locked
Mapped DFS drive and Offline Files Problem RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have recently setup two DFS shares.  One for company wide shared data and another for user personal documents to store on server for backup.  I had a laptop user enable offline files for her personal documents share and what happened is it would continously say that she was working offline and she would lose the connection fo the two mapped drives.  The only way to bring them back was to reboot the computer. 

    When I disabled the offline files option on the laptop and rebooted I had no problems with loosing connection to the mapped shares.

    Is there some setting that needs to be changed to make Offline files work with DFS, or is this not supported?


    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 12:36 PM

Answers

  • Hi Shinomen and David Shen,

    We have made a group policy change and early testing indicates it has solved the issue. The fix for us is quite unusual, but here it is:

    In the Group policy for Offline Files (Computer --> Administrative Templates --> Network --> Offline Files) we have made changes to:

    Action on Server Disconnect:
         >Enabled
             >Action: Work Offline

    Non-Default server disconnect Actions:
         >Enabled
            We then in 'Show' added the hostnames of any servers hosting shares referenced in DFS without any share names or slashes. So i think in your case (looking at your DFSUTIL output) the 'Table' in 'Show' would look like:

    Value Name: NCDC-SERV-02  Value: 1
    Value Name: NCDC-SBS-01  Value: 1
    Value Name: ncdc  Value: 1

    It seems odd as i would have thaught that adding the host names would have no effect, as windows 'sees' a DFS share not a host share. However it does seem to work, and behaviour of test laptops are behaving as they should - working offline and online properly. From reading the description of the policy, it seems as though it is telling the clients to never go offline for those particular servers.

    As im sure you are aware, clients will need a reboot before it takes effect.

    If it works for you, please let me know, as it will make me feel better about the fix - that it was indeed what fixes this particular issue.

    Cheers

    Luke
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 1:56 AM

All replies

  • Hello shinomen,

     

    Thank you for posting here.

     

    As far as I know, Windows XP Professional-based and Windows Vista-based clients fully support the placement of offline files on DFS targets that are hosted on Windows 2000-based or Windows Server 2003-based server computers.

    Please check the following KB article:

    Support for DFS-based shares for Offline Files

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=262845

     

    Before we move on, we may need to collect some information as followed.

     

    1. How did the client map the network drives to DFS share? Through logon script or map the network drive manually? If it mapped with logon script, did the network drive disappear when the client reboot?

     

    2. Did it map the network drive in the form of UNC path such as \\domainname\DFSroot\shareddata and \\domainname\DFSroot\backupdata ? or you directly map it to the folder target with a specific server name?

     

    If you map the network drive to DFS share, please run the following command on the DFS root server to export that DFS root that contains the DFS shares (such as Shareddata and Backupdata)

     

    Dfsutil /root:\\domainname\DFSroot /export:C:\root.txt /Verbose

     

    3. What is the operation system on that problematic laptop? Windows XP or Windows Vista? Is the laptop located in the same site with the DFS member server? Please run "IPconfig /all" on the laptop and all the DFS member servers that contains the replicated folder of Shareddata and Backupdata, and give us the results here.

     

    Please also run "dfsutil /pktinfo" on the laptop and post back the result here.

     

    4. If it is Windows XP, has the Windows XP Service Pack 3 being installed?

     

    How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/322389

     

    For your reference, you may try several things.

     

    1. Please refer to the following KB article to configure offline files to synchronize on Windows XP.

     

    How To Configure Offline Files to Synchronize When a Particular Network Connection Becomes Active
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/312171

     

    2. Turn off the autodisconnect feature on client

    open a command prompt, type the following line, and then press ENTER:

    net config server /autodisconnect:-1

     

    3. Also, please run "dfsutil /Pktflush", "dfsutil /Spcflush" on the client, and then logoff and logon to check if the offline files can be synchronized.

    Hope this can be helpful.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 11:11 AM
  • Hi Shinomen,

    I want to see if the information provided was helpful. Please keep us posted on your progress and let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 2:40 AM
  • Sorry for the slow response.  I did not see your 1st reply until now.

    1.  Network share is mapped through a logon script.  Mapped drive comes back when rebooted because of the logon script:

    net use /delete s:
    net use S: \\ncdc\data
    net use /delete h:
    net use h: \\ncdc\usershares\%username%


    2.  Yes it maps the drive by using the domain name instead of the server name.  Below is the result of the command you asked me to run:

    <Root Name="\\ncdc\data" State="1" Timeout="300" Attributes="64" >
     <Target Server="NCDC-SBS-01" Folder="data" State="2" />

    </Root>

    3.  The laptop is windows xp professional and it is joined to the domain.  The IP address is 192.168.1.88. 

    The ip address of the server is 192.168.1.200.  The laptop and server are both located at the same site.

