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Windows SBS 2008 and XP client - Clients disconnecting from the network

Posted on 2010-08-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-23
I am stumped with a problem one of my clients has with their windows XP workstations.  This is a small office environment, with about 6 XP Pro machines and a Windows 2008 Small Business Server.  What seems to happen is, when they come into the office in the morning, their workstations somehow partially loose their network connection.  They are still on the LAN, they can ping the server and other client machines, they can browse the internet, but their mapped drives and printers are no longer working.  If they simply reboot their machines, everything works fine.  One thing I tested, other than simply seeing if they could ping the server, was I tried to browse the server shares by typing in \\servername in the run command.  Instead of a widow popping up showing the network shares, they get a connection window asking them to enter their network credentials.  Again, if they reboot, and type \\servername in the run command, they see all the shares listed and are not asked to input their credentials.  They have one XP machine that is hosting the main office printer.  The same problem happens when I try to see the printer host machine from the other XP clients.  When I type \\hostmachine-name in the run command...it asks for their credentials.  Once they reboot, and I type \\hostmachine-name in the run command, a window pops up with the printer share displayed.

One additional thing is, they recently had to replace their DSL router with another DSL router (the first one stopped working and seemed to be dead they claim).  The ISP sent them a new DSL modem/router, and everything seems to work fine with it.  However, they claim that these connection problems started happening shortly after the new modem was installed.  I can't verify that, and they can't really pinpoint the exact date, but that is what they claim.

The problem simply seems like their windows/domain credentials are somehow expireing during the night.  I can't figure it out.  I did visit the office two days ago late in the day, to try and diagnose the problem.  At that time, I rebooted the machines (around 5pm) and the next morning everything was still working good...but after last night, they came into the office this morning and had the same problem again.  I think I can rule out any sort of evening backup routine, as this appears to be more of a credential time-out or something like that.
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Question by:jbobst
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christxr earned 167 total points
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When the machines are "disconnected" does the TCP/IP info look right? Did you turn off DHCP on the new router?
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by:jbobst
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christxr...I was about answer your question that everything looked fine in their TCP/IP properties, and I thought I also had checked the DHCP lease time, and remembered it was good.  However, I just re-checked it and the lease time was set for one day!  That must be the problem!  I feel like an idiot now...

Thanks for the help.
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by:Cliff Galiher
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Even if the DHCP lease is only one day, windows will auto-renew. So I think christxr's question is valid, and I'll even go a step further:
1) Make sure the DHCP server is on SBS, not on the router. Disable the router's DHCP server and enable it on SBS if need be. This could cause problems with XP clients not being able to renew leases, so even increasing lease time is simply kicking the can down the road. They reboot every 3 days instead of every day, etc.
2) Make sure SBS is the sole DNS server being issued by DHCP. This is *particularly* problematic when DHCP is not on the SBS server. The router will hand out the DNS servers it gets from the ISP, which are not AD aware, and all manner of errors ensue.
In short, check your ip configuration.
-Cliff
 
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by:jbobst
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Sounds good...I'll get the DHCP server switched over on Monday.
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by:Olaf De Ceuster
Olaf De Ceuster earned 166 total points
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Please run the SBSBPA and fix any errors found.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=86a1aa32-9814-484e-bd43-3e42aec7f731&displaylang=en
Hope that helps,
Olaf
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by:jbobst
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Update:

I still need to get the DHCP server on the server up and working, but we replaced the DSL router, and all works fine now.
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