Networking randomly dies on a 2012 R2 vSphere VM

Strange issue. Simple solution.

We had a Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller sitting on vSphere 5.5 (2068190) which would randomly lose it’s network connection.

When you logged into the system locally the network interface appeared to be up but you could not connect to anything outside of the VM.

If I rebooted the VM it would work for a few hours or less and then the network would drop out again.

Digging through the event viewer I came across these:

The VM had a E1000 NIC attached to it. I figured the issue was the VM NIC model and got some backup to my theory from here: https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/504405-windows-server-2012-r2-guest-os-on-vmware-keeps-losing-gateway-connection

The solution appears to have been removing the E1000 NIC and adding either a E1000E NIC or in my case a VMXNET 3 NIC.

Previous version of the Active Directory Replication Status Tool

Who liked using the Active Directory Replication Status Tool? I did.

Who thought it was a great, simple, straight forward tool that was far easier than interpreting the output of some command line tools and didn’t feel it needed to become a cloud service with a less intitive interface? I do.

Digging through a few of my servers I found the old installer for the Active Directory Replication Status Tool. The version you can install on your own servers and doesn’t appear to give an error about the installer being expired.

Download it here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22772464/adreplstatusInstaller.zip

I believe this is version 1.1 even though the splash page when launching it says it’s 1.0. It was the latest version you could download before Microsoft expired it here and told everyone to start using the cloud based SCOM solution they offer.

Please share it/mirror it for all to enjoy.

 

Update – 2016-04-05

Looks like Microsoft is trying to kill this tool. When you try the use the version I’ve linked above now it says it has also expired.

I’ve figured out a workaround. Download this handy tool and then do this:

runasdate settings

If anyone knows assembler and wants to try dissecting repl.exe to remove the date check I’ll happily link/host to their modified repl.exe.

I’ve seen a few comments on other sites about the saftey of getting this tool from a non-Microsoft source and this is the best I can provide to prove I have not altered the MSI file. If you check the hashes against the two download links below you’ll see they match files uploaded well before this blog post.

MSI File
MD5: d63ceaa4131f8dc64800d33ac3b242c7
SHA1: 1a117510e42d284199743c53722dd51690a93d59

http://www.herdprotect.com/adreplstatusinstaller.msi-1a117510e42d284199743c53722dd51690a93d59.aspx
https://malwr.com/analysis/Y2JlNDQ0YmM0MjM3NGY4MWJlOGJhOTkyMDNkZGQxZGI/

You can try the workaround I’ve mentioned above on the official download as well: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=30005

 

Update 2016-04-20

Good news everyone! Microsoft has brought back the stand-alone tool thanks to everyone who provided them feedback demanding it.

See: https://feedback.azure.com/forums/267889-operational-insights/suggestions/12293631-bring-back-the-on-prem-ad-replication-status-tool

The new, non-expiring download, can be found here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30005

 

Update 2017-07-12

Looks like the tool is expiring again.

I was able to re-download, re-install from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30005

The tool worked again but now gives me a 24 day count down.