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Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

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  • Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

    Hi, I have a Windows Server 2003 SP2 server which is being used purely as a file server. It's VM with 4GB ram and 2Ghz Dual core CPU. The strange thing it's doing at the moment is almost every morning access to the server is gone. I can ping the server but cannot RDP or UNC to the server using the FQDM or IP Address. If I try to log on at the console there is no login screen.

    I have checked the event logs but can't find anything strange causing this. If I check the performance stats on VMware it shows me there is CPU and Memory activity but not network activity.

    This is starting to happen more frequently and the only way I can get access to the server again is to manually reboot it and I am scared I might lose some data if I have to keep doing this.
    Last edited by m80arm; 26th May 2010, 13:02.

  • #2
    Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

    Would there be anything shutting down to save power -- either on the host or on the server?

    If it is happening overnight, when there is presumably no use, could you schedule a shutdown and a later re-start?

    What is the virtualisation platform you are using? We may move this thread to one of the Virtual forums
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

      Hi Ossian

      Thanks for the reply. Just checked the power schema and it set to never disable anything. Only tasks that are set to run are for the backups and for deleting the contents of a shared drive on the server. None of the other server on the Host has the same problem.

      The host is on VMware ESX3.5. The strange thing is that the same thing happened today at about 11:05 am, again I could ping the server but users could not access the shared drives and folders anymore and I could not log on at the console.

      I can schedule a automatic restart of the server during the night but I think will just a work around and not a permanent fix. The only problem is that there is no specific time at which this occurs, so for what time do I schedule the restart ?

      If you would like to see some of the event logs please let me know where I can send them to for you.

      Regards
      Dewalt

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      • #4
        Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

        You could post some key event log messages here

        Why not schedule the restart for just before the beginning of the work day? I agree its a workaround, but so is a lot of MS Windows
        Tom Jones
        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
        IT Trainer / Consultant
        Ossian Ltd
        Scotland

        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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        • #5
          Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

          Hi

          Here is one of the error events : "Windows cannot access the file gpt.ini for GPO cn={1BF22460-4711-4295-8F7E-2211179B6274},cn=policies,cn=system,DC=pdna,DC=co, DC=za. The file must be present at the location <\\pdna.co.za\sysvol\pdna.co.za\Policies\{1BF224 60-4711-4295-8F7E-2211179B6274}\gpt.ini>. (The system cannot find the file specified. ). Group Policy processing aborted.


          I am wondering if this could be whats causing it to stop responding. I have noticed this event is present almost every time the server hangs.

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          • #6
            Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

            Here is a similar issue to yours. One of the respondents reports being unable to connect to a server with this event logged. Various troubleshooting tips here that might be of help.

            http://www.minasi.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15363
            A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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            • #7
              Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

              We had a similar issue at work. Could not access the server via RDP and when trying the console (via KVM) the screen was blank/grey.

              This was caused by users rebooting the server from a non-console RDP session. Network activity was fine but it seems the shutdown process got stuck somewhere between the Shutdown command and the actual OS shutdown. Only a reboot would fix the issue!

              I tried so hard to get management to ban users from rebooting servers but all I got as an answer was "Its their server- they can do as they please!". Do you believe it?!

              All I can reccommend in your case is to only allow shutdowns via the console, ie from the VI client.
              |
              +-- JDMils
              |
              +-- Regional Systems Engineer, DotNet programmer & Jack of all trades
              |

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              • #8
                Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                Hi JDMils

                Thanks for the reply. The thing on this site is that only myself and two other technicians have access the server. This is a file server so the other users at the company only access the file shares on the server. I am the only person that reboots servers when updates have been installed or changes have been made.

                After changing some of the security permissions last week the server stayed up untill this morning when it was unresponsive again. I checked some of the VMware performance logs and noticed that the CPU, Disk and memory usage all went very High at about 21:30, this is more or less when backups take place so I have rescheduled the backups to see if this helps in anyway.

                regards

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                • #9
                  Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                  I presume you have already patched the VMWare environment to the latest versions?

