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Folder paths > 256 characters cause Win2k3r2 server to do a warm reboot

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  • Folder paths > 256 characters cause Win2k3r2 server to do a warm reboot

    Greetings all, Here's a curly one.

    After weeks of assuming I had a hardware fault causing intermittent reboots of my HP DL380 G3 windows 2003 R2 server, I've discovered that I can cause a reboot by simply attempting to open a folder via Windows Explorer, deep inside a path where the full path is greater than 256 characters! If I open on the server console itself or from a workstation via a shared folder, same result! No BSOD, just a nice warm reboot.

    I realise there is a 256 limit but my users have been naughty. I just thought it would prevent them from copying/moving/accessing.

    The problem seemed to occur under load. Specifically, when I initiated DFS replication from this primary server to another DFS partner. I'd replaced/added memory and replaced RAID disks (raid 5), thinking that I had dud hardware . I then dropped DFS replication bandwidth down to 2Mb thinking that DFS replication was just too much for the machine (some DFS replication groups have 50,000+ files and folders underneath them). However in hindsight it must have rebooted whenever DFS hit a folder path > 256.

    The weird thing is that in my DFS topology I have 2 partners connected to my primary server, one server does not reboot when I access a path > 256 via Windows Explorer (but I do see expected error messages about path too long or inability to delete files etc)yet the other reboots just like the primary.
    All servers are Win2k3 r2, but all different hardware. The DFS partner that doesnt reboot is an IBM x series running a 2tb RAID1 partition, the DFS partner that does reboot is a generic intel box running a PATA 80GB and the primary server is HP DL380G3 running 72GB RAID 1 OS and 420GB RAID 5 for file storage.

    The issue seemed to be around before I had DFS replication, though that exacerbated things.

    Any thoughts on what I could change about my Windows setup to prevent the reboot or maybe some HP Diagnostics to look at? Do you think this is hardware or OS related?

    Thank you
    Last edited by ihayes; 1st May 2009, 22:33.

  • #2
    Re: Folder paths > 256 characters cause Win2k3r2 server to do a warm reboot

    This looks like a hardware issue, there is something that is triggering the warm reboot whenever certain thresholds are hit. Check the ILO event logs.
    "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan