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SBS 2003 Fax Server access not available over VPN

Posted on 2006-05-07
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Greetings,

I have configured the Windows SBS 2003 fax server and it operates normal on the LAN. When connected via VPN I can print to network printers on the LAN but the Fax Wizard information erors out that it is not available. I can't help but think that this is a firewall issue.

What I have done in an attempt to correct the problem so far is:

1) Opened Ports: MS Fax Services 135 TCP, 445 TCP, Net Bios print spooler 139 TCP

2) Modified permissions on C:\D&S\All Users\App data\MS\Windows NT\MS Fax  * (Per previous posting suggestion on EE) *

I have actually added the Server Fax and other printers when connected via VPN, but simply cannot fax in that manner.

I have however been doing this work on a machine that is not a member of the domain, so I am not sure if that would have any affect on the process.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Question by:jabronicus
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 16625978
Over a VPN there is no need to open any ports, all are open by default, or are you referring to the firewall?
Likely the problem is the FAX server connection, which uses a modem, is treated as a network connection. The routing will not allow you to route VPN traffic from a remote site through to another network, the FAX/PPP adapter. Perhaps someone may have a work around for this.
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by:jabronicus
ID: 16625984
Yes  I was referring to the firewall with regards to the ports.
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16626368
Hi Rob. Thats why I moved it as the firwall should not come into play here as the traffic is comong through the VPN. Jabronicus, I can move the call back to the firewall TA if you wish but I'd like Jeff's (techsoeasy) opinion on this one first.

Regards
keith
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 16626388
Keith, regardless, I agree it belongs here. SBS has too many of it's own quirks/features. Jeff and others probably have the solution.
Cheers!
--Rob
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16626556
We can leave it here. I jsut assumed it would work over VPN like all other print services. I can connect to it, browse to it, just can't fax to it.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 16627270
If it is a routing issue it wouldn't be a problem until the the FAX printer tries to establish the modem connection. Let's see if there is a workaround someone can suggest. Unlikely you are the first to want to do so.
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Accepted Solution

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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 2000 total points
ID: 16627359
Okay... unfortunately, I DO have the answer for you... :-)  I think everyone is getting a bit too reliant!  :-)

There are really just a few things to consider...

1.  Is Remote Access configured on the server to use both Broadband AND dial-up access.  If you want to be able to use the fax service remotely you can't have dial-up access enabled on your server.  (actually, you may not even be able to have it enabled to use the fax normally... but just be sure that it's not by running the Configure Remote Access Wizard).

2.  Are you using the Small Business Server Connection Manager or did you configure the VPN in some other manner?  The SBSCM will provide the best way to ensure that you are connected with all the correct protocols and networking configuration.  

3.  Do you have the Microsoft Shared Fax client installed on your remote machine.? If this is a laptop that's a member of your domain, then the client would have been installed when you first ran the connectcomputer wizard.  

However, since you are connecting from a NON-DOMAIN computer, you will need to install the fax client by running these commands while connected to the network:

IF YOUR REMOTE MACHINE IS WINDOWS XP:

"sysocmgr.exe /u:"\\%sbsserver%\clietnapps\faxxp\fax_inst.inf" /r /q /n /i
"\\%sbsserver%\clientapps\faxxp\fax_master.inf"


IF YOUR REMOTE MACHINE IS WINDOWS 2000 (earlier OS's are not supported):

"\\%sbsserver%\FaxClient\setup.exe /w /s /v" REBOOT=ReallySuppress /qn
PRINTER_NAME="\\%sbsserver%\Fax"

(the %sbsserver% variable will probably not resolve on it's own, so you may have to use the actual server name there.  everything else is literal)

Then, open up Printers & Faxes to see if the SBS Fax is displayed.  If it isn't, click START > RUN > and enter \\<sbsservername> in the box (substituting the actual NetBIOS name of the server) and click OK.
When the Windows Explorer opens, locate the FAX printer and RIGHT CLICK > Connect.  It should now be showing in your Printers & Faxes (this is where I got the warning from the Windows Firewall, by the way).

Then, you should be able to send a fax by either usnig the send fax wizard or by printing to the SBS Fax from any Office program.

There is certainly no need to open any ports on the server side, and at the remote side, you shouldn't need to either... depending on what firewall you're running.  I just tested this, and the Windows XP firewall did pop up a warning that I needed to allow the traffic, but that's all.  Also, the only way I could test right now was from a computer that already had the SBS Shared Fax client installed.

That should make it work!  Because my test fax just went through and I just got an email confirmation with a copy of my sent fax!

