Troubleshoot intermittent problem accessing network drives and other resources
Posted on 2011-10-11
We have a simple Windows 2003 network, using SBS 2003 as the domain controller, with a couple of other servers running Windows server 2003. The clients are Windows XP, and most users have three network drives – two mapped to shares on the SBS 2003 server, and another mapped to a share on a standard 2003 server. These network drives are mapped using a logon script.
Recently we have had problems with a couple of clients, where the network drives linked to the shares on the SBS 2003 DC are being disconnected. Approx. twice a week. Sometimes, these drives simply reconnect without any action. Or sometimes the user has to logon/on to reconnect. But today, even after rebooting the client, I couldn't reconnect the drives to the DC. Then a few hours later all was ok.
After the machine was rebooted, and I tried to remap the network drive on the DC, I can see all the shares on the DC. But when I select the share, and try to map the drive, the screen hangs for a few minutes, and then the access to the DC becomes unavailable and I get “unknown path” and similar messages, and I can no longer browse the shares.
It is as though the connection is so unresponsive that the client considers that the DC is not available. Another problem is that these clients are in a branch office connected via a LAN extension. So, the latency of the connection between the client and DC is quite high – about 12ms. Although there are lots of clients in this branch office which work perfectly well – if a bit sluggish. Is there some TCP/IP setting I should be looking at?
Also there is no problem browsing or connecting to the shares on the other servers, or other clients in the network.
This only happens on two clients, out of about 30. However, these two clients are shared machines. Also, I suspect that sometimes users find the machine logged on as someone else, and just power it off/on to get access.
I would guess that I might get things fixed by removing and adding the client to the domain. But, I’d like to stop these problems happening again. So, I’d like to find out exactly where the connectivity problem is.
There are no obvious messages in the event logs of either the client or the server. Except that the client complains that it can’t get the group policy from the DC, which makes sense if it can’t connect.
The other change was a few months ago we installed Symantec End Point anti-virus. But, this is the same for all clients, and most work fine.
Any pointers would be appreciated