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WHS Connection problems

    Question

  •  I have two machines connected to my WHS - a vista laptop and an XP PC

    Until the other night everything had been running very well but then all of a sudden I am having strange problems with the XP PC. I have not updated anything and I have not installed or removed anything.

    The little connector symbol shows up in the tray and is green. If I hover the mouse over it it says "Windows Home Server Network is Healthy"

    However, if I try and log into the WHS console I get a "This computer cannot connect to your home server....." message.

    If I try and open shared folders I get a "\\server is not available. You might not have permission....." message.

    If I try start, run and type in \\192.168.2.30 it brings up the shared folders and double clicking on files opens them up no problem.

    If I try start, run and type in \\server I get "\\server the network path was not found"

    If I right click start / explore / my network places etc I get a "Network is not accessible. You might not have permission...." message.

    As I say, everything was fine until the other night

    The vista laptop seems to be running fine

    Anyone got any ideas?????

    Cheers
    Jon
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 9:01 AM

Answers

  • Hi Jon,
    configuring a workgroup name in the router may have unwanted side effects, see the thread mentioned.
    The workgroup for Windows clients, which you set in Computer properties on the Computer name tab, is not the same, as it is understood by Belkin.
    This constallation can therefore cause name resolution issues.

    Default setting for NetBIOS over TCP/IP is to use the settings of the DHCP server.
    Since the address on your machines is not set via DHCP, and the DHCP server in the router may not be compliant to the Windows expectations, you should always change this setting to Enabled.
    That your client has no clue, shows the result "Node Type: Unknown" from your ipconfig.

    We simply see, that there are many potential reasons, why name resolution can go wrong in a home network, so why not eliminate potential causes for such issues, even if they seem to work in the first moment?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:59 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hello Jon,
    since you connect to your server successfully via IP address I assume, that this hasn't changed.
    Try following commands to narrow down, where the name resolution to your server goes wrong (assuming it has the default name "server" and you didn't give it another name):
    nslookup server
    Which DNS server responds? With which result?
    If the DNS server listed is not identical with the IP address of your router, try following commands:
    nslookup
    server 192.168.2.1
      (replace this with the IP address of your router - may look strange, since "server" is also a valid parameter of nslookup to change the DNS server queried)
    server (write the proper name of your WHS here)
    If this resolves the proper name (or nothing vs. the first version against another DNS server), adjust the DNS server settings for the client.

    What is the output of
    ipconfig /all

    ping server
    Does it ping the proper IP address?

    nbtstat -A 192.168.2.30
    Does it return the proper names?

    Is the client multihomed (multiple network adapters including such of virtual PCs)?
    In this case under Network properties in menu Advanced / Advanced Settings adjust the used LAN connection to be on the top level.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Thursday, October 16, 2008 9:16 AM
    Moderator
  • nslookup server
    Which DNS server responds? With which result?

    *** Can't find server name for address 192.168.2.1: Non-existent domain
    *** Default servers are not available
    Server:  UnKnown
    Address:  192.168.2.1 (that is the router address)

    *** UnKnown can't find server: Non-existent domain


    What is the output of
    ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

            Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : PC
            Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
            Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
            IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
            WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

            Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
            Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 CT Network Connect
    ion
            Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX (blanked out by me)
            Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
            IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.39
            Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
            Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
            DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1

    ping server
    Does it ping the proper IP address?

    Pinging server [192.168.2.30] with 32 bytes of data:

    Reply from 192.168.2.30: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
    Reply from 192.168.2.30: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
    Reply from 192.168.2.30: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
    Reply from 192.168.2.30: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

    Ping statistics for 192.168.2.30:
        Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
        Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

    nbtstat -A 192.168.2.30
    Does it return the proper names?

    Local Area Connection:
    Node IpAddress: [192.168.2.39] Scope Id: []

               NetBIOS Remote Machine Name Table

           Name               Type         Status
        ---------------------------------------------
        SERVER         <00>  UNIQUE      Registered
        SERVER         <20>  UNIQUE      Registered
        BELKIN         <00>  GROUP       Registered
        BELKIN         <1E>  GROUP       Registered
        BELKIN         <1D>  UNIQUE      Registered
        ..__MSBROWSE__.<01>  GROUP       Registered



    Is the client multihomed (multiple network adapters including such of virtual PCs)?
    In this case under Network properties in menu Advanced / Advanced Settings adjust the used LAN connection to be on the top level.

    Sorry, don't understand this - there is only one network adapter


    Olaf

    Thanks for the response

    Bizarrely a third reboot of the PC this morning has led to a return of WHS functionality despite it not having worked for last couple of days. Results of the tests are above although not sure what they will mean now that it can "see" the server. If anything looks odd I would be grateful for your assistance.

