VERY slow server startup and shutdown

Dell PowerEdge 2850
Microsoft Exchange 2003
Server Performance
SQL Database
Hi everybody! We have a problem on our Exchange 2003 server thats been getting worse and worse. We have a Dell PowerEdge 2850 server, and every time we try to shutdown or restart it, it take 10 to 20 minutes just to shut down and another 20 to startup. Sometimes we have to force shut it down because we don't have the luxury of waiting for it. Also during startup we sometimes have to manually restart the server just to get to the desktop, otherwise it seems like it would hangup. I don't know if its trying to go through the Exchange database or whats it doing. We looked through the Event logs and nothing seems out of the ordinary. The server has over 100gb free space, has 2gb ram. I monitored the performance logs and on occasion the processor and memory would do a sharp spike to 100% and come down right a way, other than that the performance log shows a steady 5-10% utilization. So my question is, is there anything we can look for or monitor? Is there a database check utility? Maybe its hanging up trying to load/mount the database (I don't know even if it does that, so I'm kinda probing in the dark here).

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

It could be any number of things.

Do other machines at your company have the same problem, or just this machine?
Does it still happen if you stop the Exchange services before you reboot the machine?

If you force the server down, then the Exchange service is going to have to cleanly mount the Exchange database when the server comes back online which could explain the long bootup time.


Is Exchange installed on a domain controller? If so, I would recommend demoting the server to a member server. There is a known issue with Exchange taking a really long time to startup and shut down when it is running on a domain controller.


Besides Exchange, what other applications are you running? Are you running an antivirus product not designed for Exchange? If you are running the Exchange on the DC, definitely go with the option to demote the server to a member server or you may need to modify the regisitry to delay the start of the Exchange services til the AD components are up and running.

You may want to download a demo of a great product I use quite often from Quest. They have a product called Spotlight on Exchange which will show you what’s happening on your Exchange Server. Give that a try.

Discuss This Question: 6  Replies

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.
  • NetSupport
    If you're using SBS 2003 check this. Subject: SBS 2003 Slow to Shutdown Start Registry Editor. To do this, click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK. Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl In the right pane, double-click the WaitToKillServiceTimeout value. In the Value data box, type 120000 (this equals 2 Minutes), and then click OK. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart Windows Small Business Server 2003.
    460 pointsBadges:
  • Shestopalov
    The Exchange server is part of a domain. That could be an issue. I've noticed if I let the server to shutdown properly it comes back up faster. Also the slow server start up and shutdown is intermitent so next setp I guess is we will demote the server to local workgroup. Thanks everyone.
    55 pointsBadges:
  • Denny Cherry
    I'm pretty sure removing an Exchange server from the domain will break Exchange.
    69,005 pointsBadges:
  • CosmoC
    Running Exchange on a Domain Controller will work but is NOT recommended. If Exchange is installed on your only DC then that would probably explain it. You cannot demote the Exchange server to a member server without breaking it if Exchange is running on the same physical DC box. If that's the case, I would install another DC first. Try stopping the Exchange services in the order listed below before your next reboot: net stop MSExchangeES net stop IMAP4Svc net stop POP3Svc net stop RESvc net stop MSExchangeSRS net stop MSExchangeMGMT net stop MSExchangeMTA net stop MSExchangeIS /Y net stop MSExchangeSA /Y
    280 pointsBadges:
  • Lusy
    Well it is possibility that your server load is enough it's capability. you should check about it's hardware requirement according to your installed software and programed. You can also check running about unwanted services on your server. For more server support help please visit at:
    825 pointsBadges:
  • FaridSafi
    this issue usualy comes from Auto matic Updates you should turn off the Automatic update may the problem will be solve.
    10 pointsBadges:

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.


Share this item with your network: