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Server install with name recognition issues RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a HPMediaSmart server (Ex485).  I have it up and running, but not without initial problems - mainly connection issues.  As WHS is mainly intended for the home and less technically blessed users, I wonder how in the world most people ever get their system operating.  I have what I consider a fairly common network configuration.  I have 3 computers (plus the WHS server) and a network printer all connected to a gigabit switch.  The switch is connected to a WRT54G Linksys wireless router which is also the DHCP and Internet gateway.  I have a small wireless NAS out there as well.  The router connects to my Internet modem which happens to be a HughesNet satellite modem.  All work well.

    In installing WHS, everything goes according to plan until it comes time to install the connector - the server is found, but cannot download the software (sound familiar?).  By using the server IP, I am able to RDC to the server.  Then I set the server to a fixed IP and also make an entry in the 3 computers' hosts file with that IP & the server name.  After that, I have no further problems.

    I have ensured all computers have NetBios over TCP/IP enabled.  All computers can see and access each other.

    My question(s) is, why can't I leave the server set to use DHCP?  How does the connector software communicate with the server and why can it find the server, but not download the software?  The hoops I to have to jump through to get WHS up and running seem somewhat beyond the technical skills of the WHS target customer - not to mention, a pain in the rear.
    Thursday, May 7, 2009 4:26 PM

Answers

  • Hi,
    for many users Windows Home Server is functioning with DHCP settings, for some not.
    I assume, that the Connector software attempts in the most cases name resolution via DNS.
    So a small misconfiguration here (i.e. DNS server of the ISP instead of the router, a connection specific DNS suffix or a suffix search list) can cause the attempt to resolve the name on the wrong place. Together with the fact, that in default configuration NetBIOS over TCP/IP is sometimes not used or that multihomed PCs/Servers can play a role, that security suites intercept or the routers firmware is not doing well, there are many issues outside of the control of the Windows Home Server team.

    With using a fixed IP address (which I also prefer for the Remote Access configuration) and the hosts file you have a workaround for DNS name resolution, which works as long, as the IP address of the server remains the same. So don't forget this setting, should you ever have to reinstall the server.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Proposed as answer by debraken Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:02 AM
    • Marked as answer by Molaker Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:34 AM
    Thursday, May 7, 2009 7:29 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,
    for many users Windows Home Server is functioning with DHCP settings, for some not.
    I assume, that the Connector software attempts in the most cases name resolution via DNS.
    So a small misconfiguration here (i.e. DNS server of the ISP instead of the router, a connection specific DNS suffix or a suffix search list) can cause the attempt to resolve the name on the wrong place. Together with the fact, that in default configuration NetBIOS over TCP/IP is sometimes not used or that multihomed PCs/Servers can play a role, that security suites intercept or the routers firmware is not doing well, there are many issues outside of the control of the Windows Home Server team.

    With using a fixed IP address (which I also prefer for the Remote Access configuration) and the hosts file you have a workaround for DNS name resolution, which works as long, as the IP address of the server remains the same. So don't forget this setting, should you ever have to reinstall the server.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Proposed as answer by debraken Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:02 AM
    • Marked as answer by Molaker Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:34 AM
    Thursday, May 7, 2009 7:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,

    I also want to use a fixed IP address.  Ocasionaly I have to turn the server off and my dhcp enabled router gives the server a new IP address that means I have to change the host file.  I am struggling to find where to set a fixed IP address.  I have searched help with no luck.  Can you point me to where I can set a fixed IP address?

    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

    DAK
    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:06 AM
  • I believe the only way to set the server with a fixed IP is to use RDC and edit the TCP/IP properties.  Once you RDC into server, go to control panel -> network connections -> Local Area Connection.  Select Local Area Connection Status Properties then Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then Properties.  However, be sure you understand what you are doing at this stage as you could make the server inaccessible, requiring reinstallation of WHS.
    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:25 AM
  • I am having issues using RDC to get to the server.  It says my user id (that is an admin on the server) has to be in the Terminal Server group.   I am not seeing where in the WHS console how to add a user to a group.  Any ideas with this issue?  You are right that the average home user is going to be very frustrated by this type of issue.
    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 2:04 AM
  • It might be better if you started a new thread for your problem as you are having difficulty logging into RDC.  However, have you tried logging in as "administrator"?  That is the default administrator user ID when you first install WHS.  That user has all necessary permissions (and group assignments).  That's assuming you did not change the default administrator name and that you know the password for that account.
    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 4:59 AM
  • I will start a new thread but the short answer is yes, I am logging in with admin rights.  Thanks.....
    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 12:48 PM
  • I will start a new thread but the short answer is yes, I am logging in with admin rights.  Thanks.....

    Admin rights is not the same as using the account with the name Administrator, especially in the mentioned context.
    (Other user accounts should not have administrator permissions on Windows Home Server anyway, since this is not a supported scenario.)

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 3:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,

    Thanks for the info.  I am using an account with full admin rights.  I don't kep Admi or Administrator as an active account as that can cause possible security issues.  I don't understand how that would nto be a supported senario.  I am goign to start another thread today (got distracted by work last week) but would love to hear more about your thoughts on this.
    Monday, June 8, 2009 12:47 PM
  • I am using an account with full admin rights.  I don't kep Admi or Administrator as an active account as that can cause possible security issues.  I don't understand how that would nto be a supported senario.  I am goign to start another thread today (got distracted by work last week) but would love to hear more about your thoughts on this.

    This is one of the things, in which you as experienced Windows User do interact badly with Windows Home Server.
    Several WHS components and their functionality depend directly from the working "Administrator" account, therefore do not touch it unless you wish to break Windows Home Server!
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, June 8, 2009 8:29 PM
    Moderator