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DNS Issue

I have a new Windows 2003 Server which operates as the domain controller and DNS server for our office.  The issue I'm having is this:

Periodically users go to open up mapped network drives and they appear as empty.  A reboot fixes the problem.  It is annoying for users to have to reboot to be able to see what's inside network shares.  This problem has no consistent pattern that I can see.  It's as if DNS just stops working periodically.

I am wondering if there is something inside of my DNS server that I can check?  The event log shows no significant events or errors.

Thanks
Nicky
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NickyWhitehouse
Asked:
NickyWhitehouse
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1 Solution
 
MazaraatCommented:
How is your DNS configfured?

on the server the TCPIP settings for primary DNS should be the server IP only, under the DNS management MMC you should have it listening on you servers IP and forwarding to your ISP or an upstream DNS server(large company).

at the PC their primary DNS should be your DNS server, no secondary listed unless you have another internal DNS server.

Do an IPconfig /all from both the server and a workstation so we can check to make sure there are no other issues.
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MazaraatCommented:
err dang ignore my mispellings, typing to fast =)
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atheluCommented:
what do you users type to access the shares? do they type \\servername\sharename or perhaps browse via network neighborhood.

If so - this is netbios - Not DNS.

You would want to setup WINS on your server to make this type of browsing more reliable.  Then you would either need to update you DHCP server to assign this new WINS server setting, or manually update the advanced settings of the clients TCP/IP.
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
They are maped shares shared via \\servername\sharename.  They are mapped via logon scripts.
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northcideCommented:
doesnt sound like a dns problem at all.  make sure your folder synchronization is turned off.  if folder synchronization is turned on, and it loses, or thinks it loses connection it wont autotmatically reconnect to the folder.  many times it will show the mapped drive as empty.
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Ok, pardon my ignorance but how do I turn folder synchronization off?  In my group policy under User Configuration and Network, it is all 'not configured'.  
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northcideCommented:
open my computer > click tools > offline files tab > make sure its all turned off.  you can optionally click "view files" to see if anything has been copied locally.
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Ok, then that is not the problem... None of the users here have Offline Files enabled in this way.
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northcideCommented:
I can pretty much guarantee you it has nothing to do with DNS. if it did some sort of error would occur. Do you every see a sync icon in the systray?  
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Ok, I hear you on the DNS front...  no, there has been no sync errors.  Just empty network shares that a reboot fixes.
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atheluCommented:
Ok.  so lets try to setup the server as a WINS server. THis is pretty easy - and self managing.  You will need to add it as a networking service.

on the server go to add remove programs.
Click on the button for "Add/Remove Windows components".
 When the list populates, find "Networking services"
Click the "Details" button.
The last item (normally) in the list will be Windows Internet Name Service (WINS).
Check the box and say OK to the two windows.
Wins will install - you may need the 2003 CD.

You can then update your clients to use this WINS server.
This can be done manually by going into the properties of their network adapter.
Highlight the TCP/IP protocol and view the properies.
Click the advanced button, and you will see a Tab called WINS.
Insert the IP adddress of your server here.
say ok and exit the network applet.

To immeditaley for a WINS entry to be created on the server, Open up a command line on your client computer
and the command line type nbtstat -RR    (the case is important)
This will send an updated record to the server.
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northcideCommented:
How could you possibly justify that it could be a WINS issue?
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Wins is already set up correctly anyways... so I dont' *think* that's what it is...
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atheluCommented:
I read the question and missed the Mapped drive part - i assumed they where browsing shares by netbios name.

What OS/SP are the clients?

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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Win XP Pro Sp2
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atheluCommented:
When the users get the issue where they have to reboot - Is it after the machine has been left idle? Is it possible the machine is not waking the NIC properly after a power save trigger?
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
It depends.  Sometimes it's after it's sat idle.  Sometimes it's not...
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Is this, by chance, a Small Business Server?  or is it standard Server 2003?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
It is standard Server 2003.  For sure.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Okay then, can you please post an IP CONFIG /ALL from both the server and a workstation?  That will certainly help in providing you with an accurate answer.  While there is nothing in an IPCONFIG that would compromise security, you may want to slightly edit it for privacy purposes.  If you choose to do that, please only replace the last two octets of a Public IP Address with ***.*** and the first part of the domain name can be replaced with *******.

