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Windows Server 2008 long shutdown

2010/11/12

On my notebook i’m using Windows server 2008 Standard as OS, with some workarounds in order to use it as a workstation : priority to the processor scheduling for the programs instead of background services, activation of the Aero desktop, and so on (for details see http://win2008workstation.com).

IMHO Windows Server 2008 is more reliable than Windows 7 as a development platform, and there is the advantage of using remote desktop as another user without disconnect the current one; logging normally as a standard user (not admin) increase the probability that my system is not messed up in a short time.

Working with many projects i heavily use VMWare workstation, in order to create VMs for the SharePoint 2007/2010 projects for example; recently i noticed a very long shutdown time : imagine that you are tired of an long day in a customer site, 160 km away from your home, 18:30, and the system takes 20 minutes and more to shutdown.

The event log was not providing useful infos, i have tried even a batch with a long “NET STOP <service> /Y” list in order to close every possible service before attempts an shutdown /S /F /T 0 in an admin cmd window, with no changes for the shutdown time.

Obviously i have searched on Google , finding some hints about the hang of the RASMAN service, my rasman.dll is not the right version (mine is a January 2008 version) but the proposed hotfix is for Windows Vista X64, and i was not secure of apply this correction 😦

Thursday i was in a hurry, so i have pressed the power button of my notebook after a very long wait for complete shutdown, hoping in no damage.

My system the day after boots up without issues, instead the Sharepoint 2007 last used VM before shutdown was unexpectedly shutted down, and when restarted the VM Window server asked to me to indicate why the system was brutally putted off .

At this point it seems that when a VMWare VM is suspended is not all finished when the VMWare player interface disappears, but some processes are still running in the background, and effectively i can notice that the hd led is always on .

So after a some minutes wait (that the hd led goes off, after the VM player interface disappears) , the shutdown with the /S /F /T 0 options takes only a few seconds.
This delay is reduced to less then one minute defragmenting the vm from the vmware workstation administrative console.

Anyway the good rules are :
– never suspend as server OS, especially with an huge ram allocated: make a complete shutdown.
– defrag ,from the vmware console, the vm disks periodically.
– periodically clean & defrag the vm ,when is running, as the primary pc.

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