    Here are the results of the ipconfig /all command:

    Laptop:  (before when troubleshooting this problem the wireless card was not enabled like it is below)

    C:\Program Files\Support Tools>ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

            Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : NCDC-LAP-02
            Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : ncdc.local
            Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
            IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
            WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
            DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : ncdc.local
                                                ncdc.local
                                                ncdc.local

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

            Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : ncdc.local
            Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Cont
    roller
            Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-1D-09-DE-FB-60
            Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
            Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
            IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.87
            Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
            Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
            DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.200
            DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.200
                                                192.168.1.252
            Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, August 31, 2009 9:02:01 AM
            Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Tuesday, September 08, 2009 9:02:01
    AM

    Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

            Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : ncdc.local
            Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Dell Wireless 1395 WLAN Mini-Card
            Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-22-69-94-22-9E
            Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
            Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
            IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.11
            Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
            Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
            DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.200
            DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.200
                                                192.168.1.252
            Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, August 31, 2009 9:02:31 AM
            Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Tuesday, September 08, 2009 9:02:31
    AM

    C:\Program Files\Support Tools>


    Server ipconifg /all


    C:\Users\Administrator.ncdc>ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

       Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : NCDC-SBS-01
       Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : ncdc.local
       Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
       IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
       WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
       DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : ncdc.local

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
       Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
       Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-11-43-E9-12-DE
       DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
       Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
       Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::89c:a2e0:dd6:72df%10(Preferred)
       Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::10ba:a44d:116a:3c7f%10(Preferred)
       IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.200(Preferred)
       Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
       Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
       DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : fe80::89c:a2e0:dd6:72df%10
                                           192.168.1.200
       NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

    Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 8:

       Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
       Description . . . . . . . . . . . : isatap.{0EEE48B0-91FC-4712-85F2-FEBDDC6BA
    B76}
       Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-E0
       DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
       Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes

    Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 11:

       Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
       Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface
       Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 02-00-54-55-4E-01
       DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
       Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes

    C:\Users\Administrator.ncdc>

    Here are the results of the dfsutil command

    --mup.sys--
    4 entries...
    Entry: \ncdc.local\SysVol
    ShortEntry: \ncdc.local\SysVol
    Expires in 0 seconds
    UseCount: 0 Type:0x1 ( DFS )
       0:[\NCDC-SERV-02.ncdc.local\SysVol] State:0x131 ( ACTIVE )
       1:[\NCDC-SBS-01.ncdc.local\SysVol] State:0x21 ( )
       2:[\ww-serv-01.ncdc.local\SysVol] State:0x121 ( )

    Entry: \ncdc\data
    ShortEntry: \ncdc\data
    Expires in 300 seconds
    UseCount: 1 Type:0x81 ( REFERRAL_SVC DFS )
       0:[\NCDC-SBS-01\data] State:0x119 ( ACTIVE )

    Entry: \ncdc\usershares
    ShortEntry: \ncdc\usershares
    Expires in 0 seconds
    UseCount: 1 Type:0x81 ( REFERRAL_SVC DFS )
       0:[\NCDC-SBS-01\UserShares] State:0x119 ( ACTIVE )

    Entry: \ncdc-sbs-01\data
    ShortEntry: \ncdc-sbs-01\data
    Expires in 0 seconds
    UseCount: 1 Type:0x81 ( REFERRAL_SVC DFS )
       0:[\NCDC-SBS-01\data] State:0x119 ( ACTIVE )

    Done processing this command.

    4. Service pack 3 for windows xp installed


    Results

    1.
    I did everything you mentioned but I am still having problems.  To make sure it wasn't a problem between the hard wired lan and the wireless, I disable the hard wired lan.

    2.  Then I went to folder options clicked the offline files tab and enabled offline files.  Almost immediately a baloon box popped up saying that I was working offline.  I could only see 1 file and 1 folder that had been set to be available offline.  My other network drive was still mapped but when trying to open it I got an error that said "The s: drive is not accessible"

    I could browse the network using \\ncdc.local and access the shares but not using just "\\ncdc" which should be my dfs root sharename

    I rebooted the computer and the mapped network drives came back.  But when I went to browse one of the mapped drives I could see everything at first but then most things dissapeared except for the files I had made available offline, and I got the message that I was working offline

    I right clicked the files that I had made available offline and unchecked make available offline, then I rebooted the computer.  Again my network shares were mapped and seemed to work fine.  I right clicked a folder to make it available offline and when it start copying the files to the temporary offline files location I got errors saying that it could not find the files and that the \\ncdc\share\filename was not accessible.  My mapped network drives were no longer accessible either.

    I went into folder properties and disable offline files and rebooted the computer.  My mapped drives now appear and are accessible and stay connected with no problems.

