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Novell client loses drive mappings some time after login in routed local network

Posted on 2006-06-05
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Last Modified: 2010-05-19
== Environment ==
* Newly installed OES/SLES9 SP1 server on private network 10.252.1.0. Nothing special, but we do use NSS.
* Linksys WRT54G Wireless router, setup as router to private network 192.168.1.0, disabled filtering/FW. Router provides DHCP.
* Win XP clients with Novell client 4.91 SP2, login set up with IP adress of server, no contextless login, no SLP required.
* Login works fine, though slow sometimes (login dialog shows that its connected to server, then pauses for 10-30 seconds before mapping drives).
* Clients get their IP, DNS and all server mappings fine. Servers and stations can ping each other and DNS address resolution works fine.

== Problem ==
After 10-20 minutes of idle network time the drive mapping or connection is "lost". If the user refreshes the list of server mappings (My Computer) before accessing open files, everything is fine, but if they just try to save an open file from Word or Excel they've had it...
It does not matter whether the client is connected via wireless or cable to the 192.168 side of the Linksys router, but connecting the client to the server (10.252) network solves the problem.
I have tried all the suggestions found in previous postings related to lost drive mappings as follows:

Client settings/
  Advanced Login/
    NMAS = off
      : no effect
  Advanced Settings/
    Bad address cache timeout=0
      : Necessary for solving login problems after address changes, but no effect on problem
    UNC Filter = on
      : (was on)
  Protocol settings/
    Enable only hosts file resolution (created a hosts file for the test)
      : seemed to make the problem less frequent, but did not solve it.
Win Explorer settings/
  Tools/Folder Options/Show
    Simple file sharing = unchecked
      : no effect, but nice to have turned off in general
    Automatically search for... = unchecked
      : no effect, but nice to have turned off in general
Win XP network connections/
  Disabled other network connections than the active one, and unbound all protocols services from these
    : seemed to make the problem less frequent, but did not solve it.
Win XP firewall/
  Disabled firewall
    : no effect

Any clues to what goes on here, anyone? Grateful for any help,
Regards, Christian
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Question by:cmyrstad
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3 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:cmyrstad
ID: 16836994
I solved my problem in the short term  by connecting the LAN side of the Linksys router to the server network (so the wireless router only acts as a switch). Maybe the Linksys router drops keep-alive packets even if the FW is disabled...
It would still be nice to know if others have been able to solve this - it's not it like the most esoteric netowrk configuration around :-)
Christian
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ShineOn earned 1600 total points
ID: 16838058
"no slp required"

This is not a completely-true statement.   Initial client discovery of the specified login server doesn't require SLP multicast to locate it to start the login process when you specify the server IP in the login, but NCP over IP still requires SLP for service location.  If you don't have a DA server, and multicast is blocked (which is not unlikely, when using a router), you can have service location related issues.  This is a likely explanation for why it seems to work OK if you use the router as a simple switch instead of as router.  Being able to PING and to get DNS resolution is not sufficient for a true, pure-IP network.  Ask Sun Microsystems (the developers of the SLP spec and subsequent RFC's), not Microsoft - Redmond wouldn't know "pure" IP if you hit 'em over the head with it.  ;)  M$ even thinks SLP is a "Novell proprietary" protocol rather than a real IETF standard - like standards make any difference to them anyway.   Ptah.

But I digress...  

I recommend, even though it's a simple network, to set a server up as the DA server - the default scope should be fine - and specify the DA server in the client's Service Location configuration tab.  That will force the client to unicast to the DA server, and the DA server (since you will set up your SLP correctly) will be able to provide the client with all of the SLP info for the entire network.

As to the disconnects, who knows?  Maybe it's an SLP thing, too.  Did those go away after you "un-routed" yourself?
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Author Comment

by:cmyrstad
ID: 16840443
Yes, the disconnects went away when everything is on the same network. Thanks for the tip about setting up a DA, I'll try it out (but have to wait till an available weekend), and try to post the result back here.
As for the standards issue, I must confess that I also believed some years back that SLP was a Novell-only thing... it's easy to be fooled.
Thanks,
Christian
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