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Why is my XP machine losing connectivity on 2008 R2 domain?

Posted on 2013-01-25
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Last Modified: 2013-02-05
We have just replaced a Customer's domain controller with a new 2008 R2 server running Active Directory in Native mode. Most of the project went as expected but there is one trouble PC  (Windows XP SP3) that keeps losing connection to the server. It only connects to a shared folder to open, use, and then save files. Seemingly randomly the machine will decide to lose connection to the server and not allow any traffic to the server - PING, DNS queries, DHCP requests, anything - but you can browse and ping to other addresses in the network totally normally.

The XP Machine is wireless to a nearby access point, and is one of very few wireless PCs. I've adjusted wireless settings and upgraded firmware on the Dlink but I don't think it's actually a wireless issue (See the above about pinging and browsing other addresses).

When this happens there are no errors created in Event Viewer under System or Application, and no indication that anything is wrong. It's free of malware and doesn't have internet access (has a bad gateway set).  Everything I've read says there isn't any reason an XP SP3 machine would have problems with a 2008 R2 domain.

Please let me know if there is any other info I can provide, and thank you in advance
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Question by:tganus
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Expert Comment

by:Don Thomson
ID: 38818965
Check the power setting of the Network wireless adapter under the power management  tab
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Expert Comment

by:smckeown777
ID: 38819144
How do you fix this? I mean how do you get it talking to the server again?

Do you reboot the pc, or the AP?
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Author Comment

by:tganus
ID: 38820079
Rebooting the PC typically gets it connected again - power settings aren't the standard "Allow Windows to disable Device" checkbox, it's a Dlink-DWA-525 (PCI Wireless N). The Dlink driver has some power settings mentioned but it's not enable or disable, it's something like TST / MAX_PSP.

When the card fails to get an address you can assign one manually, but that still doesn't allow communication to the server - pings fail, no dns, no browse, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:smckeown777
ID: 38820104
Can you post output from the following command from this machine?

ipconfig /all

'but that still doesn't allow communication to the server - pings fail, no dns, no browse, etc. '

You say no DNS? No browse? Yet you can talk to 'other' client machines on the local network?

This tells me its a DNS issue...unless I'm mis-reading this...
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Author Comment

by:tganus
ID: 38826650
I don't have access to the machine to give an ipconfig output, but it's standard for a PC on a windows SBS network. Gets an IP in range, DHCP Server / DNS server set to x.x.x.2, which is the server. Gateway is set correctly but then manually changed to block internet access. Correct subnet, all that good stuff. Works for nearly a day before the user tries to save something he had open on the server ( A file is opened and then a cutting machine run using that file for either a few minutes up to several hours - it's saved to record the number of cuts made) and the PC can't open the shared folder. The network drive shows as disconnected.

The server seems to just reject any and all traffic from this PC at this point. The firewall is turned off for all profiles on the server and the firewall service disabled on the XP machine. As said before you can still use a UNC to browse another PCs shares, web browser to manage printers or WAPs/Routers, anything but communicate with the server. DNS queries DO fail trying to reach other hosts because there is no traffic accepted on the server but direct IP works fine.

One piece of info I didn't put into the OP was that the browser service was failing due to some conflict with the firewall service in the XP machine. That has been resolved (firewall service disabled), however, and the behavior still continued.
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Accepted Solution

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smckeown777 earned 500 total points
ID: 38827418
Ok, are the client and server on the same switch?

If so can you run this command from both server and client during the outage

arp -a

Compare the output from the client - arp will show the IP to MAC-Address mapping, want to see if the mac-address for the server is the same as the actual mac-address of the server nic...

So you'll see an output like this

192.168.3.254         00-27-0d-29-8d-b6     (Ip of router, mac of router in my case)

So then check the mac-address of the server nic using ipconfig/all
Verify the address matches

If it DOESN'T, then its somehow an arp issue, which can be fixed by most times rebooting the switch, but as a test from the client pc and server you can clear the arp table on the machine itself first with...

arp -d *

Just see if that reveals anything, if not then we have to go elsewhere, not sure where just yet ;)
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