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Are your timer jobs inexplicably failing to complete?

posted January 24th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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I recently encountered a situation where I would see literally hundreds of errors in the ULS logs like this:

01/18/2008 10:22:59.99 OWSTIMER.EXE (0×0600) 0×08F8 Windows SharePoint Services Timer 5uuf Monitorable The previous instance of the timer job ‘Config Refresh’, id ‘{3F51D43C-C7DD-403D-A63B-1163EA9B46A6}’ for service ‘{2F8D95DC-ECBF-4661-83AD-92CA4162CD4E}’ is still running, so the current instance will be skipped. Consider increasing the interval between jobs.

Every single Timer Job Definition was throwing these errors (sometimes hundreds of them) every time it was invoked. There were no other errors in the Application Log or ULS Logs, even with verbosity cranked all the way up. Alerts weren’t going out, the cube build was failing, and literally everything that relied on a timer job was nonfunctional. Restarting the Timer service alleviated the problem temporarily, but it would inevitably come back after the first invocation of the timer job.

I had been chasing this problem off and on for weeks. Initially, the errors would occur only for the Immediate Alerts job. As I said before, I discovered that I could restore happiness with a restart of the Timer Service. The only problem was (at least in the beginning), doing so would cause the error to disappear for several days, after which it would return (usually the following week). Eventually, the problem somehow spread to encompass all timer jobs, putting it at the top of the priorities list.

Through one of my many Google searches, I stumbled upon a post on Joe Rodgers‘ blog that discusses clearing the Configuration Cache on the farm to repair timer jobs that fail to complete. Following the procedure he describes instantly resolved the issue (although your mileage may vary).

Thanks Joe!!

Stephen Sanderlin is Vice President of Technology for MSProjectExperts and a Microsoft Project MVP. His earlier writings on Project Management and Microsoft Project can be read at EPMFAQ.
He is actively posting new content at ProjectServerHelp.

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