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Our company is using Windows Small Business Server 2003. It was going slow, so somebody restarted it, and when it came back up, users were unable to connect. Now, we can see the server from all the computers on the network, but can not connect to it.

Any ideas?

EDIT: Sorry for being so brief, but I'm really not a network administrator I want to hopefully get this fixed so I can go home :)

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What error are you getting when you try? – Shane Madden Jan 14 '12 at 1:57
Well on the client computers, it just says Windows cannot access \\<servername> – Andrew De Forest Jan 14 '12 at 2:01
Call someone who can troubleshoot this instead of using tons of hours on something that you don't know to handle. You wouldn't split the motor in your car in half unless you knew what you were doing :-) – pauska Jan 14 '12 at 2:40
Well the problem is we're a small business trying to cut costs, so it seems like the problem is something simple we're just not seeing, although it looks like it may come to that – Andrew De Forest Jan 14 '12 at 2:46
Yes, most people running SBS are working in a SBS enviroment, but remember that the time you spend on this is also a cost (in salary). – pauska Jan 14 '12 at 2:51
up vote 4 down vote accepted

First guess would be to also restart the client machines.

And maybe you call an administrator on the phone who will guide you?

Actually this is not something that you should solve or try to solve alone if it exceeds your competence.

Based on the small amount of information you are giving it is not easy to give good advice.

In any case you need the "Administrator" password of the server.

Attach a physical screen, keyboard and mouse to it.

You need to hit Control-Alt-Delete for the login. If it is not ready for this consider restarting or resetting it until it is. If you cannot get to this point, there might be something really broken on the server.

Login and open a command prompt.

In the command prompt type this:

%SystemRoot%\system32\compmgmt.msc /s

Computer managagement pops up and on the left there is a menu tree. First find the event logs and check for anything suspicious. You can also check hardware there in the device manager in the same menu tree.

Open another console and try to ping the client machines, for example if the client machine is running and it has the IP

ping -t

You can interrupt the ping with control-c

As long as the ping does not succeed check the network connection (cards, cables, routers, switches). Also check if the windows software firewall is enabled and should not be be enabled. Maybe it has been swithced on by an automatic update. But be sure to ask the Administrator about this first. (Edit: of course it would be also possible to configure the firewall so it allows the traffic you need, but if you do not need the firewall at all, because you are behind a router-firewall, chances are switching it off is the best.)

You can also ping your router and gateway. If you need to know the router and gateway IP type "ipconfig" in a console and you can see all the important IP addresses.

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Bravo for giving a generic answer to a generic question, although I'd probably stop at the "call an administrator." – pauska Jan 14 '12 at 2:38
Well if this helps: I can ping the computers from the server, but when I try to ping the server from my computer the request times out – Andrew De Forest Jan 14 '12 at 2:45
Andrew: make sure that you really have the correct IPs. Try to disable the software firewall on the server, but ask your admin for permission first. Maybe you can ping then and maybe the other connections work then too. There is the small chance that an automatic update switched the firewall on. – mit Jan 14 '12 at 2:48
After switching the firewall off the ping might work. But for the clients connecting, maybe another client restart is necessary. – mit Jan 14 '12 at 2:52
Well it was a firewall issue, everything running now, thanks! Time to head home :D – Andrew De Forest Jan 14 '12 at 4:04

Open services.msc and ensure that the "server" and "workstation" services are running.

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They're both running – Andrew De Forest Jan 14 '12 at 3:26
Shame, that; I was hoping that it would be easy... – gWaldo Jan 14 '12 at 3:35

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