Perc
    SBS2K3 Premium with ISA, SQL installed

    Last Sunday
    I reviewed previous Event Logs, and noticed a few events implying that
    one hard disk may have a potential problem.

    Last Monday
    I updated RAID controller's firmware and driver, I also joined one NT
    workstation to SBS2K3 domain.
    After the firmware and driver were updated, i did NOT restart the
    server when prompted. (now i really regret not doing this)

    Last Tuesday
    In the evening, i restarted the server at about 9:30PM, the server
    restartd normally.
    Once I was back to home, I noticed that I received a lot of Alert
    Message emails in my InBox from this server. And the first one was
    sent to me at about 9:30PM
    The Alert Messages are three different types: "System Up Time",
    "Allocated Memory" and "Available Memory"
    These three Alerts were generated every one minute. They did not show
    in Event Logs at all.

    (I configured Monitoring and Reporting Wizard to email me system
    performance alerts)

    Last Wednesday
    Early in the morning, I was called that all users could not send
    external emails. I saw a lot messages stuck in queue. Called MS in the
    evening, he only focused on Exchange, and no problem was found with
    Exchange. Called the ISP, i was told the server was blocked because of
    suspect spam or virus behavior. I told them that was because the
    server kept sending out alert messages, and it is not a spam, also,
    there were no viruses after a few scans. Then they unblocked the
    server. And, i also disabled the server sending to me alerts.

    Last Thursday
    Got the hard disk replacement from DELL and replaced the suspect hard
    disk. But the server still had the 3 alerts every minute.
    Rolled back the RAID controller driver, made no difference, so i
    updated it again.
    Did not roll back the firmware though. ('cause i didnot see the
    Called MS, the second Tech still focused on Exchange, and no problem
    found with it.

    Last Friday
    Called MS, insisted to be transferred to a SBS specialist, not an
    Exchange one.
    The SBS specialist suspected that the SBS Monitoring component is
    corrupted. So he tried to remove and reinstall it.
    He removed it successfully, but had a hard time to reinstall it. So he
    fooled around in command mode and registry for about 5 hrs. And
    finally installed SBS Monitoring component, however, ended up with
    more errors logged in Event Logs. And left the problem unfixed: 3
    alerts/per minute, still.

    Days between
    I called and emailed this tech quite a few times, but got no reply at
    all !!
    I am so frustrated and exhausted, so i took a break and did not work
    on this problem

    This Tuesday
    I had to choose either to face and fix the problem or leave it as is.
    My sense of responsibility refused the latter option
    So I called MS again and tried to get a tech who may really help.
    This tech had no clue either unfortunately. He suggested i stopped all
    third party services one by one, such as Veritas Backup Exec, Dell
    OpenManage, TrendMicro C/S/M,ect and see if the problem disappears or
    However, the server has been running all of these services for a few
    weeks without any problems, I think the problem must be caused by
    something else.

    Now i am not only having the original problem, but also more errors
    related to Monitoring component in Event Logs.

    I am sort of loosing confidence with calling MS again, because i
    started feeling that not all techs in MS are qualified, responsible
    and knowing their stuff very well.

    I really like this news group and hope this post can take some
    knowledgable SBS team members' attention and kindly give some thoughts
    or ideas or suggestions which are helpful on my situation.

    If you want, you can also reach me at 1-604-816-2767

    Thanks a lot

    Jack ( in a frustrated box. )
    Jack Ping, Apr 21, 2004
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  2. Jack Ping

    Jack Ping Guest

    more info:

    I checked Task Manager, looks normal.
    I checked Performance administrative tool, looks normal

    To me, the most weird alert of the three is "System Up Time" :even
    the server is not restarted, this alert just indicates that the server
    is restarted. And i got this alert every minute (as well as the other
    two alerts)


    Jack Ping, Apr 21, 2004
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  3. Certainly a frustrating situation, but at least to look on the bright side
    it appears that your server's up and running. It's always worse when you
    have a bunch of users staring at you and asking how long until it's fixed.

    A few comments, and sorry to sound like I'm preaching:

    1. I've had a fair amount of opportunities to get help from PSS, and
    there's nobody I'd rather trust. I have paid for PSS incidents rather than
    get free support from other vendors, even knowing the problem was not
    strictly caused by an MS product.

    You need to follow up with them until your problem is solved - they will
    stick with this right through to the end, no matter what. Some problems are
    more complex than others. Don't forget that even if the PSS person doesn't
    have an answer, they have access to the highest levels of support
    professionals, programmers, and engineers to solve your problem.

    2. There are troubleshooting steps that have to be followed whether they
    seem logical or not. You need to follow the tech's requests, including
    disabling 3rd party services. Even if you know the 3rd party service can't
    be the cause, they need you to rule it out so they can move on to the next
    step in the process. Discuss your reasoning with the tech, then follow his
    requests or recommendations.

    3. The PSS staff work different schedules. If your tech has a day off, you
    should be referred to someone who can help you in his/her absence - if not,
    ask. I've had good benefit from this exact situation by getting two people
    working on my problem rather than one.

    4. Dell: I've had a lot of experience with PERC firmware and drivers
    recently (much to my regret). I very much doubt that the PERC stuff is
    anything to do with your monitoring problem. Open Manage doesn't log to the
    event log, although the PERC stuff can log there directly. If you're having
    a PERC problem, the error source will be perc-something or afa-something.
    If you're using Open Manage Server Administrator, you can check the ESM
    event log for problems, or go to the storage page and make sure that your
    driver and firmware are both the same major version - 2.7x or 2.8x. If not,
    you should upgrade the one that's out of date, but not until you get your
    other problem resolved.

    I wouldn't mess with any drivers or firmware, or install or remove any
    software or services (other than AV updates), other than at the request of
    PSS, until you get this resolved. And good luck.
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Apr 21, 2004
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