Files disappearing from Windows Server 2008 R2
Posted on 2013-02-01
Here is the issue (and it is an odd one). We have a file server running 'perfectly' for at least 8 months - I am relatively new on the company, and the server was largely used before I join.
This week, a large amount of users started to complain that they Documents disappeared. We have a Folder Redirection GPO
That is pointing to this server. VSS is enable on this drive and the Access-based enumeration (ABE) is disabled for this share. Offline sync is enabled for this folder.
On another share (we call it 'P: Drive'), we host all department documents. This share is on the same logical drive as the first, but it has ABE enabled. Some random files\folders are also "disappearing" from there.
On the beginning, I thought was an 'offline synchronization' issue. But the P: drive is not sync’d.
We do not think it is a user's action, once it was random files\folders and personal folders (with distinct ACLs) that disappeared - Including from IT Staff. We do have a corporate anti-virus installed on the server (McAfee). It did not detected any threat.
I also don't believe it is a hardware malfunction, once we do have other virtual machines running on the same servers\SAN and no other presented similar issues.
Back to basics, this is the configuration:
Virtual Windows Server 2008 R2 (64bits)
Running over VMware ESXi 4.1
- File Services
- Remote Desktop Services (Licensing only)
- Web Server (IIS) installed but hosting no site.
- FileZilla 0.9.41 (rarely used)
- Symantec Backup Exec Remote Agent Utility
(Backup Exec 2010 R3 runs on other server)
- McAfee Antivirus
- All clients are running Windows 7 Professional. Most 32bits, some 64bits over desktops.
- Office 2010
- Some users access over Remote Desktop Server.
Changes on the environment before the issue:
Following a corporate policy, we renamed the File server. The old name was "QWERTY-FS" and we changed to "ASDF-FS".
Together with the name change, a new CNAME entry was created on our DNS pointing "QWERTY-FS" to "ASDF-FS". No IP Change.
We had an isolated incident of files disappearing on the P: drive before the name change.
2 weeks went by with no issues. I then changed the folder redirection policy (GPO), adjusting to the new name. Also changed the script that mapped the P: drive to the new names.
On the 'Documents Property' entry, of the GPO, the following is set:
- Setting: Basic Redirect Everyone’s folder to the same location
- Target folder location: Create a folder for each user under the root path
- Root path: "\\ASDF-FS\Users" (only value that was changed)
(Unchecked) Grant the user exclusive rights to Documents
(Checked) Move contents of Documents to new location.
(Checked) Also apply redirection policy to windows (...)
For now, that was done:
- Full Scan with McAfee
- Windows Update
- Server reboot
- Around 5 hours of reading other forums looking for answers. A lot of people with the same issue, no real solution.
Apparently, one day the problem is simply 'gone'.
- Indexing service is not enabled on the server
- Some guy was pointing out that it happens after upgrading to Office 2007, and it was happening due the Microsoft Search service being enabled. We are a relatively new company and we always had Office 2010. It does not seems to be the issue.
Any suggestions will be deeply appreciated!