Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We have a server that we basically just want share files on. It has alot of storage (RAIDed even).

When we share a folder and type \\\sharedFolderName in the Run box, nothing can connect to it.

What could be going on? I've looked and made sure services that need to be on are on but I am not sure what to look for. The obvious ones are on.

Thanks for any help!

Edit: Windows Server 2003. Just double checked the Domain and DNS addresses used on the bad machine and a machine where everything is fine.

share|improve this question
Knowing the operating systems involved would help. I assume Windows from mention of the Run box and Shares, but could you confirm? – 21st Century Moose Dec 3 '09 at 17:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

First step is to check the basic IP settings. Double-check in particular the IP address and subnet mask of the server and ensure that it's in the same subnet as the clients. If it's not (and if it shouldn't be), make sure that it's set up correctly for whatever subnet it is in (a correct IP address for the network, a correct subnet mask, and the default gateway set to whatever the router for that subnet is). It's probably worthwhile ensuring that the NIC isn't disabled in Device Manager at this stage, as well as ensuring that you have the correct NIC (if it has more than 1) connected (been there, done that).

Then, as others have mentioned, try a ping. If that doesn't work, try using tracert to see where connectivity is failing. Address any issues that this throws up. Also try switching off the Windows firewall (at least to rule out possible complications arising from it being on). Move it between switch ports, and if possible put it on the same switch (and same VLAN if you're using VLANs) as a client you're testing from.

Next step is to try connecting to the share. All going well it should work, but if it doesn't you can use \\servername\c$ (or \\serverip\c$ if you don't have it in your DNS) as an administrator to ensure that the basic Windows File & Print Sharing service is up. If that doesn't work you need to check that File & Print Sharing is bound to your adapter and that the Server service is started. Repeat until it works.

Now try connecting to the share again. Assuming that everything else is working, the most likely remaining problem is that your share permissions don't allow access to it.

share|improve this answer
Still not able to ping but the shares are now working. A small mistype in a domain name was causing the issue. Thanks for the info! – bobber205 Dec 3 '09 at 23:20
Some firewalls block pings (and servers can be configured not to answer pings). Usually a bad idea in my opinion, but needs to be taken into consideration. – sleske Dec 4 '09 at 13:47

I'd first check general connectivity: 1. Open run dialog box on a computer other than server, type cmd and hit enter. 2. Type ping where is the server's ip address. 3. The output should contain Lost = 0 (0% Loss)

If the server is connectible, I'd check the firewall logs or try disabling the firewall altogether to see if that's the culprit. If the firewall is the culprit then add exceptions to the firewall.

If the ping is showing that packets are getting lost, that it cannot find the host, or that requests are timing out, then there are network issues connecting to the server altogether and the network segments should be examined, including any routers or firewalls that could be blocking traffic.

share|improve this answer

Well, hard to help without more information. Things you could check:

  • Is the server even reachable from the client? Try to ping the server from the client.
  • Make sure there is not firewall/restrictive router getting in the way. Ideally, connect a client (laptop) directly to the switch the server uses, and try to reach the server by IP address. If that doesn't work, it's likely a server problem, otherwise probably a network problem.
  • For a server problem: Check that the "Server" service is running (Open Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Services). Exact name might depend on Windows version, not sure what it's called in Server 2003. Also check that there's no local firewall software getting in the way. Check the server's event log for any clues.
  • Network problem: If you can, try trial-and-error by plugging a client into different switches to narrow down the problem. The details will depend on your network setup.
share|improve this answer
Not able to ping it. :( – bobber205 Dec 3 '09 at 18:42
Well, then that's your first problem. Find out why you cannot ping it (probably either network problem or a misconfigured firewall inbetween), then go on troubleshooting. – sleske Dec 4 '09 at 13:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.