Weird Server 2003 share issue - sporadic

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Sasiki, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Sasiki

    Sasiki 2[H]4U

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    I have a Windows Server 2003 with a shared directory for payroll. I have permissions on it allowing on the payroll lady to access it. The payroll program on her computer runs directly from the share. I have had the server since like September of 2008. Within the last couple months, she will lose access to the share. I try to get to the computer \\x.x.x.x from my computer and it just sits there and doesn't pull anything up. I have to restart the server for the share to be accessible.

    This is where it gets weird. When the share goes down, I can log onto the server, go to \\x.x.x.x (local ip) and it will not show the folders. When I restart, I can type the IP and it'll pull up the shared directory.

    Nothing has changed on the server except for Windows Updates. Sometimes it will go 3 weeks without messing up and other times, 3 days. When it borks out, I can restart the Computer Browser service and it does not correct the issue. When I try to stop the Server service, it never stops. The "Stopping" bar goes all the way across, disappears and the service status still says Stopping.

    The DNS servers are set to my ISP's DNS. They have been like this the whole time though and it just started screwing up.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. k1pp3r

    k1pp3r [H]ardness Supreme

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    DNS of each server is looking out at the ISP?

    DNS Should go Desktop --> Server ---> DNS Forwarders

    are there any events in the eventlog when the shares go down
     
  3. Dillirium

    Dillirium Limp Gawd

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    Strange indeed.

    Personally I'd try 2 things right away.

    1) Open the host file - in Xp it's C:\windows\systeme32\drivers\etc\hosts
    Put the ip in and the payroll server name.. e.g.
    192.168.1.25 MyPayrollServer

    Save it..

    Then I'd see if this:
    net use <Driver Letter>: \\MyPayrollServer\<folder>
    E.G.
    net use P: \\MyPayrollServer\Data

    Is she leaving her comp on 24/7? Network shares drop on client computers when IDLE etc. I have that problem w/ my EDI machine and I run the above net use statement in a batch file to keep the directories up at all times.
     
  4. Sasiki

    Sasiki 2[H]4U

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    There is absolutely no indication in the event log that anything is happening. The DNS on all PC's are the ISP DNS.

    I will try editing her host file to see if that makes a difference. She is leaving her computer on 24/7 but she has always done this because there is an external modem that picks up the punches from the timeclocks during the night.

    I will have my Sonicwall assign it's IP address as the DNS Server and test that out.

    Again, this setup worked for a good 12 months before the issue popped up. Thanks for the tips! When I make a change, I have to just wait until it happens again. The server also has dual NIC's in it. I swapped NIC's thinking maybe one of them was erroring out. That was not the case.

    Edit: Well, using the Sonicwall as the DNS won't work. It doesn't resolve the hostnames even after ipconfig /flushdns. Maybe I'm missing a setting. I'll fool with that after lunch.

    Let me add that when this issue occurs, I jump on the server and try to see the shares by typing \\localhost. It will not pull them up. After I restart the server, I can do \\localhost and \\x.x.x.x and it works fine.
     
  5. k1pp3r

    k1pp3r [H]ardness Supreme

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    Your ISP dns may be screwing it up.

    Have the pc's point to the server for dns, then have dns forwarders on the server look to the ISP.

    When this happens, if you type \\127.0.0.1 on the server do you get anything?
     
  6. Sasiki

    Sasiki 2[H]4U

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    I didn't actually try 127.0.0.1 but \\localhost did not work. I checked the hosts file prior to doing that and it had the correct localhost entry. I will have her PC point to the server for DNS.
     
  7. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I take it your network is setup in workgroup mode...peer to peer..and not running active directory?
     
  8. StarTrek4U

    StarTrek4U Gawd

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    An important point to this that hasn't been brought up is that you need to configure your server to be a DNS server, otherwise this won't work.

    Are you running Active Directory (it sounds like no)? If so then it's already configured to be one. If not you'll need to setup a DNS server in order for this to work.

    Here's the Microsoft KB article and setting up a DNS server on Server 2003
     
  9. Sasiki

    Sasiki 2[H]4U

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    Workgroup mode. What I think I will do is go ahead and set up DNS on the server and then when it screws up again, change the DNS on the PC to the server IP. Thanks for the help guys. Now I just sit and wait!

    Oh and one more thing, when it screws up, I can RDP into the server with the local address.
     
  10. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Workgroup mode...ahh...OK. So it is indeed fine to use your router or ISPs DNS servers for DNS...as this is really just a peer to peer network, using netbios over IP for name resolution and master browser arguements.

    DNS is not your issue.

    How many PCs on this LAN?

    It may be time to "grow up" your network and move to having your server be a domain controller...running active directory. You can increase the reliability of your network and get rid of the occasional "quirkiness" that peer to peer networks get now and then.
     
  11. Sasiki

    Sasiki 2[H]4U

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    It's been time to move to a domain. Money is the prohibitive factor though. You are going to laugh when I say we have around 40 pc's on this local network and 120 PC/laptops company wide across 8 branch offices and outside sales reps. E-mail is done POP and our app/email server is SCO Unix.

    I have 2 Server 2k3's on my rack. One is a Terminal Server for a daughter company of ours. The other is the problematic server. Both are Dell Poweredge 1950's, quad core Xeon, 4gb RAM, SAS drives in raid 5. I also have a VMware ESXi box I screw around with. It actually runs Ubuntu and Ebox (samba GUI among other things) for file backups. I built it on a budget just to mess around with.. quad core Xeon, Asus server board, 8gb ram, 4 x 500gb hard drives in raid1+0.
     
  12. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Don't need to purchase anything further, start==>run==>DCPROMO is already in the OS. :D

    Getting to the PCs and laptop on this LAN...yeah that's time spent.
    But wow..such a large network, and no local DNS to control the network...it was a matter of time til some flakiness arose.
     
  13. Sasiki

    Sasiki 2[H]4U

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    The payroll server will always stay separate. I don't want 500 employees jumping on me because they don't have a check that week lol. I'd buy the DC, secondary DC and would have to buy the cal's. It wouldn't really be a huge expenditure but I am making do for now. I'd like to move to an AD setup so I can get some experience with true Windows networking. Maybe if we have a good year, I can make that a winter project.