"Server cannot be found" woes

  • 28 December 2017
  • 34 replies

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I have been trying to fix this for weeks now and its driving me mad.
I have just started using my sonos play:5 again after about 6 months and Im getting the error regular. I fix it, then a couple of hours later or the next day its back again.
when I click on a song its says cannot connect to xxxxx(insert song) because server cannot be found. I have been through this so many times i know whats going to happen next, if I click update library, it will say cant find (insert my name) computer.
So I unshare/ share/.. firewall on / firewall off... change the computer name / restart and I usually get it working again eventually.I think its the changing the computer name that helps the most?
My ipad and iphone work perfectly and I can see the songs I play from them in the queue of my computer controller. so it just seems to be the computer thats the problem running windows 10 BTW if that makes a difference .I have done a lot of reading about this problem in this community but haven't found a permanent fix.
Sonos if this is such a common problem why don't you put out a patch to fix it ? when it works its great but that isnt very often
Thanks for any advice.

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34 replies

Well, first off, I don't think it's a common problem. In fact, I don't think I've seen anyone post a problem like yours, where the connection seems to come and go.

If I can recommend, the next time you have to reconnect the system, you might want to submit a system diagnostic, and post the number here, for the folks at Sonos to look at. There may be data in the log files that would help Sonos identify what's going on with your system.

Or, if you can, I'd even recommend a call to them, so that they can help troubleshoot in real time, by remoting in to your system. You can find your local phone numbers and hours at the link at the bottom of this page, that says "Contact us".
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Hi and thank you for your reply.
I have found many threads with this problem or I wouldnt have known what to try. the connection is not as you say come and go by its self, it never fixes its self. but the things i try usually fixes it, but the fix doesn't last long. plenty of threads here saying cant play songs from library server not found.... and they are told to change name of computer unshare reshare folder turn on and turn off firewall. so it does sound quite common maybe whats not common is people fixing it and it reoccurring a little later.
Anyway my diag number is 8290413 if anyone can help.
Ive just noticed Spotify is working so maybe its not the computer and just my library ?
Let's see what Sonos can find out by looking at the data in that diagnostic.
I have a similar problem but am using an iMac. Can anyone give a link to a Mac user with this problem? Wonder if Sonos are open during this holiday period.
I have just been speaking to Sonos support who got me to remove the music library from the Sonos app and then reinstall it. Now all my music plays!
I had similar problems for ages. It seems the problems were caused by my router periodically swapping channels in order to ensure the best wi-fi signal (BT's HomeHub routers do this a lot). I solved it by buying a Boost as this creates its own wireless network on a single channel. So far, several months, the problem seems to have gone away.
Userlevel 7
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Del8oy, that error message basically comes down to "we tried to reach the computer and couldn't". If the connection comes and goes, it's usually a result of the network having too much latency, or the drive going to sleep and the share no longer being available. I noticed that the computer is wireless, and your Sonos players are reporting a bit more interference than I'd like to see.

Can you start with changing the wireless channel on your Sonos players to 1 and see how things work on that channel?
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Thank you all for your replies.

Ryan S,
I tried each channel recommended in your link, I changed it from Auto to 1 then 6 then 11 but no change.
I thought it had worked first time but as soon as I unplugged the Ethernet cable it stopped working.
So now at least Iv'e found it works when its wired. any more advice to get it working on WiFi ? thanks
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Please remember the connection does not come and go, it just stops working and thats it, it doesn't come back by its self. I stream and watch movies with no problem on my laptop over WiFi so it just seems like its the Sonos app having trouble getting into my WiFi? do you agree ?
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Driving me mad and still dont really understand what the problem is.. I understand you said basically the message means "we tried to reach the computer but couldnt" but if I play tunes on my phone I see them appear in the queue. this must be happening over the wifi so it must be seeing my computer right ?

so then I just tried to add another folder on my computer and it said "Sonos was unable to add the music folder REASON : the computer cannot be found

Im very confused
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OK seeing as my problem had slipped to page 3 with no replies in 24 hours I thought id have a play again.
All I did was change the computer name, rebooted the PC, added the music folder again and it started working perfectly again,'
Can someone tell me why this is happening please ?? I know the fix wont last long and ill have to change the name again but it does get a bit tiresome.
I hope this helps someone else that has the "server cannot be found" issue.
I guess its probably not Sonos at fault but why do I have to keep changing the computer name to fix it ??
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As I predicted, working perfectly. go out for 2 hours, come back and it cant find my computer name again. I give up 😠
Ok... Ryan said from the diagnostic that your computer is wireless. If this is true it used to be an unsupported configuration (been here since 2005 so may have changed).

