Working with File Shares in Windows Server 2008 (R2) Failover Clusters

Working with File Shares in Windows Server 2008 (R2) Failover Clusters

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I know what you are thinking, “How hard can it be to work with cluster file shares?”. I would be willing to bet a lot of you have been working with File Server clusters since NT 4.0 days. If you are still working with them today in Windows Server 2008 R2, you know things have changed. In this blog, I hope to give you some insight into a piece of functionality both within Failover Cluster and Explorer that may alter the way you work with file shares in your organization. It may even help finally solve a mystery that has been plaguing some of you for a while now.

I will be working with a 2-Node Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Cluster (Figure 1).

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Figure 1

In the cluster, I created a highly available File Server (CONTOSO-FS1). I created a series of folders, using the Explorer interface, on the storage in the File Server resource group (Figure 2).

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Figure 2

I use the folders to make shares highly available in the CONTOSO-FS1 File Server resource group.

There are three main ways to provision shares in a Failover Cluster using built-in GUI tools.

1. Failover Cluster Management snap-in

2. Share and Storage Manager snap-in

3. Explorer interface

In the Failover Cluster Management interface, the Add a shared folder function is available in the Actions pane (Figure 3).

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Figure 3

In the Share and Storage Management interface, the Provision Share function is available in the Actions pane (Figure 4).

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Figure 4

In Explorer, you simply Right-Click on the folder and Share with users (or nobody to stop sharing) (Figure 5).

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Figure 5

The end result using any of these three methodologies is shared folders appearing in the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in in the CONTOSO-FS1 resource group (Figure 6).

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Figure 6

A similar display can be seen in Share and Storage Manager (Figure 7).

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Figure 7

Inspecting the cluster registry hive, we can see the shares defined under the appropriate File Server Resource (FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk)) (Figure 8).

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Figure 8

At this point you may be thinking, “So what Chuck. This isn’t rocket science. We know all this stuff.” And, you may be right. Setting up the shares is the easy part, and we provide you with several methods with which to accomplish this, but what happens when you no longer want to share ‘stuff’ anymore? This is where it could get a little interesting.

If you do not want to share a folder anymore, there are three correct ways to do this.

Option 1: In the Failover Cluster Management interface, Right-Click on the shared folder and select Stop Sharing (Figure 9).

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Figure 9

Option 2: In the Share and Storage Manager interface. Right-Click on the share and select Stop Sharing (Figure 10).

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Figure 10

Option 3: In Windows Explorer, Right-Click on the folder and select Share with Nobody (Figure 11).

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Figure 11

The unexpected behavior occurs in the Explorer interface if instead of choosing to stop sharing by executing the process in Figure 11, the user chooses to Delete the folder (Figure 12). There could be unintended consequences for that action.

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Figure 12

In Explorer, when the folder is selected for deletion, a pop-up Confirmation window is displayed. An example of one is shown in Figure 13.

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Figure 13

If Yes is selected, the folder is deleted. In the Failover Cluster Management interface, however, the shared folder that was just deleted in Explorer is still displayed and appears to be Online (Figure 14).

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Figure 14

Even the cluster registry hive will show the share present under the File Server resource (Figure 15).

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Figure 15

Note: In previous versions of clustering, the cluster service maintained cluster file share information in the registry key HKLM\System\CurrrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares.

Here is the punch line – the next time the File Server Resource is cycled Offline and then back Online again (like during a Failover of the resource group to another node in the cluster), an Error (Event ID 1588) will be registered in the System Event Log (Figure 16). The error indicates that the share that cannot be found also cannot be brought Online by the File Server resource.

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Figure 16

The cluster log reports a problem as well but it is only a Warning (Figure 17).

00000944.00000688::2010/08/07-18:05:31.183 WARN [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed in NetShareGetInfo(CONTOSO-FS1, Pictures), status 2310. Tolerating...

00000944.00000b04::2010/08/07-18:06:31.185 WARN [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed in NetShareGetInfo(CONTOSO-FS1, Pictures), status 2310. Tolerating...

00000944.00000590::2010/08/07-18:07:31.190 WARN [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed in NetShareGetInfo(CONTOSO-FS1, Pictures), status 2310. Tolerating...

00000944.00000830::2010/08/07-18:08:31.194 WARN [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed in NetShareGetInfo(CONTOSO-FS1, Pictures), status 2310. Tolerating...

00000944.00000b48::2010/08/07-18:09:31.197 WARN [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed in NetShareGetInfo(CONTOSO-FS1, Pictures), status 2310. Tolerating...

Figure 17

Decoding Status 2310 (Figure 18)

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Figure 18

These errors in the System Event Log do not prevent the File Server resource from coming Online and bringing all the other valid shared folders Online (except if it were the last shared folder associated with the File Server resource. See the ‘bonus material’ at the end of the blog). However, I think you can quickly see that the process of deleting shared folders instead of just stopping them from being shared can, over time, accumulate orphaned entries in the cluster registry hive and the Event ID 1588 Error messages will continue to be registered for each of the ‘orphaned’ shares.