    I do seem to have had a DNS issue ever since the network was set up

    I have a Belkin N1 router into which I have plugged my PC, printer, Home Server. Various other laptops also connect into it wirelessly.

    router is configured to issue DHCP IP addresses up to 192.168.2.25 for when work/guest laptops use the router but all my home machines are set with IP addresses from 30 upwards.

    However, the fixed IP addresses seems to cause problems. The router can see all the machines by IP address but not by name (but as soon as I unset the fixed IP addresses and let the router DHCP issue addresses it recognises everything by name). So any of my home machines are identified by IP address but if I connect my work laptop it is recognised as "work laptop"

    This causes network problems as machines stop seeing each other within windows e.g I can ping the server or a machine by address e.g 192.168.X.Y but generally I can't ping them by name (again rather bizarrely you will see that "ping server" seemed to work this morning but I cannot remember that ever working before!!)

    The IP addresses are set up as follows

    IP address 192.168.2.X
    Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
    Default Gateway 192.168.2.1

    Pref DNS server 192.168.2.1
    Alt DNS server 192.168.2.1

    Also, from my vista laptop the "Network Map" will not work if the XP PC is turned on. If it is off everything shows up on the map but if it is on the map reports an error.

    Cheers

    Jon
    Jon
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:14 AM
  • Hi Jon,
    in thread 
    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/3480466b-594e-4ff6-9206-b2ade9bc23d3#page:2
    we recently had an issue with the same kind of router.
    Solution was to remove the DNS suffix and network name, which seems to point to "Belkin" in your settings, and as the nbtstat output shows, somehow interfers with NetBIOS name resolution.
    Details are described in the thread. You should also enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP on both the client and server.

    Windows XP does not support the network map feature without installing the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) responder on the XP client.
    Download it here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4F01A31D-EE46-481E-BA11-37F485FA34EA&displaylang=en

    Router firmware is not always perfect - I would not rely on the router for discovering names. I assume it uses UPnP to discover the names of DHCP clients only.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:28 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf

    My network/workgroup is actually called Belkin

    The netbios is set to "default" so that for fixed IP addresses is should switch to enable netbios over TCP/IP. Do I need to change it to the fixed enable netbios over TCP/IP setting?

    LLTD is already installed on the XP client

    Cheers


    Jon
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:43 AM
  • Hi Jon,
    configuring a workgroup name in the router may have unwanted side effects, see the thread mentioned.
    The workgroup for Windows clients, which you set in Computer properties on the Computer name tab, is not the same, as it is understood by Belkin.
    This constallation can therefore cause name resolution issues.

    Default setting for NetBIOS over TCP/IP is to use the settings of the DHCP server.
    Since the address on your machines is not set via DHCP, and the DHCP server in the router may not be compliant to the Windows expectations, you should always change this setting to Enabled.
    That your client has no clue, shows the result "Node Type: Unknown" from your ipconfig.

    We simply see, that there are many potential reasons, why name resolution can go wrong in a home network, so why not eliminate potential causes for such issues, even if they seem to work in the first moment?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:59 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks. I will have a play with those settings and see if it helps.
    Jon
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 11:08 AM
  • OK. Have now changed both PC and server to enable netbios over TCP/IP and removed Belkin from router set up. Here are same test results now

    nslookup server

    *** Can't find server name for address 192.168.2.1: Non-existent domain
    *** Default servers are not available
    Server:  UnKnown
    Address:  192.168.2.1

    *** UnKnown can't find server: Non-existent domain

    Ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

            Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : PC
            Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
            Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
            IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
            WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

            Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
            Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 CT Network Connect
    ion
            Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX
            Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
            IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.39
            Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
            Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
            DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1

    nbtstat -A 102.168.2.30


    Local Area Connection:
    Node IpAddress: [192.168.2.39] Scope Id: []

               NetBIOS Remote Machine Name Table

           Name               Type         Status
        ---------------------------------------------
        SERVER         <00>  UNIQUE      Registered
        BELKIN         <00>  GROUP       Registered
        SERVER         <20>  UNIQUE      Registered
        BELKIN         <1E>  GROUP       Registered


    Jon
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:12 PM
  • Hi Jon,
    looks approximately as it should look.
    Do you still have problems to access the server by name?

    If yes, check the contents of the text file hosts in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc.
    It there is still wrong information in this file pointing to the name of your WHS, correct it or remove it.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf

    All seems to be OK at the moment. Many thanks for your help. Much appreciated.
    Jon
    Friday, October 17, 2008 12:00 PM
  • Olaf,

    In additional to your suggestions, I was going to state the easiest way to remove this DNS issue is statically configure the WHS name in the workstation HOSTS file. I use this method for my house and home office since managing issues with DNS for every router and vendor is a pain in the butt.

    later..
    Friday, October 17, 2008 8:51 PM
  • Hi Grast,
    I sometimes recommend that method as well as workaround, but this has some drawbacks if you change your router or reinstall the server some month later. Many people forget, that they ever touched this file and another wave of troubleshooting begins.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, October 17, 2008 9:57 PM
    Moderator
  • I am still having strange problems with my network and accessing machines.

