XP freezing when browsing network shares

Posted on 2010-03-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-09
We have a forest including 3 domains, each domain having a number of domain controllers, file servers, and client pcs.  In late February users began experiencing random workstation freezing when trying to access files on mapped network drives.  The freezing appears to be off and on, and is cross domain/file server.

Server details:
Server 2003 R2 SP2 - Virtual
MS Patches up to date as of 3/9/2010
VMWare tools up to date

Client details:
MS Patches up to date as of 2/23/2010
Various image versions across various HP hardware models

Server actions (all taken without creating or remediating issues)
Verified DNS is resolving properly
SCOM/Event logs are not reporting any NetBios alerts
Was running w/o NetBios over TCP/IP, and now changed
Currently running wireshark and perfmon logging
Perfmon, SCOM, and other performance tools not showing any spike or contention in resources at known times of freezing
VSS Volume Shadow Copy disabled on all servers.  Known 2/2010 hotfix deployed to primary data servers before disabling of service w/o luck.
Server is unaccessible when client is freezing up. (e.g. User A freezing while trying to browse drive D:<Server A>.  At the same time, user B cannot browse to "\\<ServerA>\.  Once User A stops freezing, user A and B can both access the server without a problem.

Network Actions:
Switches monitored and no visible issues
Routers monitored and no visible issues
Verified no abnormal network traffic increases
Verified typical offenders (WSUS, SMS/SCCM, Virus Scan) were under control

Any suggestions?
Question by:RMRHelpDesk
  • 4
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 28716538
Do you have WINS server up and running?  This is the netbios DNS counterpart and if not running then each PC is left to its own ends to resolve netbios across the entire network.

If it is only a few clients, or consistently happens to a few clients, you might want to go into the network adapter settings and turn netbios over tcp on (adapter properties, tcp/ip properties, advanced, wins, enable)

While netbios can work anyways, its default setting is for automatic which isn't exactly reliable.

Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 28717825
Forgot to mention, thanks. WINS is Not present in our environment. The problem is occuring on 25% of our 4000+ machines, across many subnets. We'll continue to check dns and netbios, and will let you know if it resolves.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 28739384
If the freezing is on CROSS domain shares -- you need to DELETE all of them.  Something has changed in the X-domain sharing permissions that are causing the hang ups.  Test on one machine.  Delete all the X-domain shares.  Now try to remake them by browsing for the shares.  The permissions issue will very soon rear its ugly head, and from the errors you receive, you will be able to solve it.
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Author Comment

ID: 28750050
My statement of x domain was unclear. For domain a, they freeze to their shares, and users in domain b freeze to theirs. We don't have users in either domain going to shares in the other. There are 4000 shares, and all are randomly freezing, then working fine. I can attempt to recreate a few shares to verify security is not incorrect, and will post if that remediates the issue.

Accepted Solution

RMRHelpDesk earned 0 total points
ID: 32832865
We found the resolution, and it appears to be a bug or oversight in Windows 2003.

•User folder created using .NET code
•User’s share drives were created on a server and shared out using .NET code to add a share through a WMI insert

•The code was creating the share with the expected share name but it was allowed to pass in a share path for a Resource Path.
•The share was created and was enumerated by the server service. The share was listed as a valid share.  (question posed to MS: Why did the server service not check the validity of the values being enumerated?  Is this a new feature in Windows 2003 SMB handling? As far as I knew the resource had to be a local path. This is behaving like DFS; I thought this is what the DFS service was meant for. Was DFS functionality added into standard SMB share handling? If not this is indeed a bug.  Windows 2008 handles this correctly. If it was a feature it appears to have been removed. This looks a lot like a bug. I added the entries the same way on both machines and the Windows 2008 Server Service caught the illegal structure but Windows 2003 did not. See the snapshot below from Windows 2008.)

•After the share was created and enumerated, the user would log in and call the mapped drive that was entered into their profile and the client machine attempts to map the drive and locks up the system for five minutes before timing out. Also at any point that they attempt to access anything that enumerates their drives will cause this to happen again. We had about 40 or 50 of these shares spread across numerous servers. Once the server service was tied up making a call to a UNC path it would not answer any more requests until the illegal request errored out. Finally no entry was placed in the event log to indicate any kind of error occurred. It seems to me that there should have been some kind of logging that would eventually throw a warning or critical event entry.

Author Comment

ID: 32832875
I posted the resolution for future reference.  Please do not delete this question, thank you.

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