Server Maintenance Checklist

Preventive maintenance saves time and money, improves performance, and helps to safeguard important data files.


  1. Review event and audit logs – Check the event logs for warining and error messages, including application and database errors.  Error logs can including errors for both software and hardware failures that need to be addressed before they become big problems.
  2. Backup Server – Perform a backup of the server, either locally or off-site in the event of a server failure.  This will reduce cost and downtime to your business. Run and/or verify that backups of systems and data files completed successfully.
  3.  Keep track of server’s system events – Run “Windows Event Viewer” to record system, security and application-related issues.  If Active Directory is installed, look at the “Directory Logs”
  4. Server Security – Make sure that IPSec (IP Security) Services are running. This service protects the network from attacks and information monitoring by encrypting the data. It also prevents “ID spoofing” where attackers can falsify the identity of the sender or receiver. Use IPSec to configure and set the appropriate user privileges for your department or organization.  Also, make sure the Windows Firewall is running to prevent network intrusions. Windows Firewall is available in Windows 2003 SP1 and later versions.
  5. Prevent Virus Infections – Ensure that your server has a proper virus protection.  Protecting your server can help protect your network and your client computers.
  6. Monitor System performance, activity, and hard-drive space-Make sure that there is sufficient RAM (memory) and CPU resources and hard drive space to adequately run your server.  Low resources can cause slow performance and possible corruption of files and applications.  Take appropriate actions as needed.
  7. Physical checks of the systems hardware and connections – Visually check the equipment for any alarms, inoperative lights, other malfunctions that could inhibit proper performance.
  8. Protect Files against possible deletion – Activate “Shadow Copies of Shared Folders” to automate the retention and protection of files on a server. This service restores files that have been deleted or overwritten preventing you from having to reload backup copies.


  1. Evaluate the server’s reliability – Run the “Reliability and Performance Scanner” to collect information on performance, errors, usage, configurations, and other events that may compromise the server’s reliability.
  2. Keep the server system updated – Download and install the “Windows Server Updated Services.”  This service downloads security and performance updates.  It also allows you to manage, test, distribute and install these updates.
  3. Keep User Rights Updated – Run the “Active Directory Certificate Services” role to configure, maintain and manage user access rights as needed. This is important if you frequently have employment turnover.
  4. Perform and/or verify weekly backups-
  5. Update anti-virus signature files to keep current protection
  6. Run anti-virus scan to detect and remove any malware that may have been transmitted to the server.
  7. Run file system integrity diagnostics to detect any system problems and repair them before a shutdown becomes necessary.
  8. Check for unnecessary services that are running and may cause server interruption.


  1. Perform assessment of security review for any changes which could cause vulnerability
  2. Perform hardware/software inventory to keep track of server information and lists
  3. Run password cracking tool to detect weak passwords that need to be replaced
  4. Perform and/or verify monthly backups of system and data files.
  5. Verify user account configurations by running DumpSec  to verify configuration.

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