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W2K3 server - pingable but not accessible

By LANAdmin ·
I have about 110 Windows 2003 Domain Controllers. On average, about once every 3 days, a server at random will enter into a state where it is still pingable but the admin shares are not accessible, you can't run Computer Management and connect to the server. You can't Remote Desktop to the Server. You can't VNC the server. When you try to connect to c$ the following error message is displayed - "An extended error has occurred." or "System error 64 has occurred. The specified network name is no longer available."

The domain is a Windows 2003 Active Directory domain. I have also verified that all servers have the correct time and are getting their time server from the Domain Hierarchy.

Has anyone seen this behavior? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Mike McCormick

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Change Primary DNS server

by ITInstructor In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

I have seen strange connectivity issues on AD boxes that trace back to DNS records. I would try changing the primary DNS server on the workstation.

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check the DNS service

by real_shock_11 In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

hi :
i assuem that there is something wrong with the DNS service, you should make sure that every PC have the DNS server IP recorded in it's TCP/IP properties. i think that your DNS service is going down from time to time and you should check for the availablity of the DNS service in the DC service consol. there is many things can couse the DNS service to go down. you should do virus check and make some port monitoring to make sure that the is nobody trying to make the DNS go in DoS statues. see you and contact me on e-mail if you want

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by djuan.carter In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

This issue seems to be related to DNS. I would do some housekeeping in my DNS records. Scavenge the old records and I might even bring in another DNS server. With 110 domain controllers I am guessing that they are split on diffrent subnets at remote locations. I would also check routing tables for your routers to make sure that DNS is setup properly.

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by dritten2002 In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

As you probably already know, a Win2003 network runs primarily on DNS, which I think is the root of the problem. However, if it's happening perioidically, your leases could be expiring from the DHCP server (which provides the DNS) too soon, I would change the settings for a longer time period. As a backup to DNS, you could also try adding a WINS server to the mix. It may speed things up as well.

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I would agree about the dhcp lease expiry happening too soon, also check...

by UncleRob In reply to WINS or DHCP

That was a good point, how often are your leases expiring from the dhcp server? Every 8 days, 2 weeks, Never? Something you've probably checked already but I'll mention it anyway: how old are you network switches? Are they managed or unmanaged switches, do you have any unused backup switches that you could swap temporarily just to see if it improves this behavior. I once had similar issues (mind you I only deal with 5 servers, I almost crapped my pants when I heard 110, Geez?!) and after checking everything conceivable, it turned out to be a flaky switch, with ports randomly failing partially and then working normally again - once it was replaced, these problems stopped occurring. Mind you my servers are all local and I'm assuming you are dealing with a large mix of both remote & local servers. I'd be interested in hearing how this situation works out for you.

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All the above is valid

by eddielad In reply to I would agree about the d ...

All the replies you have had are valid. Do you really have that many DCs ? If so are they really on DHCP assigned IP addresses ? You don't give any information about the type of business you are in but generally servers get fixed IP addresses and client PCs use DHCP assigned addresses where the lease time should not be an issue. If these servers really are DCs what I have said becomes tripley important. In a nutshell you don't ever want the IP address of your DC to change for any reason unless you do it yourself. Some things should never be a matter of conjecture.

Best wishes

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Looking back....

by dritten2002 In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

The last reply definitely has a good point, if it's a server, you definitely want a static ip and dns addresses. Looking back, I did experience a similar issue with a voicemail server, that was rarely logged onto. So every few months or so, from the lack of logon inactivity it would forget it was part of the network. I would have to add it to the domain again, or disable and then re-enable the LAN connection and it would be fine. It seemed to be a result of the cheap NIC I had installed. Try switching out the NIC's to a better brand.

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W2K3 server - pingable but not accessible

by tlanum In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

What type of hardware are the servers. Are they all the same or within the same family.

I suspect you have a bad NIC and it could be consistant with the manufacter of you servers.

Try updating the drivers.

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Possible duplicate IP?

by IT4Life In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

I have seen situations where some other device such as a network switch, router, ILO or printer is utilizing the same IP Address. The problem can be intermittent and difficult to track down. Try this - After a successful ping to the server, run the following at the command line: ARP -a ipaddress. This will display the mac address of the device that is responding. Next verify this address against the mac address of the physical card in the server. If they don't match you have a duplicate ip.

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RE: W2K3 server - pingable but not accessible

by Thomas.DeMatteis In reply to W2K3 server - pingable bu ...

I just thought I would let you know, that I have a Win2k server, that does the same thing, except when you go to the console and do CTRL-ALT-DEL nothing happens. In addition, I can tell you that it has a static IP address, the it is not in the range of dhcp addresses and that it is not a time issue. In addition, the keyboard and mouse are not locked, i.e. I can move the mouse around and can toggle the caps lock led.

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