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Files not showing up on File server / Mapped drives? Refresh issue?

We are currently experiencing some intermittent issues with files not showing up.  Our File server is running Windows Server 2008 SP2, It's running the file server role only and also has VSS enabled.  The problem is, i've had users complain that when they open up a mapped drive (M drive for example) they see their files, then they'll click on a folder for instance named "Work".  Inside there are a bunch of shared folders and files that are shared amongst several groups of people.  All have the same rights to the folders.  UserA says they put a folder in there, UserB doesn't see it, but still sees the others (and i have verified it myself, and just not taken the users' word for it :) ).  They can wait, check back an hour later, reboot, etc, doesn't seem to make it "appear".  But, if they go into another folder, then back up or type the path to that folder in the address bar, they get to it just fine, then all of the sudden the folder shows up just fine.  We've had a couple people complain specifically about this one folder.  

Now today somebody else approached me with the same scenario on a separate network drive, but on the same server.  Sounds like a similar issue.  She was looking for a file that she was told somebody else put there, but never showed up.  About 2 hours later after leaving the explorer window open it appears and shows a date of a few days ago, apparently when the other person put it in there according to them.  As far as commonality, each user is using Windows 7 created from and MDT image.  Both are accessing the File server via their mapped drives, both are users of the same domain and have full rights to the folder, etc.

Anyone else having any issues with files/folders not showing up?  I at first thought it was just a refresh issue with the local desktop since i could make it appear on that first person by going in and back, but hitting F5 didn't make it appear.  Now a second person having similar but slightly different issues...  Any help or ideas are appreciated, thanks in advance!
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MOPSC
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MOPSC
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1 Solution
 
MOPSCAuthor Commented:
Anyone have any suggestions?
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pwindellCommented:
What does it do if you don't use mapped drives?

Use the UNC Path.

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MOPSCAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the response!

If i type the UNC it goes to the folder just fine, and once it's "found" it seems to stay there... but on its own it doesn't want to show up.
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pwindellCommented:
Then let the "Curse of Novell" die the death of the dinosaurs.  That is all mapped drive are anyway,...a curse,...left over from the days of Novell.

In additional to their problems of failing, timing out, failed reconnecting, and excessive resource hogging,...they also "teach" the users to have totally wrong thinking.   Users need to learn to think of files as being stored inLocations,...not Drives.  Users need to stop thinking they have to go to a "drive" somewhere to find files,...they need to think of them as being in Locations or Folders

My users are not any smarter than anyone else's and they have learn to deal with it just fine.  I just have one simple Shortcut to the File Server  (based on \\servername).  It only points to the Server,..not any shares.  When it is opened all the Shares are listed in plain sight.  The NTFS and Share Permissions control who can get to what.

I changed the Shortcut's icon so it looks like a Folder icon,...renamed it to "File Server",... and placed the Shortcut in the All Users Desktop.   So,...functionally,...and from the user's perspective,...the File Storage location appears as just a folder on their Desktop,...and it even behaves that way from "Browse" Dialog box in 99% of all situations.
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MOPSCAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the response, pwindell.  While i appreciate the strategy, so many things are tied into the way we have it setup currently, for now at least i'd like to stick with the way we have it but find a solution as to why it's doing what it is (or isn't) versus taking another route as a solution.  Can you think of any reason why it would be acting the way it's acting?  I assume it isn't common or else i'd have gotten a handful of people saying they had the same issue...but I can't figure out why it's acting how it is.

Thanks!
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pwindellCommented:
I don't have any specific solutions,..never could come up with anything dependable myself either,..that's why I abandoned "mapped drives" a long time ago.

What you are describing sounds just like the problems that were famous with Windows2000 and Windows9x.  They had problems with it timing out and then not reconnecting like it should.  Mapped drive keep a constant running connection that creates a "load",.. and so in order to improve that they tried to design it to timeout and disconnect the mapped drives after a period of time with no activity but then immediately reconnect "on demand" when the user tried to use it.  I think with older Windows there was a way to increase the timeout but that just delayed the inevitable,...sooner or later it was still going to timeout and have trouble reconnecting,...it was the reconnecting part that was really the erratic part.

With XP it seemed to really improve and people didn't seem to have much trouble with it.  But in any case, it was a client-side issue,...not a server issue.

If anything comes to mind I will pass it on to you but I don't know of anything right now.
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pwindellCommented:
In my original question I only asked if UNC paths worked correctly.  My goal there was to determine if you had any networking problems.  If the the UNC paths failed too,..then you would have had more simple straight forward networking issues that (IMO) would have been easier to solve.  But when it appears to be issues in the connection and "mapping" process of the drive letters that is where I hit a wall.

Also...
Another downside I wanted to mention in my little "speech" earlier was that Mapped Drive also can drag down Windows Explorer and anything that tries to "iterate" drives such as Browse dialog boxes.  Mapped drives can have massive amounts of Files and Folder underneath them and because they appear to the system as a "drive" the process will try to scan those mapped drives the same as it would scan the real drives,...which can really drag down whatever the process is performing that action.

You should make eliminating mapped drive at least a future goal,..or if you can't eliminate them all then are least reduce the number of them that you have.
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MOPSCAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the information!  I'll keep that in mind as we go forward.  For now i would love to figure out why it's doing this...but we just switched to a newer server with a different OS, so i'll just monitor it and see how it goes for now.  Thanks!
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MOPSCAuthor Commented:
Not the answer to the question per se, but helpful information that could be used as a workaround, thanks!
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