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New pcAnywhere 11 won't connect

Posted on 2004-11-21
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Last Modified: 2008-02-20
We have pcAnywhere 10.0 installed on 8 computers at three different locations.  3 of the computers are running Windows 2000, three are running Windows XP, and two are running Windows 98SE.  The Windows 98SE boxes have ZoneAlarm free version installed and configured to allow pcAnywhere to accept connections.  All computers connect to the internet via SBC DSL.  The Windows 98SE boxes do not use routers.  All computers with this version are able to communicate with each other via pcAnywhere.

We purchased pcAnwhere 11.0 for a new computer at one of our office locations (the same location with the Windows 2000 and XP boxes).  We've configured pcAnywhere 11.0 in the same way we've configured the previous version.  We've also configured the previous version on the other remotes to connect to the new computer using pcAnywhere 11.

Nothing we do, including shutting down ZoneAlarm, will allow us to connect using pyAnywhere 11.0.  Symantec tech support is pathetically poor for pcAnywhere.  The error message we receive (and this seems to be a generic message which applies to several pcAnywhere problems, making it somewhat useless for troubleshooting) is:
"unable to attach to the specified device".

We know this is difficult to troubleshoot due to the number of variables.  Has anyone else had this problem, and found a solution?

Regards,
The-Muse
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Question by:the-muse
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by:moorhouselondon
ID: 12642260
Have you opened up port forwarding on Ports 5631, 5632?  (TCP/UDP)

By this I mean: your Router may well block all traffic on these ports.  You need to allow two way traffic on these ports onto a designated pc, so you map the designated pc as being allowed to send/receive via these ports.  This pc will need to have a fixed IP address if is to act as a pcAnywhere Host.

If your ISP supplied the Router you can either instruct the ISP to set it up for you, or you can buy your own Router and use this instead.
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Author Comment

by:the-muse
ID: 12642544
Hi moorhouselondon -

Thank you for the reply.

The ports you describe are the default pcAnywhere data and status ports.  For several of the computers using a router we had to configure these data and status ports individually, with values different from the pcAnywhere defaults you mention.  Afterward, the connections worked perfectly.

Two of our computers (Windows 98SE) don't use routers at all, but the new version of pcAnywhere doesn't work using them either, even when ZoneAlarm is shut down from both ends of the connection.

One thing I failed to mention in the original question:  all these PCs have static IP addresses assigned by the ISP with their enhanced DSL packages.

In summary, as stated in my original question, all configuration with the earlier version of pcAnywhere has been done correctly for all PCs, and they all work perfectly with this version, including the ones with ZoneAlarm.  The new version, configured in the same way, does not connect.
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by:moorhouselondon
ID: 12648642
Concentrating for the mo on the W98 problem, and assuming for the moment that the problem lies with pcA rather than ZA:

How do the Windows 98 pc's connect to each other?  They don't use a Router, are they local to each other on the same LAN?  Or do they connect via the internet using ADSL modems?  The word "connection" leads me to believe they use ADSL modems.  I think that the norm with ADSL modems is that the IP address assigned to you is a dynamic non-routable address.  I know you say it is static, but is it a  "published" IP address?  If it is a non-routable address (such as 192...) then pcAnywhere won't connect with it (Yes, I know it will if you have a LAN using these addresses, but here we have a more complex routing arrangement with the ISP fielding and reissuing the packets).

I take it that Internet Sharing Connection is not active on your W98 pc's - this is supposed to be a prob with pcAnywhere.  

As you say, the permutations in trying to resolve this are many, but do keep us posted as to progress.
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Author Comment

by:the-muse
ID: 12652157
hello again moorhouselondon,
thanks for the reply.

1)  How do the Windows 98 pc's connect to each other?
** DSL.  Each uses the "enhanced" service from the ISP (SBC Global), and each has five usable static IPs assigned by SBC to each account.  The IPs are in fact published.  When a lookup is done at ARIN (http://www.arin.net) with any of 5 IPs, the results return this information (actual IPs changed for security):
SBC Internet Services - Southwest SBIS-SBIS-5BLK (NET-66-136-0-0-1)
                                  66.136.0.0 - 66.143.255.255
Private Customer SBC066xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (NET-66-xxx-xxx-xxx-x)
                                  66.xxx.xxx.001 - 66.xxx.xxx.008

The description "Private Customer" used to show my actual name until I called tech support at SBC and asked them to change it.

