Unable to see shares on one server

Posted on 2007-11-30
Last Modified: 2008-08-26
I have a small number of users that are unable to see the shares on one particular server when I use the network address, \\zeta.  If I use the ip address I see everthing correctly.  If I ping zeta it resolves to the correct IP and the server respondes.  If I look at other servers using the network address everything is fine.  

The only common thing I have found is that they are all notebooks using offlines files from the specific sever they can't see.  I have tried sychronizing but it does not becuase it can't see the server.  If I change the mapping to use the IP everything is fine.  Please note that I have many other notebooks that are setup the same way that are having no problems.

Any idea would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:rcdob
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Expert Comment

ID: 20382487
try ipconfig /flushdns on these laptops.  Also, do they have the same DNS settings as the clients who can connect?

Author Comment

ID: 20382514
We have flushed the dns with no success and the DNS settings are the same as others that can connect.  I even went as far as to put an entry in the Host file for the specific server that we can't see and even that did not work.  As before we can ping it but no luck browsing to the shares.

Expert Comment

ID: 20382539
Try this ...
Disable the offline folders. Logoff and relogon. Try browsing the shares. If this works you can try re-enabling the offline folders. This issue sometimes happens when a sync fails.
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Author Comment

ID: 20382748
We did as you recommended and when the offline files is turned off we can browse the server with no problem.  When we re-enable the offline files we have the same problem.

Expert Comment

ID: 20382780
Are the oflline folders synced from a mapped drive or from a UNC? I would map the drives and then reset the offline folder setting.

Author Comment

ID: 20382940
We have been using the UNC.  We just change the config to use the UNC except we replaced the server name with the IP address and everything works.  We have used the method you recommeded in the past, but we still see this problem with at least one of those machines.

Expert Comment

ID: 20383331
Ok. At this point I would double check the client DNS setting and make sure the Domain Controller is listed as the primary DNS server. Another thing you can do is add the file server in the local hosts file to help with the name resolution issue.
LVL 66

Accepted Solution

johnb6767 earned 500 total points
ID: 20385611
This is a byproduct of Offline Files, and it is by design. When offline files are in use, it marks \\zeta as offline, since there are offline files synched to it. So the local synch manager on the machines dont even send out a netbios request to it, but if you make a DNS request (IP or FQDN) it searches and resolves it..... If you go to start>run>mobsync /logon, you should then be able to reach the shares. Or simply make sure your users synchronize when they have this problem....

A way around it.....

Files that you add to the Offline Files folder on a Windows XP-based computer are synchronized when another person uses the computer

Forced silent auto reconnection
When a server has been unavailable (offline mode) and then becomes available again for connection, Offline Files Client Side Caching tries to transition that server to online mode if all the following conditions are true: " There are no offline changes for that server on the local computer.  
" There are no open file handles for that server on the local computer.  
" The server is accessed over a fast link. You can adjust the definition of slow and fast by using the SlowLinkSpeed Offline Files policy.  
With this hotfix, you can configure Offline Files Client Side Caching to ignore these conditions and transition the server to online mode regardless of whether these conditions exist. To do this, follow these steps: 1. Click Start, click Run, type REGEDIT, and then click OK.
2. Locate and click the following registry subkey:
3. Click Edit, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type SilentForcedAutoReconnect, and then press ENTER to name the value.
5. Double-click SilentForcedAutoReconnect.
6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
Note After you apply this hotfix, the following behavior may occur: " Any offline changes will remain unsynchronized and unavailable until the changes are synchronized in the future. This situation causes a dirty cache condition that is announced through a small warning overlay image on the Offline Files icon in the notification area.  
" Any open handles to files that are cached on the associated server will be automatically closed and invalidated. This action may cause problems if the programs that are using those files cannot work gracefully with invalid file handles.
" If the server is available over a slow network link, such as a satellite link or a telephone line, the server will still be transitioned online. This scenario may cause very slow access to the remote file system on the server from the local computer.

LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 20385620
Keep in mind, that this reg mod will increase your VPN traffic, if thats where you are using Offline Files....

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