Restart Services instead of Rebooting the Windows Server 2003
Is your reflex to restart services or reboot the server?
Best Practice (Litmus Test)
Professionals: Prefer to restart faulty services
Amateurs: Always reboot the server - even if there is no need
Restart Services - Avoid Reboots
The good news is that Microsoft has reduced the number of actions that require a reboot from over 150 in NT 4.0 to just 7 in Windows 2003. The bad news is that rebooting the server is no longer as effective in curing problems as it was in NT. On occasions where rebooting solves a problem, restarting the individual service would work just as well. Think how much downtime you will save.
Restart Services (Not Server)
Restarting services is particularly useful when troubleshooting Exchange 2003 or SQL problems. Rebooting the machine would achieve the same result but would take an age and other services would not be available until the restart is complete. Stopping and restarting the services is more efficient and also teaches you the dependencies of service. For example, the Exchange Information Store is dependent on the System Attendant. See more on restart server.
Where do you find the settings? Administrative tools, Services here is a thumbnail:
Configure services to restart automatically on failure.
7 Main causes of a reboot in Windows Server
Minor causes of a reboot
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Professionals Use PowerShell to Restart a Service
The service which benefits most from Restart-Service is, "Spooler". The reason being the printer gives more trouble than any other piece of hardware, and often restarting the Spooler cures the problem. The inferior, but ruthless method of curing such printer jams is to reboot the computer. When the the computer is also a fileserver, this technique is undesirable.
All you really need is this simple command:
# PowerShell Restart-Service example
Note 1: You can change "Spooler" to the name of another service. To list services see PowerShell's Get-Service
Guy's Litmus test is a concept that you can apply anywhere. Each test gives you an instant answer to the simple question:- 'Are you dealing with a professional, or are they an amateur? Is this the real deal, or is it a turkey?' The Litmus Test concept is rather like Best Practice, but it reduces a 27 page report to one sentence.
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