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MS Access Problem

Discussion in 'Software' started by rusty155, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. rusty155

    rusty155 Bit Poster

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    Hi all,

    I work in a school, and could really use some help with a problem that is driving me nuts!!

    We are experiencing a variety of problems and error messages with students using MS Access XP. The most frequent error is "Disk or Network Error" and a "Jet Engine" error when working within Access. These errors are occurring at seemingly random times and stages within the program. It results in Access having to be closed down and students subsequently losing any data they have entered.

    It is also occurring on seemingly random workstations for random users. Some students encounter no problems.

    I am having difficulty replicating the problem and error messages due to their inconsistency but it is making the teaching of Access extremely difficult!

    Could this be due to physical network problems. In my opinion, the servers and core switch here are VERY old and ideally need replacing. The workstations are having to travel through up to 4 or 5 10/100 switches before they reach the core and servers.

    The servers themselves are P3 1.0ghz running server 2000, and we have 3 of them. We also have approx 350 workstations of which 75 are wireless laptops.

    Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated
     
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  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'd recommend trying to narrow down which PCs are having problems... "seemingly random" usually means that there IS a pattern, but you just haven't figured it out yet. Could be that:

    - errors occur on one OS but not another
    - errors occur on one version of Access but not another
    - errors occur on one patch level of Access (or OS) but not another
    - errors occur only on workstations connected to a particular switch
    - errors occur only on workstations on a particular subnet
    - errors occur only on workstations connected to a particular VLAN
    - errors occur only with users who belong to a particular group
    - errors occur only on computers with a certain type of network card
    - errors occur only on computers with a particular app installed that is interfering with Access
    - errors occur only on computers with a particular chipset
    - errors occur only on computers that are infected with a virus or adware that wasn't detected by your AV/AS application

    ...you get the idea.

    Lots of things you could try... including:
    - Can you duplicate the problem with the same user and PC?
    - If you have a user who isn't having problems and a user who is having problems, can you tell the users to swap computers and see if the problem moves with the user or stays at the computer?
    - These sort of problems are why businesses like to use standard images. If all of your hardware is the same, and you have a computer that never errors, have you considered imaging that PC and putting that image on all computers with that same hardware?

    Hope this helps.
     
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  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I'd want to see more details of the error messages.

    However - I'd say that your network is either out-of-spec, or marginal. The number of switches sounds way too high - and you may be exceeding the end-to-end rules.

    You will need to do a physical map of the network, including the lengths of cable runs, and look at the result and see if the most errors appear when the distance is great.

    Edit: You may also have problems with the cables and connectors themselves. Educational establishments tend to be very harsh environments!

    Harry.
     
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  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    How many APs are there? On what channels? 75 WiFi laptops being used at once isn't going to be very fast!

    Harry.
     
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  5. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I am not an Access expert but a bit of googling for the jet error led me to this article.

    Here is a snippet..

    You can read the whole thing here..

    http://databases.aspfaq.com/database/what-are-the-limitations-of-ms-access.html
     
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  6. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    rusty155,

    Do you have enough Client Access Licenses (CAL) on a per-server or per-seat basis for all of the Client operating systems attempting to access resources on the server when the "disk or network error" occurs?
     
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  7. rusty155

    rusty155 Bit Poster

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    Ok - thanks for the replys guy!

    Bit more information:

    We are on an RM CC3 system and for the most part, the machines are all identical, and have identical software and os's installed (all xp). I will try and replicate the errors today and post up some screenshots.

    It also affects different users who are members of identical groups. Also, the reason why i suspect it may be hardware/network related is that these problems began to occur last week at the same time as some of the switches were doing very strange things!

    Here is a very rough diagram of the infrastructure within our main cabinet:


    [​IMG]

    What happened was that the 3rd and 4th 3Com switch kept losing their IP addresses (they are all set static) and resetting to the manufacturers default. This was subsequently knocking out half the workstations linked to the cabinet. Before this occurred, the 5th 3com switch was linked to the 4th via 100mbit copper. I changed this so that the 5th linked directly to the 1st, (as shown in diagram)and thus reducing the amount of traffic going through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th switches. After a reset of all the switches, this fixed the problem that I was encountering but I have since had this access problem!

