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Networking problems Server 2003 R2


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#1 Spyderturbo007

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:26 AM

I have a PC at work running Server 2003 R2 that acts as a file server. We have a workgroup environment and about 15 users. For the last week or so, I've been experiencing network problems with the server at random times throughout the day. The problem is that although I'm pretty good with computers, I don't know much about the Server OS. I'm not an IT guy, but for some reason they threw the network administration on my plate. I can tackle anything else that crops up, but the Server OS is still new to me.

The computer was functioning flawlessly for the last year and a half. Now, for some reason, it will become unresponsive to certain types of network traffic. It uses a static IP address outside of the normal DHCP range. I am using 192.168.1.55 for the server address. When it becomes unresponsive, I am still able to RDC into the server and can access shares from within the server. But all incoming requests from clients go unanswered. Additionally, I am able to ping the server but other than that, it will answer no outside requests.

I have checked the event log and can find nothing out of the ordinary. A reboot solves the problem until it decides to become unresponsive again. Sometimes it a couple hours and other times it's a couple days.

I'm at a loss here and taking a lot of crap at work for the problems. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

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#2 CaveDweller2

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 06:43 PM

I see this was moved over to the networking section from the OS section. To be honest, I think its something in the OS but lets eliminate the network.

I assume even if you are in a workgroup environment, you still have to log in right? Can you log in when this is happening?

You have done the things I would start with to check for it connecting. lol Pinging, RDC and the files are accessible. Are you doing these things from your own PC or are you going to someone's desk that can't access and done these things?

You can try to rest the TCP/IP stack with this command netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt at a command prompt. You'll have to reboot the server after. If it still happens, try completely reinstalling the NIC drivers. The problem is you have to try these things then wait and see. And that means more crap from the users. The last resort would be a new NIC, but normally NICs work then they don't. They don't slowly stop certain kinds of packets. If after you do the stuff with the drivers, I would assume its something to do with the OS.

I would then post in the in the OS section again, only this time say you have eliminated it being a network issue and stick with the problem of people not being about to access the files.

Good luck =)

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#3 Spyderturbo007

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 02:03 PM

I see this was moved over to the networking section from the OS section. To be honest, I think its something in the OS but lets eliminate the network.

I assume even if you are in a workgroup environment, you still have to log in right? Can you log in when this is happening?


I'm not quite sure what you mean here. The users are able to log onto their local machines profile, but unable to access the server shares. Their username and password from the local machine is authenticated by the server and then based on that, their access rights are instituted.


You have done the things I would start with to check for it connecting. lol Pinging, RDC and the files are accessible. Are you doing these things from your own PC or are you going to someone's desk that can't access and done these things?


When the problem occurs, everyone is locked out. The PC I initiated the RDC session from was also locked out but I was able to connect the RDC session and successfully ping from a PC that lost access to the shares.

You can try to rest the TCP/IP stack with this command netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt at a command prompt. You'll have to reboot the server after. If it still happens, try completely reinstalling the NIC drivers.


I will run that command and reboot this evening when everyone goes home for the night.

The problem is you have to try these things then wait and see. And that means more crap from the users. The last resort would be a new NIC, but normally NICs work then they don't. They don't slowly stop certain kinds of packets. If after you do the stuff with the drivers, I would assume its something to do with the OS.

I would then post in the in the OS section again, only this time say you have eliminated it being a network issue and stick with the problem of people not being about to access the files.

Good luck =)


When we switched from XP Pro to Server 2003, we installed an additional NIC for redundancy. The first thing I did, was switch to the other NIC and disabled the one I had been using. They are both different brands, so the switch should have eliminated any driver issues.

One unusual thing I noticed today was the number of open files from some of the users. Mainly this server is used to host the backend of our Access database. It's a custom designed / written LIMS system (Laboratory Information Management System). Typically, you'll see the users accessing the .mdb and .ldb database files.

For some reason, the sessions screen will show that the user has 300+ files open, but when you look at the list of open files, it will only show those two files. I wonder if that has something to do with the problem?

Thanks for your help.

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 28 September 2009 - 02:05 PM.


#4 CaveDweller2

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 04:03 PM

The first thing you have quoted from me, I am asking if when the server isn't allowing access to files, has someone rebooted their PC and tried to authenticate to the server?

How many users have you looked at that show 300+ files open?

I don't think there is anything wrong network wise. What are the specs of the PC Server 2K3 is running on? Specifically how much ram? Could it be getting into a swap file loop thing(technical terms lol)?

