I recently saw a serious problem with Windows Server 2008, and network connection problems.

This issue occurs with a variety of network cards with Windows Server 2008. This happened to us with an Intel 5266DM Network card on a new Intel 3000 Series Motherboard. I have also heard of this happenning with a Dell Server using a Broadcom NIC. Initially, the Microsoft Drivers were loaded, and everything seemed to work just fine, but all was not as it seemed. We loaded the drivers off the intel CD as a matter of standard course. They were newer than the Microsoft OS packaged drivers, but they weren’t very recent.

Here was the symptom – Everything would work fine for at least 3 hours, sometimes close to 24 hours. Then everything would start to go screwy. Computers would start to drop off the network like flies. The sysvol share would become inaccessible to anyone on the network (including the server itself.)

There were Error showing up in the Event Log:

EVENTID: 1058

The processing of Group Policy failed. Windows attempted to read the file \domain.localsysvoldomain.localPolicies{6AC1786C-016F-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}gpt.ini from a domain controller and was not successful. Group Policy settings may not be applied until this event is resolved. This issue may be transient and could be caused by one or more of the following:

a) Name Resolution/Network Connectivity to the current domain controller.

b) File Replication Service Latency (a file created on another domain controller has not replicated to the current domain controller).

c) The Distributed File System (DFS) client has been disabled.

Once the error started occurring, it would happen repeatedly – every 5 minutes or so.

As it turns out, the Group Policy Error was just a symptom of the problem, but it was the only error message that we had on the server to go by.

Server Performance became sluggish, and it would take quite a while to even logon locally.

After 5 hours (or longer) on the phone with phone with Microsoft Business Critical India Support – we were no closer to finding the solution to the problem.

Rebooting the server would make the errors and problems go away for a while, but within a day, the problem would be back.

I was on the verge of downgrading them to 2003 server, when I made a call to my buddy, Ed Carnes, of Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Carnes Group, LLC, in Nashville. Ed had just seen these exact same symptoms with a Small Business Server 2008 Install on a Dell Server using a Broadcom NIC.

Ed had been fortunate enough to get a hold of a true Microsoft Engineer who gave him the solution to my problem. This symptom is caused by a flaky network card driver.

The Microsoft Engineer’s recommendation was to disable the broadcom nic install an intel Pro 1000 Network card and download the latest drivers from Intel’s website to fix this problem. We downloaded the latest Intel Drivers for the 5266DM chipset NIC, and everything ran completely smooth.

Thank you Ed!