8 static IPs are assigned to the customer by the ISP; 5 usable by the customer.  I could use any of them to turn each of those Windows boxes into apache web servers if I was a glutton for punishment : - )

2)  I take it that Internet Sharing Connection is not active on your W98 pc's - this is supposed to be a prob with pcAnywhere.
** I understand your perspective with this point, but I'm not sure it applies here.  To update you, and other members interested in this issue, today I had somewhat of a breakthrough.  At one office location I was able to connect one of the Windows 2000 boxes (with pcAnywhere 10.0) to one of the Windows XP boxes (with the newer pcAnywhere 11.0).  Data port and Status port settings for pcAnywhere are configured to the pcAnywhere default on both computers.  But I discovered pcAnywhere shows an entirely different IP address for the XP address when I right-clicked on the host icon in the system tray, and then clicked "Display Status".  Where this other IP comes from, I don't know.  I can only suspect that the company which owns that computer had a third party technician in one day, and he made some adjustments to their firewall, or their router.  So I'm going to contact their technician to find out if he knows anything about it.

ENIGMA:  From my Windows 98SE box, at my home, I can connect to three Windows 2000 boxes at the above location.  But even after configuring my home pcAnywhere with the newly discovered IP address of the XP computer, I still could not connect.

EXPERIMENT:  I connected to one of the Windows 2000 boxes at the above office location from my home based computer, and when connected, I opened pcAnywhere on the Host computer at the office, and connected it to the XP box with no problem.  To summarize:  Windows 98 pcAnywhere (home) => Windows 2000 pcAnywhere (office) => Windows XP pcAnywhere (same office) works fine.   Windows 98 pcAnywhere (home) => Windows XP pcAnywhere (office) does not work.

FURTHER MYSTERY:  My home computer does connect with another XP box at the office location which uses pcAnywhere 10.0.

FINAL MADNESS:  My home Windows 98 cannot connect to a similar Windows 98 at a different office location.  The Windows 98 at the second office is using pcAnywhere 11.0.  However, my home Windows 98 does connect to an XP box at the second office which uses pcAnywhere 10.0.  So - you guessed it by now - I can connect to to XP box at the second office, bring up pcAnwhere on that computer to connect to the Windows 98 box in the next room.

When I try to connect directly to the Windows 98 box at the second office, a connection is in fact made, but never progresses past the terminal screen to the desktop of the host.

Any new thoughts based on this information will be gratefully accepted.

Best wishes,
The-Muse

 



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by:moorhouselondon
ID: 12652433
>When I try to connect directly to the Windows 98 box at the second office, a connection is in fact made, but never >progresses past the terminal screen to the desktop of the host.

I think this points to an incompatibility between v10 and v11.  The fact that it connects at all means that the problem is firmly in PCA's court (unless ZA is in some ways active).  Have you tried messing around with the screen display and encryption settings?  You don't have any IP addresses missing from the "Accept IP sessions from" configuration within PCA?  Also, if you are using different Port numbers to connect, Symantec may not have thoroughly tested that eventuality and therefore be more buggy.

The extraneous IP address you are seeing is not in the 192..., 10...., 172... or 169... ranges is it?  Try clearing out any IP leases that may be active.  DHCP is not active anywhere?  Or are you relying on the ISP to give you a DHCP address (I think not from your comments, but just making sure).  If there is something still funny there, I would suggest moving the offending NIC card to a different slot.  (Yes sometimes I have found that gremlins disappear when doing this).
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Author Comment

by:the-muse
ID: 12659765
hello moorhouselondon -
>Have you tried messing around with the screen display and encryption settings?
** Yes.  Every possible variation has been tried.  I started out by simply mirroring the settings that were working in many of the computers.  When that didn't work, I adjusted encryption settings and screen display.  It's interesting that the Windows 98 box at the second office location is setup with two monitors.  Thinking that may have caused a prolbem, one  monitor was shut down (not turned off, but actually disabled).  That didn't make a difference.  And the fact I was able to connect to it from the XP box using the new PCA version when both monitors were up and running shot down that theory.

