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Running many custom EXE/XML sensors result in problems, including mutex problems, no received data,

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I have a setup with 12-13 devices that have several custom EXE/XML sensors each.

Polling interval is 60 seconds, with a timeout of 30 seconds on the scripts. The scripts' execution time is usually 0.5sec to maybe 2 seconds, depending on their complexity. The scripts will not be executed if the host is not reachable (I have programmed a ping check in the start of the scripts to avoid waiting for long timeouts if the host is down).

The number of custom sensors on each device varies; ranging from 1 to 6 sensors.

I've given each device its own mutex name to avoid too many scripts being run at the same time on each individual device.

Everything has been working flawlessly for several months. But the last couple of weeks I keep getting cascading mutex errors. It just gets worse and worse, until all customs scripts on all devices are permanently stuck. It doesn't help to restart the PRTG Core Server and PRTG Probe Service. And the only way to fix it is to restart the system. But it gets just as bad again within a few hours.

I've tried removing all the mutex names, and just let all the script be run at the same time. Doesn't help. A lot of the script will still get stuck, and they produce no data (grey icon).

For troubleshooting, I've also tried giving all the devices' custom sensors the same mutex name, and this does not help either. Mutex timeouts will start to happen within a day.

I really cannot figure out what is happening. Have I misunderstood the whole concept of mutex? Isn't the whole purpose of using mutex names to avoid having too many scripts running at the same time? And yet it does not prevent this problem it seems.

Looking at the Task Manager I can see all the bat scripts are being executed, but they are never finished/terminated. These scripts work like they should if I run them in a cmd shell. Always. They even have a failsafe to terminate if the host is not reachable. What is PRTG suddenly doing differently than compared to running them manually in a shell?

Do you have any tips for troubleshooting this?

custom-sensor error-messages mutex-timeout

Created on Jun 5, 2015 1:28:21 PM by  Ivan (193) 1 1



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Dear Ivan

Which Windows are you using to run the probe which runs those Exe sensors? With Server 2012 R2 (or Windows 8.1) the performance should be much better compared to earlier Windows versions.

Created on Jun 5, 2015 2:18:43 PM by  Arne Seifert [Paessler Support]



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I have tested two systems: Windows Home Server 2011 x64, and Win 7 Professional x64. I am seeing the same problem on both systems.

Earlier I was using the Win 7 Pro system as a server (standalone computer, only being used as file server). I've tried moving the PRTG installation to a WHS2011 system after the mutex problems started, but it did not help.

Created on Jun 5, 2015 3:51:15 PM by  Ivan (193) 1 1



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Dear Ivan

Server 2011 is based on Server 2008 R2. Only Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 provides the improved performance when you run a lot of exe files in rapid succession.

Please substantially increase the scanning interval of your exe sensors. If you still have troubles, please contact [email protected].

Created on Jun 8, 2015 11:12:40 AM by  Arne Seifert [Paessler Support]



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I wished I could provide some updated information for further troubleshooting, but since about a week ago all my problems suddenly went away. I am not able to reproduce the symptoms anymore.

I really have no clue why and how. I have not changed a single thing in my scripts or in the server config. It literally just stopped happening over night.

Created on Jun 14, 2015 3:49:09 PM by  Ivan (193) 1 1



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Dear Ivan

If those issues arise again, please let me know. Since troubleshooting requires some details of your configuration which you maybe don't want to share publicly, please contact us via the aforementioned email.

Created on Jun 14, 2015 6:56:45 PM by  Arne Seifert [Paessler Support]



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Disclaimer: The information in the Paessler Knowledge Base comes without warranty of any kind. Use at your own risk. Before applying any instructions please exercise proper system administrator housekeeping. You must make sure that a proper backup of all your data is available.