Thanks.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
from the workstation:

Windows IP Configuration

        Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : nicky
        Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : skylinebc.ca
        Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Mixed
        IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : skylinebc.ca

Ethernet adapter {9686F979-41C0-4D61-933D-0D55ADDAE44A}:

        Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Check Point Virtual Network Adapter
For SecureClient - Packet Scheduler Miniport
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 54-55-43-44-52-04

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethe
rnet NIC
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-0F-B0-84-A8-B6

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Networ
k Connection
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-12-F0-7C-65-0D
        Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
        Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.4
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.212
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.212
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.2
        Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.2
        Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Friday, May 12, 2006 8:57:06 AM
        Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, May 13, 2006 8:57:06 AM

FROM THE SERVER:

Windows IP Configuration

        Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : fileserver01
        Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : skylinebc.ca
        Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
        IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : skylinebc.ca

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-0E-0C-6A-8F-1D
        Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.2
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.212
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.212
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.2
        Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.2
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northcideCommented:
this workstation uses a vpn client?  is it always on or on-demand?  
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Just 'on-demand'... no VPN when they're in the office... only from home.
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northcideCommented:
have you tried readding these machines to the domain?  are the mapped drives mapped via a logon script or manually?
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Yes, I have tried that...  and they are mapped via logon script.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
NickyWhitehouse,

How is it that your server shows a DHCP Server IP address of 192.168.0.212 yet it doesn't have DHCP enabled?\

It shouldn't have DHCP enabled, but when its not enabled then usually the DHCP Server line in the IPCONFIG would not be showing.  Hmmm...


Jeff
TechSoEasy
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
ah... sorry... I was cutting and pasting and didn't take that line out...  I used the paste from my workstation ipconfig /all and customized it for hte server to read what it said and missed that line.  The server is not using DHCP.  The DHCP Server and gateway is actually a checkpoint safe@office 500 series box... but the server has a static IP.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
okay thanks for that.  do you mind also posting the text of your logon scripts that you use?  Also where are these scripts located?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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NickyWhitehouseAuthor Commented:
Logon scripts are located in the netlogon folder.  Here is an example:

H:\>type \\fileserver01\netlogon\overall.bat
net use s: "\\fileserver01\sales$"
net use i: "\\fileserver01\it$"
net use z: "\\fileserver01\accounting$"
net use o: "\\fileserver01\special ops$"
net use v: "\\fileserver01\service$"
net use n: "\\fileserver01\graphic and design$"
net use g: "\\fileserver01\databases$\goldmine"
net use m: "\\fileserver01\administration$"
net use t: "\\fileserver01\transfer$"
net use y: \\fileserver01\Shortcuts$
if exist "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop\M_Drive.lnk" goto end
if exist s: goto smap
:smap
copy Y:\Sales.lnk "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
if exist I: goto imap
:imap
copy Y:\IT.lnk "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
if exist Z: goto zmap
:zmap
copy Y:\Accounting.lnk "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
if exist o: goto omap
:omap
copy "Y:\Special Ops.lnk" "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
if exist N: goto nmap
:nmap
copy "Y:\Graphic and Design.lnk" "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
if exist G: goto gmap
:gmap
copy Y:\Databases.lnk "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
if exist M: goto mmap
:mmap
copy Y:\Administration.lnk "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
if exist T: goto tmap
:tmap
copy Y:\Transfer.lnk "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop"
net use Y: /delete
:end
H:\>
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Okay... that's a lot of shares!  Also, you may not know that it's not necessary with Windows 2003 to use the $ in the share name anymore.

At any rate, append your net use lines with "/persistent:yes"  and see if that clears up the problem.

I would remove the "" from your net use commands as well...

And finally instead of mapping your shortcut drive (Y:) you should use a UNC path so that it doesn't have to map before grabbing the shortcuts and you don't have to delete it either.  So just leave that out and use

copy \\fileserver01\shortcuts\Transfer.lnk C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Desktop /Y

(the /Y switch will allow you to get rid of all your if exist statements and will just overwrite the shortcuts on the desktop without prompting the user... that way if you want to change a shortcut location it will update automatically).


Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Just a further note on using the $ sign in the share names.  This was used to HIDE shares so that they wouldn't enumerate to users who don't have access to them.  With Server 2003 SP1 you can now enable Access Based Enumeration which is a free download add-on.  With ABE enabled, users can't see any file, folder, drive or share that they don't have rights to use.  It's pretty cool.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/abe.mspx

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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