Multiple Processors



Hello Everyone,

I'm having some issues with my main fileserver, I'm hoping that someone
might be able to answer a few questions; I would certainly appreciate any
assistance. The server I'll be referring to is a custom-built Windows 2000
SBS server running on a dual-processor capable Intel "Server Board". When
this server was originally built it was setup and configured with only one
processor installed, which I assume means SBS was installed using the
Uniprocessor HAL; then, for whatever reason, a second processor was brought
and installed and put into service (one would then believe the macine would
begin using two processors).

Up until a few weeks ago everything has seemed to be running fantastic, not
a bit of trouble, but this week users have been complaining of slow responses
from the server, to the point that Outlook will tell the user it's "Waiting
to retrieve data from Exchange" or that applications requesting data from the
server will just hang. I started doing some investigating to try and trace
down a problem what I found troubles me some.

When booting the server the BIOS recognizes and initializes two processors
on the board, and everything seems fine; however, Windows reports:

One processor from within Task Manager
Environment Variable NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS=1
Computer Branch in Device Manager: ACPI Uniprocessor PC

So, my questions are:

1. What's going on?

2. In it's CURRENT STATE, is Windows actually USING both
processors OR is it only using ONE?

3. How can I fix this (without risking all of the data on
the server)?

I'll take a wild guess, again, a guess and say that I believe that Windows
is actually only using one processor and that the solution is simply to
change the HAL to a ACPI Multiprocessor Computer, through the use of Update
Driver from within Device Manager. Again, this is only a guess, I'd like some
other input as well.

Once again, I'd certainly appreciate any help,

Thanks in Advance,

Justin W. Pauler



Steve Duff [MVP]

Simply changing the machine type in device manager is not
recommended. In this particular case it might work, but I personally
would not attempt it on a server. It can just as easily lead to an
unbootable machine.

Put in the Server CD and do an in-place upgrade to rebuild
the hardware description tree in device manager.

This takes you back to the SP level on the CD, and so you need
to reapply service packs and updates past that point. As an alternative,
you can do an msbackup of system state before you start, and restore
it when you're done, if you're comfortable doing this.

Steve Duff, MCSE, MVP
Ergodic Systems, Inc.



Thanks for the reply, I only have one question for you: What is your
opinion, as far as the current state of the server? Is it currently running
(and using) only one processor, or, is Windows 2000 SBS somehow using the
processor power of the second processor, just not reporting it?


Colon Terminus

It is not now using, nor has it ever used, both processors.
You need to follow Steven Duff's advice in order to get the O/S to
recognize and utilize the second processor.

I might add that if your overall system load has NOT increased and your
users are complaining about slowness then you have additional issues not
realated to the number of processors in use by the O/S.



Steve Duff [MVP]

It is not using the second processor if the MP HAL is not configured.
Special O/S 'spinlocking' mechanisms are required to support
multiprocessing, and these are not present in the single-CPU HAL

Whether the second processor will help your situation depends on what is causing
it, but I'd have to agree it is likely that the issue lies somewhere else. Still,
it is something that needs to be corrected.

Steve Duff, MCSE, MVP
Ergodic Systems, Inc.

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