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2 connectivity probs: WHS Remote Web & WHS LAN drops


Jason Chafin
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Hello Folks,

 

I've been searching the forums for my same problem(s). I've found similar -- lots of folks have Remote Access issues -- but nothing that quite matches my problem. Actually, problems. I'm going to describe two, as I believe they might be related. If someone thinks I should break this out into two posts, I'd be happy to, but wanted to lay it all out here first.

 

First, my network: DSL Modem-->WiFi Router-->Netgear 4-port gigabit switch. WHS, Desktop PC, HTPC, all with gigabit LAN, networked through switch. I've also got a laptop that I use either via WiFi, or ethernet to either switch or router. Laptop is not gigabit LAN, so plugging into gigabit switch not much of a bonus. Desktop PC, HTPC and Laptop all have WHS Connector and back-up to WHS nightly.

 

Problem 1: Remote Web Access

 

I had a D-Link Wireless-N WiFi router, but it was giving me a bit of grief. I have a trusty Linksys WRT54GS with Tomato that I swapped it for. I disconnected the D-Link, plugged in Linksys. Linksys is UPNP, and it seemed to recognize the WHS just fine, as the UPnP section of the Tomato GUI shows the appropriate ports forwarded to the proper IP of my WHS (80, 443, 4125). Just to be safe, I reinstalled the WHS connector software on my Desktop PC. I went to //server:55000/ and was able to re-download the connector software and reinstall. Cool. Once connector re-installs, I launch the Console and go into Settings and go to Remote Access and, ostensibly, reconnect/relaunch my remote access website. When I push "refresh", it goes through the steps and I get four green check-marks, indicating UPNP is working properly and "my website is accessible on the internet" and it lists both my internal and external ip addresses. Swell.

 

The only problem is, when I try to go to https://xxxx.homeserver.com/ -or- http://xxxx.homeserver.com/ , it just times out. "Problem loading page." "The server at xxxx.homeserver.com is taking too long to respond." WTF?

 

I can access the remote access web site locally by typing 192.168.1.xxx. Pulls the site right up. I can log in, etc.

 

I can ping my external IP address and all five packets arrive 100%

 

I have gone to an open port check tool (http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/open-ports/) and checked my WHS ports: 80:Open, 443:Open, 4125:Closed! Despite that my router shows 4125 forwarded properly, the port-check reports 4125 is closed. Hmmm . . .

 

One other thing I should mention is that I also have uTorrent set up on the WHS as a service. I use mainly it to automatically download TV shows via RSS. I logged into the WHS as a separate "Utorrent" user, and re-configured uTorrent relative to the new router. I kept the same port number as under my previous D-Link, but the Speed Test and Setup worked smoothly, and my router shows it forwarded properly. The uTorrent port, 21210, also checks out fine (open) when I checked it against the online port check tool. However, when I enter the web GUI address, it times out just like my main WHS site. Here's the kicker, though: the service is running on my WHS and my shows continue to download. I can't check on them in the WebUI, but new shows show up in my "downloads" folder. I guess that makes sense if the service is running fine, won't it just continue snagging the new torrents from the RSS feed?

 

I've been trying to figure this thing out for like two weeks and it's driving me nuts!

 

Problem 2: WHS "Disconnects" from the network

 

Under this second problem, the WHS will, at seemingly random intervals, just up and disconnect itself from the LAN. Maybe that's not a very good description, but here's what happens: If I'm streaming music from my WHS music library to my HTPC -- I like Media Monkey -- it'll just cut out after a while. I have my Shares folder mapped to the "Computer" area on all my PCs, and, of course, you can normally access it via the shortcut, and via "Network". But when it cuts out, I lose my music (or the TV show I'm watching on Boxee) and I have to do all sorts of comp-fu in order to get it re-connected. It *eventually* reconnects at some point (and I'm not sure what makes it decide to do so) but when it does this "disconnect" thing, when I click to the mapped drive link, it gives me a "cannot find" or "not available" error (not sure exactly, as its not currently happening). Nor can I click on "server" in Workgroup and re-access it. In fact, when this happens, SERVER disappears all together from my network node. Gone! I can see all the rest of the computers in my network, even the lady downstairs who I share my WiFi with, but not SERVER. What also happens is the WHS console icon grays out. Why does it do this? What makes it decide to reconnect again? It actually appears that it happens more often when there's a load of some sort, i.e. when I'm streaming media, when I'm working on it via Dreamweaver, when I'm dragging music files from the Music share to my Android phone (connected via USB to the Desktop PC).

