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 Post subject: Home Network - 1 of my PCs loses connectivity to shares
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:49 pm 
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Hi there,

I have a small home network controlled by a Domain Controller with Active Directory. Such network is composed of 3 computers:

1) My PC --> WinXP SP2
2) Dad's PC --> WinXP SP2
3) Server --> Win Server 2003 SP2 running Active Directory (This is the Domain Controller)

Dad and I always authenticate to Active Directory in our respective PCs so we can access the domain since we have in it shared drives with all our documents and a shared printer.

Everything was working fine until like a month ago. What's happening is only on my PC, not dad's. Basically after a long period of time such as 4 or 5 hours my PC loses connectivity to the shared drives. For example I want to open Windows Explorer to browse my shared drive which is physically located on the server and my PC just freezes. I have to reboot my PC so I can see and access my shared drives.

I ran a virus scan and no threat was found. I wonder what can be causing this issue. This doesn't happen on my dad's PC. Has anyone seen something like this before? Is there any possible solution out there? I wouldn't like to reformat my PC, but I guess if I don't have any other choice I guess I'll have to do that...

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:20 pm 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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Are you using DHCP or is everything staticly assigned?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:31 pm 
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Hi Flytrap7,

Thank you for your response. Yes, I'm using DHCP.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:50 pm 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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My thought is that there might be a piece of software or possibly even Windows itself might be releasing/renewing your network settings.

I'd say keep an eyeball on your machine and see if the assigned IP changes often. The solution might be to statically assign addresses.


My next question (unrelated to everything above) are the shared drives mapped to drive letters on your PC?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:37 am 
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Thanks for your response Flytrap7,

I'll do that, but I haven't seen any change in a long time. The 2 PCs and the server have kept the same assigned IPs for a long time now. I'll keep checking though.

My shared drives are indeed mapped to drive letters on my PC (and in dad's as well). I'll try unmapping those shared drives in my PC and remap them again. I'll report if that helped or not.

Thanks so much for your help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:33 am 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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Make sure the checkbox for re-connect at login is checked.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:56 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Does the entire system lock up, or just the window?

What's changed with the system since it was last working properly?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:59 am 
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Hi Wolfmann,

Thx for your response.
It's just the window that freezes up. Nothing has really changed in my system. This past weekend the connection lasted longer, like about a day but then my PC lost connectivity again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:13 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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rpeiro wrote:
Hi Wolfmann,

Thx for your response.
It's just the window that freezes up. Nothing has really changed in my system. This past weekend the connection lasted longer, like about a day but then my PC lost connectivity again.


It's only the one PC?

When as the last time the PC was rebuilt?

And these are mapped drives, right? They show a "red x", then when you click on them to re-connect Windows Explorer locks up?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Yes, its the only PC. My dad's just work fine.
I built that PC last January for the first time. I got new parts.
Yes, they're mapped drives, but they don't show the red X. The win explorer window just freezes up. It's weird.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:55 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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rpeiro wrote:
Yes, its the only PC. My dad's just work fine.
I built that PC last January for the first time. I got new parts.
Yes, they're mapped drives, but they don't show the red X. The win explorer window just freezes up. It's weird.


It could be any number of reasons. NETBIOS sessions expiring, and if you have similar host names could cause conflicts. KERBEROS/NTLM authentication having issues. Even the Windows Locator service could be having problems.

Clear NETBIOS cache (NBTSTAT -R...that's a big R...small r will give you resolved names...not a bad thing, though). Clear DNS Cache (ipconfig /flushdns) (do cache clearing on the server and each client...start with the server).

Do you have a WINS server installed? Consider installing one, adding them to the DHCP scope options. Look for weird scope options that may be configured as well. DHCP - WINS scope option should run with the 0x8 mode flag.

Check your DNS entries (on DNS forward lookup zone), specifically Host or A records.

Try re-mapping your mapped drives after you've purged all your cached records and checked your name resolution.

I wouldn't look too much further in to it...consider rebuilding the PC.


Last edited by Wolfmann on Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:16 pm 
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Wolfmann,

Thank you for your detailed suggestions :) I'll try this when I come back from vacation. I'm leaving town Thursday morning and still need to do some trip preparation.

An important thing to consider is that on the server I'm running a few websites on IIS 6. I do this through my DynDNS account, so they can be viewed from the outside.

Quote:
Clear DNS Cache (ipconfig /flushdns) (do it on the server and each client...start with the server).

The question is do you think doing this will impact IIS?
I'm just concerned about the availability of one of my webistes.
Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:01 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Quote:
Clear DNS Cache (ipconfig /flushdns) (do it on the server and each client...start with the server).

The question is do you think doing this will impact IIS?
I'm just concerned about the availability of one of my webistes.
Thanks again.[/quote]

No, it's just the local client's or server's cache. Name/HostName resolution starts in the local cache...both DNS and NETBIOS for windows clients. They look here for records, and if the record exists in the local cache that overrides even the local hosts file (name resolution ends as soon as it gets a query answered).

Are you running IIS internally and/or hosting public DNS services?

Your DNS server will have DNS host and possible alias (CNAME) records for your IIS website. Don't get rid of those (though they are easy to replace). You can also clear the DNS cache on your DNS server (right click on the server...the option is there)...this does not affect your zones.

The beauty of a DNS server is that for whatever queries it does, it will cache all the answers for those

DNS resolutions works this way:

1) Check Local DNS Cache
2) Check HOSTS file
3) Query DNS Servers configured (network connections).

