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Connections Limit details

Posted on 2007-11-16
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Last Modified: 2010-03-17
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I am responsible for a P2P network made up of 5 Windows XP Pro computers, all SP2 with all updates and current Antivirus software, and known to be virus and spyware free. One of the PCs is used as a file server for the other PC users data. There is a user at the "file server" as well. We are aware of the limit of 10 peer connections in XP Pro.

This morning, 3 PCs were running, including the "file server" PC, when a fourth user arrived and logged into their PC. When attempting to open a network drive mapped to the file server PC, this message resulted:

"No more connections can be made to this remote computer because there are already as many connections as the computer can accept."  

Well this didn't make sense, so I went to the "file server" PC and ran the Computer Management snap-in. It showed 4 connections. It also show one of the PCs had 9 files open. I called this user and asked her to close some of her files, which she did. After this the fourth user was able to access her network drives.

The user that had 9 files open had several files copying from one of her network drives to another simultaneously.

I have several questions about the nature of what happened to cause this error message:

 What exactly contributes to what XP considers a connection that counts toward the limit? Each PC has 2 drives mapped to the file server. Does that count as 1 connection (per PC or user) or 2 connections (per map)?

In the Management snap-in, is the Connections window not showing everything that XP considers a connection that counts toward the limit of 10?

Does a file that is open over a drive mapped to the server count? That seems unlikely as we would exceed the limit multiple times each hour.

When I remote in to the file server or a peer PC, does that somehow affect the number of connections differently than if I was sitting at the console?

All help understanding this issue is appreciated. Thanks,
Bill
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Question by:westone
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SysExpert earned 500 total points
ID: 20300037
It should be connections as counted by the Connections window snap in.

I would also reboot your "server" occasionally to clean out unused connections.

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 20301126
I found this from MS, which may be helpful for anyone else wondering about this as I am. It answers my questions, but sheds no light on why this message cropped up on our network:

All logical drive, logical printer, and transport level connections combined from a single computer are considered to be one session; therefore, these connections only count as one connection in the ten- connection limit. For example, if a user establishes two logical drive connections, two Windows sockets, and one logical printer connection to a Windows XP system, one session is established. As a result, there will be only one less connection that can be made to the Windows XP system, even though three logical connections have been established.

The only way system A will have multiple sessions to another system, system Z, is if system A is running services that create logical connections to system Z. For example, if a user is logged on to system A as guest and a service is running on system A under the user1 account, and both the user and the service (as user1) establish connections to system Z, two sessions are established. Each logon session that uses the Server service counts against the connection limit.
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by:SysExpert
ID: 20306515
So, I was pretty right.

Now do you have any applications that require a second connection ?

Have you tried rebooting ?

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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 20312720
Even if an application did require a second connection, and every workstation was running it, we would still be at 8 connections, not 10. And the connections would have shown up in the management snap-in, correct?

It hasn't occurred again since posting this question. I'm beginning to think it may have been a fluke.
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