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windows server 2003 standard edition losing network

    Question

  • Hi everyone,

    Im facing a kind of urgent situation regarding my domain controller with an operating system windows server 2003 standard edition service pack 2.  I know that this issue is not hardware related since i have changed 3 hardware appliances and now it is hosted in a virtual machine but the problem still remains.  At inconsistent times of the day (2-4) the network drops and the server is down.  Everything else seems to be working just fine with the server apart from the fact that its losing the network.  All of a sudden the network is dropping starting with timeouts and then network unreachable.  All critical updates are installed and the network card has the latest drivers installed too.  There is no ip conflict in this domain and each ip is statically configured.  I have changed 5 cables using CAT5 enhanced and CAT6 with no results.  Please help me if you have any idea of what it could be related.  Any help will be highly appreciated.

    Thank you all in advance.

    Alex.


    • Edited by Alxpms Friday, February 17, 2012 10:23 AM
    Friday, February 17, 2012 9:34 AM

Answers

  • You might want to try In-place upgrade of the OS. Make sure all critical data is backed up before you consider to go for this.

    How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade of Windows Server 2003

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816579


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Most of the downtime's are caused because of SysAdmin's curiosity ! - Santosh

    No need to inplace upgrade, its a DC'er. It would be better which just a fresh install. Be aware there are some considerations if this is your first 2008 DC in the domain.

    • Marked as answer by Alxpms Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:52 PM
    Monday, March 05, 2012 8:37 AM
  • Thank you Jesper for your excellent support and your persistence in solving the problem.  We are going to setup a new machine with windows 2008 and see how it goes.  As for this case we tried nearly everything which makes me believe it's not Domain Controller related, maybe something else in the network.  In any case, as soon as i have any news or if i find what it was causing it, i will let you.

    Keep up the good work! ;)

    Best Regards

    Alex Manias

    • Marked as answer by Alxpms Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:51 PM
    Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:51 PM

All replies

  • Hiya,

    Try disabling offloading on the NIC and see if that helps.

    Friday, February 17, 2012 9:37 AM
  • It seems like its already disabled by default.

    TCP/IP Offload   (disabled)

    Thank you for your reply.

    Alex

    Friday, February 17, 2012 10:14 AM
  • When you experience the network outtage. Does it help to restart the server?
    (Should determine if its O/S or network problem)
    Friday, February 17, 2012 10:25 AM
  • Yes Jesper indeed a restart seems to help, however after some period of time such as 2 could be 3 hours its losing again.

    Alex

    Friday, February 17, 2012 10:45 AM
  • Do you have it disabled on both O/S and NIC?

    And there isnt anything in the event logs prior to the loss? - application errors etc.

    Friday, February 17, 2012 11:14 AM
  • I have the TCP/IP Offload (disabled) from the NIC but im not quite sure what you mean by disabling offload at the Operating System; As far as the event logs prior to the loss we had an event regarding the master browser.  Other servers/Clients of the same domain were forcing an election in order to become master browsers themselves.  The reason i didn't mention this event was because after a detailed research on Microsoft's Support Website, i found a KB patch stating that it would fix this issue; however when i tried to apply this patch it came up with an error stating that i have already installed newer versions/updates than this patch and it wasn't useful at all! The option wasn't Yes or No but simply "Ok".  In order to eliminate the chance that this could be the case, i disabled from all the other workstations/servers the "Computer Browser" service.  I dont know what could be the result of it, but i was looking desperately for a fast "solution/patch" before i start troubleshooting the problem.  In any case, after disabling the service from all stations in that domain the incident still occurs without any relevant event.
    Friday, February 17, 2012 12:47 PM
  • Hi Alxpms,

    Firstly, please let us know how the network connection get lost suddenly? Is there any symptom you observed? Can you ping the server at the problematic time? Will the issue get resolved by “disable/enable” NIC card?

    From your description, I assume that the server is not hang on at the problematic time and the issue get resolved by reboot. In order to troubleshot, please try to install the latest patches of the OS. And check the event logs to see if any error related to this issue. Generally speaking, network disconnection is usually caused by below:

    1. Switch configuration does not match NIC card configuration. For example, the duplex settings on switch and NIC card.
    2. NIC card driver issue or NIC card firmware issue.
    3. Personal firewall or personal antivirus issue. 


    Best Regards,
    Aiden


    Aiden Cao

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:33 AM
    Moderator
  • I have the TCP/IP Offload (disabled) from the NIC but im not quite sure what you mean by disabling offload at the Operating System; As far as the event logs prior to the loss we had an event regarding the master browser.  Other servers/Clients of the same domain were forcing an election in order to become master browsers themselves.  The reason i didn't mention this event was because after a detailed research on Microsoft's Support Website, i found a KB patch stating that it would fix this issue; however when i tried to apply this patch it came up with an error stating that i have already installed newer versions/updates than this patch and it wasn't useful at all! The option wasn't Yes or No but simply "Ok".  In order to eliminate the chance that this could be the case, i disabled from all the other workstations/servers the "Computer Browser" service.  I dont know what could be the result of it, but i was looking desperately for a fast "solution/patch" before i start troubleshooting the problem.  In any case, after disabling the service from all stations in that domain the incident still occurs without any relevant event.

