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Witness Client failed to find a Witness Server

    Question

  • Witness Client failed to find a Witness Server for NetName \\SERVERNAME with error (Element not found.). Retrying in (60) seconds.

    These errors have recently started appearing on some of our Server 2012 servers, nothing has changed. The servers reporting these errors appear to be newly built servers, they are nothing to do with the cluster.

    The only cluster we are running has disk quorum and is running fine, there is no indication of a problem. I don't fully understand why/am unable to trace where these are coming from and have been unable to locate any additional information.

    Has anyone else seen this or have any clever ideas?

    Many thanks.

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 8:24 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    The Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is a network file sharing protocol that allows applications on a computer to read and write to files and to request services from server programs in a computer network. The SMB protocol can be used on top of its TCP/IP protocol or other network protocols. Using the SMB protocol, an application (or the user of an application) can access files or other resources at a remote server. This allows applications to read, create, and update files on the remote server. It can also communicate with any server program that is set up to receive an SMB client request. Windows Server 2012 introduces the new 3.0 version of the SMB protocol.

    SMB Witness is a new service that is installed automatically with the failover clustering feature. When the SMB client initially connects to a file server cluster node, the SMB client notifies the SMB Witness client, which is running on the same computer. The SMB Witness client obtains a list of cluster members from the SMB Witness service running on the file server cluster node. The SMB Witness client picks a different cluster member and issues a registration request to the SMB Witness service on that cluster member.

    You may try following PowerShell command to disable SMBv3:

    To disable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

    Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB2Protocol $false

    For more information please refer to following MS articles:

    Server Message Block overview
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831795.aspx
    Windows Server “8” – Taking Server Application Storage to Windows File Shares
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/03/15/windows-server-8-taking-server-application-storage-to-windows-file-shares.aspx
    How to enable and disable SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2696547

    Hope this helps!

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.

     


    Lawrence

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by LeeSoutham Wednesday, April 03, 2013 3:20 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by LeeSoutham Wednesday, April 03, 2013 3:21 PM
    • Marked as answer by LeeSoutham Monday, April 08, 2013 9:51 AM
    Friday, March 29, 2013 5:23 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • When you say newly built servers, are these domain member servers with no applications yet installed on them?

    .:|:.:|:. tim

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:05 AM
  • Correct, just the default file and storage services available.

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:13 AM
  • Hi,

    The Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is a network file sharing protocol that allows applications on a computer to read and write to files and to request services from server programs in a computer network. The SMB protocol can be used on top of its TCP/IP protocol or other network protocols. Using the SMB protocol, an application (or the user of an application) can access files or other resources at a remote server. This allows applications to read, create, and update files on the remote server. It can also communicate with any server program that is set up to receive an SMB client request. Windows Server 2012 introduces the new 3.0 version of the SMB protocol.

    SMB Witness is a new service that is installed automatically with the failover clustering feature. When the SMB client initially connects to a file server cluster node, the SMB client notifies the SMB Witness client, which is running on the same computer. The SMB Witness client obtains a list of cluster members from the SMB Witness service running on the file server cluster node. The SMB Witness client picks a different cluster member and issues a registration request to the SMB Witness service on that cluster member.

    You may try following PowerShell command to disable SMBv3:

    To disable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

    Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB2Protocol $false

    For more information please refer to following MS articles:

    Server Message Block overview
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831795.aspx
    Windows Server “8” – Taking Server Application Storage to Windows File Shares
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/03/15/windows-server-8-taking-server-application-storage-to-windows-file-shares.aspx
    How to enable and disable SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2696547

    Hope this helps!

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.

     


    Lawrence

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by LeeSoutham Wednesday, April 03, 2013 3:20 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by LeeSoutham Wednesday, April 03, 2013 3:21 PM
    • Marked as answer by LeeSoutham Monday, April 08, 2013 9:51 AM
    Friday, March 29, 2013 5:23 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    I would like to confirm what is the current situation? Have you resolved the problem or do you have any further progress?

    If there is anything that we can do for you, please do not hesitate to let us know, and we will be happy to help.


    Lawrence

    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, April 03, 2013 7:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Lawrence,

    Thanks for the information, I need to look at this in a little more detail.

    Although I understand the information you have provided, I don't quite understand why the alerts are being generated and why they appear to be intermittment, although they cause no real problem they must be caused by something not being quite right.

    As we have an active cluster used for fileshares I am concerenced we may have an underlying problem. I'm scheduled to look at this some more later this week so will keep you updated.

    Many thanks,

    Lee

    Wednesday, April 03, 2013 3:25 PM