Network connection lost.

I have a Windows Server 2012 Essentials Server and Windows 7 and 8 workstations.

The shared connections to the server get lost. I can be working on a spreadsheet, Word document or just want to save to the server. The connection is there but it takes a good few minutes to save anything.

So say working in Word and autosave comes up. Suddenly I cannot do anything for 3 to 5 minutes. Next save, the same. Once it starts you are done and the only way is to reboot the PC or disable the NIC and enable it again. But that takes a bit of recovery.

Mapping is not practical because I would need to map about 200 drives.

This seems to have been a problem on Server 2003 but I have it on 2012 and never seen it before. Have looked at some of the solutions but nothing has worked so far. One suggestion that may work is to put my data on a Linux server with Samba. It looks like a Windows server but does not go to sleep like Windows does. I can also replace the DC and AD with Linux/Samba, which will also solve the problem. But then again, surely this is something MS can resolve.
Alex AngusDirectorAsked:
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Steve BottomsSr Network AdminCommented:
First, Windows doesn't "go to sleep" in the way you mean.  It sounds like you have network issues.  Are you running on WiFi or wired connections?  Does this happen on all workstations on the LAN, or only a specific workstation?  When you experience the issue, can you ping and otherwise browse the server shares?  Can you access the domain controller and resolve local machine names?  Can machines ping each other?  Can they ping or otherwise connect to a machine experiencing an issue while it's happening (RDC, share, get into the C$ share, etc)?  Are there any relevant messages in the EVent Viewer of the workstation experiencing the issue or the servers you're attempting to connect to?  If you have local infrastructure are you experiencing issues there as well, or only client machines?  Are the machines running heavy services in the background, or using online cloud storage?  What does the Task Manager show in terms of CPU usage and/or memory usage during one of these "sleep" periods?  I've personally never seen this issue wide-spread in my 30+ years in this game; when it does happen it's almost exclusively a networking issue: where that issue lies we'll need your help troubleshooting.

Second, if you have a need to map "200 drives" then I think you've lost control of your file storage hierarchy, and it needs to be cleaned up.  I've personally never seen the need in most environments for more than 10-12 mapped drives for any given user.  Suggesting "200 drives" tells me you're either exaggerating or your server infrastructure needs cleaning up quite radically.
Alex AngusDirectorAuthor Commented:
1. First, Windows doesn't "go to sleep" in the way you mean. - A: well when it takes nearly 5 min of waiting or rebooting to get a response, then I call that gone to sleep.
2. It sounds like you have network issues. - A: Agreed
3. Are you running on WiFi or wired connections? A: wired
4. Does this happen on all workstations on the LAN, or only a specific workstation? - A: on all.  
5. When you experience the issue, can you ping and otherwise browse the server shares? - A: They are there but when you click on it you have to wait 2-3 min for it to scan to see the folders. If you want a sub-folder, its another 2 to 3 min wait. If you going down 3 or 4 levels it is faster to reboot.
6. Can you access the domain controller and resolve local machine names? - A: Yes.
7. Can machines ping each other? -A: Yes
8. Can they ping or otherwise connect to a machine experiencing an issue while it's happening (RDC, share, get into the C$ share, etc)?  A: Not tried that, Always trying to access the servers.
9. Are there any relevant messages in the EVent Viewer of the workstation experiencing the issue or the servers you're attempting to connect to?  - A: Yes. Not sure if related but there is one that says "The processing of Group Policy failed. Windows could not determine if the users and computer accounts are in the same forest. Ensure that the user domain name matches the name of a trusted domain that resides in the same forest as the computer account" Event ID 1110
10. If you have local infrastructure are you experiencing issues there as well, or only client machines?  - A: Only experiences client machines. Will try the other 3 servers next time this happens.
11. Are the machines running heavy services in the background, or using online cloud storage?  A: No. not that I know of.
12. What does the Task Manager show in terms of CPU usage and/or memory usage during one of these "sleep" periods?  A: Will have to look and advise.
13.I've personally never seen this issue wide-spread in my 30+ years in this game; when it does happen it's almost exclusively a networking issue: where that issue lies we'll need your help troubleshooting. A: Never seen it either.

14. Second, if you have a need to map "200 drives" then I think you've lost control of your file storage hierarchy, and it needs to be cleaned up. a: Well someone suggested mapping. The folders represent client names where documents are stored and updated. So I can't map each client.
15. I've personally never seen the need in most environments for more than 10-12 mapped drives for any given user. A: I have 2 mapped drives.
16. Suggesting "200 drives" tells me you're either exaggerating or your server infrastructure needs cleaning up quite radically. A: Ok, open to suggestion.
Here is my path example. SharedData is the share on the server 4 say. So I go:
\\slserver04\SharedData\Accounts\PDF_documents\invoices\clientName
I see \\slserver04\SharedData when I open save or explorer.
I select Accounts and wait 2-3min. It then shows me PDF_documents.
I select PDF_Documents and wait 2-3 min. I see invoices.
I select invoices and wait 2-3 min till it shows me the list of clients
I select a client and wait 2-3 min before I can save the document.
If I am editing a quote and want to save it, even if it is the same name, go through this whole process again. Else save to local drive, reboot, then copy it to the client folder.

I only have about 200 clients. I have customers with a few thousand. One of them has this same problem. He changes the IP on the NIC every time. I have not tried that as I use DHCP. Never had any of this with my old 2003 server but a search seems to indicate that people have experienced the same on that version.

Appreciate your help.
Alex AngusDirectorAuthor Commented:
Problem solved

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Alex AngusDirectorAuthor Commented:
Linux solution.
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