    Information about the TCP Chimney Offload, Receive Side Scaling, and Network Direct Memory Access features in Windows Server 2008

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951037

    Alltho listed for another OS, many of the principles still apply.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 7:59 AM
  • Thank you all for your information.  I am trying now the solutions that you have provided me to test if it helps.  I removed the antivirus completely and if that doesnt help i will try the chimney offload.  As soon as i have any news i will keep you posted.

    Thank you again for your support.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:34 AM
  • Thank you all for your information.  I am trying now the solutions that you have provided me to test if it helps.  I removed the antivirus completely and if that doesnt help i will try the chimney offload.  As soon as i have any news i will keep you posted.

    Thank you again for your support.


    Removing the antivirus completely didn't help.  But disabling the TCP Chimney offload from the OS seems that it helped so far.  It is more than 24 hours that the domain controller is working fine without any network pronblems.  The cyntax of the command was a bit different from the link above probably because im using windows 2003 and the link was for 2008.  It is still quite early to say that everything is ok but im quite confident that this was causing it.  Thank you guys for your immediate support and your expertise in troubleshooting.
    • Marked as answer by Alxpms Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:43 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Alxpms Friday, February 24, 2012 7:54 AM
    Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:42 PM
  • Thank you all for your information.  I am trying now the solutions that you have provided me to test if it helps.  I removed the antivirus completely and if that doesnt help i will try the chimney offload.  As soon as i have any news i will keep you posted.

    Thank you again for your support.


    Removing the antivirus completely didn't help.  But disabling the TCP Chimney offload from the OS seems that it helped so far.  It is more than 24 hours that the domain controller is working fine without any network pronblems.  The cyntax of the command was a bit different from the link above probably because im using windows 2003 and the link was for 2008.  It is still quite early to say that everything is ok but im quite confident that this was causing it.  Thank you guys for your immediate support and your expertise in troubleshooting.

    Unfortunately it happened again late at night, even though the whole day was stable.  Atleast the incident now happens more rare, such as once a day which is quite a comfort in contrast of 5 times per day.  I think i will proceed at changing the OS overall for this domain controller, In any case thank you for your fast responses and excellent support.

    • Marked as answer by Alxpms Friday, February 24, 2012 8:00 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Alxpms Friday, February 24, 2012 8:00 AM
    Friday, February 24, 2012 7:59 AM
  • Did you read this article.

    regards

    richard

    Friday, February 24, 2012 8:27 AM
  • Reading it right now...

    This patch Looks promising and i have downloaded it but not installed it.  I will wait till Tuesday to install it as i dont want to have any unexpected surprises during the weekend.  I know that it can't harm anything but just in case.  I will test this patch on Tuesday and i will let you know asap.

    Thank you again...

    Friday, February 24, 2012 2:06 PM
  • I finally installed the patch(fix) and it happened again 2 hours ago.
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:50 AM
  • Hiya,

    I know you did not mention the SBS part, however there are some decent steps that might help you here

    Common Networking Issues After Applying Windows Server 2003 SP2 on SBS
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2007/04/24/common-networking-issues-after-applying-windows-server-2003-sp2-on-sbs.aspx

    It might not be just one of them that fixes it but a combination. - Also you allready changed the chimney settings..


    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:21 AM
  • Hi Jesper,

    Yes i have already changed the chimney settings and applied the fix.  I am on my way to check your link.  Thank you for your insisting support...

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:06 AM
  • I tried that as well.. and still the same problem.  :(   Maybe i should try changing OS and install everything from scratch..


    • Edited by Alxpms Thursday, March 01, 2012 3:32 PM
    Thursday, March 01, 2012 3:32 PM
  • You might want to try In-place upgrade of the OS. Make sure all critical data is backed up before you consider to go for this.

    How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade of Windows Server 2003

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816579


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Most of the downtime's are caused because of SysAdmin's curiosity ! - Santosh

    Thursday, March 01, 2012 5:50 PM
    Moderator
  • You might want to try In-place upgrade of the OS. Make sure all critical data is backed up before you consider to go for this.

    How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade of Windows Server 2003

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816579


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Most of the downtime's are caused because of SysAdmin's curiosity ! - Santosh

    No need to inplace upgrade, its a DC'er. It would be better which just a fresh install. Be aware there are some considerations if this is your first 2008 DC in the domain.

    • Marked as answer by Alxpms Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:52 PM
    Monday, March 05, 2012 8:37 AM
  • Thank you Jesper for your excellent support and your persistence in solving the problem.  We are going to setup a new machine with windows 2008 and see how it goes.  As for this case we tried nearly everything which makes me believe it's not Domain Controller related, maybe something else in the network.  In any case, as soon as i have any news or if i find what it was causing it, i will let you.

    Keep up the good work! ;)

    Best Regards

    Alex Manias

    • Marked as answer by Alxpms Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:51 PM
    Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:51 PM