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Console Connection RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just installed, configured and did a backup of a customer's WHS on my office network.  It consisted of the WHS and one PC.  Then I took both PCs back to his office and plugged them into his network.  Now the PC I just backed up to the home server back at my office, won't connect to the server console.  I can see the shared folders but I can connect using the console.  Does anybody have any ideas please??
    Thanks!!
    Saturday, May 9, 2009 11:45 PM

Answers

  • Hi Mike,
    if you have set the IP configuration manually, click the Advanced button on the TCP/IP configuration dialog and select the DNS tab. Check here, if you can see the entries.
    If the system has multiple network adapters, you may have to check those as well.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Mike Snelling Saturday, May 30, 2009 3:07 PM
    Friday, May 22, 2009 6:06 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I just installed, configured and did a backup of a customer's WHS on my office network.

    FYI, backing up the server itself won't do you much good.  WHS doesn't work like other OSes.

    It consisted of the WHS and one PC.  Then I took both PCs back to his office and plugged them into his network.  Now the PC I just backed up to the home server back at my office, won't connect to the server console.  I can see the shared folders but I can connect using the console.  Does anybody have any ideas please??
    Thanks!!

    First thing you should try is uninstalling the Connector software from the client, then install it again (or just go to C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server on the client and run discovery.exe).  If that doesn't work, are you able to ping the server both by name and by IP address?  Can you run ipconfig /all on the server and the client that won't connect (plus one that can, if you installed the Connector software on any client in the office)?
    Saturday, May 9, 2009 11:59 PM
    Moderator
  • I just that didn't come out right.  What I meant was I did a backup of the PC that I brought with me to configure the WHS with.  On my network they saw each other and I was able to connect to the WHS using his other PC using the console.  After I installed those same two PCs at his office, I was no longer able to connect to the WHS using the same PC I used at my office. Using windows "my network" I can see the folders and such, but I can't connect running the console...
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 12:06 AM
  • I just that didn't come out right.  What I meant was I did a backup of the PC that I brought with me to configure the WHS with.  On my network they saw each other and I was able to connect to the WHS using his other PC using the console.  After I installed those same two PCs at his office, I was no longer able to connect to the WHS using the same PC I used at my office. Using windows "my network" I can see the folders and such, but I can't connect running the console...

    OK.  Did you try what I said in the rest of my post?
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 12:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Kariya21.  I did not try those things as I am now back at my office.  I will try that discover idea though next time I go over there.  I can see the shared folders on the server by clicking on the shortcut on the one PC I did install the client software on.  But using that client pc I can't connect with the console (icon on taskbar).  It just seems werid that it worked just fine at my place but not his.  The only thing different is the network media.

    Also, when I am at his office, there is no KVM for the server, just console access.  Could it be something in his router blocking access??

     

    Sunday, May 10, 2009 12:30 AM
  • Kariya21.  I did not try those things as I am now back at my office.  I will try that discover idea though next time I go over there.  I can see the shared folders on the server by clicking on the shortcut on the one PC I did install the client software on.  But using that client pc I can't connect with the console (icon on taskbar).  It just seems werid that it worked just fine at my place but not his.  The only thing different is the network media.

    Also, when I am at his office, there is no KVM for the server, just console access.  Could it be something in his router blocking access??

     

