Windows 2003 SP2 file server - no recent network / hardware / software updates suddenly becomes inaccessible to laptop users running Windows 7 Pro. Don't know if this is relevant. Other users on standard XP desktops continue to see server and shares with no issue. Users security and network policies not recently changed - only a desk swap. Network via wifi and ethernet all ping and trace to other devices in network neighbourhood. Server in question appears in the network list but any of the following fail:

  • \\servername
  • double click on server in neigbourhood - intermittent
  • double click on share
  • ping to IP
  • ping to servername

I have checked for viruses on the server, rebooted the server, unchecked SMP on NIC, disabled IPv6, ensured firewall is off, checked wifi router and cabling, check LAN cabling but to no avail.

I have also check for DHCP collisions etc etc. Occasionally, I can get one of the laptops to connect if I remove it from the domain and then add it back in again. User has 5 minutes of connectivity with the server and then access denied and the machine is not longer contactable although visible.

Laptops are 2 x HP ProBook and 1 x Some DELL - all new


  • 1. Disjoining a client from the domain is a pretty radical step to try and resolve the problem. 2. The problem is most likely with the server so leave the clients alone (for the time being). 3. Check the event logs on the server. 4. Check the event logs on one of the affected clients. 5. Check to make sure the client and server DNS settings are correct. – joeqwerty Aug 25 '11 at 12:36
  • All settings correct, all logs devode of issues. I agree leaving and rejoining domain is drastic and not the solution. – Klaptrap Aug 25 '11 at 13:02
  • The follow comments, prefixed with a FB is from my Facebook article on this matter - cannot post my own answer for another 6 hours due to my low rep. – Klaptrap Aug 25 '11 at 13:04
  • FB Martyn Norman maybe see if you have network discovery enabled on win7 Network and Share Centre options. – Klaptrap Aug 25 '11 at 13:04
  • FB Jonathan Caines All device show and can be accessed just this one shows but cannot be accessed – Klaptrap Aug 25 '11 at 13:04

Update - there appears to be some issue with the Active Directory - namely replication issues - this is not conculsive but such errors have gone away since the AD was recylced from the PDC.

The fault only manifests itself on certain win7 devices on certain sections of the domain.

T'is odd.


My first thought would be some kind of DNS issue, however you're unable to ping by IP. I would take a look at the problem from a networking standpoint. You mentioned that the clients were networked via wi-fi, do you encounter the same problems with connected via cat-5/cat-6 cable? Might try using a tool like wireshark or netmon to track down the problem.

If you're already connected via Ethernet cable, you might try swapping ports on the switch or router.

  • Thanks - yes the network did cross my mind however I have other users on the same subnet and all are okay, I think we have tracked this down to the Local Security Policy but we need to wait until Sunday (1st day of the week in the Bahrain) to see if it has succeeded - I will then post back. – Klaptrap Aug 26 '11 at 9:38

It would seem that the fault did lie with the local security policy as the user has had a trouble free day today. For a full summary see the site: http://bit.ly/decovarwin7lanissue

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