Strange Locking Issue on FIle Servers

Long time fan of the YouTube channel and struggling with an issue I’m hoping a collection of smart I.T. folk can point out what I am missing.

Around the first of September, staff started getting errors saving Excel 2013 sheets saying Someone else is working in <file> right now. Please try again later. Confirmed on the file server no other staff have the file open, all our Google searches point to permissions issue or network performance. Can’t seem to find any bottlenecks on the network (1g clients, 10g switching infrastructure using UniFi, VM on LAN running 2012r2 on a Dell R740 2019 Hyper-V Server), and the permissions are correct as the user can save the file sometimes right away, sometimes it takes a dozen tries to get a save to finally go through when this intermittent issue pops up. Built a 2019 VM to see if it was an OS level issue, but that did not fix it. Removed AV (seen that cause file locking like this in the past), rolled back all the changes we made during last month’s scheduled maintenance, and the issue persists. Migrated to a Dell R720 2019 Hyper-V Server to rule out hardware (the other host did have firmware updates middle of last month). Network latency is < 1ms to the file server consistently, so this doesn’t seem like a network issue. We have tried a lot of tweaks on a test system including disabling caching features of SMB2/3, but that doesn’t work either. We can see the response from the server telling the client STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED and STATUS_OBJECT_NAME_NOT_FOUND in a packet capture, so very much feels like a server side issue, but it didn’t appear for about two weeks after the last changes we made to the servers and different hardware/VM OS haven’t made a difference. We do have file leasing turned off due to legacy application support (MS Access databases corrupting).

Anyone know what I am overlooking?

So, finally tracked this one down. A staff member was using third party index and search software on his desktop as it was way faster than the built in Windows search. He had it scanning his mapped network drive as well, and it was using the features of SMB v2/3 to get notified of file changes on the file server and immediately index these files. Had him exclude the network path and mapped drive, and everything is working fine now. Still haven’t figured out why it didn’t start until 9/1. So frustrated with myself it took this long to track down, but open file handles view in computer management on the server was giving me nothing (same with process explorer and process monitor). At least it is fixed now!