Very Strange: Windows Clients in Domain, system will become unresponsive or explorer.exe will crash when Server goes offline - SBS 2008


  • So here's the environment:

    SBS 2008, only server, DC

    Clients: 5 Windows 7 Pro client workstations, all joined to domain

    All workstations function normally during the day, but something very odd happens when the client cannot communicate with the Server (network is down, server is restarting or offline, or client can't see the server on the network):  The client windows desktop becomes completely dysfunctional.


    - Explorer.exe will crash when trying to browse any folders, local or shared

    - system windows will hang on request and then fail to open, such as network device settings, control panel, appwiz, printers and devices, systems settings, device manager, ie any mmc, or *.msc windows will hang for a minute than fail/crash.  It's like the entire desktop environment is completely gummed and glitched.

    -Trying to change any system setting is impossible, even in safe mode.

    When you reconnect the network, server is back online (and RPC is running), whammo, everything functions normally on the client, like nothing ever happens.  This happens on all clients in the domain.  

    This was a network that we took over from another company, so I wasn't around for the install.  It is the most baffling thing I've seen and I've never seen it any of the other 80 networks I've managed, so I'm at loss, and so is Bing, Google, and Technet searches. 

    One last thing: New computers that I have reformatted or added to the network DO NOT experience this issue at all, for them, they function just fine, regardless of the connection to the server (minus the usual DNS, network shares, etc..)

    Please throw all follow up questions, suggestions, and requests as me, I would LOVE to get to the bottom of this!!!!!



    Friday, October 18, 2013 9:31 PM


  • Hi

    I would check in the local gpo into those computer to see if anything unusual is there. I tell the local gpo because the new computer does not act like that, thus it's not a global setting.

    A would try to make a net use to list connection the computer got. As when the network crash explorer is gooing slowly because it try to restore those connection.. It's a normal symptom a slowliness, but not a crash.

    Regards, Philippe

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 2:51 AM