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WHS eval reboots every two hours RRS feed

  • Question

  • Starting a couple of days ago, my Windows Home Server (custom built) started rebooting every two hours.  When I look in the System Event log, I see messages that say:  The previous system shutdown at  (time and date) was unexpected.
    The messages are within 2 minutes of being exactly two hours apart.  I am running an eval copy of WHS that, according to the Windows Home Server Settings \ Resources, expires 4/14/2008.
    Anyone have any ideas about what is happening.  I do plan to purchase a copy and install it in late March, but would like to know what is causing this so I can prevent it from happening after I install the OEM version.
    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 6:43 PM

Answers

  • It is a 120 day eval.  It has been documented that the console incorrectly states 180 days for the expiration date. 

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008 2:14 PM
  • I finally caught the error.  Exactly one hour after the system reboots, it beeps and puts up an error message saying the evaluation period has expired and the system will shutdown in one hour.  One hour later, the system restarts.  The message doesn't show up except on the server itself.  No warning or message on the clients.
    The crazy part is that in the Resources page of the WHS Settings panel, it says it will expire on 4/14/2008, which would be 120 days after I installed it.  It is supposed to be a 120 day eval.  Guess Microsoft wants me to pay after 85 days instead.
    I guess I will have to buy it earlier than expected.  Sucks that they can't get the expiration part right.  Wonder what other little date and time errors I may find.
    Saturday, February 16, 2008 2:41 AM

All replies

  • Personally Ive not seen that happen before.

     

    What did you do to your WHS a couple of days before this started happening? Updates? New installation of software or add-ins?

     

    Andrew

     

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:07 PM
    Moderator
  • I would suspect the system of being infected with a virus (Blaster worm variant?)

    Did you run a virus check on the system and/or its clients?

     

    You might also check Microsoft KB 826955

    Theo.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Although highly unlikely this sounds a bit like the two hour reboot of expired Vista beta's and RC's (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/preview.mspx). Did you run any of these on that machine / hdd?

     

    Can you also please check your homeserver logs (C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs)

     

    Any errors shortly after reboot?

     

    My guess would be it's BSOD caused by some flaky third party driver. If you have monitor attached to the WHS you may try to catch it by disabling automatic reboot: Start, right click My Computer, select Properties, Advanced tab, Startup and Recovery,  Settings

     

    Now you can read the error code and hopefully also the name of the driver file causing the crash.

     

    You can also checkout %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP (NOTE: not easy; http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315263)

     

     

    If you want to try and fix without analyzing the problem start with uninstalling all non-essential third party device drivers (video, sound, modem) Also for essential devices use MS provided drivers (when available). If this doesn't fix it reinstall and then install only absolutely required third party drivers.

     

    @ Theo, If it were Blaster wouldn't you expect expect reboots at irregular intervals?

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Normally, I'd say that BSOD and random reboots would point to two things to test first: bad/mis-behaving device drivers, or failing memory.  For the device drivers, disable as many devices as you can and experiment with different versions of the device drivers. Often the BSOD will point to a common device driver...that's a big clue.

     

    The other thing to check would be bad memory.  Run something like memtest86 (www.memtest86.com) to rule this out.

     

    However, the fact that you're rebooting every 2 hours, exactly, is suspicious.  This would tend to imply that it's not a hardware issue, but it still could be hardware, so test what you can.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 10:47 PM
  • I finally caught the error.  Exactly one hour after the system reboots, it beeps and puts up an error message saying the evaluation period has expired and the system will shutdown in one hour.  One hour later, the system restarts.  The message doesn't show up except on the server itself.  No warning or message on the clients.
    The crazy part is that in the Resources page of the WHS Settings panel, it says it will expire on 4/14/2008, which would be 120 days after I installed it.  It is supposed to be a 120 day eval.  Guess Microsoft wants me to pay after 85 days instead.
    I guess I will have to buy it earlier than expected.  Sucks that they can't get the expiration part right.  Wonder what other little date and time errors I may find.
    Saturday, February 16, 2008 2:41 AM
  • Even though its 120 day eval, have you actually activated it yet?

     

    If you have, do a server reinstall and that will probably correct the problem.

     

    Andrew

     

    Saturday, February 16, 2008 7:01 AM
    Moderator
  • I'm having the exact same problem, and the evaluation notices started happening out of nowhere. After a while I was just starting to be unable to connect to WHS.

    What sucks is that it won't even point me into a direction or hint on how to fix it. Just tells me "Your evaluation is over and the computer will shut down in 1 hour."

    How annoying. Sad
    Sunday, April 13, 2008 12:57 AM
  • Mine started at midnight last night with the identical problem. The WHS console shows an expiration date of 6/17/2008, but once an hour, it gives the 'expired' message and shuts down and restarts.

    I've just about had enough of this product after trying very hard to use it and like it. I think it's time for a Linux file server.

    It won't backup several of my clients, it is sluggish beyond belief, I am tired of losing files to "file handle is invalid", I am tired of 'port forwarding has failed', when it is working just fine, and so forth.

    Will a reinstall at this point save my data and allow me to keep using it until the real expiration date?

    Advice and suggestions welcome,

    Thanks,

    Jack R

     

     

    Sunday, April 13, 2008 1:23 PM
  • My test server is doing the exact same thing. I am working on developing a media-center-oriented add on for WHS, and use the evaluation version on a test system. It first happened about a month ago, which was still a ways before the trial was scheduled to end, but I went ahead and did a clean installation. Then, the error message popped up again about a week ago, even though it says the evaluation period ends on 7/25/2008.

    The system constantly reboots as a result of this bug. I really can't continue doing a clean install on my test bed every few weeks! Does anyone know of a fix for this?


    [soap box]

    The evaluation copy of WHS is Microsoft's answer to not including it in our MSDN subscriptions, and this is yet another slap in the face to developers. After participating in the beta, I happily paid for a license for WHS, and we use it every day in our household. But I flatly refuse to use my production server for development. I have a separate machine for development, and that is why I pay for MSDN. Ugh.

    [/soap box]
    Saturday, May 31, 2008 8:39 AM
  • I'm not sure if there is an answer to the evaluation version expiring early. This has happened quite a lot, going by posts on here, and there has never been a definitive fix. The WHS Team know about this, they have posted in a couple of the threads, but nothing has come of it.

     

    Colin

     

    Saturday, May 31, 2008 6:13 PM
  • Just found this thread and wanted to chime in:

    "Evaluation Copy, Expires 08/21/08"

    Reboots every 2 hours...sigh.
    Tuesday, July 8, 2008 1:51 PM
  • It is a 120 day eval.  It has been documented that the console incorrectly states 180 days for the expiration date. 

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008 2:14 PM
  • FYI I get the unexpected shutdown error on my OEM version also. Its been happening On & Off for serveral months. Seems fine for awhile after a 'fesh install' Just did another install after i did memtest on me memory and double checked all my other Peripherals. The system says it shut down. but i hear it running, lights on. But keyboard, mouse and monitor doesn't work. So so much for seeing the error on the monitor when it does happen.

    *Note: It did this without and with PP1
    Wednesday, July 9, 2008 1:00 AM