Setting up a Windows Server 2003 Network... my situation. In need of URGENT help!!

I know about the whole "There is no such thing as a stupid question" thing, but this, is a stupid question. This is not the first network I have set up, yet the same processes that were successful before (or possibly I missed something... definitately a possibility) aren't quite as successfull this time. So I am asking for help as I am going in circles.

Basic Steps to set up a Windows Server 2003 network with 5 PCs and 1 laptop and a DSL modem connected to a switch as follows:

1) Server has 2 NIC cards: NIC #1 goes from server to Switch.
                     NIC #2 goes from server to DSL modem.
Therefore, I should think, the server is acting as a DHCP client which “hands” IP addresses out for a certain amount of time unless otherwise specified as infinite.

2) All other PCs are running Windows XP and are connected by a single Ethernet cable directly to the Switch. There is no router/hub etc.

Problem: cannot get the server or the PCs an IP address. Message “Limited or no connectivity” is now my worst enemy on the planet earth.
-      I gave NIC #1 on the server a static IP address.
o      Any suggestions for a particular IP address to assign to this server would be welcome…

Active Directory is functioning. It was set up via DCPROMO (new tree/forest and the server is domain controller) and all users are set up with non-expiring passwords (I edited the password policy to bypass the password complexity requirement as per request by the customer). I had DHCP enabled and authorized and set up a scope of for the addresses to be handed out. Before getting to the point where I even bothered excluding any IP address other than the server’s, I stopped and clear all my progress up until that point because something is wrong. I had DNS working.

The Network was functioning fine when given Static IP addresses which, quite obviously, though not to me, that something is not configured properly. It is this “something” that is stopping me from finishing off this network, which currently is in ruins. There are NO firewalls running at the moment (when I get the network up and running they will be installed and configured).

Before I left, I removed all services: DHCP, DNS, Print Server, File Server, etc. to start from scratch. I left the Active Directory.

I would like the server to allow ICS (stupid question, but should I use a router to provide internet?)

Any other questions.. please feel free.
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Hi TheTechGuysNYC,

Are those ws running XP SP2?
The link below probably can help you out with limited connectivity error.

TheTechGuysNYCAuthor Commented:
Yea, they are, but not even the server is getting an IP address. I will try using the patch.

 I think I have to totally restart the networking process from scratch. Any ideas? Keep throwing them at me. If you need more info let me know
Steve AgnewSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
Yes you will get rid of a lot of headache by purchasing a 39.99 dollar router and letting it do all the work.. you will get easy staright forward configuration and even bandwidth, monitoring, firewalling allowing access access to your server etc. And sleep at night..  and if your server goes down you can use the pc's to get to the internet to troublshoot.  Whee!

That said, whenver you add ICS to the card with the static IP it will turn on it's own DHCP and it will change the IP address to you just need to enable it on the right card and it's pretty much automatic.  You may be in a pickle now that you removed DNS as entries for AD are in DNS.. so long as you can add DNS back that is active directory and reboot it.. it will reboot that.  when you do an IP config on your PCs you should see default gateway of (or whatever the IP of the card connected to switch is.)

If all else fails and you are in a hurry, just give the pc's static IPs if you don't have too many computers , if you do, youre back to fixing your server or taking a 15 minute trip to CompUSA or the computer store of your choice.  Again, you will have a lot less headaches and in the end more easy functionality out of a cheap router and it's what I always recommend you'll also take the load of those services off your server and make it less vunerable to attack.. but ICS works fine and pretty much should be automatic.. if you get ICS on and the PC's still won't get an IP address (remember make sure its the right card you enable it on) your switch might not be allowing DHCP passing (not likely but a possibility) so you may need to look at the configuration of your switch..

Let me know how it goes... Good luck.. I don't see why anyone with a small network and one server would ever want to use it as an internet access point (unless to learn and then go for it!) but if you just want the functionality and you have less than 60 computers on your network get the router and giggle next year when the only problems you've had are with your server and never the internet connection!

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Rob WilliamsCommented:
I have to agree with DeadNight on buying a router for your network. Not to "steel his thunder" but just to add the link below which points out many of the associated problems with using ICS. It also interferes with RRAS if you ever want to set up a VPN on the server.

Following refers to XP, but problems are similar. See the section near the bottom entitled "Problems"

In addition the "Limited or no connectivity" message is likely due to your DHCP server not running and or configured properly. You have a physical connection but no TCP/IP connectivity, due to IP assignment.

You need to re-install the services you removed. You say you removed DNS, DHCP, and file and print,  and left Active Directory? No DNS, no Active Directory. You might even want to do a clean install if you haven't gone too far.