    The XP machine has reverted to the position that generally I can only ping it by IP address but not by name. Although the WHS tray icon is green I can't access the console or shared folders. However, all of a sudden it will start working for a while and then it all goes wrong again.

    The vista laptop has problems but only when the XP machine is turned on. Generally the vista machine is ok and I can ping the server and the XP machine by address and name. However, when I right click on start / explore and drill down into the network folder it can see itself and the XP machine but can't see the server. Therefore when I download files and try to "save as" I can't easily save them onto the server s it can't find the server in explorer. However, as soon as the XP machine is turned off the network folder shows the laptop and the server in it and all is fine.

    As above the Vista network map will not show the network when the XP machine is switched on but as soon as it is switched off everything is fine. LLTD is installed. I am fairly sure that this particular problem arose when I installed SP3 although that was before I built my WHS

    Jon
    Monday, October 20, 2008 8:06 AM
  • Hi Jon,
    do all your PCs have different names?
    What is the result of
    nbtstat -A 192.168.2.39 (given, this is still the IP address of your PC)
    nslookup PC

    Check the event log of the XP PC for any network related error messages (including naming conflicts).
    Is there installed anything else network related on the XP client (3rd party firewall, file sharing software or something like that)?

    What would happen, if you reduce the speed of the network connection of that XP machine:
    In network properties right click the LAN connection, select properties, click the network adapter, select Configure and change the speed from Autosense to something else.
    If the selection is ok, your network connection should be fine, if not, you can change it to another value.
    If lower speed works better, you could try to swap the network cable and the LAN port on the router.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, October 20, 2008 8:28 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf

    All the machines have different names - Server, PC and Laptop

    The test results are

    ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

            Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : PC
            Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
            Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
            IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
            WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

            Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
            Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 CT Network Connection
            Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX
            Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
            IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.39
            Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
            Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
            DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1

    nslookup PC

    *** Can't find server name for address 192.168.2.1: Non-existent domain
    *** Default servers are not available
    Server:  UnKnown
    Address:  192.168.2.1

    *** UnKnown can't find PC: Non-existent domain


    nbtstat -A 192.168.2.39

    Local Area Connection:
    Node IpAddress: [192.168.2.39] Scope Id: []

               NetBIOS Remote Machine Name Table

           Name               Type         Status
        ---------------------------------------------
        PC                <00>  UNIQUE      Registered
        BELKIN         <00>  GROUP       Registered
        PC                <20>  UNIQUE      Registered
        BELKIN         <1E>  GROUP       Registered


    The following error reports appear which seem to be network related - The first appears once over the last few days. The second appears 3 or 4 times

    1     The master browser has received a server announcement from the computer SERVER that believes that it is the master browser for the domain on transport NetBT_Tcpip_{E2B32A6A-223D-45B4-93. The master browser is stopping or an election is being forced.

    2     The browser service has failed to retrieve the backup list too many times on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{E2B32A6A-223D-45B4-93C3-0FBB5219A1C9}. The backup browser is stopping.


    I do have Norton 2008 installed on the XP machine. However, its network viewer can see all devices on the network and there is no change if I disable the firewall.

    I have tried changing the network speed from Auto to 1000 to 100. Changed the cable and plugged into a different port on the router but nothing seemed to make any difference that I could see.

    Cheers

      





    Jon
    Monday, October 20, 2008 5:33 PM
  • Hi Jon, 
    Jon T James said:

    The following error reports appear which seem to be network related - The first appears once over the last few days. The second appears 3 or 4 times

    1     The master browser has received a server announcement from the computer SERVER that believes that it is the master browser for the domain on transport NetBT_Tcpip_{E2B32A6A-223D-45B4-93. The master browser is stopping or an election is being forced.

    2     The browser service has failed to retrieve the backup list too many times on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{E2B32A6A-223D-45B4-93C3-0FBB5219A1C9}. The backup browser is stopping.


    I do have Norton 2008 installed on the XP machine. However, its network viewer can see all devices on the network and there is no change if I disable the firewall.

    1. is normal, if a server is booted.  Since the OS has a higher priority it takes over the NetBIOS name resolution part.
    2. Appears, if File and Print Sharing is not enabled (there may also be other causes). Please try to enable this feature  on that PC and reboot.
    See also http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314872/EN-US/

    Try to uninstall Norton 2008. Disabling the Firewall alone may not be enough, since such security suites dig themself deep into the system. They are usually the first candidate, if it comes to troubleshooting connectivity issues.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, October 20, 2008 6:02 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf

    File and Printer sharing is already running on the PC

    I will try uninstalling Norton at the weekend when I have some spare time - it is not the easiest of things to uninstall
    Jon
    Monday, October 20, 2008 6:43 PM