Throw an Ethernet cable down temporarily or move your computer to be closer to your router and use an Ethernet cable to test. Make sure wireless on your computer is turned off. If you have a Boost or Sonos device plugged into your router make sure its a few feet away otherwise you will get issues.

Also look at your routers config for DHCP (or whatever device issues IPs on your network) to make sure it has a large scope and not running out of IPs to issue.

And... if still an issue just power cycle your router to see if Sonos then starts working again.

Sorry just read in a follow up post that wired does work, but my other suggestions may help. Post the make / model of your router as it might be a known pile of ...
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Hi Belly M,
Thank you very much for your reply and trying to help.

I really don't think its a WiFi problem because I have many devices that work faultlessly over my WiFi including the Laptop I have the controller on.
The only thing that I have trouble with is the sonos system losing my computer.
After playing a little more I can now condense the fault for you.
Its not the computer name as I I said before that fixes it, its the restarting the laptop and re re-adding the music folder that fixes it.
Sooo, if it stops working and says "server cannot be found" I delete the Music folder from the Sonos, reboot the laptop, re-add the music folder and it works perfect again.
Would it be anything to do with Windows 10. as it didn't happen on Windows 8.1 ?
Whilst your network does apear to be fully working Sonos relies on a decent / stable connection to the music source, so do not rule out a network issue. It may even be the network driver or something simple like the laptop is sleeping. Running a constant ping from the laptop to a Sonos device may show up issues or even keep the connection alive.

If you just reboot the laptop does it work? (Without name change / share removal)

Did you try just power cycling the router?
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Hi Belly M.

Thats very interesting, No I didnt try the power cycling of the modem But....
To day it was working fine for hours then I had to pop out for a while so I shut the lid of the laptop which puts it to sleep. When I came back I woke it up and the "cannot find server" issue was there.
So I tried shutting down the laptop and just a straight reboot as you suggested and it was working again.
What do you make of that ? thanks
Now ty a router reboot to see if that helps, leaving the laptop alone.

If nothing, after the laptop is woken up (opening the lid) give it a few minutes before trying to using Sonos.

The very action of putting the laptop to sleep does mean Sonos will not be able to “make contact” as I said this is / was an unsupported configuration.
Set Windows 10 power option to never sleep and never close the lid on the laptop. The previous version of Windows was probably never shutting the laptop down fully even with the lid closed and keping the network card alive. Worth looking to see if there are any options for your laptop.

Alternatively buy yourself a cheap NAS, they do have power saving options but by nature of their design never go to sleep and always on the network. In the UK a recertfied one by WD is £80. Just copy your music to it and plug into the router... and forget about it 😃
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Dont laugh but I had trouble getting it to stop working :8

When it did stopped working I powered down the router for 5 mins, the controller kind of went blank and said I needed an internet connection.
I turned the modem back on, the controller opened as it should but still had the "Cannot find server" issue.
So I rebooted the laptop and all was well again.

I have power options on the laptop when shutting the lid, they are:: sleep, shut down, hibernate (whatever that means) or do nothing.
Ive set it to do nothing and see how we go.
I haven't heard of NAS before but I will look into it.
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Just a bit of an update for the community if anyone's interested.

Hi Belly M, as you predicted setting the laptop to do nothing when the lid was closed had got rid of the error message "server not found" Ive had no problem since my last post.:-)
So all ok apart from I can't put my laptop to sleep (but that's fine)
Can you try to explain to me in laymans terms why this is.
Why is putting it to sleep and waking it up different from shut down and rebooting the laptop ?
I would say... that when the laptop wakes from sleeping the network card is not working / reconnecting to your network.
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That makes sense, ok thank you very much for all your help it's much appreciated.
I did a little Googling after my post and found a few people with issues on Windows 10 and lack of network after waking up from sleeping.
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Thank you, nice to have conformation cheers
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Thanks for stepping in Belly M, and glad you guys got to the end of it. A NAS drive is a good way to go to get the music library available all the time, no matter what the computer's doing. Though you'd need to make sure to update that drive with all of your music whenever you get new tracks.