One way this behavior manifests itself is if a shared folder is created in Failover Cluster Manager or Share and Storage Manager, and is then deleted in Explorer. The Event ID 1588 is registered because the cluster registry hive is not ‘cleaned’ up properly. If the folder is shared in Explorer and then subsequently deleted in Explorer, a different pop-up Warning is displayed (Figure 19).

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Figure 19

If folders are not deleted but instead are just stopped from being shared, then the cluster is cleaned up properly and the error should not be registered. If the pop-up in Figure 19 is displayed (as opposed to the pop-up shown in Figure 13), then the share will be properly removed from the Failover Cluster and the cluster registry hive will be properly cleaned up.

Another scenario where we could see an Event ID 1588 registered, but not be the result of the cluster registry hive not being cleaned up properly, would be where the System account had been removed from the default security setting for a folder that was shared in a Failover Cluster.

Bonus Material:

What happens if the final shared folder that is associated with a File Server Resource is deleted? At the first LooksAlive\IsAlive check, the File Server resource will fail. A failover will be initiated, but in the end, the File Server Resource will remain in a Failed state. An Event ID 1587 (Figure 20) could be registered along with the customary Event ID 1069 reporting a cluster resource failure.

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Figure 20

The cluster log entry will be different from the previous entry (Figure 17) as shown in the highlighted section below (Figure 21). This time it is not a Warning but an Error ([ERR]) that is seen in the cluster log.

00000720.00000a70::2010/08/10-22:25:13.616 INFO [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Shares 'are being scoped to virtual name CONTOSO-FS1

00000720.00000a70::2010/08/10-22:25:13.616 DBG [RHS] Resource FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk)) called SetResourceStatus: checkpoint 2. Old state OnlinePending, new state OnlinePending

00000720.00000a70::2010/08/10-22:25:13.616 WARN [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed to open path e:\Documents. Error: 2. Maybe a reparse point...

00000720.00000a70::2010/08/10-22:25:13.616 ERR [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed to open path e:\Documents with reparse flag. Error: 2.

00000720.00000a70::2010/08/10-22:25:13.616 ERR [RES] File Server <FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk))>: Failed to online a single share among 1 shares.

00000720.00000a70::2010/08/10-22:25:13.616 DBG [RHS] Resource FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk)) called SetResourceStatus: checkpoint 2. Old state OnlinePending, new state Failed

00000720.00000a70::2010/08/10-22:25:13.616 ERR [RHS] Online for resource FileServer-(CONTOSO-FS1)(Contoso-FS1 (Disk)) failed.

Bonus Material [Resolution]: If you have intentionally deleted the last shared folder via Explorer and found yourself in the above described state, you can safely delete the File Server resource. If you need to share out folders on that same drive, the first time you do so, the File Server resource will automatically recreate.

I hope this information has been helpful and perhaps solved a few mysteries out there.

Thanks for your attention and come back.

Chuck Timon
Senior Support Escalation Engineer
Microsoft Enterprise Platforms Support


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  • Nice post - wish there'd been a post as clear as this when I first encountered a w2k8 cluster. I shall add this to my store of essential documents. Thanks.

  • Great post! Adding to our archive as well.

  • Great post, another very good document to add to my library.  I appreciate the time you've taken to outline this so clearly.  I do have one question though, what happens if I have a file server share resource where I have disabled Offline File Caching on the share and I add several folders and files to the shares in windows explorer (less than 2 TB), would it produce an issue such as the Event ID 1587 or 1588?  Thanks for your reply

  • One item you did not touch on and what I am looking for.  Compress subfolders. This use to be a check box on the properties of the folder resource.  I can not find this option in 2008 r2 mscs.

  • I think MS totally miffed clustering up by taking away the ability to take a share offline without deleting it.  In my large enterprise, that feature is very missed and makes 2k8 R2 even more annoying.

  • Wonderful resource! Thank you.

  • gud 1.

  • Awsmmmm!!

  • Hello,

    I created shared folder in Folder Shared Drive and shared it within explorer.Not used Cluster Manager to sharing.And then i deleted that folder :((( Now File server disk failed in cluster manager.What should i do? :(

  • amazing thing will you give in this passage   to take knowledge to learn this passage . you will take some words ,,match in the colummn to internal knowledge will be devlope.

  • I have a cluster however can not map network drives via IP only via hostname. What can be?

  • Great Post! Information about event 1588 when System Account permission is removed has saved my day :)

    Dan Pinheiro.

  • Can anyone point me to some documentation on how to do this with powershell 3, in particular figure 11?

    Thanks.

  • so by deleting the registry value for the deleted folder will solve this 1588 error issue??

  • I like to know if deleting the registry entries for the deleted folders will help solve the issue with error 1588 referencing to the missing folder??