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I've into a bit of a wall with a client of mine. In an office of 20 people, he is the only one who experiences broken connections to his mapped network drives. I have everyone set up with about 6 mapped drives, all pointing to the same server (no DFS), and everyone else can access them lightning fast.

The environment consists of a mix of Windows 7 and XP machines, all 32-bit. The server holding the data everyone is mapping to is running on Server 2008 R2, and is a domain controller. We recently swapped out their old 10/100 switch for a shiny new Dell PowerConnect gigabit switch. We have also replaced an old dying Sonicwall with a shiny new one. Everything is running on an ESX host except for the DC, where everyone is getting data from.

In my client's office, we have done the following:

Swapped out his computer (Win7 and XP box)
Swapped out the desktop switch in his office
Removed the desktop switch in his office
Changed out the network cable going to the wall
Ran 'net config server /autodisconnect:-1' on the server
Disabled remote differential compression on his current Win7 box

When we swapped out his network cable, everything seemed fine for about 4 days. Normally I would get a phone call a couple times per day letting me know that Outlook has crashed (there is a 9GB PST living on the server he is always connected to), or that his software he is running from his L drive has crashed. I almost thought I had this solved, but after we rebooted the DC the other night he all of a sudden couldn't stay connected to his mapped network drives for more than 10 minutes.

When I ran 'net use' from the command prompt, it listed all the network drives where were randomly in a state of 'OK', 'Disconnected', or 'Reconnecting'.

What else should I try? Maybe there is bad wiring in the wall, patch panel, or a bad port in the new switch I have in the server room?

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We've replaced the Dell PowerConnect switch and so far everything seems to be fine. I will keep you all posted if something changes, but that looks to be a dying switch. – Bill Sambrone Feb 10 '11 at 5:00
up vote 0 down vote accepted

So he has a new computer with a new OS build? and a different cable going from the computer to this main switch? and everyone else is just fine? If that's the case I'd suggest swapping switch ports with a 'working' user - see if the problem follows the port.

Basically we're talking about a divide and conquer situation, you need to split the components in two, test, split again, test etc until you've found your fault. Now this can be a problem when you have more than one thing at fault but if you follow this method you will at least have a clear 'map' of what's been tested and what's not.

How long is the cable by the way, have you tried a shielded one and what type of cable/signal is it? Do you have any cable testers such a a 'Fluke' or similar?

Please come back to us as you move forward with this problem.

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If the only problem they are reporting is the loss of access to a shared drive, then I doubt it is a network issue - if you say they also can't get to their new email or Facebo^H^H^H^H^H^Hcritical web based applications, then you probably are looking at a network related issue.

I would move that 9Gb pst file off the server anyway. It isn't advised to run that way by Microsoft, and it could be that accessing that behemoth is flooding the network connection.

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