Sporadic network drive loss and file inaccessibility issues.

Discussion in 'File Systems' started by nbowman, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. nbowman

    nbowman Guest

    To whom it may concern,

    We took over technical responsibilities for a company that seems to have
    persistent but sporadic network drive loss and file inaccessibility issues.

    For some background information, we have a Windows 2003 SP2 Domain
    Controller/Exchange server that has limits set on mailbox sizes of 1.5GB soft
    cap and 1.7GB hard cap.

    User workstations are Windows XP Pro SP3.

    When a user starts getting warnings in Outlook that they are about to reach
    their mailbox limit we archive their data out of the exchange mail stores
    into PST files that are stored on the server. Then the PSTs are reattached to
    the users Outlook for the user’s reference purposes.

    Prior to my company taking over support role for this company, they had
    never had this sort of maintenance work done on their Exchange server and no
    limits were ever set. Thus the mail stores were gigantic and their mailboxes
    were bloating to over 7-10GB each.

    I suppose at some point the former IT team decided to attempt an archive or
    it was potentially automated by Outlook.

    We found archive.pst files that were 4-10GB each. Fortunately these files
    were not corrupted and were able to be opened and some of the data retrieved.

    We also have the archive PSTs that we have created that are 1-1.8 GB in size.

    These PSTs reside in the users home directory which is a network drive
    mapped via a batch file. Prior to this they were using Kix32 logon scripts
    to map their network drives.

    I understand that Microsoft claims that storing PST files on the
    server/network for regular access is unsupported but this is done for several
    other companies/clients without issue.

    So now on the problem! This problem does not affect one user but the entire

    The users were losing access to their network drive share entirely on
    occasions, more times than not, whenever one of these PST files were
    attempted to be accessed by opening them in outlook, when the Kix32 logon
    script was in place. Because the network drives were becoming entirely
    inaccessible, the Kix32 logon script was replaced with basic batch files.

    For this company these PSTs are the largest file sizes that they deal with
    but I personally deal with larger ghost images (100+ GB) that I push across
    the networks on far less adequate hardware. This is why I’m at an utter loss
    to the error messages and loss of network drive accessibility I am receiving.

    When the PST does attach itself in the client’s outlook and it’s attempted
    to be opened it gives the error “file cannot be accessed.†Outlook is even
    installed on the server and I attempted to open the PST (which is theory is
    at that point “on the local workstationâ€) and it still generated the “file
    could not be accessed.â€

    I worked with Microsoft Outlook support specialist in hopes of a resolution,
    which was when I was informed that PSTs being stored on the server was
    unsupported. Thus per the outlook support specialist request I attempted to
    copy these PSTs down to the local workstation to open them and the following
    errors were generated:

    Cannot copy E-Mail Backup 2009-1_4_30_09: Not enough server storage is
    available to process this command.

    Cannot Copy E-mail Backup 2009-2 (7-14-09): Insufficient system resources
    exist to complete the requested service.

    E-mail Backup 2009-2 (7-14-09) is a 1.3GB PST file.

    The server has 4GB of ram and currently utilizing 2.0GB of memory, it also
    has 8GB of page file space and the server has 700GB of free disk space, and
    the workstation has plenty of free space as well.

    This leads me to believe it is an SMB/file sharing problem.

    I eventually rebooted the server and the PSTs are now accessible from the
    network and are able to be moved to the local workstation to be attached and
    opened. They are also now able to be opened from the server’s outlook as

    Rebooting the server in the middle of the day because of a problem of this
    caliber is not a permanent solution to this problem but simply a temporary

    I hope you all will be able to help provide me some insight into how I can
    resolve this problem or troubleshoot it further.

    I greatly appreciate any input or assistance.

    My apologies if this is not in the proper forum, feel free to move and
    notify me, if necessary.


    Nick Bowman
    Senior Technician
    Peregrine Computer Consultants Corp.
    3927 Old Lee Hwy
    Suite 102-C
    Fairfax, VA 22030
    703-359-9700 x 44
    nbowman, Jul 17, 2009
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  2. re if this is your issue but I have seen network loss on an AD domain where
    the alternate DNS server entered on the client is NOT a DNS server setup for
    the AD domain. Usually the ISP's DNS server is listed which can cause the
    network loss.

    Danny Sanders, Jul 17, 2009
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  3. Nick,
    I'd be inclined to mask your contact details in a public forum :)
    You may have a lot of different problems on the network and this makes
    troubleshooting difficult. You are right about the large pst's and network
    location, but this may not be relevant. The problem with large pst's on the
    network is corruption of the pst. The problem you seem to have is
    transferring or opening large files over the network.
    I would look at getting large file handling stable first. As it is fixed by
    a reboot it must be a memory leak. Try disabling every non-Windows program
    for a while and see if the problem persists.
    Anthony [MVP], Jul 18, 2009
  4. nbowman

    nbowman Guest

    Hi Anthony & Danny,

    I appreciate your responses. I'll be sure to check both of these items and
    let you know if the problem seems to be resolved.

    nbowman, Jul 21, 2009
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