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bondisdead

Intermittent remote access

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dvn

Try another NIC? Isolate the network by removing everything except router, server, and PC. Test that.

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bondisdead

Try another NIC? Isolate the network by removing everything except router, server, and PC. Test that.

 

Okay, I'll try as you guys suggest. Can't even reboot my server in order to get a monitor/keyboard attached, as I can't get the Dashboard or RDP in, LOL! Thanks for the suggestions...

 

But would a flaky NIC explain why I can view and access shares, but just not make a connection?

Edited by bondisdead

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ikon

I doubt it's a bad cable. It either works, or doesn't.

Don't want to be contrary, but this isn't really true. Cables can be intermittent, particularly in situations where almost all the copper strands in a multi-strand cable are broken but the ends are close together. Other factors can affect cable performance too. In any case, swapping out a cable to verify that it is not the issue is an easy, quick troubleshooting step.

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ikon

Just thought of something else. Have you tried putting the IP of your 2011 box into the hosts file of you client machine(s)? This would avoid and DNS issues.

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bondisdead

Okay, I finally was able to connect via RDP and rebooted the computer with monitor/keyboard/mouse connected. I went into device manager and uninstalled the Realtek NIC driver. I then installed the driver utility that I just downloaded from MSI (H67MA-E35 motherboard). I even rebooted for kicks. I verified that I could RDP in and open the dashboard from my local client machine. I am now at work, and can no longer connect! It doesn't make a difference whether it's from my phone using 3g or wifi at work, or using my work computer. I bet in another 10-15 minutes it will work again.

 

I guess I will try to add a spare NIC card that I have, and see if that works. Heck, I might just try a wifi stick, and see if at least I get consistent connectivity!

 

I suppose I could also try another switch, but it just doesn't make sense to me how a hardware problem would allow me to access shares/data on the computer (which requires a connection from a client to the host), but won't allow me to log in (which is what the dashboard and RDP is doing).

Edited by bondisdead

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dvn

I don't know what the problem is, but what I do know is that intermittent problems can be hardware-related. I'm nothing like a network guru so all I can offer is suggestions and troubleshooting ideas. So for me, if I don't know what else to do, I start eliminating things. If swapping out a NIC card seems reasonable in the sense that it's relative to the problem (and in this case it is because the problem seems network related), I do that. And I'd disable the NIC you're currently using while testing that. If there's a switch on the network, I isolate my server from that. Hence my suggestion about putting just your server, router and PC on the network. The problem is intermittent, but it occurs quite frequently if I've understood you correctly. You shouldn't have to wait too long to find out if your connection problems still persists in your isolated network. So basically I'm saying that I will try to solve the problem first, then try to understand why it occurred.

 

Your router is a common link in all this, whether connecting from LAN or Internet. You could create an isolated network with switch, server, and PC to eliminate the router.

 

And personally, I'd want to be working with the latest NIC drivers. Of course, you never know. The most recent version could be buggy. Not likely, but possible.

 

So, during those times you cannot achieve connection, can you ping your server? Have you checked the server event logs?

 

You know, it could darn well be something flaky with the server OS, something corrupt with the installation. If you get tired of messing with the troubleshooting aspect, there's always re-installation. If you're still not ready to do that, grab a spare disk if you have one and do an install to that and give that a whirl.

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timekills

Intermittent problems are always the most fun.

 

I wonder if it is a port problem, although given it works from both inside and outside your LAN I have doubts. RDP requires TCP port 3389. When next the RDP fails you could try opening a telnet to the server using that port and see if it accepts the connection.

 

PS - TELNET is not enabled by default in Windows 7. IOT enable it do this:


     
  1. Start
  2. Control Panel
  3. Programs
  4. Programs And Features
  5. Turn Windows features on or off
  6. Check Telnet Client
  7. Hit OK

 

PPS: Okay, so I realize you might not know how to do this (an I'll add that you don't actually have to have the telnet server service enabled on the distant computer since we're just using it to see if we can get through the port.)

 

(Assuming you've enabled telnet as above)

 

Open a command prompt

Type "telnet SERVERNAME 3389" (no quotes)

See if it comes back with something like "Could not open connection to the host, on port 3389: Connect failed" or just goes to a blank command screen. If the screen goes blank with a flashing cursor, that means the port is OPEN. If you get the could not open connection statement, that means your RDP port 3389 is NOT open - and we begin to focus in on potential trouble areas.

Edited by timekills

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bondisdead

Intermittent problems are always the most fun.

 

Open a command prompt

Type "telnet SERVERNAME 3389" (no quotes)

See if it comes back with something like "Could not open connection to the host, on port 3389: Connect failed" or just goes to a blank command screen. If the screen goes blank with a flashing cursor, that means the port is OPEN. If you get the could not open connection statement, that means your RDP port 3389 is NOT open - and we begin to focus in on potential trouble areas.

 

Don't I know it (about the fun part!). I have tried a few things, inluding getting rid of the fixed IP address and just using what my router (ASUS RT-N16) assigned. I then updated the port-forwarding manually to this new IP address. I'm okay unless the router decides to re-assign it. That didn't make a difference.

 

It was on/off most of the day yesterday, when I was trying it from work. I just tried it now, and the connection was lost while I had the Dashboard window up. It basically reports nothing under any of the tabs when it gets to that state. So, I tried the telnet as suggested above. I got the flashing cursor, so it looks like port 3389 is okay.

 

I can ping the hostname, and it's responding normally and very quickly. The shares are alive and well, because I am listening to the latest Home Server Show podcast that is stored on the server. I can open the pictures folder and play a slideshow.

 

Whoa, it just came back. The Dashboard opened. Guess I am going to plug in a wifi stick and eliminate cable connections and ethernet adapter...

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jmwills

I've seen some strange things in this business and this is one that ranks right up there. Of course, trying to solve issues thru a forum is sometimes like driving the car from the backseat blindfolded. There are just some things you take for granted when the resolution could have been very simple.

 

This could be as simple as a bad router, cable, or network adapter or as complex as a failing main board, bad ram, failing hard drive or power supply. So many places to start but at least it is a 2011 build so you hopefully can run some diagnostics on the main board to start eliminating certain hardware components.

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bondisdead

I've seen some strange things in this business and this is one that ranks right up there. Of course, trying to solve issues thru a forum is sometimes like driving the car from the backseat blindfolded. There are just some things you take for granted when the resolution could have been very simple.

 

This could be as simple as a bad router, cable, or network adapter or as complex as a failing main board, bad ram, failing hard drive or power supply. So many places to start but at least it is a 2011 build so you hopefully can run some diagnostics on the main board to start eliminating certain hardware components.

 

Thanks for the followup. I have had stuff going on everynight, so have not had a chance to experiment. And sure enough, my wife has me booked tonight and all day tomorrow, lol! Fortunately, Sunday is free, and I am going to try the following:

 

1) Disable the ethernet port and install a wireless n stick. The router is nearby, so should get solid connection. This will eliminate any cabling issues and problems with the ethernet port on the motherboard.

2) Disconnect the drive that WHS 2011 OS is installed on from the computer, then install windows 7 pro on a separate hard drive, and make that the C drive for the computer. See if I can get consistent connections to the computer via RDP. Try this via the ethernet connection. If this is stable, it indicates that my WHS 2011 installation is broken. If its just as flaky, then I have a hardware problem with the motherboard or installed components.

 

Sound like a decent plan??!

Edited by bondisdead

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