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Vista Home Premium Doesn't Reliably Reconnect to Win2008 Server Shared Folders

I have four Vista Home Premium PCs accessing a Win2008 network through a workgroup.  Periodically they won't reconnect to the shared folder on the server which is causing corruption in one of our applications.

I've already mapped a drive letter using "NET USE P: \\ACMEFREIGHT\ProSearch MyPassword /USER:ACMEFREIGHT\Bob /PERSISTENT:YES" but Vista isn't "remembering" reliably.

One of the options we're considering is upgrading to Vista Ultimate (which has a supported upgrade path from Home Premium) and joining the existing domain on the server.

I'd appreciate any recommendations that the experts might have in this regard.  Thanks in advance.
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dhjensen
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dhjensen
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4 Solutions
 
tigermattCommented:

You need to identify whether the issue is a client- or server-based issue. My instinct says it will be a client-based issue, since authentication and sharing between a workgroup and a domain can be problematic.

As a test, use a domain-joined workstation and test the share with that when the workgroup machines won't connect. If you have issues here, you know it's a server-based issue (or a network issue with the connection to the server).

If the domain machine works, then it's an issue localised to the Vista workstations and the fact they are on a workgroup. As the first port of call, I'd recreate user accounts on the server which mirror the username/password on each workgroup workstation; this makes the authentication unnecessary, as the server will allow the user in with a matching username/password in the domain.

However, in the long term, you need to upgrade to a product more suitable for a business environment and a business network. Vista Home Premium doesn't really have a place on a corporate LAN; you need Business or Ultimate Edition, which can properly join the domain and be controlled through domain security and policy, and which will establish a trusted connection with the server.

Also, what Anti-Virus do you run on the server?

-Matt
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dhjensenAuthor Commented:
The only domain-based PC is an XP Professional box which is working flawlessly.  I'd have to upgrade to Ultimate on one of the Vista Home PCs to test; however, I strongly suspect the domain based Vista PCs would be much less problematic.  I agree with your assertion regarding Home Vista in a corporate (albeit a small one!) environment.

I'll do the test with Ultimate and report back.  

We're running Symantec Endpoint 11.  It's working fine since I downloaded the latest version.  Out of the box, it wasn't functional.

Thanks for the help.
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tigermattCommented:

>> We're running Symantec Endpoint 11

That's more than likely the problem. SEP doesn't play nicely at all with Windows Server 2008, and still doesn't. I'd suggest you completely remove it (using the Symantec CleanWipe tool, not just Control Panel > Uninstall). Then re-test. In 99% of cases where SEP has been installed, the problem has gone away after doing this.

-Matt
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dfxdeimosCommented:
I have had this problem with Vista before and the solution that I ended up using was creating a log on script that mapped the drive (without the persistant option) everytime the user logged on.
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dhjensenAuthor Commented:
I've uninstalled the SEP on the server, and in the process of doing same on the workstations (taking longer than expected as I'm having to work around other peoples' schedules.  

I'm able to assign the drive letter successfully, but when the PC is rebooted I get an error "Microsoft Windows Network:  Multiple connections to a server or shared resource by the same user, using more than one user name, are not allowed.  Disconnect all previous connections to the server or shared resource and try again.  This connection has not been restored."

When the drive is deleted (net use p: /delete) it allows me to re-establish successfully.  I think upgrading to business Vista is in the near future.

Any recommendations for anti-virus/firewall for Win2008?  Thanks.
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dfxdeimosCommented:
You don't need a seperate firewall, the Windows Firewall does just fine.

Kaspersky is (in my opinion) the best AV software out there, it has low resource usage, high detection rates, and is easy to manage.
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dhjensenAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I appreciate the input--I'll let you know how things go as I complete them.
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tigermattCommented:

If you want any form of security you need a hardware firewall protecting the entire LAN from the Internet. You should put yourself in a position whereby a software firewall is not required and could potentially be turned off, since the hardware firewall should be capable of stopping all potential attacks.

I install Netgear FVS114 firewalls at all my smaller clients and have never had a problem.

-Matt
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dhjensenAuthor Commented:
Matt:

Thanks for the input--I'll check it out.  

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dhjensenAuthor Commented:
Finally installed upgraded to Vista Ultimate (there isn't a MS supported upgrade path from Vista Home Premium to Business) and can now join the domain.  Uninstalling SEP also seemed to help, but I don't think it was entirely at fault, as the XP boxes were connecting OK (with SEP).

Thanks for the input!
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dhjensenAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for your assistance!
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tigermattCommented:
Hey,

Good to hear you sorted it. Just FYI, I'd expect XP and SEP to work because the SEP issues are specifically for machines running Vista/Server 2008 (which are the same OS at their core).

I've not heard issues with XP/Server 2003 and SEP, but I still wouldn't use it anyway.

Thanks!
-Matt
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dhjensenAuthor Commented:
Agreed....I'm not a Vista fan at the moment--anxiously awaiting Windows 7 (although I'm sure it will have its own issues).

Thanks again.
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