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We have a Windows Storage Server (2003 R2) that serves as our NAS for our company. Over the past several weeks we have begun to experience intermittent "drops" where the client briefly loses their connection to the server. This can be when attempting to access a mapped drive or a UNC path. When it happens, they will typically receive one of 3 error messages:

Folder does not exist

Directory does not exist

The specified network name is no longer available

Within a few seconds of being dropped, typically a second or third attempt is successful and everything is fine. This however, plays havoc on many of our "lights-out" production processes.

When it happens, it appears to affect all clients that are attempting to access the NAS at that moment. At one point, we had thought that we solved it by replacing a faulty hard drive in the raid array, but the issue continues and we are actually starting to see it on an another NAS with identical hardware (and of identical age). They are both end-of-life servers that should have been replaced long ago.

No logs of note have been found on the server event logs, raid logs, or switch logs. The affected clients range from Linux boxes to Windows boxes.

Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated. I think we are going to try out some packet analysis and see if we can see anything that way. Not sure though which tool would be good for this.

I tried using NetMon, but there is so much file sharing traffic that the server cannot keep up with the packet analysis.

share|improve this question
Any changes to those servers? Updates or a/v or firewalls or 3rd party software? Since you have two identical servers experiencing this, I would focus on one, experimenting with that one until you find the cause. Hard to answer here though, there's lots of different scenarios that might cause those errors. – TheCleaner May 10 '13 at 13:38
AS far as packet sniffing is concerned I'd use netmon, wireshark is nice but its a third party component and we like to minimize things like that around here. I agree totally with TheCleaner and I'd suspect AV in this case, which won't really show up in the packet captures. – tony roth May 10 '13 at 13:44
AV was a good guess. Unfortunately we ruled that out. It was removed a while back. No other new software or services have recently been installed. We do regular MS updates every quarter. I doubt an MS update caused the issue, but I'll see if I can correlate with the date this started up. I will also look into NetMon. Thanks. – N1njaB0b May 10 '13 at 14:00

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