>Also, if you are using different Port numbers to connect, Symantec may not have thoroughly tested that eventuality and therefore be more buggy.
** Quite possibly.  The boxes configured with unique data and status port settings are not having a problem, with the exception of the XP box using the newer version.  There may be a PCA software bug there.

>The extraneous IP address you are seeing is not in the 192..., 10...., 172... or 169... ranges is it?
** I'm glad you mentioned that.  The only IP address that is in the IANA Reserved Block is the "hidden" IP address of the XP box (found when right clicking on the Host Icon and checking the "Display Status" link) at the first office location running the newer PCA version.  It was this IP that allowed me to connect to that box from a Windows 2000 box *on the same network* at that location.  It slipped my mind at the time that that IP is a reserved IP, since non of the other computers there use reserved IPs (they all use the SBC global static IPs).  To further complicate things, the XP box at the first office location is actually configured with the static IP assigned by SBC, but for some reason the reserved IP is showing up in the "Display Status" information of the PCA Host icon.

>DHCP is not active anywhere?  Or are you relying on the ISP to give you a DHCP address (I think not from your comments, but just making sure).  
** No DHCP in any of the setups.

>If there is something still funny there, I would suggest moving the offending NIC card to a different slot.
** Well, the fact that my home Windows 98 (previous version PCA) "partially" connects to the Windows 98 box at the second office location (new version PCA) brings me back to your earlier observation that there may be an incompatibility issue between the two versions.  Finding tech support about it at Symantec is like trying to force a whole number from the square root of pi.

Best wishes,
The-Muse

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Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 12660972
This business about the "hidden" IP address:  If you do IPCONFIG /BATCH C:\WINDOWS\IPCONF.TXT.  Does IPFCONF.TXT contain anything that shouldn't be there?  If so, can you do a Release All.  (I had a problem recently where there were vestiges of an old configuration in there, releasing all cured the problem).

You say PCA is connecting but not displaying could easily be down to video drivers as implied.  

Trouble upgrading everything to v11 is that things may still not work, but on a larger scale, meaning you are worse off, and sometimes it's not easy going back to an old version.  




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Author Comment

by:the-muse
ID: 12661418
>If you do IPCONFIG /BATCH C:\WINDOWS\IPCONF.TXT.  Does IPFCONF.TXT contain anything that shouldn't be there?  If so, can you do a Release All.
** I'll be at that location tomorrow.  I'll follow your suggestions and see what turns up.  Be at that location tomorrow, and give a report tomorrow night.

Best wishes,
The-Muse
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Author Comment

by:the-muse
ID: 12688834
Meeting with the network techs at the office location finally resulted in a resolution to this problem.  The network tech who had configured the problem XP box had failed to set the proper IP address (the forwarding configuration he had set in the router/firewall) in the local network configuration utility of XP.

Once that was done, and it was very simple (so simple, it didn't occur to me, as I assumed it had been done) everything worked correctly.

Thank you for your input.

Best wishes,
The-Muse
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Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 12689885
Did I not point to the problem in my first post?

"You need to allow two way traffic on these ports onto a designated pc, so you map the designated pc as being allowed to send/receive via these ports.  This pc will need to have a fixed IP address if is to act as a pcAnywhere Host."
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Author Comment

by:the-muse
ID: 12692485
Hi moorhouselondon,
I'm not sure you understand what I've posted as the solution to this problem, but to clarify, using your comments:

