WindowsXP periodically disconnects from Windows7

Filed under Networking, Troubleshooting, Windows 7

Very strange, and utterly frustrating issue recently.

After I got hit by lightning, I ended up replacing an Iomega NAS storage server with a simple Win7 box running 2 raided 2TB harddrives. It was a quick build and was a little cheaper than an equivalent 4TB Iomega unit, plus it’s running real Windows, so I can do more stuff with it.

But, I’ve got several XP Virtual Machines (under VMWare Workstation), that would, very consistently, disconnect from the Win7 “server”.

I googled for days, and tried at least a dozen different suggestions but none worked.

Essentially, if I rebooted the Win7 machine, the XP machines could connect to and work with the server for a while. But eventually, the WinXP machines would loose connection to the Win7 machine and the ONLY way to get them connected again was to reboot the Win7 machine.

The main problem was that the failure was very generic: something along the lines of “The server does not have enough resources to complete the request”.

Not much to go on.

On a whim, I happened to check in the event log at one point and came across this:

Source: srv
Event ID: 2017
Level: Error
The server was unable to allocate from the system nonpaged pool because the server reached the configured limit for nonpaged pool allocations.

Googling “srv error 2017” turned up a number of new suggestions I hadn’t seen before, but one in particular on Alan LaMielle’s blog looked very promising, though he was talking about connected via SAMBA.

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, the problem is that if you use a “normal” version of Windows more like a server (lots a machines connecting to it for files), normal Windows installs aren’t configured for that.

You need to change 2 registry entries (on the SERVER machine, in my case the Win7 machine):

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\LargeSystemCache

should be set to ‘1’, and:


should be set to ‘3’.

Then, either reboot, or use the Services control panel to restart the ‘SERVER’ service.

Since I’ve done that, I’ve connected several XP systems up, and run full backups overnight without a single hiccup.


  1. Glad my post was useful for you. Saw a pingback on my blog so I figured I’d stop by. Cheers!

    • admin says:

      Hey Alan
      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, that blog entry of yours solved a prob I’d been having for almost 3 months (ever since the house getting hit by lightning and having to rebuild all my equipment).

      Many thanks!

  2. George says:

    This is an excellent tip. Was driving me nuts. Thanks for this.

    • admin says:

      Glad it helped. I was in the same boat for several months. Frustrating that it’d connect and be good for a while, but then mysteriously die. Ah Windows. The love-hate relationship continues!

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