Please let me know if you have any questions or if something doesn't work/look the same on your end.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16627499
P. S.  There is a good document on configuring the SBS Fax Service here:  http://sbsurl.com/fax
Although it doens't cover this VPN issue.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16627509
Thanks for the good info gents. I will heed your advice and test things out tomorrow on site and post back.
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16633355
To answer a few of the above questions:

1) Dial up access not enabled on server
2) VPN was configured manually using the MS client/add new connection wizard. Everything but remote fax is working properly.
3) On domain machines (all XP Pro) shared fax was added like shared printer. Upon doing so requirement was to perform this via Add Remove Windows Components. After doing so shared fax works fine on LAN.

4) On existing non-domain computer I am currently connected via VPN and am experiencing difficulty with the commands you have provided to install the fax client. Once again I can print to network printer, just not to shared fax
 
Forgive my ignorance on this, but I am experiencing following issues: perhaps my syntax or execution is off a quote or non-quote

        listed command copied verbatum:

"sysocmgr.exe /u:"\\wagcosrvr\clietnapps\faxxp\fax_inst.inf" /r /q /n /i "\\wagcosrvr\clientapps\faxxp\fax_master.inf"

returns error: Windows cannot find 'sysocmger.exe...'

         Without quotes ie:

sysocmgr.exe /u:"\\wagcosrvr\clietnapps\faxxp\fax_inst.inf" /r /q /n /i "\\wagcosrvr\clientapps\faxxp\fax_master.inf

Windows XP Setup Error returns:

Invalid program arguments were specified, with all the switches and associated actions listed below.

Please advise at your conveinence.


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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16633378
Those are two separate commands... one per line

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16633392
You also have a typo in the first clientapps  but that may just be how you put it here.
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16633409
Do you have a path to the c:\windows\system32 directory? This is where the sysocmgr.exe resides.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16633417
sorry, they aren't two command lines... my mistake... one sec.
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16633439
Your right about the typo though Jeff. Thats not how I'd spell clientapps either....
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16633459
Copy and paste this string:

sysocmgr.exe /u:"\\wagcosrvr\clientapps\faxxp\fax_inst.inf" /r /q /n /i:"\\wagcosrvr\clientapps\faxxp\fax_master.inf"

It was missing a colon from the /i

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16633469
do you not need to change the spelling of clientapps?
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16633639
Still no dice with the switches using the following command:

sysocmgr.exe /u:"\\%sbsserver%\clientapps\faxxp\fax_inst.inf" /r /q /n /i

Getting the same error invalid program arguments
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16633667
Disregard previous post
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16633771
oh, shoot.  I copied the typo!

:-)
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16633782
um, I mean, "what typo"?

It's good to be the Page Editor.

:-)
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16633799
After correcting the clientapps syntax with the above listed string, the shared fax still does not appear ot be added or availble. Perhaps I should be on the LAN for this to happen?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16633891
YES! You gotta be connected via the VPN if that's what you mean by "on the LAN".  Those commands are calling down files from your server.

If you were connected and the command completed successfully, then did you follow the rest of the steps listed above?  

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16633982
I was connected via VPN and still the same error when attempting "Fax server info cannot be retrieved"

I am going to start from scratch > uninstall existing fax services and go from there.

Thanks for all your help thus far TSE
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16634053
Ok reinstall is a no go as well using both send a fax or print to fax.

TSE when you tested this were you connected via vpn or direct to LAN?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16634185
Was connected via VPN, but my test machine already had the Fax client installed.  The other way to do this would just be to make sure that the fax service is installed on the remote machine (via add/remove programs > add/remove windows components) and then ADD the fax printer via the add printer wizard... when you do that it should tell you that it needs to also install the shared fax client.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16634193
But before doing that try connecting with SBS's VPN client... download from the Remote Web Workpace main menu.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16634343
Well my users have somehow f-ed up RWW and now I have to figure out how to get that back up and running. I sure do appreciate your help with this and will accept your solution above.

Maybe we can revisit this in the future
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16634398
no prob... :-)

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:jabronicus
ID: 16634484
FYI on a whim I tried this on another SBS I support and by installing the SBS VPN client vs. the manual VPN corrected the issue.

Is there any other way to install this client without having to access RWW?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16635464
Yes, connect via VPN and then navigate to http://wagcosrvr/Remote/sbspackage.exe

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16635469
Or if you just use Windows Explorer, it will be C:\Inetpub\remote\sbspackage.exe on the server.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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