 

This issue occurs on all three of my client PCs, even the Laptop when it's accessing the network via WiFi. I use Adobe Dreamweaver for web design, and I access the local versions of the sites I administer through my WHS. I'm finding that I can't work on my sites because when the WHS cuts out then Dreamweaver cuts out. I've lost work recently, so this could get expensive. And it's driving me nuts!

 

I searched this forum and others for a solution. I found someone somewhere with a similar problem and the suggestion was that the culprit was the NIC, that the driver should be updated and/or reinstalled. I tried that. In fact, I went ahead and bought an entire new gigabit NIC. It installed perfectly, yet the problem persists.

 

----

 

I am at my wits end on both of these issues. They both seem to have been occurring for the same amount of time, and they're both "connectivity issues" so they could be related to each other but they could also be totally random coincidences. Suffice it to say, however, they are both giant Pains in My A$$. Thus, I humbly submit my problems to the brain trust of this group. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Jason Chafin
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set astatic IP address on your server then manually adjust the router to forward the ports to that IP address. I also have utorrent and a utorrent addin running and as a service.

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set astatic IP address on your server then manually adjust the router to forward the ports to that IP address. I also have utorrent and a utorrent addin running and as a service.

 

Thanks for your reply. I should've added this to my original post, but I have done each of the following:

 

set static IP on SERVER through the "properties" section of the NIC,

set static DHCP via the Server's MAC address in the Router's Admin WebUI

 

Neither worked on the "old" NIC (which, I'm beginning to think is just fine), I haven't tried on the new NIC, but will do so now and see what I get . . .

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Can you access the web page using the actual IP instead of your xxxx.homeserver.com domain name?

 

Also have to ask the obvious. Is it possible you're infected?

 

And have you checked the cables?

 

Your ISP doesn't have a new policy blocking port 80, does it?

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I'm certain this will unfortunately devolve into a "maybe try this..." thread because the problems you are experiencing could be caused by many challenges.

 

That said - is the LAN problem relatively new? I ask because my V1 started doing the same thing recently, and then just quit having problems (apparently.) I have no good ideas what caused it (assuming it really is resolved.)

 

I also had the same issue when I used the uTorrent plugin on my WHS. It always worked, but I couldn't check it via the web GUI. I had to RDP in to make any changes or confirm stuff.

 

I know - big help here. One potential suggestion for the web access is to try forwarding the port to another PC and then see if you can telnet into it using that port. You could try telnetting into the WHS on that port first, of course, but my gut is either the ISP or something on the WHS is blocking that port, or at least interfering with it.

 

Have to ask the obvious. You have tried turning everything else in yout LAN and on the WHS off prior to trying to remotely access the WHS, right? Even the uTorrent could be commandeering that port without you knowing it.

Edited by timekills
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Thanks for your reply. I should've added this to my original post, but I have done each of the following:

 

set static IP on SERVER through the "properties" section of the NIC,

set static DHCP via the Server's MAC address in the Router's Admin WebUI

 

Neither worked on the "old" NIC (which, I'm beginning to think is just fine), I haven't tried on the new NIC, but will do so now and see what I get . . .

I agree with the statements by everyone else. I would only add (and I suspect you've done this) to get rid of UPnP and configure all the settings manually. That way you always know what they are and can build of up list of what works and what doesn't.

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Can you access the web page using the actual IP instead of your xxxx.homeserver.com domain name?

dvn, no, afraid I can't. Neither via actual IP or domain name.

