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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Hi

Is anyone else experiencing any issues with Microsoft domain configuration?

My pc (W8) keep saying there is no connection to the server (it is hardwired!)

No issues up till this last few days.

It just seems that if I restart the server I can get to the settings screen on the console and "refresh" (as it says the domain is configured but not verified) once I refresh it is all good for a few minutes and then it disconnects again.

I remember this happening a couple of years ago and if memory serves me correct it was a Microsoft issue and it just "cured itself" a few days later.

Help / suggestions anyone?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:48 pm 
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What make and model server are you running or is it a DIY build? What Server OS are you running? Do you happen to have multiple NICs and if so are you running a NIC Team?

Information like this would be helpful to understanding the issue you facing. I am certain there will be more questions once you provide some answers but its all in an attempt to help you out in the end.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:23 am 
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Hi

it is a HP media smart server with WHS v1

Not sure what an NIC team is so don't think I am running that (?)

Basically nothing has changed and it has just started to show that my server is not connected. If I then restart the server I can get to the control console and "refresh" the domain configuration ... (it checks everything ie verifies domain, checks internet access etc). Following this I can access all of my folders and files again.

This lasts for a few minutes and then it "drops out" again and says it isn't connected.

As an aside it is also showing a problem with the backup files and that the backup program (something like that) is not installed ... could this be related? (I only back up one PC and don't really need to as all of my data is on my server, but can't "remove" the backup as the backup module isn't working)

Hope this helps a bit more ...

This does, as said before, remind me of what happened a few years ago when Microsoft apparently just "sorted it out" eventually...

Many thanks

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:50 am 
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Server connectivity issues are often a pain to resolve but the question is where is the connectivity actually lost? When the client loses connectivity can you check the routers active DHCP listing to see if the server is present on the network or not? If the router see's the server but not the client then something on the client could be causing the issue but lets not jump the gun just yet. With loss of connectivity to the client, can you access the server from the internet? If so then the server has connectivity to the network but it points back to the client.

The issue could be something between the client and server or between the server and the router. Next time the connectivity is lost I would try to make a Remote Desktop Connection to the server and if that can be done I would spend time on the server looking at the even logs, you can pull up the console and check for alerts but also you can check the time and date on the server to make sure its the same as the client.

If the server is not accessible then it would be fair to say the issue is somewhere between the server and the router. Next time you lose connectivity check the NIC LEDs to see what they are doing but to get the colors correct the model for the server would need to be identified.

Try the following:

(1) Recycle power to the router
(2) Relocate the network cable for the server to another port on the router or switch
(3) Try Changing the network cable with one known to work
(4) If the server is connected to a switch relocate it closer to the router and connect it there
(5) If none of the things above work then connect the network ports directly between the client and server
(6) Try swapping out the router with another one even if its an older slower router

You could also get a debug board to further help you troubleshoot connectivity issues as it would provide you with a VGA Port and allow you to get on the servers desktop directly just like your client. This would come in handy if the NIC on the server is failing and it will allow you to easily install a USB-LAN Connector to resolve the issue but depending on the model MSS you have the recovery could be an issue but I have done recoveries on the EX47x and EX48x with one but not on the other MSS models but its not exactly impossible.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:31 am 
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Hi

if I turn my router off and on then I can access the homeserver console from my PC (the server is hardwired) and then refresh the domain configuration. When I do this everything then comes "back online" .. I can access all my files and my server is available on the internet via any pc (inside or outside my network). ie All working as usual (as it has done for years now)

Give it a couple of minutes and then it "drops out" and the server console is then not accessible (it says the server is no longer connected to my PC) and the server is no longer accessible via the web (from machines inside or outside of my network) this suggests that the domain configuration is no longer verified? interestingly all of the 3 server lights are still "blue" (which should mean its all working) it is an HP mediasmart WHS v 1

Even in this state when it is "not connected" the router can see the server. (I have also tried connecting to the server using its IP address (which is static) and it doesn't connect)

I have to say I am really stumped on this one? why would it keep dropping the domain configuration / verification? to me it still sounds more like a domain configuration issue rather than a "my end" issue. If it were a my end issue surely it would either work all the time or none of the time? feels like something is unstable with the domain configuration

what do you think? thanks for your help so far :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:38 am 
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I would do the same thing but I would not refresh the domain just leave Remote Access Alone for the time being. If you experience the same drop out then change the Network Cable, Change the port the network cable is connected to see if the problem resolves itself. As a last resort change out the router to see if that corrects the issue.

