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Windows Server 2003 Connection Issues

By rageeumr ·

I have a small office domain (7 workstations, 1 server). The server is running Windows Server 2003. 6 of the 7 workstations are laptops, and all are running Win XP Pro. I have scripts to automatically map our main company file server location, as well as each users "home" drive. We also have central databases on our server for our project management and accounting software. The server also acts as a print server for our 2 printers. At startup, everything maps correctly and printing and database access are fine. Throughout the course of the day, every user in the domain gets "booted" from the file server. If the user is mapped to the server alias, they get an extremely (painfully) slow response (2-3 minutes to open a typical Word document). If the user is mapped to the IP address of the server, they simply get a "local device is already in use" error. Today I removed the script and simply accessed the server through Internet Explorer using the IP address. When the poor response began, I attempted at that time to map a drive, and received the "the drive could not be mapped because no network was found" error. The first instance of this phenomenon almost always seems to occur about an hour after logon, and it will happen no matter what the usage pattern is (whether you log on and go idle for an hour or if you are typing and working continuously). It is interesting to note that when we have this problem, printing and database access are uninterrupted. So even if I cannot access the shared files, I can access the shared databases and print to printers on the same system. This seems to happen about 3 times a day to everyone in the company. Yesterday I turned off the 'autodisconnect' feature on all of the workstations, and that had no effect. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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by BFilmFan In reply to Windows Server 2003 Conne ...

Is this an Active Directory domain?

Is this Small Business Server 2003?

How many user CAL's do you have?

How many device Cal's do you have?

When this disruption occurs, are errors logged on either the server or the clients?

Where is the DNS server for this domain located?

By the word "alias" do you mean an actual DNS Cname record? Or do you mean the share name?

You should note that some applications require RPC connectivity (such as file, print shares, etc) and these cannot always be formed to a DNS Cname record.

And handy trick around that issue is to create an A record (Host), but do not create a Pointer (Reverse) record.

Also, what kind of infrastructure is this network? Arcnet? 10BaseT? Token-Ring? GigEFiber? SONET?

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by rageeumr In reply to Windows Server 2003 Conne ...

It is an active directory domain

It is not SBS it is WS2003 - Standard

I did not install the server initially and (as you are likely to guess from my wording in my responses) I have spent most of my time working with single systems, not a lot of experience with servers. Anyway, I have no idea about the CALs. I assume we are running Server-based since we only have the one server, but when I try to open the licensing, I get an error saying that the licensing log cannot be found on PURDUM (server name)

I haven't been able to find any direct connection between the shutdowns and anything in the event viewer or logs on the local machines. I thought that I had, because around the time it happened once I had 22 netlogon errors in the span of a minute, but the next 3 times it happened, no such errors.

The DNS server, as far as I can tell, is on our server. I realize as I am writing this that I may have just provided a really moronic answer, let me know if you need more info than that. I do know that our VPN firewall uses our servers IP as the primary DNS server, so that would lead me to believe that what I said is at least partly correct.

When I say Alias, I assume I mean share name (\\PURDUM when connecting)

The network is 10/100

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by curlergirl In reply to Windows Server 2003 Conne ...

Are you seeing any errors in the Event logs on the server (would be in the System log) from the Browser service or MrxSmb? It's sounding to me like you are having some sort of browser service or name resolution problem. One of the reasons I think this is that printing and (database access also most likely) would not be affected by browsing problems because they use IP addresses and/or specified ports rather than the browse list to find the devices they are connecting to.

Another thought - make sure that the TCP/IP properties on the server and all of the workstations are set to "Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP." Are you using DHCP to assign IP addresses? If so, what exactly are the settings - are you also assigning DNS, WINS, domain name and/or router (gateway) address through DHCP? And if so, what are they set to?

When you are having the problem, if you open Network Places and try to browse to a shared folder that way, does it work or do you get an error message, such as "network not available"?

More questions than answers just now, but we'll only be able to get to the answers with more info.

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by coucha In reply to Windows Server 2003 Conne ...

I had the same problem, although I am running SBS 2003. Microsoft has KB article 297684 with a registry fix.;en-us;297684

If you don't like clicking on links, go to and search the knowledge base for KB297684.

Hope that helps!

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