Constantly have to disable and re-enable network card on SBS 2003 server

Posted on 2008-11-12
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Sorry in advance for the novel.

I've got a Dell Poweredge 2900 III with two integrated Broadcom 5708C NICs.  This server is running a very new and clean install of Small Business Server 2003 R2. We lease space in a University building, but are a private company.  NIC A is connected to the building's (University's) network and providing access to the internet and has a static IP.  NIC B is also connected to the building's network, but on our own VLAN on their switches for just our office computers.

The problem I am having is every hour or so, sometimes more frequently sometimes less, I lose all connectivity to the computer from the internet (NIC A).  You cannot see the computer from outside our VLAN, cannot ping it, it's like the cable was unplugged.  The only way I've found to restore the connection is to disable and then enable the network card.  This does not happen on our internal VLAN (NIC B) at all.  

I cannot for the life of me figure out why this is happening.  I have updated the drivers from Dell's website, disabled power management on the NICs, poured over the event log for days and resolved any errors that have come up.  

I *believe* this to be a configuration issue due to the fact that the server was working fine until I rebuilt it (reinstalled the OS) with a new domain name.  It wasn't until after I did that procedure that this issue started.  I also believe it to be a configuration issue because this same problem occurs, although much less frequently (every one or two weeks) on another server we have running plain Windows Server 2003.  By that same token, I realize this may also be an issue from the building's network equipment but they claim they see no problems and I don't know what to ask them to look for.

Dell Support mailed me a new mainboard for the server.

So, any ideas?  Thanks in advance!
Question by:benfinkel
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment


    1) Disable 3rd party services/startup's from msconfig
    Make sure to check "Hide all Microsoft Services"
    and then restart server

    2) Run "Ceicw" to reconfigure your network connections..

    Please let me know
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Couple of points:

    1) When I check "Hide all Microsoft Services" the only service I see in msconfig is SQL Server Reporting Services.

    2) I've only got five programs running at startup:
    Service Manager
    Server Management
    DWTRIG20 (a Dr. Watson-related program)

    BacsTray - the Broadcom tray software for the NICs.  This was only recently installed when I updated the NIC drivers, the problem was occurring before I installed this, but I have disabled it and the computer is restarting now.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Allright , if this does not works.. we need to try ciecw
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution


    The problem has been resolved, although I'm disappointed to report I don't know the exact solution.  Having been too impatient to try things one-at-a-time, I don't know the full reason.  Here is what I did though:

    -I  made sure the netman service in DCOM config was using the correct account (NETWORK SERVICE) for local activation.
    -I made sure the COM+ was doing the same.
    -I changed what ports on my switch the NIC was plugged into.
    -I disabled the WinHTTPProxy service.
    -I had the university IT looking into anything on their end that might have been shutting me off
    -I installed ALL Windows software updates.

    Hopefully that information will be useful for someone in the future.

    Thanks for the help everyone!



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