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We are having networking trouble

By MSMetal
Aug 7, 2009
  1. I have noticed over the last couple weeks that we are having problems in our network. We are so small that we don't have any IT people so I am trying to fix it myself. We have a server set up in a RAID5 setup running Microsoft Server 2003 and two pcs connected to that server. They are both running Windows XP Service pack 3. Our sales program and production management software are accessed on the server by remote connection from the pc's and we are not having any trouble at all with those programs. However, we use shared files (mostly Microsoft Excel) from the server which is where we are having trouble. It suddenly started about 2-3 weeks ago which made me think it was a virus. Both pcs are running AVG8.0 and scanning nightly. So far no viruses have showed up.

    Here is the problem as best I can describe it. We have about 6 Excel files that we use all day everyday. They usually are kept open on my pc and accessed as "View Only" on the other pc. For 7-8hrs per day, the program runs fine, but after that we get an error when we try to save the files. It usually says Could not save because of a sharing violation and that the file is in use by ##### which is my user name. I can save the file to the desktop and restart the computer and everything will work fine. I tried to trace this down to see if it was a certain time of the day or certain length of time the file was open. So far I cannot pinpoint a time but it is usually mid-afternoon and then again at night (since I leave our computers on overnight to perform backups.) I have noticed that the file does not even have to be left open. i.e. I have left the computer on over night but had the files closed and when I came in the next morning trying to open the Excel files I got the same kind of error, that the "s" drive was not available. Restart the computer and everything is fine again for most of the day.

    Anyone have any advice on where to start?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,348   +622

    describe the drive mappings from your system (where the real file exists) to the others
    and how the others map to your drive.

    Are these systems part of a Domain environment ?

    seem to recall that some mapped drives can get disconnected due to inactivity but don't recall the specifics.
     
  3. MSMetal

    MSMetal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't think they are part of a domain environment. We have 2 pcs connected to the server via a 3Com switch. On the server there are 2 designated drives. One is the main c: drive where our sales program and manufacturing software is located. Those files are not having trouble. Then there is the d: drive which is the data drive containing the shared files discussed in the thread. On the pcs, the d: is mapped as the s: and is the drive that is getting "disconnected". The strange thing is: the open file is open on lets say pc "A"; later in the day I try to save this file from the same pc "A" and get the message that the file could not be saved due to a sharing violation, the file is in use by user:"A". Well I am user "A" and I am using the file and trying to save the file as user "A". Does that make sense? It says it is in use by the very computer that is trying to save it.
     
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1) You can try running this utility on the server OpenedFilesView to check the open file handles for the file(s) in question

    2) But when you also say
    that sounds to me maybe perhaps 2 different problems (i.e the sharing violation error vs. losing the connection to a mapped drive??)

    /* edit */
    3) And maybe just semantics but when you say "we" can't save the file? you mean just your PC can't save the file? (as you say the other PCs are just view only?)

    /* edit2 */
    But i also wonder if #1 and #2 might be related in that your PC (by losing then recreating a mapped connection) might somehow have multiple open file handles to the same file on the server (thus causing the sharing violation)
     
  5. MSMetal

    MSMetal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I ran the OpenFilesView utility on the server and found 229 Opened files. From there I don't really know what I am looking for. Any advice on what to look for?

    You also mentioned losing then recreating a mapped connection. How would I check that? I would think that if that were the issue then none of the programs requirng a network connection would be able to work, yet they do. (i.e. Server remote desktop, and our sales program which runns from each desktop but accesses data from the server.)
     
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    I thought the OpenFilesView utility might help. But i just ran it myself (to try and give you more specifc instruction for your specific case). But for your case, i don't think it's going to help after al. Sorry :( but at least wanted to get back to you about that tool
     
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