Server available by IP, but not name

I got a ticket recently for a problem I’d never seen before. The user had worked fine on Friday, but now on Monday things weren’t working quite right.

There were several shares on “Server” that were mapped to his machine, but when he browsed to them, there were no shares. The one share that was available was only there because he had offline files set to synchronize to it, so he was only seeing the information that he had cached locally. There were several other users on these shares, so I knew the problem had to be with his machine.

I found that I was about to browse to these shares via IP address, but not computer name. I could however get to outlook web access by going to http://server/exchange, so clearly the DNS information was correct… Still though, I flushed dns, I ran an nbtstat –RR, I change IP addresses, I set the machine static, I removed the computer from the domain and re-joined I even tried putting an entry for the server into the host file. Nothing worked.

In the end, the problem turned out to be with the offline files. Fortunately the user didn’t need them, and wasn’t sure what they were for anyway, so we turned them off, and all the network shares suddenly appeared.

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