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Suddenly cannot connect to WHS via Home Server Console OR RDC RRS feed

  • Question

  • I had not logged into my server for about a week now, though I have connected to the shares a number of times.  Yesterday, I installed SP3 on my computer.  I then wanted to check something on my server, but found I could not connect via the Home Server Console or the Remote Desktop Connection.  I found that I could not connect to the console:  "This computer cannot connect to your home server. Check you network connection and make sure your home server is powered on."  Note that the WHS icon in tray is green and I could access the file shares.  Remote Desktop Connection gave me "Remote Desktop Disconnected | This computer can't connect to the remote computer."

    Vaguely remembering there was some issue with XP SP3 connecting to the WHS, I decided to restore my computer from the previous night's WHS backup.  I thought this would be quickest way back into the server, which is "headless" in a closet away from my other computers.  The restore was great--I was back in under 10 minutes.  But still could not connect!  That's when I realized this wasn't likely an SP3 issue.  I then tried an older computer that I hadn't booted in several days.  Still running XP SP2 without this week's hotfixes.  Another no go.  Tried yet another XP SP2 PC with the same result.

    Now the only thing that dawned on me is that my WHS probably applied the latest hotfixes this week.  Now I am wondering if one of those caused my issue?  Of course, tomorrow I plan to carry this server across the house, plug it up to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, and see if I can see anything.  But I have to say that this "headless" business doesn't seem to work nearly so well in WHS as compared to a Linux or UNIX computer....

    Has anybody seen connection issues recently?  FWIW, I'm still able to access file shares and I think the nightly backups are still running.  Anybody got suggestions before I unplug and lug my server?  Thanks!
    Friday, August 15, 2008 12:01 AM

Answers

  • Actually, the last fresh install in June resolved almost all problems.  And it turns out that I caused this problem myself!  I had set all 3 of my computers to use the OpenDNS DNS servers, rather than my DIR-655 router.  I guess neither the Home Server Console nor the Remote Desktop Connection was correctly translating my server name to an IP address.  When I changed my computer back to obtain DNS server info automatically (back to the router as DNS server), the functionality was restored.

    That figured out, I must apologize to MS for blaming their recent patches for what turned out to be my fault.

    Now if I could figure out how to set my DIR-655 to use the OpenDNS servers and still get to my WHS, I'd be pleased.  Whenever I change the router to use OpenDNS instead of the DNS assigned by Comcast (DHCP), my computer no longer finds my WHS.  I'm sure there's a setting that I'm missing, but I'm not sure how to troubleshoot that.
    Friday, August 15, 2008 10:37 PM

All replies

  • Anybody got suggestions before I unplug and lug my server?
    Sure.  Restart it.
    Of course, you'll need to do a 'hard' shutdown (read:  hold the power button until it shuts down); but, it'll likely fix it.
    Been there once or twice.

    Friday, August 15, 2008 3:22 AM
  • Before you do that, on a Client, navigate to the Program Files Windows Home Server folder, and run 'discovery.exe'. This will search you network for the server, and reset the paths etc. If that doesn't work, then just do a local shutdown and restart.

     

    Colin

     

    Friday, August 15, 2008 9:21 AM
    Moderator
  • I did restart it already.  (I had previously changed the "No shutdown without logon" so that I could do a graceful power down just by pressing the button on the front.  Perfect thing for times like this!)  I still have the problem, though.  I guess the next step is just suck it up and move it.  I think I may have to reevaluate the whole "headless" business and leave it over with the other computers.  This is the fourth or fifth time I've had to do this (though the reasons have varied each time).
    Friday, August 15, 2008 3:42 PM
  • There is something else happening then. I've had one production server running now for months, with absolutely no problems - apart from the necessary re-boots.

    This could be a good time to try and work through what's causing your problem. Is this a home-built server with all server 2003 drivers?

     

    Colin

     

    Friday, August 15, 2008 5:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Actually, the last fresh install in June resolved almost all problems.  And it turns out that I caused this problem myself!  I had set all 3 of my computers to use the OpenDNS DNS servers, rather than my DIR-655 router.  I guess neither the Home Server Console nor the Remote Desktop Connection was correctly translating my server name to an IP address.  When I changed my computer back to obtain DNS server info automatically (back to the router as DNS server), the functionality was restored.

    That figured out, I must apologize to MS for blaming their recent patches for what turned out to be my fault.

    Now if I could figure out how to set my DIR-655 to use the OpenDNS servers and still get to my WHS, I'd be pleased.  Whenever I change the router to use OpenDNS instead of the DNS assigned by Comcast (DHCP), my computer no longer finds my WHS.  I'm sure there's a setting that I'm missing, but I'm not sure how to troubleshoot that.
    Friday, August 15, 2008 10:37 PM
  • OpenDNS does nonstandard things in an attempt to be "helpful". Unfortunately, some of those things cause problems with Windows Home Server. I suggested quite some time ago that the folks at OpenDNS publish a "how to" for Windows Home Server equipped households that want to use their service, but I haven't seen anything yet.
    Saturday, August 16, 2008 2:03 AM
    Moderator
  • Just took around at these threads and I think I may have one fix that I can contribute.

