VPN Issues - Remote Access to SBS 2003, Exchange and network drives and resources is being stymied! RRS feed

  • Question

  • With props to E.B. Farnum, I'm at a total loss and looking for some ideas.  Here's the issue:

    I'm trying to log in remotely to a SBS 2003 Domain, fully patched.  I'm trying to login from my XP Pro (formerly Vista x64) machine at the remote location.  Environment is as follows:

    There are a total of four servers.

    Three are located at the office.
    1 SBS 2003 server (jupiter)
    1 Win 2K BDC and Printer Server - Mercury
    1 Win 2K File and DHCP server - Venus

    One final Win 2K server (Mars) is located at the remote location also functions as BDC.  It connects to Jupiter via VPN.

    Remote office uses the following internal IP addresses: 172.16.11/24
    Main office network uses the following internal IP addresses: 172.16.10/24

    Here's the route of the problem:

    Everything on the local network at the main office works flawlessly, but logging in remotely has severe problems.

    I can login into my SBS 2003 server remotely from the remote location, but can't do anything once I get there.  If I use my MS Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003 while logged into the VPN tunnel on a client machine at the remote location, a message keeps popping up saying "needs password".  I have entered the password 20 times, and nothing...

    Here's the strange brew to this problem:

    System was working flawlessly until about 2-3 weeks ago.  Then my remote office outlook (Vista x64) started crashing all the time because of what appeared to be a problem with a public folder that we use, so i decided to delete my pst file at the remote office and start over.  One problem.  Once I deleted my exchange settings at the remote office I could never get them to populate back.  Everytime I tried, the system simply said it could not establish a connection to the Exchange Server (Jupiter), despite the fact that a VPN tunnel was active.

    Eventually, I noticed that my vpn connections were not obtaining a virtual IP address for the remote clients.  I thought this peculiar so I went to the main office and checked out the DHCP server (Venus --it's also our file server).  At first, I thought the problem was related to that.  I rebooted the Venus Win2K server and DHCP was working.  I confirmed that we were getting an ip address via VPN at the remote location.  I pooked my head around some server settings, did the internet configuration wizard and firewall config wizard again on the SBS 2003 server and went back to the remote location.  Now don't know if this is relevant, but anytime I ever try "configure firewall", I am always forced to go through the internet config wizard again.  SBS seems to be balking at not being the DHCP server and if that's the problem, I'll move the DHCP server from Venus to Jupiter.  But, I'm not sure if that's it since I am getting an IP address.

    When I return back to the remote office, everything is great.  I can access my network resources, I can access everything.  I'm getting a DHCP address and my exchange inbox at the remote office is downloaded megabytes of email from the exchange server.  Life is good........  I can work, until.......

    Until I rebooted my remote office computer.  Now I'm back to where I started from (sorta).  When I connect to the main office via VPN, I'm getting an IP address. It's  I can ping all the servers, mercury, venus, mars (of course mars is local to the remote computer), and jupiter.  The whole solar system.  I just can't do anything inside the network at the main office.  If I try to access a mapped network drive, I get an error message saying "the local device name is already in use"  The connection has not been restored.   If I boot up outlook it says "needs exchange password" and refuses to do anything else except ask me to renter the password.  Same thing happens on the other XP Pro machine at the remote office (I didn't reboot that one). 

    I'm really at a loss here.  I need to access these resources.  The problem appears to be intermetient, but I don't know.  I'd just love to get this working so we can do work at the remote location because right now we can't do anything there since the we can only obtain a vpn tunnel which simply logs us onto Jupiter.  I sure would like to read my email and access Venus's File server.  Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 7:21 AM

All replies

  • Okay, I can't tell you why this is happening but I can help you get around the drive mapping issue.


    It appears to be a combination issue between SBS 2003 and Vista, something to do with domain authentication.


    The odd thing is it works SOMETIMES, or will have worked and suddenly fails. To me that is one of the services not working but no one else seems to think so.


    Anyway: Reconnect to your VPN, then to map despite the error you get when mapping, use the following.




    try all the possible extensions of your domain, i.e. .net .com .local

    It just depends on your setup but try them all. We only have 2: .com and .local so it was a quick test for me.


    This problem is all over the place so I'm off to spread the good word. If anyone figures out why this happens and can make adjustments so \\servername\share$ works by itself again that would be great.


    Sunday, May 25, 2008 6:15 PM