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Logical Network Drive keeps disconnecting over and over again

Posted on 2003-10-29
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
We have a server that is critical for our operations just upgraded from NT 4.0 SP5 to 2K SP4.  After this upgrade, one of our internal data transfer processes, which runs on a NT 4.0 SP5 server, keeps having trouble reading files from the upgraded 2K SP4 server.  The files being read are shared via a mapped logical network drive.  The process is continuous and is supposed to keep the connections between both servers very active at all times.

We discovered that connections to the 2K SP4 server made from other clients are reporting the error "An error occurred while reconnecting (network drive letter) to \\(Our server IP address)\(path).  The local device name is already in use."

We already looked for answers at Microsoft site and the recommendation is "install SP1"... yeah, right.

Also, we looked for answers at this site (Experts Exchange) and found some recommendations that have been already applied: syncronizing the time of both servers, including the servers in the same domain, and tried to configure the security settings, but the instructions in the message were confusing / brief, and we couldn't find the correct place where to check it.

Besides, we discarded activating TCP/IP KeepAlive, as the process between the servers is keeping VERY alive the connection.  We have monitored the status of the logical drive from other client, by pressing F5 continuously and the icon keeps changing from "X-ed" to "not-X-ed" as if the connection continuously would be broken and restablished.

What else do you guys recommend we could do???
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Question by:acubero
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Expert Comment

by:dave4dl
ID: 9646305
check your cables (by using cables you know are good), if you moved them or moved anything around them recently, you may be getting interference (you can even get heavy interference from fluorescent lights of they are close).  It is also possible they were damaged if you moved servers around a lot.  You also may need new drivers for your network card(s).

Does this only happen with one computer or all computers that attempt this?

If it is just one, try replacing that computer's NIC

Hope you find the problem,
-David
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Expert Comment

by:graemeboro
ID: 9646412
What operating systems are your client PCs running. I thnik you may need to remap drives to the new server as the old connections may have left registry entries pertaining to NT4.
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Author Comment

by:acubero
ID: 9646615
Dear Repliers:
    The connection problem is happening at random, and it's mainly affecting the process between the server just upgraded and the server that still has NT.  We detected the "The local device name is already in use..." error by accessing the 2K server from a computer with XP, but it's not our main concern; we just imagine that, if this error is being reported to an open Windows Explorer window, it might be possible it's also being reported to our data transfer process, and that's the reason why our process is randomly failing to transfer some files, because before the NT upgrade to 2K, those kind of problems never ocurred.

Regards,
ACP
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Expert Comment

by:tbird008
ID: 9646733
Hi ACP,

There are alot of case that a map drive will fail.  Just to point out few of them...
One can fail when power of the device went to standby mode or it is simple not reachable.  The other problem is with XP firewall that is turn on by Default.

These two are the cost of most cases.  Check your NIC property and disable firewall and power management.  Note that never put your HD to sleep on a lan connection.

As for our message tat the local device name is already in use simply means that you have already map a path to the drive that you are mapping for.  For example:
you want to map H: to \\test\c$  but you H: is already pointed to another path..H:\\lab\c$

Try to check the power management and XP firewall problem.  If not we'll have to check DNS log to see if there is any error.

Tbird008
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Author Comment

by:acubero
ID: 9647553
Tbird008:
    Thanks for your explanation about the local device error, but the point is not that: the drive letter is already reserved and, for some reason, the connection to it is "missing" for a few seconds, which is not a problem for saving a Word document (you just retry until it's saved), but for our data transfer process is critical and is causing a lot of trouble.

    And the power of the device is not going to standby mode (the data transfer process itself won't let it).  The XP firewall could apply for our tests from an XP connection, but the main connection (the one for the data transfer process) is made from a NT server.

   The DNS log check could be interesting...  Could you expand a little bit your explanation on this, please?

Regards,
ACP
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Expert Comment

by:tbird008
ID: 9647657
Hi ACP,

I over look that you still have NT 4 server talking to this newly build 2000 server.  Did you point NT's NIC DNS setting and WINS setting to 2000 server?  Do you have WINS installed in your new 2000 server?  Do check the Event logs for system error and dns error.  You can check DNS error on you DC, and put all the error here and we'll solve it one by one.

Goodluck, I'll talk to you tomorrow!!
Tbird008
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Expert Comment

by:Razwer
ID: 9649313
Hi,
This could also be a nic driver issue, are the drivers for the nic taken with the upgrade or newly installed (w2k drivers). Another issue could be there are too many concurent connections (check licencing).
and else you can still check out the DNS and WINS (try making connections straight to ip instead of name).
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Author Comment

by:acubero
ID: 9651782
Hi:
    We devised a "craftsman solution" (I hope it isn't permanent): firstly, every server that references the shared folder is now mapping it with a different letter (it used to be T: for everyone) and then we created a .BAT file on each referencing server, which has an infinite loop checking for the existence of the selected letter and a net use command is called if it doesn't exist, so the network drive is re-mapped automatically, infinitely...

    So far, so good.  At any rate, we'll check every suggestion you have made and we'll get back with any feedback or comments.  Thank you very much for your feedback and interest.

Regards,
ACP
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Author Comment

by:acubero
ID: 9932817
Dear PashaMod:
    Sorry about not closing this question: you can close it.  Actually, I found myself the solution at Microsoft's site: the problem was solved by un-installing Service Pack 4, and leaving Service Packs 1, 2 & 3 installed.

Regards,
ACP
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