    I have 3 WHS machines (HP MediaSmart EX470) in the extended family and others were noting they could no longer connect using the Windows Home Server Console (Connector) from the System Tray. When you would attempt to connect, it would say the same error message as noted in the threads.

    Here's where the fix for me came in. - I noted I could RDP into the server using the IP Address and found that it was name translation that wasn't working. So - I went into the network settings for my NIC and saw under:

    1. Local Area Connection
    2. Internet Protocol (Click Properties)
    3. Advanced
    4. WINS

    The NetBIOS settings were on default "Use NetBIOS settings from DHCP server...". Since my router was the DHCP server, it appears it wasn't doing good name to address translation. I changed the setting to "Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP" and connected again - PROBLEM SOLVED.

    I don't know if this is the same for others - but I imagine one of the recent updates may have changed something.

    Give it a go - and let me know if it worked for you.
    • Proposed as answer by Kevin_T Monday, November 23, 2009 7:23 PM
    Sunday, August 17, 2008 12:10 AM
  • I thought this setting was going to work.  I remember having to adjust this once years ago.  In any event, as soon as I manually set my DIR-655 to the OpenDNS servers and rebooted it, I was right back to being unable to open my server via remote desktop.  I do know now I can use IP address.  I can probably run "discover.exe" to get the Home Server Console to work.  For now, I'm just giving up on using OpenDNS.  Easier.

    Thanks!
    Thursday, August 21, 2008 1:41 AM
  • I can't connect to WHS from my main computer. Looking for answers I found this thread on the Web. I did some empirical poking around (am just technical enough to get myself in trouble) but I am discovering something unusual.

    What causes login via Home Server Console to fail is having my Pocket PC plugged in my main computer! I discovered this when I was doing some network tests and pings and looking at my Network Connection. Was not clear what is what since I had a connection showing in my Network Connections window. I realized it was my Sprint HTC Mogul with latest Windows Mobile. Unplugged it and tried again to log into my new HP MediaSmart 487EX using the Console and it worked!!

    Any ideas? Is this 'normal'? Am I doing something wrong? Can I prevent this in the future? Or do I have to live with keeping my phone offline and charging just from the outlet and plugging into computer for sync purposes only as needed?

    Any and all feedback tips and educational insights will be much appreciated. I tried to Google the issue but can't seem to find the right core phrase to yield pertinent results for this situation.

    Thanks!
    Razvan Neagu
    Sunday, March 1, 2009 3:19 AM
  • I have the same problem when I leave the home and connect to other networks.  When my laptops or any other computer refuses to let me into the Windows Home Sever Console, I shut the server down for 30-seconds, press the start button, and let the server reboot (about 3-4 minutes).  This ALWAYS solves my problem, which happens about once every other week.   I found this procedure to be a lot faster than uninstalling the console, installing it again, and crossing your fingers hoping that it works.  I am interested in knowing if it works for anyone else.  Thanks.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 1:17 AM
  • No, it doesn't work all the time. It depends what the problem is. Recently I remote logged in my server and let the automatic update update the server. Very bad move! After logging out of the WHS, I could not get in. It apparently had lock out the ports for remote logging in, and that meant connector software wouldn't work either! Isn't that stupid? I mean This is your server and THERE SHOULD be some ways to log into the damn thing in case of emergency to be able to repair things, since these are headless creatures! I find this a very sloppy job by both microsoft for the os and HP for not thinking about these. Anyhow, short story I had to reinstall the server. Searching or forums it turns out there are whole lot of these madness going on for most users of HP headless servers. This is crazy that people so easily get used to this and spend days try to solve by pretty much learning everything there are under the sun about networking and hacking. One guy has even setup a site to how hardwire a vga connection into your sever!!

    I find these type of servers very unreliable. Hey HP, at least leave the option open for people to hook up a monitor to these things to be able to resolve issues in cases that networking subsystem on the server is screwed!

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 2:06 AM
  • So how do we fix this issue?  discovery.exe does not work - I cannot connect to the server or wake the server up.  I restarted the server several times and that does not work.  It seems like I'm trapped out of my own server.  Any suggestions?  I saw the happens because the main pc that connected to it was updated from vista to win7.  I've been spending way too much time to connect to whs.

     

    Friday, September 3, 2010 1:53 AM
  • I'm currently having the same problem after a factory reset following replacement of the system drive. I ended up connecting the ethernet cable directly from my server to my laptop and turning off wireless networking on the laptop. I was then able to install the console and connect to the server. I got it configured and now when it's plugged into the router, I can access shared drives and so forth, but I STILL can't connect to the server via the console. It also won't run the backups, so it's still not working right.
    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 7:10 PM
  • Did you get a solution for your problem? I can't find anything that works online... thanks
    Monday, January 20, 2014 7:53 PM
  • A long time after the original post, but this also just worked for me.. 

    Mysteriously my access stopped working... now, I HAD messed about with DNS and was using 8.8.8.8 for one of my DNS servers, but it HAD been working under that config..

    Anyway - i moved house and in the process went from a BT hub 3 to a BT hub 4 and it all stopped working.. so maybe something to do with the BT hub 4... anyway - changed my DNS gateway to be the hub and did the above and all is now working again.. phew.. thanks

    Friday, June 6, 2014 5:36 PM