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Win2k3 file server - users cannot rename folders if they have objects in them

I've been banging my head against a problem this problem with no luck. We have a win 2k3 file server on our VM Ware ESX 3.5 cluster with two heavily used shares. About a few months ago a few users started complaining about renaming folders even though they had full permissions to do so, and even the server administrators couldn't as long as the folder contained any files or folders. But we could move the files and create a new folder and then delete the old folder. At first we shrugged it off as a permissions glitch but recently we realized it applies to the entirely of the 1TB share on this server.
So the problem in short is that if any folder on our main company share contains any files or folders and even if the user has full effective permissions, when any user tries to rename the folder an error occurs stating "Cannot rename FILE: Access is denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use"
Now this only happens to the shares currently on the system. If i create a new share the problem does not exist on the new share

In trouble shooting this I tried the following with no luck
- Reset the owner on the entire share to the domain admin (which we used to log into the server)
- added everyone group and gave full access to all files
- uninstalled symantec endpoint
- started server in safe mode and could make changes so I restarted with only necessary windows services via msconfig and the problem came back
- started in safe mode and created new folder, copied items from bad folder to new folder. Started server normally and the problem came back.
- This share is audited, which didn't throw any errors. Tried turning off auditing with no luck
-Turned off indexing on this share with no luck
- used processmon, handle, and autoruns from systernals and unlocker to determine if any process was holding on to the files. All I found were a few instances of SYSTEM holding onto the directory that when closed disabled sharing
- Tried using the older filemon from systernals to see what was happening while I was trying to rename the files but the information generated was hard to shift through to find what exactly was going on (suggested from this post  http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_21752258.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+cannot+folder+ha+item+renam)

At this point I'm not sure what else to do since i don't have any tell tale signs as to what the issue is. I should mention our VM cluster host another Fileserver for one of our smaller subsidiaries and it does not have the problem.  The server that is having the problem also Runs EMC diskXtender but this was put on recently and this problem has been around for a few months. Thanks!
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VoxMedica
Asked:
VoxMedica
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1 Solution
 
Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
Generally, if a folder will not rename it is because a file within it is being used by the system in some way.  On a shared folder, it is often users who have files open within the folder trying to be renamed.  Occasionally I have seen backup software grab file locks and not release them correctly.  Do you have a test folder that you could unshare when the rename fails to see if killing active connections to it will resolve your problem?

Justin
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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
Justin
It doesnt seem to be any users as it happens to all l our files. Even ones i create for testing. I've also tried disabling all agents (backup exec, and disk extender) and killing the network connection on the server but i still can't rename the file. And when i do run into the issue running handle.exe from systernals shows me nothing, the same with programs like wholockedme and unlocker. I fell as if something very low level on the system is causing this since i don't have the problem in safe mode.
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
Does the rename fail on all files on the server or just files and folders which are part of a shared folder?  Also, does file length play into the issue?  What is the overall length (including directory tree) in characters of the files that are failing?
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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
Justin
We do have some depth paths due to mac users also using the shares in question. But This happens to all Folders regardless of level. So if I created a new folder on the root of the share it will also exhibit the issue, which is it can't be renamed as long as the folder contains any files. Now it only happens on these two shares, any new shares don't exhibit the problem.
What I did last night is boot into safe mode and moved all the files from one of the shares (there are 2 in question) to a new folder. I then booted normally and shared out the new folder with the share name of the old folder and the issue doesn't occur in the new folder. But it still does occur in the original folder that i unshared and moved all the files out of. So it has to be something grabbing a hold of it, but something low level that doesn't generate a handle.
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
Well, your short term solution is to recreate the two shares that are experiencing the problem.  Honestly, I have seen, quite often, MACs causing file problems on Windows servers due to length restrictions.  When you say you moved all the files from the old, unshared folder to the new one that was shared, are you indicating that the old folder is now empty, or did you copy rather than move?  A move should have left an empty root folder.

Justin
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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
Justin
Correct.
We have two shares: Crop and Promo that are having the issue, any new share/folder dont exhibt the problem
I created a new folder called C and cut and pasted all the info from Corp to C, leaving Corp empty. I then shared out C as Corp.
I'm probably going to do the same thing to the 2nd folder having the issue tonight. But I'm concerned about not being able to find the root of the issue since we have a similar file server that is used by one of our smaller divisions that is also used by Mac users,
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
You said in your earlier post "But it still does occur in the original folder that i unshared and moved all the files out of. "  How did you determine this if it was empty?
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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
I created a new folder in the old folder (CORP) after i emptied it out. Confirmed i could rename the folder if it was empty. Then Add a text document to the folder and tried renaming it and got the "Cannot rename FILE: Access is denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use" error message
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
OK... Good.  That was my assumption, but I hate to assume.  Have you run a health check on your NTFS tables on that server?  It sounds like a corrupt directory structure, which can have several causes, but the most common is a corrupt NTFS table.  A good start is CHKDSK, for example.

Justin


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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
I haven't tried that yet but I think I'll do that tonight before I head to bed and check it in the morning to see if that might be the issue. I've been wary of running any Defrag or chkdsk utils on any of my virtual machines since they all run off the same 3TB SAN. not sure if those utils are effective in that sort of scenario.
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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
So I ran chkdsk last night without the switch for searching for disk errors (since this is a SAN share) with no luck. The issue still remains, any other ideas? Thanks!
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
Not really... If I were in your shoes, I would move the two corrupt directories into new shares and kill the old ones once empty.  After that I would set up monitoring on the new shares so I could track file additions and folder creations for a while.  In this way, you can have a better idea of what may be being created to cause the problem.  Hard to determine at this time.  You really need more historical information to get a good understanding oft he cause of the issue.

Justin
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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
I agree, were running auditing on the shares but that generates entirely too much data. Do you have any recommendations on something the can either sift through that data or something else that would monitor these shares and put the info in an easy to search format?
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
I use Splunk for event log auditing and management.

http://www.splunk.com/

Justin
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VoxMedicaAuthor Commented:
Problem was unresolvable but the advice was good.
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