Unable to access shares when connected through Cisco client

Posted on 2007-03-23
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have a Windows 2003 SBS and have client laptops that remotely connect through our Cisco PIX 501.  The issue is that when the client machines connect remotely to the server they are unable to see or browse network shares. I previously asked the same question and thought I had it answered, but am still having the issue.  Please see the previous question for more detail:
I connect to Exchange with Outlook, but I can't see other nodes or shares.  Help please!
Question by:baggio8
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LVL 28

Accepted Solution

batry_boy earned 500 total points
ID: 18780636
If you are trying to browse network shares through "My Network Places" or "Network Neighborhood", this relies on broadcast traffic to populate the machine names for the client.  Broadcast traffic does not work across a VPN tunnel, only routed traffic does.  If this describes your scenario, see the following article on this from Cisco:

If this isn't your issue, please clarify what you mean by "when the client machines connect remotely to the server they are unable to see or browse network shares".

Author Comment

ID: 18781164
Thanks batry boy.  This seems to describe the issue.  I was able to map to a resource like this:
// shared folders/
This seems like a pain that they wouldn't support the browsing feature.  I guess I have to ask-should we just be connecting to our SBS with the Microsoft VPN and would that solve our problem.
The Cisco VPN seems so limited.
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 18781214
"This seems like a pain that they wouldn't support the browsing feature."

Well, this really isn't a Cisco problem...this is the nature of how browsing works by means of broadcast traffic.  By the very nature of broadcast traffic, it cannot be routed which means that it cannot be forwarded across a VPN link.

Now, having said that, I'm not sure if using the SBS VPN would fix your problem since I don't have a lot of experience with the Microsoft VPN implementation.  It may solve it just fine, I don't know.

If you wanted a quick solution to your problem, you could always create desktop shortcuts that point to places like // shared folders/ and any other place they need to access.

Author Comment

ID: 18784346
If I create shares using this format I should be okay: // shared folders/

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