Windows Server 2003 - Wireless and Wired Login problems

Posted on 2010-11-30
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Experts,
We have 2 labs with 30 Pcs in each lab networked to a Windows Server 2003 Standard DC.
Users login to acces their files, browse the web, print etc. There is no TS involved.

Until recenlty we had no problem with users logging onto the network until we introduced an additional 24 laptops onto the system.

Let me give you some background...
The laptops are stored on a laptop trolly and connect to the network via 2 wireless (11g) access points (12 per AP ) that are mounted on the trolly.

Both APs are connected to a switch that is also mounted on the trolly.  A single Cat5 Cable runs from the switch to a CAT5 socket on the wall thus enabling students to log onto the network wirelessly.  

The problems we are experiencing are:-

1. Some users cannot login when all laptops are being used together.  
2. Some users in the wired PC laps also cannot log on.
3. Some users connect successfully and may randomly be  "dropped" off the network (wired or wireless) from time to time.
4. we are constantly getting License usage reminders thus leading us to believe that this might be a licensing issue.

I believe that it might be an infrastructure problem.  CAT5 Cabling and  10/100 switches are used throughout the school.  There appears to be bottlenecks somewhere in the system  

Your ideas would be welcome.  

Many Thanks.
Question by:freshfordian
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Expert Comment

ID: 34242246
Thius does sound like a licence issue. Have you told the Windows server the amount of licences you have bought. If you check the System even log, that will who you any licence issues it finds.

The other thing I can think to check is that there are enough DHCP addresses available for all of the machine that are connecting.

When you say they can't login, what is actually happening, i.e. what error messages etc are you getting?



Author Comment

ID: 34242332
Hi WayneATaylor,
Thank you for helping out.
The DHCP Address range is from192.168.1.20-254 so plenty there.

Regarding the login messages, there are primarily two..
1. No domain server is available. - primarily
2. A trust relationship error - randomly. Once I rejoin the laptop to the domain the problem is resolved.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 34242384
Might be a DNS issue then, if the DNS server isn't configure correctly then the clients might not find a valid global catalog to verify the login info.

Worth checking what the clients have as a DNS server, IPCONFiG /ALL, and then that the DNS servers that are shown there know about your Domain.

We often see midconfigured domains where you have a DNS server in your DNS list, often set manullay or by DHCP, that is an Internet providers server etc, that of course won't know about your internal domain!

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Author Comment

ID: 34242749
thanks Wayne. will; check this int he mornignand let you know how I get on.

Expert Comment

ID: 34247626

For check if both AP are on different channels. Otherwise they might interfere with each other resulting in poor performance.

Another thing could be a bandwidth issue. 11g leaves net 20 mbps which divided by the 12 client is 1.6mbps per client. This can be tricky when using for example roaming profiles.
If possible try 11n on 5Ghz using:
short Guard Interval
greenfield mode
channel bonding

Author Comment

ID: 34247654
Hi Wayne

checked each system and DHCP and DNS are fine.

Author Comment

ID: 34255182
Hi RikeR,
Can you recommend a sutiable router /AP that would run at 11n perhaps with backward compatability to 11g?

Also, we are using Toshiba laptops that by default run at 11g. I do not see an option for 11n.  Would I need to disable the built-in wireless and get perhaps an 11n (USB perhaps) nic?

Accepted Solution

RikeR earned 500 total points
ID: 34255227
I've successfully installed site with 20 clients/ap providing 4 mbps per client using Trapeze Networks MP-82. I might be a but pricy.

I you want cheap, you might try the Linksys WAP610N combined with the Linksys WUSB600N.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34276949
Great starting point.  Thanks again

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