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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, New Intel Servers Freeze for half a second in Technical; Hello everyone I'm having an interesting problem with 2 new Intel Servers that just arrived. Its an Intel 1U Urbana ...
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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    New Intel Servers Freeze for half a second

    Hello everyone

    I'm having an interesting problem with 2 new Intel Servers that just arrived.
    Its an Intel 1U Urbana Platform SR1600URHS with 16GB RAM & 2x Intel Xeon 5530 - 2.4GHz Processors.

    I installed Server 2008 R2 on them and everything installed fine, but as soon as I logged in for the first time, I noticed (on both of them) that everything seems to freeze for half a second every 3 or so seconds. After some fiddling I have discovered that it's somethign to do with the network cards:
    Simply unplugging the network doesn't seem to do anything, but if you boot them up without the network cable in, they both work fine (but are obviously useless without any network). If you plug the network cable in after boot, the link light stays off and Server 2008 still says the cable is unplugged, but the data light on the NIC blinks. To get it to reconnect you have to reboot with the cable in. Same thing if you unplug the cable after boot, you have to reboot to get it to reconnect. The drivers were installed automatically when Server 2008 R2 was installed, I've done a Windows Update and it says there are no newer drivers.

    Just out of interest sake, I reinstalled one of the servers with Server 2008 (Not R2) - it didn't pick up the NICs automatically and I have to install them manually using the driver disk that came with the servers. The servers then work perfectly, no freezing (I haven't tested the unplugging and reconnecting issue yet).

    Does anybody have any suggestions? If all else fails I'll just use Server 2008 (without R2) but it seems silly to not go with the latest software.

    Thanks guys!

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    Latest drivers installed on R2?

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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    I would assume so, when I goto Device Manager and tell it to look for newer drivers it says that the currently installed drivers are the latest ones. The drivers that came with the server (that work on Server 2008 - non R2) won't install on R2, says the ones installed are newer.

    I'm looking on the Intel site now for something newer.

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    wagnerk's Avatar
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    Two questions...

    1. Have you updated the BIOS to the latest version?

    2. Have you tried Windows 7 drivers (as Windows 7 & 2008 r2 basically have the same core)?

    Download page for the server.

    -Ken

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I would advise upgrading the BIOS if there's an update available.

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    m25man's Avatar
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    Are the switch ports that the servers connect to Gigabit only or AutoNeg?

    It could be connected to your Intel NIC's/Drivers trying to negotiate link speeds.

    Try locking both ends down to gigabit (or 100Mb for that matter) just to eliminate negotiation as being a possible culprit.
    This is because despite there being an ieee standard for Auto negotiation each vendor seems to have it's own proprietory method that it likes to try first!

    There are two types of Copper Gigabit Ethernet, Cat5 (uses all 4 Pairs) and CAT6 (uses the traditional 2 Pairs)

    Your switches and NICS are supposed to work out which one to use automatically based upon the ANeg protocol.

    Uncertified cables and patch leads between your Server NICs and switches can give rise to all sorts of strange phenomena whilst the correct speed for the link is worked out between the different hardware!

    The amount of people that incorrectly assume that their CAT5 is more than capable of Gigabit connections is laughable.
    CAT5 WILL do gigabit to 100m as long as the cabling is spot on and that does not mean it passed a continuity test!

    If your servers are close enough to your switch try using a good quality CAT6 Patch cord.

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonegotiation"]Check out the Wikipedia link for AutoNeg[/ame]

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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all the suggestions, turns out it was the driver that was installed with Server 2008 R2. I went and found older drivers off the HP site and forced it to use those and everything sorted itself out.

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    Having the same problem here with a new server, what network cards were causing you problems?

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    There are two types of Copper Gigabit Ethernet, Cat5 (uses all 4 Pairs) and CAT6 (uses the traditional 2 Pairs)
    I hate to tell you you're wrong, but you're wrong. The 1000BASE-T standard requires all 4 pairs regardless of what cable it goes through. Cat 5, 5e and cat 6 cable are all acceptable as long as the cable is terminated correctly.

    Mike.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions, turns out it was the driver that was installed with Server 2008 R2.
    Glad you got it sorted
    The 1000BASE-T standard requires all 4 pairs regardless
    I agree this is correct - CAT5, CAT5e and CAT6 all require all 4 pairs to be patched to achieve Gigabit speeds.

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