files disappear from shared drive folder structure

Dear Experts...

Windows XP Pro SP3 client PC with latest patches.
Active Directory server farm, Windows Server 2003.
Office 2003 Word.

User editing Word document on file share, tries to save document but application gives "cannot save" error.   User cannot give full description of error message but believes it mentioned "location unavailable."

Cannot then see files in the share's subdirectories... the folders can be seen, not the files.   Not sure whether all folders similarly affected or only the one containing document being edited.

Log off, log on and all files can be seen in the structure.

Interestingly, even though Word was set to autosave every 10 minutes, no recovery information was available and 6+ hours of edits were lost.   Offline caching was not in use for the affected file.

Network manager for site reported no switch errors.   Believe that at time of "failure" other network functionality (e-mail, web) was normal.

This has happened twice in two days, on the one PC.   Users on the same AD report occasional "working offline" messages when they have files in the offline cache.   Similarly messages from Outlook when run in cached mode.   Site firewall being blamed for these effects as it is overloaded and will be replaced.

But the sheer lack of file visibility is of concern.

Any help or suggestions appreciated.
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are you able to view the shared folders on the client XP SP3 box when the box has problems accessing the share on the server? this way you could rule out any problem due to the client.

anything on event logs?

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UWADSBAuthor Commented:
Thanks, itsmein.

My site tends to turn off logs by default but I will check :-)
Being intermittent, not physically present when the fault occurred and due to user's stressful situation at the time I did not pursue the diagnostics that much :-(

User is due to be on leave for a week (attending conference) so I will attempt to use his PC a lot during that time to see if the fault recurs.

Internal IT team has also suggested that I look at the NIC settings - I may force it to 100Mbps rather than auto detect which apparently causes issues if it occasionally wants to switch around to different speeds.   Although in this case I would think it would affect other network ops (mail, browser) as well.

UWADSBAuthor Commented:
Unable to devote time to this issue yet but it remains of interest to me.

Itsmein, I will attempt to run some tests next week with the idea of putting your suggestions into practise.

UWADSBAuthor Commented:
Thanks itsmein.

I found error 3019's in the logs but inconclusive... some occasions of error condition did not have associated 3019 or other errors.

Still wondering about this but have to close off the question and award points!

Thanks for your patience.
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