Any of the above fail and/or the DNS server can't respond to the query then it does the following:

1) Looks in it's own DNS Cache, and/or
2) Looks in Zone (be it Primary, Secondary, Stub) information
3) Pass the query to configured Forwarders
4) Look up Root Hints.

If item 3 fails, the DNS server will look up it's own Root Hints entries to find the Top Level/Root servers (.com...etc) that will point back to the Name Server for that Namespace. IE... microsoft.com - the Root Hints will contact the server configured for "m" and .com and find out the Name Server for microsoft.com. The query then gets passed to that server and the server should respond. www is the Host or A record for microsoft.com (or the server that is running the services) and only gets looked up after microsoft.com is established.

If Forwarding or Root Hints fail, or the Name Server can't be contact then the query will fail.

Something to consider when you are troubleshooting problems. Everything to deal with Active Directory and troubleshooting usually deals primarily with Time (Kerberos authentication) or DNS (name resolution).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:39 am 
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OK. I'll check this as well. BTW, I'm just running IIS internally. The reason is I just need a web server up and running to show my clients updates to their websites.
Basically it's a test environment.

When I come back from vacation I'll try what you suggested and hopefully that will address the issue of my PC losing connectivity to the shared drives. Otherwise, I'll have to rebuild, which after all wouldn't be a bad idea. Currently I have a dual boot which I hate. The default is Vista, but never use it so I manually have to choose XP. If I rebuild, instead of the dual boot I'm just going to run a virtual machine for any OS. Well, this is a complete different story (sorry).

Anyway, thank you very much for all your help.
Have a great day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:51 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Given it's simply one client with the issue, you can save yourself time by rebuilding. Other than that, it's cool to explore all the technology.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:15 am 
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Correct!

Even before rebuilding I'll try what you suggested with the purpose of learning something new. I'm more a developer than a network guy, but I have to learn at least the basics of networking.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Wolfmann and FlyTrap7,

I know it's been a WHILE, but with 2 jobs it's hard too keep up...
Anyway, I found a the solution to my problem. Here's what I did to address the issue:

In Control Panel --> Network Connections --> Local Area Connection --> Properties --> Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) --> Properties --> Here I selected the radio button labeled "Use the following DNS server address:" and in the Preferred DNS server textbox I typed my server's IP address.

Before this I used to have selected the radio button labeled "Obtain DNS server address automatically". I think my router was causing all the problem since the router was the one issuing the DNS server address instead of my actual server. Correct me if I'm wrong please.

This also fixed another issue. I was not able too see intrnally my websites by name hosted in my web server, only by IP. Now I'm able to do so.
I'm not a network expert and it has been a while since I installed my server and I guess I installed the DNS server option. I've must forgotten...

Here's a resource that put me in the right direction (just for reference):
http://forums.windowsitpro.com/web/foru ... TMP=Linear

Well, no the problem is solved and didn't have to reformat my PC :)
Thank you guys for all your help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:59 pm 
Million Club [PC]*
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I'd say that you truly did find your problem.
In an AD enviroment, the PDC shoud also be the DNS server for the LAN.
If it's not, you can have, well, issues, as you've found.
When I first set up AD here at home (like you, test enviroment, and for the learning experience), I could not for the life of me join a machine to the domain until I set the DC (SBS2k3 R2) as the local DNS (and DHCP) server, and disabled those services on my Smoothwall. Once I did that, everything JustWorked (TM).

Long story short: if you haven't already done so, you might want to do just that.
Advantage: you can leave all of the clients on full-auto for network settings, and they'll look to the DC for DNS lookups (as they should.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:51 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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cup wrote:
In an AD enviroment, the PDC shoud also be the DNS server for the LAN.
If it's not, you can have, well, issues, as you've found.


What do you mean by PDC? In AD there is no concept of PDC/BDC's...every DC shoperates in a multi-master environment and uses replication to copy updated instances of the database to other DC's.

There is a FSMO (Flexible Single Master Operator) role called PDC Emulator that has to run on one DC...is that what you mean?

Quote:
When I first set up AD here at home (like you, test enviroment, and for the learning experience), I could not for the life of me join a machine to the domain until I set the DC (SBS2k3 R2) as the local DNS (and DHCP) server, and disabled those services on my Smoothwall. Once I did that, everything JustWorked (TM).



When you install Active Directory with DCPROMO or through Manage Your Server, it will give you the option of installing DNS (it's the middle or second or three options) integrated with Active Directory. You should do that for every DC. It is also the default option.

Quote:
Long story short: if you haven't already done so, you might want to do just that.

Advantage: you can leave all of the clients on full-auto for network settings, and they'll look to the DC for DNS lookups (as they should.)


Your DHCP scope should point to multiple internal DNS servers as back-up (no more than 3-4 though), and the DNS servers should have appropriate Forwarders setup for external resolution (even for other domains outside your internal domain).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:47 am 
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Wolfmann wrote:
What do you mean by PDC?
Poor choice of term there. I did mean DC. :oops:
And, after re-reading what I posted earlier, I remember my actual problem:
I did set up DNS on the DC, but I did not set up the DHCP service.
And, although I did set my Smoothwall (in its DHCP options) to hand out the address of the server as the primary DNS server, it still wouldn't work (I have no idea why; the clients were showing it properly in ipconfig.)
Once I set up the DHCP service on the DC, everything magically JustWorked.
{{shrugs}}

I'm still sticking with what looks like was rpeiro's base problem (and, that it's fixed): that his client(s) were not looking at the DC as the primary DNS server.


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