How can I get remote VPN computers to resolve main office server name?

Posted on 2007-03-27
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
How can I get remote VPN computers to resolve main office server name?

We have a VPN setup using hardware from our ISP.  The remote computers do not show up in "My Network Places" locally, only the computers that are in the same range as the server (192.168.2.x) show.  When viewing "My Network Places" from the remote computers the only computers listed there are the ones in the same address range, it does not include the computers from the main office.  The address range of the remote office is 192.168.4.x.  I can ping the computers in the 192.168.2.x range, but can't resolve their names.  From the server side I can both ping and ping -a the remote computers and their names resolve.

This has been this way for awhile and hasn't been a big deal.  But this last version of OfficeScan from MicroTrend doesn't register the computers that are in the address range of 192.168.4.x.  And I am not able to connect to the default site on the server to reinstall the client side of OfficeScan. - https://nordic01.nordic.local/SMB/console/html/cgi/cgiChkMasterPwd.exe

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Resolving this will make some other things easier as well.  I have not been able to offer remote assistance across the VPN either.

Thank You....Chad
Question by:cbw71
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Expert Comment

ID: 18803682
on the remote computers set the secondry DNS server to be the dns server at your company. you can also go into Advanced tcp/ip settings and add a dns suffix for the domain at your work. i.e workdomain.local or append the dns suffix in order so that if you ping server A it will first try to resolve on servera.yourdomain.local and then servera.workdomain.local

Author Comment

ID: 18803770
All the remote client are already using the main office server for dns (

Expert Comment

ID: 18803842
o.k, what about the dns suffix settings
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 18805703
You probably won't be able to browse My Network Places for computers unless you have a WINS server. Browsing uses NetBIOS names, rather than DNS. NetBIOS names which are broadcast over a local network, cannot be broadcast over a VPN as they are not routable, thus the need for WINS.

However, you should be able to access remote devices in numerous ways, including "fixing" DNS as per below. I assume you are currently using option #1. One note OfficeScan is known to interfere with some VPN types.

1) Use the IP address (of the computer you are connecting to) when connecting to devices such as;   \\\ShareName   or map a drive at a  command prompt using  
 Net  Use  U:  \\\ShareName
2) An option is to use the LMHosts file which creates a table of IP's and computer names. LMHosts is located in the Windows directory under c:\Windows (or WINNT)\System32\Drivers\Etc\LMHosts.sam , instructions are included within the file. Any line starting with # is just a comment and is ignored. Open the file with Notepad and add entries for your computers as below;      CompName       #PRE
Hit enter when each line is complete (important), then save the file without a file extension. To be sure there is no extension ,when saving enclose in quotations like "LMHosts". Now when you try to connect to a computer name it should find it as it will search the LMHosts file for the record before connecting.
More details regarding LMHosts file:
The drawback of the LMHosts file is you have to maintain a static list of computernames and IP addresses. Also if the remote end uses DHCP assigned IP's it is not a feasible option. Thus in order to be able to use computer names dynamically try to enable with some of the following options:
3) if you have a WINS server add that to the network cards configuration
4) also under the WINS configuration on the network adapter make sure NetBIOS over TCP/IP is selected
5) try adding the remote DNS server to your local DNS servers in your network card's TCP/IP configuration
6) verify your router does not have a "block NetBIOS broadcast" option enabled
7) test if you can connect with the full computer and domain name as  \\ComputerName.domain.local  If so, add the suffix DomainName.local to the DNS configuration of the virtual private adapter/connection [ right click virtual adapter | properties | TCP/IP properties | Advanced | DNS | "Append these DNS suffixes (in order)" | Add ]

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