 

Also have to ask the obvious. Is it possible you're infected?

I suppose that is a possibility I hadn't considered. I've got ClamAV on my WHS and I don't think it's "caught" anything. But I'll add that to the list of things to check out, thanks.

 

And have you checked the cables?

 

Yes, I've checked, swapped, replaced as many cables as I could. I'm running either Cat 6 or Cat 5e everywhere, and all are fairly new. As I also described, I even threw in a brand new NIC.

 

Your ISP doesn't have a new policy blocking port 80, does it?

 

I don't think so. Unless it *just* started doing so. I had everything working swell with the D-Link, and even had it all working swell Once Upon A Time with this other Linksys running Tomato. When I check my ports on "portcheck.com" (or whatever), ports 80, 443 and 21210 (utorrent)respond as "OPEN"; however, 4125 responds as "CLOSED". I've actually searched this forum and the We Got Served forums, and found a few people with problems on 4125, but they seem to be router-specific. However, since mine also reports "closed," I'm adding that to my list of suspicions too. Could it be possible that Port 80 returns a "false positive" and it's really closed? But wait, doesn't "https" use 443? Either way, both report open and neither "http" nor "https" resolve.

 

Thanks

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I'm certain this will unfortunately devolve into a "maybe try this..." thread because the problems you are experiencing could be caused by many challenges.

 

In my experience, at some point most of my computer issues devolve into a "maybe try this..." Isn't this why we all fiddle with these things, the "thrill of the hunt"? I'm just ready for the hunt to be over now. ;-)

 

That said - is the LAN problem relatively new? I ask because my V1 started doing the same thing recently, and then just quit having problems (apparently.) I have no good ideas what caused it (assuming it really is resolved.)

 

Yes, this is a relatively new problem -- last couple of weeks. How long did your issue last, and how long has it been "fixed." Could an update be the culprit? All my PCs are runnning Win7 Ultimate . . .

 

I also had the same issue when I used the uTorrent plugin on my WHS. It always worked, but I couldn't check it via the web GUI. I had to RDP in to make any changes or confirm stuff.

 

Boy, that's a bummer. The WebGUI is pretty sweet when it's up and running. Like I said, I've had it up and going at some point on both routers. You should give it another try. With magnetic links and the WebGUI, you can snag things on-the-go from anywhere in the world and have it dl to your WHS. I'm currently having to RDC into WHS to manage, too, but since I can't do web access, I can't RDC remotely and so can only do this from within my LAN. :-( At least the service continues to run alright so my "DVR" functionality still works.

 

 

I know - big help here. One potential suggestion for the web access is to try forwarding the port to another PC and then see if you can telnet into it using that port. You could try telnetting into the WHS on that port first, of course, but my gut is either the ISP or something on the WHS is blocking that port, or at least interfering with it.

 

That's actually a good suggestion. I'm not totally savvy with telnetting, but I can forward ports just fine and I know how to use The Google. And yes, it makes sense, if I forward port to another machine and I can telnet into it just fine, then perhaps its something in the WHS? I'll add that to the list of things to try.

 

 

Have to ask the obvious. You have tried turning everything else in yout LAN and on the WHS off prior to trying to remotely access the WHS, right? Even the uTorrent could be commandeering that port without you knowing it.

 

I haven't tried turning "everything" off, but I have turned the Utorrent service off and "unforwarded" its port without success. I'll consider that one, too.

 

I agree with the statements by everyone else. I would only add (and I suspect you've done this) to get rid of UPnP and configure all the settings manually. That way you always know what they are and can build of up list of what works and what doesn't.

 

I think this might be what I try next. I'll set a static IP via the NIC, turn UPnP off, forward all ports manually. At least, if it doesn't work, I can rule it out, right? Thanks!

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I don't run a Torrent service nor would I ever but the words torrent and UPnP in the same sentence scares the heck out of me. Just seems like too much of a security risk.

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