                  The other thing I would try is to re-install the VMWare tools. Have you checked the VMWare logs? Could be a SCSI contention issue with the disks presuming they are on the SAN. You could try creating a new LUN & datastore only for this server and moving the server's disk(s) here. You did not mention which version of VMWare you are using.

                  Failing that, if you can remember when this started, check which Windows patches were loaded in that time period. Could it be the backup agent causing the issue? Try duplicating the situation but instead of backing up the data using the agent, use Robocopy or something similar to move the data to another server and see if disk or network IO causes any issues.
                  |
                  +-- JDMils
                  |
                  +-- Regional Systems Engineer, DotNet programmer & Jack of all trades
                  |

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                  • #10
                    Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                    Hi

                    Yes the VMware is updated with latest patches, I don't see how reinstalling the VMware tools will help anything at the problems I am experiencing is on the Windows Server not on the ESX Host.

                    When I said I checked the VMware Performance logs I meant the logs for that specific virtual server not the Host. I have also reduced the amount of VM's running on the Host to see if it made any difference, but this morning the server was unresponsive again. Also I did not run a backup last night so it can't be the backups causing the problem.

                    I doubt the problem is with VMware or the Backup system as the other 15 VM's running on the same Blade Centre do not have any issues.

                    Regards.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                      I don't see how reinstalling the VMware tools will help anything at the problems I am experiencing is on the Windows Server not on the ESX Host.
                      VMWare tools have nothing to do with the VMWare host but have EVERYTHING to do with the VMWare guest/Windows server! VMWare tools is installed on the Windows server and the reason it is there is to provide Video, Mouse and Network "enhancements" to the Windows machine. If VMWare tools is out of date or mis-installed, you will have Video, Mouse and network issues with your host. And this might account for the reason why one server is causing issues and the others are not!

                      I have a rule of thumb....check the easy things first then look beyond the hood.
                      |
                      +-- JDMils
                      |
                      +-- Regional Systems Engineer, DotNet programmer & Jack of all trades
                      |

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                      • #12
                        Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                        OK I'll have a look at the version and reinstall it today to see if it makes any diffrence. Thanks for the advice.

                        OK VMware tools were on version 3.1.2.15040, after the re installation it was on the same version, so I am guessing it's the latest version. I'll monitor the server and see if it's changed in anyway.
                        Last edited by Dewer; 2nd June 2010, 11:52.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                          I am not familiar with VM's in any form, but the links here:

                          http://www.vmware.com/download/packages.html

                          may help. They give the latest versions available.
                          A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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                          • #14
                            Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                            Come to think of it, I think I have seen this happen on ESX 2.5, one particular server each time. But we would lose the heart-beat to the guest and network/ping connectivity.

                            Because this was such an old VM system, we never looked that far into the problem- just migrated the machine (created a new one in VM3.5i and copied the data across) to the new VM environment.
                            |
                            +-- JDMils
                            |
                            +-- Regional Systems Engineer, DotNet programmer & Jack of all trades
                            |

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Server pingable but Unable to RDP or UNC to server

                              Ok so after deciding that I am going to just build a new server as I cannot get the current issue resolved, I have done the following.

                              I created a new VM Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x64, I decided on using a 64 bit edition so I can add more Ram if needed. Prepared the server but after I installed the FSRM service, the service kept failing on start up and I was not able to start the service manually.

                              After a whole day of troubleshooting I installed the FSRM in my Server 2008 test environment and did not get any problems. So I build a Server 2008 R2 Standard x64, installed all the updates and configured it for a file server and installed the FSRM services, no problems at all.

                              I mounted my HDD from my old 2003 server to the new Server 2008 booted up, no issues. When I checked "Computer" to see if windows picked up the HDD, I only saw the C drive. I checked Computer Management and saw the two drives where detected.

                              If I right click on the drive I get an option to "Import foreign Disk". Basically what I want to know is, If I do import the disks, am I going to lose any data from these HDD's, or is safe to perform the import?

                              Regards.

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