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Some websites wont load properly on networked computers via Internet Connection Sharing

Here's my setup:

Win2K Server with NIC 1 connected to DSL with static IP and NIC 2 connect to LAN.  ISC is enabled and standard DNS and DHCP servers turned off.  Server runs IIS hosting several sites and an email server as well.

2 workstations - 1 running WinXP Pro freshly installed, the other running Win2K Pro.
Both workstations set to obtain IP and DNS from server.

Sitting at server I can access all websites with no problems - very fast response and no page failures.

Sitting at either workstation I can access some websites with no problem other than slightly slower than when siting at server.  Email works fine and websites hosted on my server are fine.  But, I have the following consitent problems:

- For some/many websites I have problems getting full pages to download in the browser.  It appears to be mostly graphics that cause the problem.  Most often they will simply not download and I will be left with placeholders.  The very same websites load fine on the server.

- Very frequently pages will not load at all and instead the "Cannot find server or dns error" page will display.  Often this occurs when following a link on a page that had problems loading in the first place, but also occurs for links on pages that seemed to load fine.

- Sometimes hitting refresh will allow the page to load, sometimes it will not.

- The "bad" websites are consistent.  Everytime I go to them I experience the same problems in my browser, although sometimes the specific images that do download will alter.  (An example is www.hondoo.com - lots of graphics on home page and never loads properly.  MSN homepage loads very quickly though).

- Finally, if I connect the WinXP computer to a dial up connection, everything works fine and all pages load as expected. The dialup account is with same ISP as the DSL account and uses the same DNS servers.

My limited understanding leads me to believe it is someting to do with DNS, but I have no idea what to do next in terms of isolating or fixing.  I know one solution would be to get a DSL router and trash ICS.  I will probably go that route eventually but would like to understand this problem if possible.

Any help appreciated...

1 Solution

What is the connecting device between the server and the two workstations.  A hub or switch perhaps?

If you want to easily test if it's DNS related, from the workstation in question, try to ping the site that you can't reach (www.xxx.com).  If DNS is working then the first thing it will do is resolve the IP address.  If it does then  DNS is fine.  If not make sure you have the same DNS server entries in your two workstations as you have on the server.

Something else.. there could be some problem between the workstations and the hub that is causing the connection to time out and give up.

- dan soto -
velatechAuthor Commented:
Thanks Dan,

The connection between the server and workstations is a Wireless Access Point and a separate hub.  I have taken the WAP out of the circuit and no change in the behavior.

I can ping the websites from the workstations and I do get name resolution.  I have also tried manually configuring the DNS settings on the workstations and no difference from when allowing DNS to configure automatically.

Not sure what to test on the LAN side.  File transfers, printing etc all work fine...
Hmm... maybe the IFC (Internet Connection Firewall).  Try stopping the service.

Let us know..

Dan Soto
New Orleans, LA

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velatechAuthor Commented:
I do not have the Internet Connection Firewall enabled on the workstation.  I looked at the server but can find no Internet Connection Firewall option either in Network setup or in Services - so I presume it does not apply to Win2K Server.
Sorry I misread.. was thinking WinXP as the server....
Back to the drawing board...

velatechAuthor Commented:
I do not have the Internet Connection Firewall enabled on the workstation.  I looked at the server but can find no Internet Connection Firewall option either in Network setup or in Services - so I presume it does not apply to Win2K Server.
If some work and some don't, it is typically an MTU issue.
google search for Dr.TCP utility and set your MTU down from the default 1500 to 1400

velatechAuthor Commented:
Well, I wasn't sure which NIC to change the MTU setting on so I tried various combinations with no noticeable changes in the symptoms.  While at the dslreports web site I also ran the Tweak Test utility they offer and it reported that everything look good on both the server and workstation (athough I had to do a refresh to get the results on the workstation).

Also, when connected via my dialup connection everything is fine.  I think it must be some issue within the server.  I have done everything I know short of reformating and reinstalling the server and I don't really care to go that far.

I'll let it go through the weekend and see if anybody has other ideas...
I'm also suffering the same problem.

I have a Win XP machine which I use to connect to a cable modem, with one other machine connecting to the internet via this one.

Previously I've had this working fine, when the second machine was a Windows XP Pro machine which I upgraded from 98.

Recently I've swapped this PC for a new one, a Win XP Home machine. I have the XP firewall enabled on both (although this doesn't seem to make much of a difference to the problem).

Only with this new PC I am seeing the same problems as velatech -- i.e. some sites won't load, normally it's just the image placeholders, and hitting Ctrl-Refresh a number of times will generally get the page to load fine. On most sites.

I've tried all the suggested steps in this thread to no avail also!

This problem seems a bit bizarre since my internet connection sharing has been working fine up until the new PC was installed. This is the only thing that has changed (the server PC has remained constant throughout).
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