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Can't access shares on Server 2003 R2, at random times.


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#1
Diego8

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Hello.
At work we have two Windows Server 2003 computers. One of them configured as domain controller, dns server and file server ("production" server). There are 5 workstations connected to this domain.

A few days ago we setup a test server (which in the end will be for one of our clients) running Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition Service Pack 2.
This one is configured as a workgroup, with dns server and file server.
For testing purposes we have configured some of our workstations to point to the test server's dns (still being joined to the other server's domain) and test it's performance

The problem we are having is that at random times, when we try to access the shares on the test server, a logon window pops up and sometimes it doesn't.
We have enabled the Guest account on the test server, and configured the shares permissions so that the guest account has read/write access (this way workstations are not prompted for credentials when accessing shares, theorically).

This happens with computers that are joined to the "production" server domain. It does not happen with computers that are setup as workgroup.

I don't know if it's coincidence or not but this erratic problem started happening after we installed NOD32 Antivirus (V4 Bussiness Edition) on the test server.

Can anyone point me on the right direction about this issue?.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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#2
dsenette

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it seems that you're just having authentication hicups.... the fact that the computers only have this "issue" (more a matter of mild inconvenience by your description....if the login screen comes up...they can access the files if they put in the right credentials correct?) when they're on the domain and not the workgroup seems to point to an authentication conflict of sorts....

when the computers are spending most of their time authenticating to the domain they can drop the authentication to the workgroup (since usually if you've got a domain you don't need to also talk to a workgroup)..
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#3
Diego8

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Thank you for answering, dsenette.
Yes, if i put the right credentials i can login.
I just can't seem to understand why sometimes this happens, and sometimes don't.

Right now, when the logon window pops up i enter the server's administrator credentials but i guess i will have to create a user account just in case a workstation needs to enter credentials.

Thanks for the help.
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#4
dsenette

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well...it's completely an authentication deal....

with a domain...when you log on...you authenticate to a central location (the domain controller) and that controller lets everyone else (file servers etc..) know that you've logged on....and it maintains that logon state (i.e. if you log off it lets everyone know you've logged off)..

with a workgroup...you don't have this...you authenticate directly to the device you're accessing...and it doesn't maintain that logon/log off state persistently... so if there's any kind of interruption in the session (user time outs, logging off of your local computer, the computer locking, etc.. etc..) it drops the authentication and you have to re-authenticate the next time you want access to the resource
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#5
Diego8

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Thanks for clarifying, dsenette.

Two last questions.

On the situation described on my first post (production server, and test server). Would i mess things up if i name both servers the same?. (Both servers won't be online at the same time). I mean, if production server (running DC, DNS, file server) is named "SRV-01" is it possible to name the other server (workgroup environment, DNS, file server) also "SRV-01"?.
I know it might be better to give the test server some other name but this is done to perserve links to shares in workstations.
My fear about this is if workstations (which are joined to the "offline" domain) won't get confused authenticating to the test server.

Last question. Does a Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz, 1 GB DDR, IDE hard drive hold enough power to run a domain controller, DNS, and file server for 20 workstations?.

Thanks for all the help.

Edited by Diego8, 01 April 2009 - 06:50 PM.

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#6
anzenketh

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Last question. Does a Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz, 1 GB DDR, IDE hard drive hold enough power to run a domain controller, DNS, and file server for 20 workstations?.

Thanks for all the help.

Diego8,

Depends what else are you planning on doing with the server?
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#7
dsenette

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On the situation described on my first post (production server, and test server). Would i mess things up if i name both servers the same?. (Both servers won't be online at the same time). I mean, if production server (running DC, DNS, file server) is named "SRV-01" is it possible to name the other server (workgroup environment, DNS, file server) also "SRV-01"?.
I know it might be better to give the test server some other name but this is done to perserve links to shares in workstations.
My fear about this is if workstations (which are joined to the "offline" domain) won't get confused authenticating to the test server.

this is a bad idea...you should never name two machines the same thing...it's going to cause a bunch of issues (a LOT of DNS issues)....it's not worth the trouble....
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#8
Diego8

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Thanks dsenette and tuxmaster.

tuxmaster, server will primarily be used as a file server, also there are two desktop applications (connected to fox pro databases) running from the server (in my opinion they should be web applications running server type databases, but that's another story).

Although there are 20 workstations, i believe not more than 7-10 workstations will be accesing the server (shared content and one of the desktop applications, primarily) at the same time.

Thanks.

Edited by Diego8, 02 April 2009 - 07:14 AM.

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#9
anzenketh

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Diego8

The server should be fine I would say implement it in a test enviroment if you can. If not implment it then watch the resources.
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