works between 2 machines but not onto another

I have a laptop and 2 desktop machines one a lan, all run XP Pro pack 2, patched up to date. I have successfully got the laptop using remote desktop to desktop1, HOWEVER the same steps to have the laptop remote desktop to desktop2 don't work. I can ping the machine, I can mount an exported directory from it onto the laptop but all I get is the message about failing to run as the destination is either too busy or not configured to allow RD. I've checked the setting of the 2 desktop machines against each other, including the firewall settings but I'm stuck.
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Nick UpsonPrincipal Operations EngineerAsked:
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What port is the router forwarding to which pc?  It should be 3389, going to the expected PC.
I'm assuming you enabled "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer" in the Remote tab of System Properties?

If that is the case, I'd turn off the firewall on the machine you're trying to RD to and quickly see if that works. That will narrow down if it's the firewall or not. Just make sure to turn it back on after you try it.

Also, check to see if that computer has Norton Systemworks or some other firewall. I've banged my head against the wall for hours working on a connectivity issue to discover a second firewall sitting in there.

try configuring the LIstening port (and forwarding port on the router) to the another port for one of the machines...
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I'm missing what "the router" is? This is a LAN -- meaning "switch" or "hub", correct? The firewall is, I'm assuming, the Windows firewall or some other software firewall?

Just wanting to make sure I read the question properly...?
usually there is a router involved in a lan.. not always.. but usually. you do know what a router is right? if not do some research.
The question sounded like he was on a single network segment. And had compared settings on each computers' software firewall. Both of the other posted comments mentioned a router - which didn't make sense to me that it would affect any network activity on a single network segment. I just wanted to make sure I was reading the question correctly to rephrase my answer. That's all I meant.
Quick test
exchange IP addresses: this will tell you if you have a port forwarding problem on Router managing your LAN,
Still no work, then remove the RD and reactivate it, not 'coz setting are same it means that both are behaving fine.
right click on My PC and in event manager try to find any description of stopped services envolved with RD a conflict could be preventing proper operation...

Glad to help,

Nick UpsonPrincipal Operations EngineerAuthor Commented:
the router/hub (it's both) is the same in the working vs the non-working connection so I figured that it does the port forwarding ok, there is not a 2nd firewall (yes firewall is XP builtin throughout). This is a small lan with only these 3 machines on it. I've tried to RD from desktop2 to the laptop and that won't work either
so you have this:

Only access from laptop to Desktop1

                                                  /     !    \
                                               LT    PC1   PC2
                                               0.2    0.3    0.4

IS this your network?

If with this setup it does not work, then you got port blocking problems, is the option even enabled on both Computers?

MY PC! in the remote Tab, check the allow remote adminsitration like it says at the bottom a rule will automatically be created on firewall..

please advise...

Nick UpsonPrincipal Operations EngineerAuthor Commented:
the diagram is correct, I have been through with both desktop machines initially and then compared all settings mentioned between the 2 desktop machines, they are the same.

History of desktop1 (ok) is that it has always been a standard PC on the lan

History of desktop2 (failing one) is different however, it used to be the ICS hub for the lan (pre laptop & pre hub/router, I had a usb adsl modem instead on this machine). ICS is now switched off but I wondered if something could have been left set wrong or it's something else completely
Is there a firewall running on the machine that had the ADSL installed?
I'd still say to try completely disabling the Windows firewall on desktop2 and, if that doesn't work, on desktop1 as well - just to eliminate that possibility. Disconnect the cable / dsl cable to the router/hub if possible before doing this to make sure of no infection while it's disconnected.
correction: at the end - not "disconnected" but "disabled".
mmm... well... I see...

go into START>Run>services.msc and you'll find a list of services that are running on PC, MAKE SURE not only that they are there but to see wich is enabled or disabled Vrs other PCs... I-m sure you'll find some difference and then find the reason of the problem.

If you have added RD to exception on firewall is fine, but it could be a weird actup on firewall, so disabling it only for test purpose will help!.

Good luck..


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Nick UpsonPrincipal Operations EngineerAuthor Commented:
it was terminal services that had been switch off, don't know when or how
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