    3.  What is weird to me is that when I enabled offline files as I said above, at first there were no offline files listed in the synchronize program under start>programs>accessories.  But even though there was nothing listed there, when my computer would say it was offline, I could still access a couple of files on the mapped drive.  Then when I went in and specifically set some files and folders for offline use they did show up under the synchronization manager.

    I'm wondering if there is some type of stale or corrupted entry that it's trying to enable when turning on offline files and that makes it kick me offline temporarily disconnecting my mapped drives?

    Other note:  My user uses quickbooks with a data file that is on the server.  She said that when she enables offline files under filder properties, her quickbooks connections would get disconnected and she would have to reconnect.  So this tells me that enalbing offline files does temporarily interfere with the network connection and breaks connection with the server.


    Thanks.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 12:20 PM
  • Hi shinomen,

    From the symptom, the issue is possibly because that the network drive is mapped in the form of DFS share.

    For a test purpose, can you adjust the logon script to map the network drive directly to the server that hosts the data and UserShare for a try?

    For example:

    net use /delete s:
    net use S: \\NXXX-XXX-XX\data
    net use /delete h:
    net use h: \\NXXX-XXX-XX\UserShares\%username%

    Please restart the laptop to apply the logon script to check if the issue still exists with that laptop.

    Thanks for your attention.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    • Edited by David Shen Friday, September 18, 2009 3:19 AM
    Thursday, September 3, 2009 7:59 AM
  • Well mapping the drives to the server name does work, but doesn't this defeat the point of offline files with DFS?  :)
    Friday, September 4, 2009 1:44 PM
  • Hi shinomen,

    As you can map0 the drive to sever name without problem, the issue is probably related with DFS. The client could be not detect the actual folder target thus the client could be working offline in this case.

    Therefore, I would like to suggest you install windows server 2003 support tools on the problematic Windows XP computer, and then run the following command to flush the local DFS cached information on the computer. Afterwards, please re-map the network drive to the DFS share.

    dfsutil /pktflush

    dfsutil /spcflush 


    net use /delete s:
    net use S: \\nxxx\data
    net use /delete h:
    net use h: \\nxxx\usershares\%username%

    Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 32-bit Support Tools

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=96a35011-fd83-419d-939b-9a772ea2df90&displaylang=en

    Hope this can be helpful.
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Monday, September 7, 2009 7:57 AM
  • Hi shinomen,

    I’d like to check how things are going. Did you have the chance to try the troubleshooting steps? If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 2:03 AM
  • I did what you said and then mapped the drives using the DFS mapping conventions as you put in above.  I didn't even have a chance to make any files available offline when it disconnected from the shares and came up with a bubble that stated "you are no longer connected to 'ncdc' you can continue working normally.  Click this icon to view status."

    And again the H and S drives are not available accept for one folder that was available offline on the H drive at one time but no files or folders under it.
    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 10:38 AM
  • Hi,

    I am also currently experiencing identical symptoms at a branch site on approx 40 laptops with the DFS/Offline files combo on Server 2003 and XP.

    I've also tried (apart from the above mentioned) :

    >Updating the Wireless NIC driver to the latest
    >Disabling QOS on the wireless NIC
    >Removing Antivirus off a test machine (with the issues) - no difference

    I dont mean to hijack the thread, however it just proves that it is not an anomoly at one site. I've currently got a Microsoft support ticket open that im waiting to hear back from Microsoft on - ticket #SRS090909600140 (if it helps).

    Luke

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 4:07 AM
  • Hi shinomen,

    Do you have a chance to turn off the Wireless network connection on that laptop for a try?

    Besides, also thanks to Luke for the sharing.

    Hope the sharing solution could be helpful.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 4:20 AM
  • Not sure if Shinomen will find similar results - however i have observed the error under all of the following conditions:

    > Just wireless NIC - no ethernet plugged in

    > Both Ethernet and Wireless enabled and working

    > Just Ethernet (on same subnet as server) - Disabled wireless NIC

    Interestingly, if i have a continuous ping going to say the server hosting DFS, it will not drop a single packet or display unusual latency around the time it decides to go offline.

    Luke

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 4:27 AM
  • Hi

    I've been working with the support engineer from microsoft. After sending in a network packet capture of the issue happening, i was referred to the following KB article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/239924

    I am currently doing testing. I'll report back anything i find.

    Cheers

    Luke
    Friday, September 11, 2009 5:11 AM
  • Thanks for the posts.

    @David Shen - I have tried what you suggested about disabling the network adapter but still had the same problems.

    @DCEOIT - Thanks for the input, I have experienced pretty much the same as what you have and thank you for the the link to the support article.  Also, are you paying for that incident with the support engineer or is there some program for IT professionals that you can get free support?