Again the Remote Access is not necessary to gain access to the server within your home network. You can even shut it off so just deal with the internal connectivity issue first and do not add complexity to the issue with Remote Access.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:43 am 
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ok .. will try this .. not considered a dodgy cable ..


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:15 am 
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I have had cables which work perfectly find all of the sudden act up often dropping network speed to 10 or 100 so one should never rule out the cables as a source of problems. Sometimes its just a poor crimp on the cable end.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:37 am 
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OK .. I have replaced all the cables .. issue remains
Changed port on router.. issue remains
I have not tried another router yet but just don't understand why the problem isn't permanent .. why would it start fine once the server is rebooted and then after a few minutes stop giving access?

I will dig out an old router and try but I am thinking this is something to do with either the connectivity software or the OS?
Incredibly frustrating


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:43 am 
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Have you tried connecting the client directly to the servers NIC? No need for any special cables any standard network cable will do.

If you only have one computer to test this with would it be possible to do a test with a friends computer?

If the problems still exist then we need to look closely at the server itself and for this can you kindly tell me which model MSS you have because they are not all the same and some are easier to troubleshoot network connectivity issues then others.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:53 am 
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Hi

I will try connecting directly to the server. Just need to add the connectivity software to my laptop to do this.

my server is an HP MediaSmart home server EX490 (so it runs WHS v1)

As an aside ... I had considered moving to WHS 2011 but I understand that this doesn't have the raid type system built in like v1 does? I have also been watching closely as 3rd party cloud services fall in price. I only have about 500GB of data but a server is so handy as I can give my family (across the country) access to our photos and videos etc and also give them their own cloud solution!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:21 am 
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ok. I hardwired the main PC (client) into the server. (ie bypassed the router) Exactly the same thing happened. Access for about 3 mins and then it cut.

So its definitely not the router or cables

gulp .. what on earth could this be? .. connectivity software... OS?

What do you think?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:16 pm 
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WHS2011 does not have the Drive Extender or DE feature that WHSv1 has however this can be resolved by installing 3rd party software like Drive Bender or Stablebit Drive Pool. I used Stablebit Drive Pool and it works better and is more friendly then DE ever was plus you can still pull your drives out and read them. With Stablebit Drive Pool you could also have multiple drive pools. I can not speak for Drive Bender because I have never used it but others have and like it.

My concern is with the Servers NIC and why its active for a short period of time then drops out. If the NIC is dysfunctional then your EX490 would need a new NIC and the only solution would be to add a USB-LAN Adapter which can be done blind but it has proven to be very tricky and the procedure which I have written does not always work well because of drive letter assignments the server assigns to the USB Flash Drive.

The best way to resolve this issue would be to purchase a DEBUG Cable which will provide your EX490 with a video output after which you could troubleshoot the NIC issue, Install a USB-LAN Adapter and most importantly easily install another OS like WHS2011 onto the server. The total cost of adding both would be $100-130 USD.

If you happen to have a spare drive 80GB or larger you could remove your current server drives and attempt a server recovery using only the spare drive to see if you can perform a FACTORY Recovery and if so does the connectivity issue still exist or not. Server recoveries are somewhat of a challenge on the EX49x. They require you to make a direct connection to the server with a client. Some boot the client into safe mode with networking to improve connectivity. The spare drive should have all its partitions removed and be formatted with a single partition although some have used unformatted and partitioned drives and have had good luck with the recovery. I have done it both ways and have had mixed results. What I can tell you is if the spare drive you use has issues that it may not be possible to use it for a Factory Recovery Test.