    I wouldn't think so.  You could try using RDC to see if you can logon to the server desktop (which is unsupported, but just confirming whether you can login or not will be ok).
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 5:11 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Kariya, for the reply.  I won't be back there til Thursday but I will certainly try RDC.  I will also try re-installing the connector as you suggested.  So, is a connection via the console software different from a connection using the "Shared Folders" icon on the client's desktop??  This stupid issuse kept me up last night!!  Talk again later...
    ...Mike
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 5:13 PM
  • The connector software stores also a registry entry with the IP address of the WHS in the registry of the client. If you move the systems into another location, they usually will get different IP addresses assigned. Therefore the stored information does not longer match.
    Running discovery.exe on the client or reinstalling the Connector software will both try to update this information and reestablish the connection.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 7:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Olaf.  With this bit of information, I can hardly wait to get back there Thursday and re-establish the connection, it makes so much sense about the different IPs.  But having said that, what if in a working network, you shut down things for a while, when you powered back up isn't there a chance the WHS would be assigned a different IP?  Just thinking out loud.
    Thanks again...
    ...Mike
    Monday, May 11, 2009 1:50 AM
  • Yes, there can be assigned another IP address in this case.
    Since Windows Home Server is designed as always on machine and routers usually reassign an IP address only in cases, they have been off themself or the pool is too short for issuing a different address, this happens rarely in practice.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, May 11, 2009 3:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf.
    Just one more question.  My customer doesn't like the idea of leaving his PCs on all night, everynight.  He would like to B/U say once a week.  I now know he would have to leave the server on all the time but when the clients are off 6 of 7 nights, won't it always be in error stating the backups were unsuccessful?  Or, here's a thought, is there a small program I could install on each of the clients that would power them down nightly after the scheduled backup??  That may be the answer.  Schedule the backups to start at 8PM and have the PCs shut down via the program around 1AM?
    What do you think??
    ...Mike
    Tuesday, May 12, 2009 11:26 PM
  • Hi Mike,
    if your customer uses Gigabit LAN connection for all PCs and the server and there are not too many changes on his clients, the backup window can also be configured to happen within the working hours and backup will not affect a modern PC that much, that it really disturbes the office worker. A daily backup (once the initial backup of that client has been performed) in my experience should be completed after 5 to 15 minutes, unless there are heavy changes (which would include using defragmentation tools). So this would be the first, what I would test.
    Here it works well for a small office with 5 client computers.

    Other solutions very much depend from the reliability of power save settings on the client (i.e. when goes the client into Standby/Hibernate), since the Connector software can wake the clients for backup. But this is kind of uncoordinated, so it can happen, that multiple clients queue up for backup (backup is only possible for one PC at a time) or fall into sleep again.
    A scheduled shutdown would also work.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,
    Well, I went back to his office today and tried running "Discovery".  It appeared to have worked.  It found the server, asked for the password, then it went on to configure itself for the backups.  After that I tried to connect to the server using the console software.  After a few minutes a message poped up saying could not connect with server, if server has been restarted please try again..........
    So then I tried re-installing the connection software from the server.  I found the "software" folder on the server and ran "setup" from there.  Again it seemed to have worked.  It stated the connection software was already installed on this computer and if I was to continue it would uninstall and re-install the software.  I said yes and it installed, found the server, asked for password, configured the backups.  Then when I attempted to connect to the server via the console software, same as before.  A long pause then it said it can't connect to the server at this time. 
    What do youy think it might be??  This is driving me nuts and now my customer thinks its my fault.
    Any suggestions - please??  Thanks...

    ...Mike
    Friday, May 15, 2009 12:58 AM
  • Hi Mike,
    how is name resolution configured in this office?
    Can you post the output of ipconfig /all? (from client and server)
    Did you try a RDP session to your server and run the console from there?
    (If all other stuff is working as expected, that would be a workaround for managing the server.)

    Are there any COM+ or DCOM warnings in the server event log, or does your server have a NVidia graphic card installed?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, May 15, 2009 6:14 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,
    Name resolution, I believe, is configured via their ISP which is Shaw Internet.  Using another, different PC, a laptop, I did establish a RDC and I started to backup that same laptop using the WHS own console desktop.  I have the WHS at my home office and I have never had this type of problem.  Out of the box mine worked first time.  I thought I saw a post here saying Shaw Internet *may* be part of the problem??  I am going back there tomorrow.  Thanks ahain...

    ...Mike
    Friday, May 15, 2009 2:17 PM
  • Olaf,

    I was back at the office today and the first thing I did was unplug the Shaw Internet Modem.  I installed the connection software on another client from scratch and it worked just fine.  I did a backup of that client, just fine.  I rebooted the client and accessed the shared folders and connected via the console, again just fine!  I even did a RDC and it worked just fine.  Then to be sure I plugged the modem back in.  The only connection ability I lost was the console connection.  Still able to access the shared folders on the server.  So I upgraded the firmware in the router.  That made no difference.  With the modem unpluggd the console connection is established, plug in the modem and no console connection.  Below is the output of the ipconfig /all you asked for.  The first one is from the WHS, second from a client;

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

       Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : the-vault
       Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
       Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
       IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
       WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
       DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : vf.shawcable.net

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : vf.shawcable.net
       Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Realtek RTL8168C(P)/8111C(P) PCI-E Gigabi
    t Ethernet NIC
       Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-1F-D0-AD-49-9D
       DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
       Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
       IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.100
       Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
       Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
       DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
       DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 208.67.222.222
                                           208.67.220.220
       Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, May 16, 2009 3:00:49 AM
       Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Sunday, May 17, 2009 3:00:49 AM


    C:\Documents and Settings\Reception1>ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

            Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Backroom
            Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
            Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
            IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
            WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
            DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : vf.shawcable.net

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

            Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : vf.shawcable.net
            Description . . . . . . . . . . . : VIA Rhine II Fast Ethernet Adapter
            Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-0D-61-62-3C-77
            Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
            Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
            IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.103
            Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
            Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
            DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
            DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 208.67.222.222
                                                208.67.220.220
            Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, May 16, 2009 1:17:59 PM
            Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Sunday, May 17, 2009 1:17:59 PM

    Would making the IPs of the WHS and the two clients static make a difference?? 
    I called Shaws tech support and you can guess where that went - nowhere.
    Thanks again for any suggestions you may have...

