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XP Clients being forced offline

Posted on 2008-10-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We have XP clients with Home (H) Drives mapped via a DFS namespace to a 2003 Ent x64 server.  Each user has  their My Documents sync'd to their H drive.  Several time throughout the day users are forced offline.  This is affecting users connected to different LAN switches (3COM) but not all users on those switches.  I've had a ping running to the file server which does not time out when the client is forced offline.  Users can click the offline icon and sync to re-connect.
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Question by:simon_currier
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by:edster9999
ID: 22825887
Maybe the switches are running to capacity and not able to pass enough data.
If they are switches they should either have monitor software or a telnet area where you can check stats.
Or at a very basic level watch the leds on the front.  Check CPU or utilisation
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by:simon_currier
ID: 22825922
edster9999 - thanks for you comment, we have checked utilisation etc but the issue is not affecting all users connected to the switch.
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by:edster9999
ID: 22826140
are you using vlans on the switch ?
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by:simon_currier
ID: 22826200
No not on any of the switches.  I'm not sure if it is a network issues or an OS issue...?
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 22826777
SP1 has a bug in it that can cause some Domain services to stop intermittently. Domain services are defined in this case as things like (AD, DNS, DHCP, Terminal Service, Exchange, ect...)

The fix to this is to download and install SP2:

For details see this link, that recommends a hotfix, but SP2 covers this gliche:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;898060

I can provide you examples of almost any individual service being knocked down. Here is an example of DHCP:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_23008324.html
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 22826788
Also, if you have Windows 2000 pro clients that are not showing problems. This is an example of portfast not being enabled on the switches for the computer ports. XP boxes will time out if portfast is dasabled. If you wish for information on portfast, please reply "tell me more".
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by:simon_currier
ID: 22826868
CheifIT - The file server is SP2 R2.  We do not have any 2000 clients so am unable to comment on that.  I did look at some other posts and came across portfast.  If I have spanning tree disabled does that imply that portfast is enabled?  Other than having a 2000 client on the network, are there any other tests I can do?
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 22827511
If I have spanning tree disabled does that imply that portfast is enabled?
That is correct.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 22827519
So, are we talking all of your boxes being knocked down or just a select few?
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by:simon_currier
ID: 22832825
The issue is not affecting all boxes.   A mixture of desktops and laptops as they all have offline files enabled.  I've ensured spanning tree is disabled on all switches and have been monitoring the switches today.  I can see no issues on any of the switches.  I'm wondering is this is more of a software issue than a network issue?
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ChiefIT earned 500 total points
ID: 22839177
Intermittent comms are one of my favorite things to look for and fix in EE.

As far as a software gliche, only a few come to mind. But all of the gliches I can think of either effect ALL computers or just one. Makes sense when you are talking about a DC's or just a computer's software.

Switches can knock down one switch, and effect a group. Or they can effect the All computers.
The communications protocol between computers and switches may need to match better. Bad configurations of the switches can cause intermittent comms. Since only a few people here and there are having issues, and it seems random, I would like to check out the switches config first.

One thing I think we should check out is your MTU's (maximum transfer units).
http://www.dslreports.com/faq/5793
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