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Windows shares become randomly inaccessible

My company's Windows 2003 R2 SP2 File Server has 5 ISCSI Connected Drives that house 400+ shares.  Ranodmly, all shares become inaccessible from the client PC.  The UNC path does not work by IP or by Host name.  DNS is correct.  Administrative Shares (e.g. c$) go down as well.  On a reboot the shares come back online and are immediately accessible.  5-10 minutes after reboot the shares are no longer available to the clients.  There are no events in the logs to coincide with the shares going down.  No warnings, no errors and nothing in information that hint at a problem.  The ISCSI connected drives are done so with Microsoft ISCSI Connetor V2.7.  The Drives sizes range between 500GB-1000GB.
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mkruzel
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mkruzel
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1 Solution
 
sukumadeCommented:
During the times when the shares are inaccessible, are the iSCSI drives still mounted and shown in "My Computer?"
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Leon TealeCommented:
Depending on the options you choose the disk cleanup wizard may remove empty folders.  One the most common reasons for folders "disappearing" is users accidentally moving them (dragging them into other folders).  I'd do a quick search for one of the folders from the root of the share ("dir /a:D /s <Folder Name>" from the command-line will work).  If your users are moving the folders you may want to adjust your permissions to prevent that (removing Modify should work)
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mkruzelAuthor Commented:
All the ISCSI drives remain connected.  And all the files on the local file server are present and in the correct location.  It even displays the shared icon folder on all the shares.  However the files are not availble remotely.  This isn't a permission issue either.  We have tested the permissions and several of our company wide shares have everyone permissions set.
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Leon TealeCommented:
hmmm....check your offline files limit...:)

i know u aint working offline but is often a solution to problems like these
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sukumadeCommented:
What type of iSCSI SAN(s) are you using? Have you checked the logs on the SAN?
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kuknoCommented:
is the server dual homed, I mean two network cards, one for LAN traffic and one for iSCSI?

If so, run a sniffer and check if the 2003 windows server answers the clients on the wrong interface, iSCSI instead of LAN. I have seen this at a customer site.

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mkruzelAuthor Commented:
We are using an Equalogic SAN.  No events on the san network (i.e. on the SAN Event Logs, and on the SAN Network Switches).  There is nothing to suggest problems with the drives or that the connection to the drives were interrupted.
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Leon TealeCommented:
By default, any network share connections to the server are disconnected after 15 minute sof inactivity. You can change this using NET CONFIG. You open up a command prompt window on the server, and type NET CONFIG SERVER /AUTODISCONNECT:15, where 15 in the number of minutes to before disconnecting idle clients. Change it to -1 to disable autodisconnect entirely (not sure if you really want to do that).

Keep in mind, as long as your user is actually USING the network share, and accessing files, they won't get auto disconnected. So it probably isn't necessary to turn it off entirely, probably better to set it to something larger than 15 minutes, say a couple hours, so that when your worker goes and gets a coffee and comes back, he isn't booted off.
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mkruzelAuthor Commented:
It is running two NICS.  We checked to see if traffic was running over our "SAN" network instead of our "LAN".  Client for microsoft networks is turned off on our SAN NIC.  We set precedence to the LAN NIC to handle traffic.
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kuknoCommented:
still I have seen windows 2003 server sending the packets out the wrong interface. Seems to be a bug. Run as sniffer and check it.
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mkruzelAuthor Commented:
In regard to the Idle disconnect .... I am not sure if this would be a legit cause.  We have 400+ users that simultaneously loose their connection to the server's file shares (Each user is mapped to several shares on the server).  That setting is based on a per user connection correct?
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mkruzelAuthor Commented:
From what I can tell at this point off of the logs on SAN Network Switches, I don't LAN traffic crossing over.  

Kukno, I am not to familiar with sniffers.  Any software you would suggest?

Thanks to everyone for your input!  It is greatly appreciated.
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kuknoCommented:
Wireshark  http://www.wireshark.org/

With the sniffer running, you will also see the traffic from the clients: This will help you troubleshoot the problem, even if the server does not send the answers out the wrong interface.
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kuknoCommented:
so, what did you find?
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