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(Win XP) Net Send: msg alias not found

Posted on 2004-11-29
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
Hi there

I would like to be able to use the "net send" command in Windows XP to pop-up messages to clients on my network. (Workgroup, no domain).

When I type: "net view" at a command prompt (as Administrator) I can see a list of all of my clients.
\\STATION01, \\STATION02 and so on. File sharing is NOT enabled, client for Microsoft Networks is. NetBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled.

When I type, "net send STATION01 message", I get the following error.

"An error occurred while sending a message to STATION01.

The message alias could not be found on the network.

More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2273."

I can't connect to any computers by "Net view \\COMPUTERNAME" because I get an error "System error 53 has occurred. The network path was not found." I assume this is because file and printer sharing is turned off.

I checked the services and the computer browser service cannot be started either. I get the error "The Computer Browser service on Local Computer started and then stopped. Some services stop automatically if they have no work to do, for example, the Performance Logs and Alerts service." The Event Log just has 3 Information entries that the service entered the running state then entered the stopped state. No errors.

Is there any way I can use 'net send' to send messages WITHOUT enabling a file/printer share? Thanks!
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Question by:x13
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 12701173
try this
net send * <text of message>
this will send it to all workstations, as a test
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by:stevenlewis
ID: 12701199
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by:Top_nerd
ID: 12701581
in a command promp(start>run>cmd(enter)), type "ping STATION01" (without the quotes).

if u get something like this:

-----------------------------------------------START---------------------------------------------------------
Pinging STATION01 [XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: bytes = 32 time>10ms TTL = 128
Reply from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: bytes = 32 time>10ms TTL = 128
Reply from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: bytes = 32 time>10ms TTL = 128
Reply from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: bytes = 32 time>10ms TTL = 128

Ping statistics for XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:
   Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate roud trip times in milli-seconds:
  Minimum = 0ms, Maximun = 0ms, Average = 0ms
-----------------------------------------------END------------------------------------------------------------
Then the messenger service is probably not running. To start it, go (on all the computers) start>run>services.msc(enter). Go down the list until u arrive to an item called "Messenger". Set the startup type to automatic (right click "Messenger". In the general tab, next to startup type click automatic).
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by:crissand
ID: 12707348
No.
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by:crissand
ID: 12707390
If you have XP2 configure Messenger service to startup automatically, by default is disabled.
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Author Comment

by:x13
ID: 12716798
Ok here's what I get:

* net view:
.. some computers ...
\\STATION14
.. some computers ...
The command completed successfully.

* Ping STATION14
Ping request could not find host STATION14. Please check the name and try again.

* Ping \\STATION14
Ping request could not find host \\STATION14. Please check the name and try again.

* Ping 192.168.1.104 (station14's IP address, determined with ipconfig)
Pinging 192.168.1.104 with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Ping statistics for 192.168.1.104:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss)

* net send 192.168.1.104 Test message
An error occurred while sending a message to 192.168.1.104.

The message alias could not be found on the network.

More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2273."

* The Messenger service was enabled on the computer in question and also on the computer I'm sending from. The Computer Browser service is started on the sending computer but won't start on the receiving one.
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stevenlewis earned 500 total points
ID: 12716842
what firewalls are involved? smacks of a firewall issue
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Author Comment

by:x13
ID: 12716998
Wow that was fast. There is a Linux iptables firewall that just controls access between the local network and the ouside world. Windows XP SP2 has a built-in firewall as well, but it doesn't appear to be blocking anything on the sending computer (I can send messages TO this computer (staff-XP) from my computer (win98) and FROM it, just not to the client computers. All have XP SP2.

The only difference I can see, is that the Computer Browser service is running on the computer that works. I checked that the Terminal Services port (3389 I believe) is open on the XP firewall on the non working computer. Should I disable the software firewall completely?
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 12717086
as a test yes
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Author Comment

by:x13
ID: 12717159
!

You fixed it. Disabling the Windows XP SP2 firewall is allowing the messages to go through!

Thanks very much.
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Author Comment

by:x13
ID: 12717206
Also, I can ping the workstation now as well.
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 12717387
Glad to help!
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Author Comment

by:x13
ID: 12718005
After a bit more research, I discovered the following.

Net Send requires to use Windows Messenger service over port UDP 138. Windows XP SP2 firewall blocks port UDP 138 UNLESS you have "File and Printer Sharing" checked off in the Windows Firewall exception list. This explains why the computers with file shares could use windows messenger.

If you don't want File and Printer sharing to be enabled (like me) just add port UDP 138 to the exception list.
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Author Comment

by:x13
ID: 12718198
Oops disregard above, the port to enable is TCP 139 and not UDP 138.
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