Intermittent Dropping Network Mappings

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    We carried out an upgrade of client PCs from Windows XP SP3 to Windows 7. Profiles were migrated to Windows 7 profiles resulting in the appropriate v2 profile folders being created. They are all set as roaming.

    There is a Windows 2003 R2 file/SQL server, w2k8 server used for Terminal Services and now print services and a MOSS front end server (w2k3 server), which uses the SQL server for its databases.

    The first machines migrated were tested and no problems were found. After a week, we then progressed the other migrations.

    After a couple of weeks, we started to experience issues with Printers and network drive mappings becoming unavailable. They still appeared but the computer drive mappings had red crosses and the Printers were opaque. They would sometimes come back by themselves, otherwise, restarting the PC resolves the issue until it comes back again.

    This doesn’t effect all staff. It seems to be limited to the same 10 that are in different areas, different switches, different departments and are in areas where other users have never had the problem.

    When the Computer drive mappings drop, all other services are fine. I have created a workaround by configuring a batch file using ‘net use’ to remove all existing drive mappings and then re-map them, they come back ok. If users double click on one of the dropped shares, they receive a message indicating that the ‘name is already in use’. However, when the computer drive mappings have dropped (red crosses are present), a network location mapping to the same share and using the same UNC path, continues to allow connection. Furthermore, a shortcut on the desktop using a UNC path allows the connection and a UNC path used within the run command, also brings up the share. Also, the drive mapping drops seems to happen more when the computer has been left idle.

    Here is a bulleted list of steps so far.

    • Moved all printer shares to a w2k8 server and re-mapped client PCs to the new location – problem resolved for printers.
    • Altered the drive mappings script to use the IP address instead of the DNS name of the share.
    • Set the Local security policy (at domain level) for the Network security: LAN Manager authentication level to Send LM & NTLM responses
    • Created a local profile for a user and not based on their roaming profile.
    • Created a share on the w2k8 server and this drops as well when the problem occurs.
    • Uninstalled AV on the client PC and SQL server. (for temporary testing)
    • Set the w2k3 idle timeput setting to -1, so the default of 15 mins wouldn’t contribute to the share drops.
    • Checked logs at the time a user was effected. This did not shed any further light.
    • Inpsected the server’s NETSTAT status at the time of drives dropping.

    Any help or advice would be appreciated. It is a baffling one and the worrying part is that some staff, who have never had the problem, are starting to do so.

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