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I recently got back into the office after a two month round of customer site visits and i've found that my domain now has a random network disconnection issue with one of the two file servers.

99% of my issues are specific to win XP clients thus far. When they disconnect I am still connected. We share a common switch so I am not sure why it would affect them and not me. Trying to re-map the share results in an error. They have to log out/log in to resolve the issue.

Yesterday I swapped the network cable on the problem server with a new one and moved to another port on the switch. Problems continued.

Today I swapped to the other nic port on the server to see if it would help. Still watching to see what happens.

My users tell me that the issue really has only started in the last couple of weeks. I looked at the recent patches applied to the server and googled around for others with issues in the last couple of weeks but I haven't found anything specific yet so I do not think the issue is update related.

My time in the office is limited and I want to fix this so my users do not have to reboot numerous times per day. If my swapping of nic ports does not resolve the issue where else should I look?

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Is the switch managed or unmanaged? – DKNUCKLES Jul 13 '12 at 17:31
well, it's managed. But I treat it like an unmanaged switch and am not utilizing many of its features at this current time. Are you implying I should examine port traffic between the two cable uplinks that are giving me the most problems? – TWood Sep 18 '12 at 21:15
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Typically when a network share gets disconnected as you describe and can be reconnected it's because of a short network interruption. This can be caused by

  • Network saturation (my best guess)
  • File server CPU / RAM max utilizations
  • NIC problems
  • Patch Cable problems

As you've already ruled out the patch cable, there are few other things I would check

  • When a user gets disconnected try logging onto the file server. If you're able to get on look at the NIC usage of the machine as well as how hard the hardware is being taxed. If this is the case you can make provisions to resolve the problem
  • See if the user can ping the file server when this happens - lost packets and slow responses would also indicate network saturation
  • Check the settings of the NIC - I've seen NIC's go to 10/100 Mbps on their own, causing a bottleneck in the network and slow response times. I know you said you just changed it but make sure your card is running at the best speed possible.
  • Run a network analyzer on the network to try to figure out what's going on to cause the interruption

Also, I would assume that you do not need the user to reboot the machine to re-establish the share. Waiting a minute or two, or un-mapping and re-mapping the share may allow the user to continue work without rebooting.

share|improve this answer
Hello I never saw your answer here. I have noticed an increased load on the server which seems to disconnect on me. It holds about 5 or 6 network roles and is only a x86 platform so it uses about 70-85% of ram resources almost always. As of recent when working on the machine I notice a few moments of "not responding" windows when trying to task switch between a few items. For example, running a java update in the background while trying to open my mozy windows explorer cloud drive makes everything go non responsive. I will pursue ways to remove the excess load on the server. – TWood Sep 18 '12 at 21:13

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