Recently, I noticed that many of the computers running Windows Server 2003 SP2 had the Server service in the stopped state. When I tried to manually start the service I got an Access Denied error. A restart of the server didn’t help.
The Server service is critical because file sharing depends on it. If the service is stopped, shared folders and administrative shares on the server cannot be accessed. This is especially critical on file servers, and on domain controllers for replication/access to SYSVOL folder for group policies.
The problem got resolved when I installed all the latest updates from Microsoft Update and restarted the machine. This is a security vulnerability listed in the security bulletin MS08-067 released by Microsoft this Sunday.