Server Problems That Get You Down (and Solutions!)

server problemsWhen you suddenly notice that your server is down and can no longer connect to the internet, or website pages load slowly, there are many things that can be causing server problems. A server is a system of hardware and software suited to respond to requests across a network of computers to provide network service. These can run on dedicated computers but can also run from networked computers. Many times, computers can have several servers running and can provide a lot of services. Here is a course entitled Microsoft SQL Server 101 that teaches you everything you need to know about the SQL Server of Microsoft no matter what level you happen to be in at the moment.

In other words, a network server is a computer designed to deliver data and process requests that a client makes (from another computer) over the Internet or over a local network. Typically, a server is configured with additional storage capacity, memory and processing to handle the load of clients being serviced. Common types of network servers include online game servers, FTP servers, proxy servers and web servers. Many server systems use the server/client model of networking including email and web site services. There is another model alternative where peer to peer networking enables all PC’s to act as either a client or a server. Here is a course entitled Learning Ubuntu Linux Server which is a concise, quick way to get your first Linux Ubuntu server running.

Checking the Most Obvious Things First

You may think something is a server problem until you notice a cable is unplugged. Loose or unplugged network cables are easy to miss but happen to be one of the most common reasons that a server may be ‘down.’ Cables may not be an issue for laptops and other wireless devices. However, when you notice a server down on your laptop, you might want to check and see if maybe you turned off your Wifi button by mistake.

You Just Can’t Connect

The biggest server problem is when you just can’t connect to your server the way you normally do. When this happens, you need to know your internal IP number. Usually, if you are trying to connect to your server using an external IP address, this won’t work. Try typing in your internal IP number and you might be surprised how well this works. The internal IP number looks like this: 192.168.xxx.xxx. By the way, you might want to check out this article entitled Disable DNS Lookup On Routers and Servers that tells you how to do get this done.

The Server You Are Hosting Experiences a Lag

Sometimes you are on the giving rather the receiving end of a server. If you are the host and go through a server lag, this could mean all your gamers are taking up the band width. Make sure that if you are playing Counter Strike, you are not hosting your server on this same computer. Make sure you are not running a server on dial up or DSL. Keep in mind that one player in a server equals thirty five kilobits. So if you have a speed of 384kb upload, you will be able to handle about twelve players. If you have sixteen players, you will need about 512kb.

The Server Crashes for No Reason

When you get an error message or a sudden crash in your server, try launching it up again. Your server can sometimes get crashed by plugins that are not very well written or are very complex. Try reinstalling your half-life dedicated server (HLDS) if you cannot launch your server without an error message.

Other People Are Unable to Connect To Your Server

When this happens, the reason is you do not have the ports required forwarded. Make sure that you put in the internal IP while forwarding your ports and that this is correct. Also, your friends will need to know your IP external. You need ports 27020-27039, 27000-27015 and 1200 forwarded to folks trying to connect to your servers.

Your Game Map Changes Very Slow

When you notice how slow your map changes in the game, you need more computer memory. If you have less memory than 512MB and are running on a 12-16 player server, you need about 1 GB of memory.

Connections Keep Getting Dropped

Do you notice that you lose your server when there is a heavy overload of internet users, such as on Labor Day, when everyone is at home and online? This can also happen during times you copy large files or do online gaming. In theory, your router may fail temporarily due to being overloaded with too much data. If the temperature of a router increases to an extreme, it could cause server problems until this cools and things get back to normal again.

The Installed Software Package Is Incompatible

On a computer, server problems may begin to occur due to installed incompatible software that runs. This includes software that modifies network capabilities of operating systems, operating system services and operating system patches. Each time you upgrade or install new software, keep records and be prepared to uninstall anything you have installed recently that is interfering with your server.

There is a Required Firmware or Network Driver Upgrade

Each computer connected to a network uses a small software piece called a device driver. This tiny gadget controls various server network functions. Routers on the network contain similar technology called firmware. Both the firmware and the network drivers can become obsolete with the passing of time. Upgrading to more current version of these devices can fix your server problem. You can get upgrades for free from the websites of the manufacturer.

Unexpected Server Drop

You may be happily surfing the net when suddenly you notice that you have sporadic signals that happen on what seems to be a rhythm. When you notice that your server works fine every other eight minutes, for instance but not in between, this could be radio interference. Various electronic consumer products interfere with the signals that your server sends wirelessly. For example, microwave ovens, garage door openers, Bluetooth devices and cordless phones can each take down a connection from your server when these are on. What you can do is to move possible interfering device or change your server settings to solve this problem.

You Are Being Blocked by Your Service Provider

If you violate the Terms of Service of your internet provider in any way or fail to make a payment, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may decide to block you from its server. This is especially true when you use hotspots that charge by the day or the hour. At times people forget to update their subscriptions. An ISP can also block you if your account exceeds bandwidth cap, is downloading inappropriate or illegal content and is sending email considered to be ‘spam.’ Oh and you might want to check out this course entitled SQL Server Maintenance Plans that helps you learn to use maintenance plans of an SQL server.

No Server Due to Very Bad Weather

If you happen to be using an Internet satellite service, you might notice that that you have a hard time connecting to the net during times of extremely bad weather. Also, server providers in urban areas that are quite dense including carriers of cellular Internet are unable sometimes to support network traffic peaks causing customers sporadic outages. Those who are subscribing to more complex and newer servers such as wireless fixed broadband might go through more down time than other server providers since the equipment they are using is relatively less mature. When you have a server problem of this type, contact your ISP to verify whether they are also going through an outage. Usually, they will give you troubleshooting advice that may just fix the problem.

Server Down Due to Router Malfunctions

It is easier to manage a home network with broadband routers than those that don’t have one. However, a router’s technical glitches can also prevent a computer from connecting to the server. Failures of a router can be due to being an older unit gone bad, excess traffic or overheating. Typically, a flaky router will have symptoms such as not being able to obtain an IP address or the console of the router not responding to requests. To amend this, check the console and lights of the router to ensure that it is giving the proper responses. If necessary, reset and troubleshoot the router.

Wireless Network Configuration Change

Computers need to use security keys that match when encryption options like WEP or WPA need to be turned on. If someone alters a pass phrase or an encryption key on a point of access, devices that used to work fine will suddenly not be able to get connected to the internet or establish sessions. In the same way, if settings of an access point are changed to require using a specified channel number on Wi-Fi, some computers might not be unable to find this. What you need to do is to confirm that the encryption keys and the channel number on your router have not changed recently. Sign on carefully when using a hotspot and if necessary, check with the network administrator.

Server Down Due to Malfunctions with the Firewall

On most computers, firewall software is intended to prevent unwanted traffic from the network from disrupting the operations. The bad news is that these firewall software can begin blocking valid traffic from the net, and cause you to think that there is an issue with the server when there isn’t one. When 2 firewall software plus a product from a 3rd party are installed in one computer, there might be contentions between these two that might block traffic incorrectly.

IP Address Conflict

Does your computer have the same IP address as another network? If this is the case, the conflict will prevent both sites from working online properly. To resolve an IP conflict, you will need to release and renew your IP address. If you use a static IP address for your network, change your IP manually to a different number.

False Alarm

You might think something is a server problem on your end when actually it is just one website that is offline temporarily. Before you assume that you have a problem with your server, visit some popular web sites rather than just your normal places on the web.  Hope this helps! Here is a course entitled SQL Server for Beginners which helps beginners understand how the server of SQL works and write basic queries in SQL.