>You need to allow two way traffic on these ports onto a designated pc,
** Please remember, I had setup several PCs successfully to work with pcAnywhere.  What you stated here is already a given, and two way traffic on the ports was setup --- it was, however, due to an "oversight" ("negligence" might be a better word) by the IT tech of the company owning the PC, not setup correctly. The error was one that only the IT tech who misconfigured (in his own words) the "forwarding" of the IP to achieve compatibility with the Firewall / Router configuration.
-----
>so you map the designated pc as being allowed to send/receive via these ports.
** The ports were not the problem.  They were set correctly.  It was the misconfigured settings in the Networking utitlity of the XP box that was the problem.  From my perspective, this utility had been properly configured.  I had no way of knowing what the IT tech had failed to do regarding the Firewall / Router settings.
-----
>This pc will need to have a fixed IP address if is to act as a pcAnywhere Host.
** As stated in my posts here, this PC does have a fixed IP address, and this IP was in place in the pcAnywhere configuration, and the Networking utility configuration of the XP machine.  When the IT tech met me at that location, even he could not identify the source of the problem until I began questioning the "odd" IP I noticed on the XP box.  It was then he "dug in" to his own Firewall / Router settings, where he discovered a mistake he had made some time ago.  This mistake was not made apparent until I installed pcAnywhere on the computer, and couldn't make it work.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you for your input throughout this discovery process.  If you believe you should be awarded "points" for your input, that's not at all a problem from my perspective.  The "points" system here was something I wasn't even aware of when I signed up for Experts Exchange, and to be completely honest with you, although I see the value of the points systems with regards to encouraging competitive, accurate and timely responses to questions posed here, by my very nature I am not one who gets involved in competitive activities.

If a moderator here (it's my understanding that the decision for points rests with them in a case like this) believes you solved this question, and I somehow failed to see the solution in your comments, I'm all for it.  

Best wishes,
The-Muse
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Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 12693970
>"Thank you for your input."
It's a pleasure

To clarify a few things:-

1.  Experts Exchange would not exist were it not for the two way commentary between "expert" and asker.  There has to be an incentive for the "expert" to answer question.  That incentive is that I do not necessarily pay for searching the site, and I am free to ask questions.

2.  By building up these question and answer sessions EE has become arguably the No. 1 place to look for ideas on how to fault-find on virtually any piece of computer equipment, old and new.  

3.  I helped you in good faith.  Have you ever tried to instruct someone what is wrong with a complex piece of machinery behind a sound-proof door when you don't even have a keyhole to peer through, and you have to feed pieces of paper under the door to try to determine what is wrong?  I helped you to rule out possibilities which you agreed were sensible things to rule out.  There is a grading system in operation here at EE which is useful in determining how helpful the input was in determining the resolution to the problem.

4.  Have you ever offered technical support to someone over the phone, and started off by asking the question: Do you currently have a power cut in your office?  If not, was it because this might be construed to be an insult to the intelligence of the person at the other end of the phone?  (Sometimes otherwise known as "oversight" or "negligence"). I will leave you with the following link, which I hope you will find amusing:-

http://www.snopes.com/humor/business/wordperf.htm
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Author Comment

by:the-muse
ID: 12694422
Hi moorhouselondon,
>To clarify a few things:-
1.  Experts Exchange would not exist were it not ...
** That's cool.
-----
>By building up these question and answer sessions EE has become arguably ...
** I wouldn't argue that point, and find EE very handy.
-----
> I helped you in good faith. ...
** I have no doubt about that.  I hope I have not given you some other impression.  Have I?  And yes, I know the complexities of troubleshooting "in the blind", so to speak.  I do it frequently with my own clients.  It's a real challenge.  pcAnywhere has definitely helped avoid some of this kind of troubleshooting.
-----
>There is a grading system in operation here at EE which is useful in determining how helpful the input was in determining the resolution to the problem.
**Does this mean I can suggest a grade for your efforts even though the solution was found outside EE, and almost accidentally?  If so, I don't have any problem at all with that.  Because I am new to this service, I don't know how to implement assigning a grade without accepting your comments as "the solution".  If there is a way to grade you based on your efforts here, please advise me how to make that happen.  It took me almost 30 minutes just to find out how to close this question.  : - )
-----
> Have you ever offered technical support to someone over the phone ...
** I'm not sure how to interpret this paragraph.  If it means you may have been phrasing your suggestions in ways to avoid insulting my intelligence, please don't worry about it.  My intelligence is not intelligent enough to be insulted by its own shortcomings.

If the paragraph means something different, I missed it.  Apologies.
-----
Best wishes,
The-Muse
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