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#5 Spyderturbo007

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 07:00 AM

The first thing you have quoted from me, I am asking if when the server isn't allowing access to files, has someone rebooted their PC and tried to authenticate to the server?


I tried that this morning, because it was locked again when I came in and it didn't restore access. This was after resetting the TCP/IP stack like you suggested.

How many users have you looked at that show 300+ files open?


There were two separate users showing that number of open files. All the users engauged in a session with the server, except one, were all working on the same Access database. So I could see them having a different number of locks on the files, but shouldn't they all have the same number of open files? Everytime it's happened, it's the same two users with a large number of open files.

I don't think there is anything wrong network wise. What are the specs of the PC Server 2K3 is running on? Specifically how much ram? Could it be getting into a swap file loop thing(technical terms lol)?


Those are the technical terms I like. :thumbsup:

It's a Dell Precision 390 that we did a couple upgrades two when we switched from XP Pro to Server 2003. With the old box we were running out of incoming connections because of the XP Pro limit on concurrent sessions. It is a Core 2 Duo T6700 @ 2.66GHz with 4GB 667MHz Unbuffered ECC RAM, 2 x 150GB WD Raptor Drives partitioned into the OS section and the Data_Storage section with redundant NICs and some generic video card.

Is there any reason that I can't run the UBCD on this PC? After you mentioned the RAM I thought MemTest might be a good idea, but it boots to the selection screen, then when I make a choice to run MemTest, it goes to the initial loading screen and stops. Would have have anything to do with the RAID array or the ECC RAM?

Thanks for your help CaveDweller2. This is driving me up a wall.

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 29 September 2009 - 07:03 AM.


#6 CaveDweller2

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 01:22 PM

You are moving out of my happy realm of knowledge with the questions about the files and Memtest running. But I think we are also moving away from this being a network issue and into the area of a Server issue, either software or hardware wise.

I think its time you ask in the orginal place you asked just phrase the question differently and link them to this thread for what was done network wise.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#7 Spyderturbo007

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 02:49 PM

I'm back again after being on vacation all last week.

Before I left, I found out how to gain access to our switch. It's an HP ProCurve 2650. I have found "warnings" associated with different ports, unfortunately, none of them pertained to the server port. Also, none of them occur at the same time as the crash, but I thought I would post them here anyway. Sometimes they are on the same day as a crash, but other times I see the errors, but there are no problems with the server.

Excessive Broadcasts detected on port 15
Excessive Broadcasts detected on port 47
Excessive CRC/Alignment Errors detected on port 21
Excessive Broadcasts detected on port 21

The problem is that it's never the same port? It used to be problems with port 27 and 13. After noticing that, I moved both PC's to different ports and the problems stopped. Then about a week later, they started again on different ports from different PC's. Could it be that the switch is dying? But if that were the case, why would normal peer to peer traffic flow through the switch, along with RDC to the server, but all client to server traffic is blocked.

Or are random errors like these normal?

I'm so confused. :thumbsup:

#8 CaveDweller2

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 03:06 PM

I think those are fairly normal messages amd since you said they don't occur when the server issue occurs I wouldn't worry about them too much. I still think it is something with the server itself, either hardware or OS.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

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#9 PeterESutton

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:13 PM

Was this ever solved?

Because we have 3 servers showing the same problem in in different offices.
We suspect the anti-virus.
One server was grinding to a halt...
A user had high open file count which suddenly crashed to 0 (he disappeared) and the server started responding.
When we spoke to him he claimed AV was scanning his machine as it did every morning (why - not sure) so he had stopped the process.
Presumably when he stopped the AV on his machine the server started responding again.
Also another user had open file count over 1000 which dropped to 2 when the AV service was restarted on the server.

Also not sure this was mentioned here but one report indicates that you can continue to access the shares via Explorer's tree navigation.
However I have not seen or had the opportunity to test this personally.

This started happening 27th February, our AntiVirus is Sophos. All servers are 2003.

#10 Spyderturbo007

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:46 PM

I was able to get this resolved actually. It turns out it had something to do with a client in the building running Sage Act! CRM. The database was put on the server initially and configured to run remotely from the workstation. At one point the database was moved from the server to the local workstation (I don't remember why, but we did). When I moved the database, the SideAct program was still looking for the database on the server even though it had been moved.

Apparently this is what was causing the issue. As soon as I disabled the SideAct program on the workstation, everything returned to normal. I haven't had another problem since I started this thread.

You probably aren't running Act!, but perhaps there is another application that is trying to sync to a database that has been moved or renamed? Just a thought. Good luck!




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