    Anything in it, or just coincidence???

    Apologies for the crudeness of the diagram - had to quickly knock one up, and not very good at it!!

    Hope that all this makes some sense??!!
     
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  8. rusty155

    rusty155 Bit Poster

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    Ok - here are a couple of screenshots of the errors that I get:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Please ignore the "network cable unplugged" icon!! - the workstation has two network cards!
     
    WIP: A+
  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    IMHO this is more than coincidence. That fact that this access issue started occurring after changing the way in which your switches are linked is very pertinent, what more of a clue do you need? What I would suggest is that you re-configure things back to how they were before, to see how access performs and if the two switches start to lose their static IP config again, I would suggest they need replacing, at the very least I would contact 3com and ask why this has suddenly started happening and what they suggest you should do - I doubt re-arranging the cabling will be their answer as clearly it was working prior to this.
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Why not patch a PC into the first 3COM and run some tests, If Access behaves then test the other switches. 8)
     
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  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Actually looking over your network diagram again is it possible to uplink the last three 3COM switches individually to the first switch rather than connecting them through one cable? :blink
     
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  12. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    rusty155,

    Is this Access 2002 class based on a Microsoft Office Specialist - Access 2002 instructor led or self study book with student files?
     
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  13. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    rusty155,

    My previous question about number of Client Access Licenses still stands.
     
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  14. cattail.nu

    cattail.nu New Member

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    This error is caused by network collisions and packet loss. It is, as you said, random both by location and by time, and can cause corrupt databases in addition to lost work and frustration.

    We had this very problem on one of our network segments, caused by old hardware/configuration coupled with 7 users streaming internet audio (among other things) and the fact that MS Access is a huge network bandwidth hog.

    We solved this problem by firewalling some of the streaming content and updating our hardware setup. You can try setting a timer in an open and hidden form to periodically 'ping' the server, and thus hold the connection open. We also tried using the timer to force a logout for lengthy inactivity (we had people who went off to other tasks for HOURS, leaving the connection open), but this was killed by politics. If possible, you should have the application mdb located on the local pc and only accessing the data mdb (that front end/back end setup) at the server.

    Oh, and don't forget to check your machines for some virus that's spamming the network.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Surely that would mean all network shares would be unavailable? Also the event logs would be full of errors from the Licence logging service...
     
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  16. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    Sparky,

    All network shares would be unavailable to the client numbers that attempted to connect to the server after the client access license count has been exceeded. For example, if there are 10 CALs on a per-server basis, then only the first 10 clients who attempted to connect to the server would establish a connection. Client number 11 and after would be refused a connection, even if the client was on the same hub/switch as the server. When one or more of the previous 10 clients disconnect either voluntarily, for example computer shutdown, or
    involuntarily, for example network inactivity, then client number 11 and after could connect to the server.
     
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  17. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I agree, so how does this relate to the original problem?
     
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  18. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    Sparky,

    It is relevant because, assuming the server had 10 CALs, if the client was one of the first 10 clients to establish a connection with the server, the client opened a .mdb file on the server network share, then possibly due to network inactivity the server disconnected the connection between client and server, then that may be a possible reason for the "disk or network error." This would be akin to trying to save a file onto a floppy disk after you've physically pushed the floppy eject button on the floppy drive.
     
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  19. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    True, if it is a CAL issue then it should be fairly straight foreward to troubleshoot, event viewer will full of errors 8)
     
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  20. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Just a reminder.. This problem started happening when the OP re-configured the way in which the switches were chained. Logic dictates that a traffic problem was introduced at this point and this should be the area of focus. Though of course I would definitely check out event viewer on all three of the servers to see if there is any relevant info in them.
     
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