    ...Mike

    Saturday, May 16, 2009 10:43 PM
  • Hi Mike,
    the machines in your internal network should not point directly to the DNS servers of your ISP, but use the routers IP address as DNS server.
    The router will forward the queries to the DNS servers on it's own, if they are targeting to an outside location.

    Also the entries for Connection-specific DNS Suffix and the DNS Suffix Search List should remain empty, since they are causing each call without attached DNS suffix to go and try to resolve the name at the ISP - which obviously does not work with a private Windows Home Server.

    It seems, the console makes primary use of DNS for finding the home server. So if you can get rid of these entries in the DHCP configuration of the router and get the machines pulling the updated values, this should help.

    An alternative option would be to add an entry into hosts file to each client, pointing to the servers IP address.

    Also check the event log of the server if you can find any related hints (maybe informational alerts about RDPDD.DLL) or failed connection attempts?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, May 16, 2009 11:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf.

    Thanks for all your help.  I went back today and changed the DNS to 192.168.1.1 on both clients PCs.  I found it worked but only after I gave the client PCs a static IP.  The server is 192.168.1.100, so I made one client 192.168.1.102 and the other one 192.168.1.103.  Here's the stupid part, only one of the client PCs can connect to the console.  So, the one that doesn't connect I ran "discovery" and it found the server, asked for the password and all that but after it was configured, it still wouldn't connect to the console.  However, both PCs are in fact backing up every night.  I saw that using the PC that does connect to the console and looked at the back up history. 
    Getting back to the router's IP as the DNS.  I changed that in the network properties on the client PCs.  I gave them both the static IP and inputed the 192.168.1.1 for the DNS server.  I couldn't change it on the router itself or I would lose internet access.  Is that the prpoer place to make the change??  I still don't see why one PC won't connect becuase they are both set the same??
    Thanks again...

    ...Mike

    .
    Friday, May 22, 2009 2:05 AM
  • Hi Mike,
    since the router is the device which provides the  Internet access, it must of course be able to resolve names in the Internet with a high level DNS server, so changing that on the router to something else would not be a good idea. Only the DHCP settings would be the place to change this part.

    Regarding the connectivity issues:
    Did you clean out eventual entries of the server in the hosts files on clients?
    If you enter ipconfig /all in the clients command prompt, is there still any DNS suffix related entry (vf.shawcable.net) visible (this should not be the case)?
    Can the client without console access login to the server, if you use the Remote Desktop client?

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, May 22, 2009 11:20 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,

    This office I am working at is a Dentist office and each time I go there I have very little time.  That's why I make a plan, go there and do what I can.  Then I have to leave because they are busy.  I wish I could stay till the problem was resolved.
    Anyways, in the ipconfig /all on the clients the line "vf.shawcable.net" is still there.  I don't know how to change/delete it.  I checked on my system that is working and it has a similar line, "gateway.2wire.net" which is of course my ISP.  The Default Gateway, DHCP Servers and the DNS Servers all point to the router which is 192.168.1.1
    Again, I am unsure of how to clear out host files on the clients?  I did not try to remote desktop from the non-connecting client but I am pretty sure it would have worked becuase it did work from the other PC when it wasn't connecting to the console last week.
    Talk again soon...

    ..Mike
    Friday, May 22, 2009 4:40 PM
  • Hi Mike,
    if you have set the IP configuration manually, click the Advanced button on the TCP/IP configuration dialog and select the DNS tab. Check here, if you can see the entries.
    If the system has multiple network adapters, you may have to check those as well.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Mike Snelling Saturday, May 30, 2009 3:07 PM
    Friday, May 22, 2009 6:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,
    Thanks for all your help and suggestions.  I will be leaving this as it is for now.
    One PC can connect and that's good for the moment. 
    ...Mike
    Saturday, May 30, 2009 3:10 PM