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Windows Server 2003 dropping clients

Posted on 2008-02-08
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I have windows server 2003 with 6 windows XP clients that are constantly dropping.  These dropped connections also cause a NAS to disconnect and have to be rebooted to reconnect.

So far I have tried.
1. Switching from DHCP to fixed IP addresses and turning off DHCP.
2. Disabling the resource conservation features.
3. Switching routers.
4. forcing the NICs to fixed speed settings versus auto-negotiation.

The only thing that has worked so far is logging everyone on using the administrator log on.  I tried giving a user administrative priviledges but that did not work, in order to maintain the connection longer than 1 day they have to log in as administrator.
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Question by:throckto
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 20850805
These problems are usually DNS related.
In short: make sure you use *only* your DC as DNS on *all* domain members (including the DC itself) in the TCP/IP settings. Configure forwarders in the properties of the DNS server pointing to your ISP's or your outer's DNS; the Forwarders section is the *only* place in your network configuration where external DNS servers may appear.
Check these for details:

10 DNS Errors That Will Kill Your Network
http://redmondmag.com/features/article.asp?EditorialsID=413

Frequently asked questions about Windows 2000 DNS and Windows Server 2003 DNS
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=291382

Best practices for DNS client settings in Windows 2000 Server and in Windows Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=825036
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by:throckto
ID: 20853352
Thanks I will try that.

Some additional information, even though the client is no longer connceted to the domain I still have internet access.  The main issue seems to be that drive mappings are being dropped and then can not reconnect without logging out of the client and loggin back in, then it functions normally until the next morning when it has dropped the drives again.  I checked to make sure there were no time restrictions set on users and there aren't any.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 20860334
Portfast needs to be enabled for XP clients. Otherwise you will see intermittant comms on XP clients.
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Author Comment

by:throckto
ID: 20924287
Sorry for the delay in responding, I have been out of town.

I tried the DNS settings, it did not resolve the problem.

On the portfast, the only references that I can find on that is hardware related to switches.  There is no option on the existing switch under spanning tree to do anything with portfast.
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ChiefIT earned 2000 total points
ID: 20924629
What are the switches and router make and model:

>>>This really sounds like a portfast issue.

Also it could be the mode of operation. Cisco products have a quirk to them. They both have to be on the same mode. If a switch is configured to "Auto negotiate" while the router is configured to 100mb full duplex, you will see intermittant comms between them. I know it doesn't seem right that they don't work.  

There is another issue with SP1 for 2003 server. Are you running Service pack 1 on your server? I have seen intermittant DNS caused by NIC flooding due to a discrepancy in SP1. You may/may not also see intermittant DHCP and event ID 333 with this issue.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;898060

____________________________________________________________________________
Theory to explore:
The odd thing is you say it works fine if users are logged on as the administrator. Do they have a problem if their personal credentials belong to the domain administrator's group? From that small piece of information, it seems like a SID/ACL problem under the NTFS permissions of the file folder. Administrators would have access to these files while others with simular SIDs may confuse the authentication process. The confusion may cause intermittant access to file folders, maybe intermittant active directory, and maybe the ability for them to access folders they have no business being in. Before we explore this idea, we should know if you are using Imaged/cloned clients. If so, have you used "NewSID" to get a new security Identifyer? NewSID is not a supported application, and I don't think it will fix network share SIDs. I also don't know if it will fix the domain controller's side of the SID.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:throckto
ID: 31429198
I switched out the router to a better one and enabled portfast and it seems to be functioning now.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 21018029
Good deal
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