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Why does my server automatically shutdown?

For the last three weeks, my NT4 server has been shutting down every Saturday night. After restarting the server and checking the event file, the last event entry on the date of shutdown reads, "Failed to authenticate with servername1, a windows NT domain controller for domain domain-name1." Then the event entry on restarting the server says, "The precious system shutdown at 8:52 pm on 07/10/04 was unexpected." There is one more entry which reads, "Crash dump is disabled! NT failed to initialize the boot partition paging file for crash dump. This may be because the system has more than 3.8 GB of Physical Memory." The size of the page file residing on the C drive is 1024 MB and it?s full and there is almost 2 GB of free space. The D drive size is 36 GB and there is no pagefile specified for it. Could you please help me sort this one out? What is happening?

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Well, part of the problem is that for the NT server to write the memory dump, the pagefile on the system partition must be at least as large as the physical memory in the computer. This isn't reported on NT servers not running service pack 4. This can be corrected as follows: In Control Panel, double-click System. On the Performance tab, click Change, and then change the minimum size of the page file on the system partition to a value at least the size of physical RAM plus 1 MB, then restart the computer.

The other part of the problem looks to be associated with trusts or authentication. I would need more information from you to explore this angle. Has that particular machine been promoted to a PDC recently? What changes were made before this occurrence started?

This was first published in July 2004

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