If adding a router you can configure this with a single network card. When setting up your network adapters an important point with DNS is only point your workstations to the Domain Controller as a DNS server (not the ISP's DNS or the router) and the same for the server, point it to itself. The ISP's DNS IP's should be entered as DNS forwarders in the DNS management console.
TheTechGuysNYCAuthor Commented:
My Status:

Network is up and running. The sever is functioning properly. There was a problem with DNS and DHCP was unauthorized even though I can specifically remember authorizing it. The only thing is, the clients have no internet access, even though the server does... (Also, is there a way to have the server connect automatically to the internet when logging on? maybe some kind of script? A setting?

Both NIC cards on the server have static IP addresses at the moment, those both ending in 100 and 101. but for some reason, there is no option for adding ICS... Only the "Settings" button for Windows Firewall is there. Also, at this point in time each client cannot connect to the internet, even via connecting on their own.

i do want to learn how to use ICS, which is why i am doing it.

I am thinking about going for the router option. In doing so: 1) I will only need 1 NIC card 2) It will handle the internet and all clients will have access without having to dial up on their own.

The connection will go as follows, correct me if I am wrong: DSL modem to router, router and server to Switch. No?
TheTechGuysNYCAuthor Commented:
What i want, in the end is: 1) The server to have acces to the internet without having to start the connection manually i.e. automatically. 2) The clients to have access to the server (obviously :)) via DHCP. **This has been accomplished.  3) The clients to have access to the internet upon logging on to the server without having to connect themselves.

As I said aove, there is no option for ICS for som reason. Maybe there is something that I am missing? If worst comes to worst i will use a router (if you would be so kind, provide a short, concise description on setup of the hardware and any changes that need to be made just so I know I did everything correctly).
Rob WilliamsCommented:
1) The server to have access to the Internet without having to start the connection manually i.e. automatically.
Is this a PPPoE connection?

What version of Server 2003 are you running?
ICS is only available on Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. It is not included with Web Edition Datacenter Edition, or the 64-bit versions of the Windows Server 2003 family. I am not sure about SBS.
As an alternative you may be able to configure using the NAT option of Routing and Remote Access. Router is still a better idea :)
TheTechGuysNYCAuthor Commented:
Well, I solved it myself. It is kind of a cheap work-around, but I just made each computer connect automatically by itself when logging on via a shortcut placed in the startup folder :) (I also had to take away the prompt for user name/passsword).

In answer to your question: Yes this is a PPPoE connection. And I am running Server 2003 Standard Edition
TheTechGuysNYCAuthor Commented:
i would still, though I figured out a work-around, like to know how to do it otherwise. Thanks for everyone's help. It is really appreciated!!!!!
Rob WilliamsCommented:
I'm not sure how you would force the PPPoE connection to automatically initiate. On a workstation the connection software is usually added to the start menu. However with a server there may not be any log on, therefore you would have to set it up as a service, not a "best practices" idea for a server environment Internet connection.

Once started though there should be an option in the connection properties to set it to "always on" or "keep alive"

As for ICS it might not be available by default as you should not enable ICS a domain controller, DHCP server, or DNS server. Better option would be to enable NAT using RRAS (Routing and Remote Access). I have also heard of people creating a bridge between the two adapters, but never tried it.
To enable NAT open the RRAS management console, right click on the server name and choose "configure and enable RRAS". This starts the configuration wizard, choose NAT. Then just follow the wizard. You will be asked as to which adapter is to be the WAN and which the LAN.

The router still seems the better option as it will better manage your PPPoE connection for all users.
DSL Modem --> Router (Has configuration to automatically connect to PPPoE) --> Switch --> Server/Workstations. That's how I do it! Set it up once and walk away!

Hope that helps,
TheTechGuysNYCAuthor Commented:
Sounds good... there are no changes that must be made on the server itself?
Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"there are no changes that must be made on the server itself?"
Are you referring to a router configuration?
If so
-use the physical configuration as negativelocity has suggested
-If your modem a combined router/modem. If so it needs to be switched from NAT to bridge mode. Based on your description above I don't believe this applies to you.
-Configure the Wan side of the router for PPPoE
-Configure the LAN side of the router with an IP in the same subnet as your existing computers. Make sure there are no conflicts with duplicate IP's
-Since you are using a server running DHCP, disable DHCP on the router
-Disable the PPPoE connection on the server
-You can disable the second NIC on the server as it will not be necessary
-Configure the server and workstations to have the router as the gateway
-If the computers are using DHCP add the gateway to the DHCP scope options under router option #003
-Remember to set the workstations DNS to point only to the server, either in the NIC configuration and/or option #006 DNS in the DHCP scope. Set the server's DNS to point to itself and the ISP's DNS should be entered as forwarders
Rob WilliamsCommented:
TheTechGuysNYC, have you been able to resolve the various issues?
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