Server Administrator’s Checklist: Manual Server Monitoring

checklistBelow is a general checklist aimed for basic server administration and server monitoring when done by hand:

When you unpack a new server

Hardware defects with brand-new servers and PCs are unfortunately not uncommon.
To be certain your hardware is in good condition before you put your server in production:

Run chkdsk with /b on all drives (looks for bad sectors on disks)
Run a long (24-48 hours) RAM test (ensures there are no RAM issues)
Run a CPU stress test (ensures CPU and heat sink are installed properly)


Check Event Viewer logs (app, system, Hyper-V, security)
look for errors and disk/NTFS warnings which usually indicate a disk issue or upcoming disk failure
look for application, service, and system errors
Check for hardware issues
Check RAID status
Check disk and RAM utilization
Check disk free space is sufficient
Check all vital applications and services are running
Check logs of important services and applications
Check if applications need to be updated
Check for CPU temp alerts

Review user accounts: delete/disable those no longer needed
Defragment all drives (do not schedule this)
Windows Update (do not allow to run automatically by disabling update service)
Anti-virus update
Check system security, also check security logs in Event Viewer

Check for tasks with unusually high network activity, RAM or CPU utilization
Run chkdsk without fix option


Check backup logs in each task. confirm previous backups were running and successful
Check backup destination disks are working and have enough free space (enough for a month or so, say 100GB minimum)



Test replication backups by booting replicated virtual servers without network
Test other backups by restoring to a temp folder


Every 6 months

Check RAM by shutting down server and boot with RAM check option. RAM should be checked for 24 hours during which server must be kept offline
Run chkdsk with /b option for all drives to check for bad sectors (again downtime is needed for C: drive check)
Check and wash or vacuum dust filters


Every 24 months

Replace all hard disks, including backup drives if permanently connected
Run chkdsk with /b option on all new hard drives
Vacuum CPU heat sink, fans, and wash dust filters.


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