Windows XP Pro workstations keep disconnecting from Windows 2008 Server

By llee ·
To whom it may concern,

Our office has about 25 computers with Windows XP Professional (SP3) that are being used as workstations. They are logging onto a domain on a Windows 2008 Server. All network card drivers and service packs for both server and workstations have been updated.

Recently, the workstations have been going "offline" at sporadic intervals--sometimes several times within the span of a minute, other times going fine for several hours before being disconnected. Whenever they go "offline", the workstations lose access to the file server, all mapped network drives, and all Network printers, until a synchronization has been implemented. My co-workers and I are re-synchronizing several times every hour, which is annoying to say the least.

Is there any possible way to keep the connection always open so that the workstations aren't constantly being disconnected? Is this a problem with Offline files and CSC, or is this a bigger problem (Server-workstation problem?) of which the going "offline" issue is but a symptom?

I've searched the web and the closest thing I came across was a post on this forum (; however, the thread was already closed and the suggestions offered there (such as using the command "net config server /autodisconnect:-1" on the server) didn't do anything to resolve our problem. The second closest thing I found was in a very old thread at Tek Tips ( that suggested the problem might reside in the Server Message Block (SMB) signing between the server and workstations; however, that workaround (which was actually meant for Microsoft Windows Server 2000 and Windows XP SP1) didn't help any either.

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide on this problem.


L.F. Lee

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All Answers

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Event Logs

by BFilmFan In reply to Windows XP Pro workstatio ...

Exactly what error is being recorded in the event logs of the workstations and on the file server?

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Event Logs

by llee In reply to Event Logs


Thanks for the prompt reply!

Apologies, I don't usually look at those logs, cause half the time I don't really understand what's being reported in them anyway... :-0

So do you want the Event Viewer logs for Application, Security, or System? Also, did you want just the Error items, or also the Warning and Information ones?


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Event Logs

by llee In reply to Event Logs


My workstation has been disconnected from the server at least a dozen times today since our office opened at 11 a.m.; however, nothing suspicious is being reported in the Event Viewer (Local). Under "Application", the last couple of items logged are Information/Error messages for MsInstaller (Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition); under "Security", it simply says "There are no items to show in this view"; and under "System", there are a bunch of Information items from the Service Control Manager (about the "IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service entered the running state", etc., cause I was burning CDs) and a single one from the Windows Update Agent (about Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Service Pack 3 being downloaded and ready for installation). No reports about being disconnected from the server at all.

Going to the Windows 2008 Server into Event Viewer > Windows Logs, there is nothing in the Application log for today; the Security log has massive amounts of "Audit Success" entries regarding one of four items:(1) "Special privileges assigned to new logon", (2) "An account was successfully logged on", (3) "A logon was attempted using explicit credentials", or (4) "An account was logged off". Lastly, the System log only has a couple of items, none of which appear to be related to the workstation disconnections:

4/9/2009 12:22:18 PM, 4/9/2009 12:32:34 PM, 4/9/2009 2:21:20 PM
The Windows Modules Installer service entered the running state.

4/9/2009 12:32:18 PM, 4/9/2009 12:42:34 PM
The Windows Modules Installer service entered the stopped state.

4/9/2009 12:00:00 PM
The system uptime is 741269 seconds.

4/9/2009 6:06:32 AM
The Key Distribution Center (KDC) cannot find a suitable certificate to use for smart card logons, or the KDC certificate could not be verified. Smart card logon may not function correctly if this problem is not resolved. To correct this problem, either verify the existing KDC certificate using certutil.exe or enroll for a new KDC certificate.


That's pretty much it. Whatever is causing the disconnects, it doesn't seem worthy enough for the Windows XP workstations to note an entry about it in the Event Logs, and only shows up in the Security Log on the server.

Thanks again for any advice or insight you can give on this matter...

L.F. Lee

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how many CAL's

by ComputerCookie In reply to Windows XP Pro workstatio ...

for Server 2008 do you have?

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by llee In reply to how many CAL's

I installed 50 CALs when we first got the server last year (not including the default number of CALs that come with Windows 2008 Server); though TBH, I'm not 100% sure if they've been distributed properly...? Unsure how to check that.

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by dinnabeh In reply to CALs

I thought Windows 2008 server plays the trust role when it comes to the CALs. So does it really matter how many CALs you have on the server to have the users get disconnected? I could be wrong.

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I have seen something similar to this

by swohlers In reply to Windows XP Pro workstatio ...

I ran into this a while back. There was a DNS issue between the router, the server and what was issued via DHCP. Mostly, there was a circular issue between the router and the server in DNS. Make sure that the server is used for DNS and that the router *only* refers to the server for DNS. Configure the server to only pull DNS from an external DNS server. Make sure the clients that pull the DHCP addresses have it set up so that DNS is not from an outside source, only the router or the server.

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Same Problem with Server 2008, XP and W2K machines

by DeanosT In reply to Windows XP Pro workstatio ...

Hi there,

I am also having the same/similar problem...

We recently installed a new Server with Server 2008 Standard running as a DC.
It has an Intel S3210SH sercver board, with and Intel Core2Quad 3.0GHz CPU and 4GB RAM.
I have about 30 users with a mix of XP Pro and W2K Pro running.

We are getting random disconnects from the server, and this is not due to user logon hours or power setting on the NIC as I have checked all that.

The disconnects can range between 10 minutes to 2 hours, but totally randon.

I have check the event logs, but nothing out of the ordinary...

Strange thing is that if I ping the server continuously (ping //server -t) I get 1ms response back, but as the disconnect happens, it drops with no responce, then I get responses ranging between 50 and 200ms for about a minute?!?!?!

This is VERY frustrating as my users use shared documents on the server and when it disconnects them, they cannot save or do anything with the documents...

Unfortunatly our old Server packed in totally so I cannot even revert back to it...

PLEASE can someone help me on this as I have checked vertually everthing and scoured the web trying to find a solution to this, but still no luck!
I am slowly going MAD!!!!!!

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This is an old question

by ComputerCookie In reply to Same Problem with Server ...

Post a new question, you are more likely to get a better range of responses.

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Problem solved!!!

by DeanosT In reply to Same Problem with Server ...

For anybody else that might be struggling, I solved this issue finally!!!

In the beginning, (the server installation), I was having problem with the network cards on the Intel board.
They would not bridge correctly or team properly.

I eventually had to disable one of the network cards, but I was still having this problem...


1) Remove all IP settings from both of the NIC's.
2) In Add/Remove programs, uninstall, remove and delete both NIC's from the system. Make sure to remove drivers too!
3) Restart the server.
4) It will redetect the 2 NIC's.
5) Re-install them with a clean set of drivers, but before you set them up, either Bridge or Team them to your liking. Make sure they both work before setting them up.
6) Insert your needed IP addresses and VOILA! PROBLEM SOLVED!

At least that is what worked for me!

Enjoy and have fun!

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