Random Terminal Server Disconnects

Good Morning,

Any help on my scenario would be greatly appreciated:

Office A has a server running Win2K Server with SP4 and terminal services. TS Licensing is handled by the server and is compliant. The server connects to a Linksys BEFVP41 router (running latest firmware) which connects to a Verizon DSL line. On the LAN are Win98 & WinXP Pro workstations that use the main database program which is hosted by the server.

Office B has two workstations that connect to a Linksys BEFSX41 router (running latest firmware) which connects to a DSL. A vpn tunnel exists between the two routers with "Keep Alive" selected. The workstations are both running WinXP Pro and us the latest version of Remote Desktop to connect to the terminal server in Office A. Barring ISP outages, connections are successful.

The Problem: At random, the connections are dropped resulting in an general error message (says to check your network connection). There seems to be no consistency in the drops - sometimes every few hours, sometimes several times in a half hour. The workstations can always reconnect immediately.

The Caveat: I get disconnected when I use RD to access the server from my office (neither A nor B). The disconnects are also at random.

Things that I've tried to resolve the issue:

- Based on another thread, I upgraded the server to SP4
- Upgraded the firmware on both routers
- Contacted Office A's ISP which verified steady connectivity
- Ran test from dslreports.com which tested out fine
- Upgraded all clients to latest version of Remote Desktop
- Verified TS idle settings (the connections are sometimes dropped in the middle of work)
- Verified compliance with all printer drivers

Other information which may be useful:

- The internet does not seem to go down. All the clients run AOL IM which never disconnects even though TS disconnects
- The client informed me that the problem was happening before the routers were installed, though not as frequently
- I have tried routing TS connections across the VPN and straight out through the net with no change
- The only thing I haven't tried yet is swapping the cable that connects the server.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Even with Premium Services and "Unlimited" Points, I am unable to assign greater than 500 points for this question. ?!
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This was happening to me and was caused by the ISP briefly taking the connection up and down on their end for maintenance. It took many calls to get them to admit they had been working on their equipment for a while. The problem went away and only happens every once in a while now – I figure this is due to some type of scheduled maintenance on their end.
We had a slightly similar problem, but not as widespread.  It was just one remote user who was complaining about getting dropped connections.  When he would reconnect, it would go right in.

I'm not sure, but in our case I believe it had to do with a bad connection of the server to our network.  I put it in a different switch port and he has yet to be disconnected (and the server seems to be more responsive).

To be sure about the disconnects, have a client run something like:

PING -t your.server.ip.address -s 1 > c:\PINGFILE.txt

If they lose a connection, have them CTRL-C out and send you the pingfile.  That way you can confirm if there was ever a connection lapse.

Also, 500 points is the max per question, regardless of having Premium Services.
I've no idea if the following link will assist in anyway, but I suspect that you may be looking at a router issue - as such it may be an idea to post a pointer question into the network channel on this (i'd love to be a router expert but I'm just not). Rob's idea on checking the connection loss is excellent and will rule out the connection stability as an issue (or rule it in) once and for all - in my experience isp's often say what they think you want to hear, however the immediate reconnect would rule out maintenance as an issue. Well worth checking though I'd say,
How to make your intermittent or flaky terminal services connection a little more stable

Deb :))
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pbratlndAuthor Commented:
I have established a remote desktop connection to the server and going to ping my smtp server overnight. I'll review the log & reply back in the morning. Thanks for the link Deb. I forgot that a had already implemented the KeepAlive DWORD, but I'll check out the other ones tomorrow.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
pbratlndAuthor Commented:
Packets: Sent = 30401, Received = 30272, Lost = 129 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 63ms, Maximum =  1047ms, Average =  94ms
pbratlndAuthor Commented:
Nobody else has any ideas??
You should run the ping test while you use the TS client and are connected to see if it gets dropped there.
It looks like there was some packet loss.  If you scroll through the file, do they appear to all be grouped together, or were they sporadic throughout the test?
pbratlndAuthor Commented:
I did run the ping test from a TS session (overnight), and I was dropped by morning.

At most they were grouped in 3's, but otherwise very sporadic. There were a few instances of reply/timeout/reply/timeout.
It sounds like it is a connection issue then.  What about replacing the network card on the server or maybe trying a different switch/hub port.

pbratlndAuthor Commented:
Turned out to be the DSL Filter that was causing the drops. Thanks anyways.
Closed, 500 points refunded.

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