W2k3 R2 File Shares become inaccessible

Starting about three weeks ago we started to have problems with one of our Microsoft File servers.  Users could no longer browse to the file shares anymore.  A restart would fix the issue.  It started out happening once every couple of days, and then increased to more than once per day.  Last week we performed 60 some windows updates (it was behind) trying to resolve the issue.  The issue disappeared for six days, and then came rearing its head back again.  There has been nothing showing in the Event Viewer, however, I am unable to restart the Server service when this problem is occuring.  On a side note, a few weeks prior to this issue beginning, we joined all computers on the same network to a domain, but we did not join the server.

Any help resolving or pointing in the direction of fixing this problem would be greatly appreciated
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
I have seen this a couple of times and has always come down to AV software which may have been installed or recently updated, as a first step remove your AV software.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Kevin HaysIT AnalystCommented:
What's your licensing scheme and how many cals do you have?  If you're running out of cals is should show in the event log though.  In the case of a limit of 10 concurrent connections they will just get random disconnects.  I'm not sure if this applies to a server in a workgroup environment or not, but I can recall something along those lines.

Did you do anything different about 3 weeks ago for this to happen?

If it is just a file server you may have to setup file security again but I would suggest joining it to the domain would help you down the road in the long run.

I would use global domain groups , that fits better then the old domain group into local group, especially when you move to a new file server.

Are you able to ping when it is unavailable ( test simple networking), are you able to open up event viewer and connect to the problem server ( test rpc calls)

Yes - kshays is right if the server doesn't have cals then after 10 connections it would prevent others from connecting. ( an 11th user could connect if one of the first 10 sessions timed out) I would stop the licensing service. ( you should be licensed properly, just ms windows doesn't track all licenses correctly)

Active Protection takes the fight to cryptojacking

While there were several headline-grabbing ransomware attacks during in 2017, another big threat started appearing at the same time that didn’t get the same coverage – illicit cryptomining.

PhillipsPlasticsAuthor Commented:
Issue is still occurring, Have tried updating, it decided to run solid for a week and a half, now it needs to be rebooted twice daily.  Very confusing, still nothing in the Event Logs.

We have plenty of cals.  It is not possible to join the machine to the domain at this time, but I agree it will be joined as soon as possible.

Any other ideas?
Kevin HaysIT AnalystCommented:
Since the server is not joined to the domain and all of your workstations are, when they try to access the shares on the server they will need to authenticate using their current logon credentials.  Do they get a login box to enter alternate credentials so they can access the shares?  The username/password they use must be on the server since the server isn't on the domain you cannot use global security groups in AD now.

I agree with mark also, I never used the licensing service, but I did have the cals in a safe place in case any audit came my way.

PhillipsPlasticsAuthor Commented:
Splitting up this one, as the issue appears to have gone away, and not sure what exactly the root cause is.  Thanks everyone for your input.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2003

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.