    Thanks again and I will let you know the results of the knoledgebase article you told me about.
    Friday, September 11, 2009 1:20 PM
  • No worries

    I tried the registry key, however did not have success. I've done some more packet capturing and sent it to Microsoft, should get a response in the next 16 hours, ill keep you posted of any suggested fixes.

    When i called microsoft, i cited my technet subscription which i believe, entitles me to 1 or 2 free support calls with microsoft. I think also, if it turns out to be a bug or something wrong with the product (as opposed something wrong with our setup), the call is refunded.

    Luke
    Monday, September 14, 2009 6:11 AM
  • Hi Shinomen and David Shen,

    We have made a group policy change and early testing indicates it has solved the issue. The fix for us is quite unusual, but here it is:

    In the Group policy for Offline Files (Computer --> Administrative Templates --> Network --> Offline Files) we have made changes to:

    Action on Server Disconnect:
         >Enabled
             >Action: Work Offline

    Non-Default server disconnect Actions:
         >Enabled
            We then in 'Show' added the hostnames of any servers hosting shares referenced in DFS without any share names or slashes. So i think in your case (looking at your DFSUTIL output) the 'Table' in 'Show' would look like:

    Value Name: NCDC-SERV-02  Value: 1
    Value Name: NCDC-SBS-01  Value: 1
    Value Name: ncdc  Value: 1

    It seems odd as i would have thaught that adding the host names would have no effect, as windows 'sees' a DFS share not a host share. However it does seem to work, and behaviour of test laptops are behaving as they should - working offline and online properly. From reading the description of the policy, it seems as though it is telling the clients to never go offline for those particular servers.

    As im sure you are aware, clients will need a reboot before it takes effect.

    If it works for you, please let me know, as it will make me feel better about the fix - that it was indeed what fixes this particular issue.

    Cheers

    Luke
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 1:56 AM
  • Actually, I have just logged a Microsoft case as well. We are also getting this type of issue with our laptop users suffering from offline files throughout the day. They are all LAN connected as well.
    Will have to monitor this forum and see how it goes.
    Would be great to hear if you find out the root cause.
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:21 AM
  • This seems to work but I'm working on this remotely so I will disconnect it from the network in the next few days and see if it continues to work properly and let you know.

    I followed your instructions but forgot at first to put in NCDC with the value of 1 and it was not working.  So if anyone else is going to try this, don't forget to add your DFS name to "Non-Default server disconnect Actions" with a value of 1 otherwise you may still experience the same problem.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:35 AM
  • My user has confirmed that she can disconnect and still access her offline files and then reconnect and the mapped drives do come back.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Friday, September 18, 2009 5:27 PM
  • We're having a somewhat similar problem.

    We setup say 4 mapped drives, 2 that point direct to shares (e.g., \\server1\share and \\server2\share2) and 2 that point to DFS shares (e.g., \\domain\dfsroot\share1 and \\domain\dfsroot\share2).

    If we then put the machine to sleep and then resume, the two direct shares are almost always immediately available but the two DFS shares take a while connect. We have offline files enabled and some folders redirected to the DFS shares. If I click in sync center and check the sync status, the connected check box is not ticked which makes me think its trying to transition to an online state but DFS is taking time to resolve.

    Is there anyway to speed up this resolution or could it be a DFS configuration issue?
    Saturday, September 19, 2009 6:24 AM
  • You guys are the Bomb! Had the exact same issue here and followed your instructions and all is now well so far! Added just the servers didnt do the trick, but once adding the name space it worked and is working thus far.... Knock on wood!

    Thanks! made me look really good for my boss! tee he he he... I owe ya a beer!

    The Soupman!

    Thursday, December 17, 2009 6:16 PM
  • Thanks a *BILLION* DCEOIT! I too listed our DFS namespace (ourdomain.local) as the sole entry in the non-default disconnect actions "show" dialog.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 6:12 PM
  • Hi Luke,

    It looks like I'm having the same problem as posted here, and I've implemented your GPO fix, but I have one question. 

    Do you have a way of invoking the problem?

    What I mean is, this problem happens very sporadically in my environment (which is Win 7 and Server 2008 R2) and literally 1-2 minutes after a user loses connectivity to a DFS mapped share, he get's it back again.  My goal is to:

    1. Find a way to invoke the problem on a few machines so I have a test bed to work from
    2. Implement the fix on those machines
    3. Then try to invoke the problem again to see if it worked

    If I don't know how to cause the problem, I'm basically waiting to see if someone has a problem (not very efficient or conducive to troubleshooting).

    What I've tried so far:

    1. pulling the network cable on a user’s machine who has experienced the issue
    2. putting the machine into “Offline mode” (within File Manager)
    3. putting the machine in “Sleep mode” and bringing it back online.

    Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciate as this problem is driving me crazy.

    Thanks in advance,

    Rob

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:07 PM