What your looking for here is to simply determine if a recovery is possible and if it is then the NIC would be proven to work which would mean that something on the current server setup is not properly functioning and the best course of action would be to perform a Server Recovery on the current server disks which will preserver your data and lay in a new copy of the WHSv1 OS.

Before attempting any recovery with the current set of server drives I would confirm that all the server drives are in good working order because WHS is sensitive to drive issues and that any issues a drive may have may result in failed server recoveries. Using a single test drive to perform a Factory Server Recovery will tell you if a recovery is possible and will also confirm if the NIC is functional and if so then it should be safe to perform a Server Recovery not a Factory Recovery on your existing Server Drives just make sure you mark the bottom drive because that's the only drive which needs to be installed in the bottom bay and the other drives can be installed in any of the remaining 3 bays. When performing a Server Recovery to preserve your data the server must see all your storage pool drives to work properly. DO NOT SELECT A FACTORY RECOVERY or all your drives will get formatted.

If you perform a site search on the EX490, EX495, X510 or EX49x for server recoveries you will find a wealth of information about recoveries and the experiences others have had with them. Some posts may indicated the use of a 32bit Win XP Client but this is not necessary with the EX490 because it uses the newer HP3.0 software which is more compatible with the newer Operating Systems however I am uncertain how a recovery will work with Windows 8. In the previous server versions using a 32bit version of Win XP or Vista always worked best because their recovery software was closer to the original release version of WHS.

Here is a link to get you started on the EX49x recovery which will help better explain the process:http://www.mediasmartserver.net/wiki/index.php/Server_Recovery_on_the_EX490_and_EX495

I do recommend you install a Debug Board its money well spent in the long run and will make using and troubleshooting your EX490 easier. If you do not have a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse to dedicate to the server you can also purchase what is known as a KVM switch which will allow you to share a single keyboard, monitor and mouse with multiple computers. I have used 2 and 4 port KVM Switches for years and they work great and save lots of desk space.

Here is a link for the guide I wrote on how to resolve a failed NIC on an MSS: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/06 ... ur-server/

Here is a link for obtaining a DEBUG Board: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/05 ... available/

If you have any questions please ask them before you begin.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:27 am 
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Many thanks for your reply.
I have just had to lie down.

If I now ask "what is an NIC" you will gather that the rest of your answer appears completely out of my ability range and I am now thinking "How do I recover my data!"

If I connect the server with a USB will I be able to see the data on the drives? (ie will the server just become in essence a big external hard drive?) If so then I can just get all the data off of the server and back up separately etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:05 am 
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Let me jump in, The NIC is the network port where the cat5 cable plugs in, sometimes they quit working and sometimes they quit intermittently.
If your nic is dieing then getting the vga cable so you can see is the best thing to do. Then if you confirm it is a bad nic you will be able to install a usb nic and be able to install the drivers for it.

One way to test the nic, is as Comp1962 said, if you have a spare drive, mark the bottom drive (so you can put it back in same place) and pull all the drives, put the spare drive in the bottom bay and try to do a reset on it to see if it is your nic. If you get all the way through a reset, then it has to be something in your setup on the other drives (something in the OS most likely) then you would put all the drives back in and do a recovery (not reset) and it will make everything new again and keep your data.

I see you said you set the ip static on the server, while you can do this, it is not recommended and I had to do a recovery because of it one time when I lost contact with the server. If you can, I would set it back to auto and if your router has ip address reservation set it static there. As long as you remember the server name, the ip won't matter.

I have to ask, do you have the SMART addin installed on that server? Are the drives known good? Even with a blue light I would check those drives.

Lastly, Your USB question, you can pull any drive out (mark that bottom drive) and put it in a usb to sata dock and read the data, that is one of the main cool things about WHS.

So:
1) You have a dieing Nic port ?
2) You have a drive doing something ?
3) You have something in the OS that is causing it to drop out, virus/malware/spyware/ who knows with windows ?

The easiest thing to do is try a recovery/reset with one spare drive that has nothing on it and see if the nic will last long enough to do it.
Or
Get the vga cable so you can see what is happening.

Comp1962 has all the links you will need above.
Good luck

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