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Setup Remote Access/Microsoft VPN Server

Posted on 2007-07-23
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Hi.
My VPN server crashed so I just configured Microsoft Windows 2003 VPN server Remote Access on another server but I have been running into some problems.
I can VPN and logged into the server and I could remote desktop into the other machines in the network block. However, I can't seem to get my mail using microsoft outlook express anymore. I was able to do this with the old Mircosoft VPN server. I must have missed something in my VPN setup. Please help me out.
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Question by:ShadowColossus
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 19553024
Did you enable routing?

Do you have the correct routing tables on the VPN server and on the e-mail server?
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Author Comment

by:ShadowColossus
ID: 19553066
I believe routing is enabled from properties i could see that LAN and demand dial routing is enabled and Remote Access server is enabled. I could ping the email server. With old vpn i could check my mail through microsoft outlook, with this new vpn server i can't.
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 19553077
What error do you get?
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Author Comment

by:ShadowColossus
ID: 19553159
"The connection to the microsoft exchange server is unavalaible." Hmm....it seems that i can ping the IP of the exchange server but i can't ping the name of the server. Do you know how i can resolve the name of the server to the IP?
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 19553179
This question comes up frequently and I have never seen a real fix. Though it shouldn't be necessary, you can usually resolve by adding the server name and IP to the LMHosts file of the conecting computer. See details as per the following instructions:

Setting up an LMHosts file.
There are a few oddities with the file, have a look at the following:

-Lmhosts file is useful for NetBIOS name resolution where other solutions are not available.
-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;
192.168.0.101      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".
-PRE has to be capitalized, however you do not need it, though should give you faster resolution where it is "pre-loaded"
-use a Tab between entries in a line rather than spaces (recommended but not necessary)
-if adding the domain and or domain controller the # of spaces used is even critical. See:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q180094/

see also:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/cnet/cnfd_lmh_qxqq.mspx?mfr=true
ps- To check your LMHosts file entries are accepted at a command prompt enter
  nbtstat  -R
to purge and reload the local name cache
then enter
  nbtstat  -c
to display the current name cache which should include your LMHosts file entries.
Note; the nbtstat "switches" R & c are case sensitive.
The names will only show up if you used the 'PRE' option, or if not, if you have used the name with a ping or similar command enabling them to be cached.
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Author Comment

by:ShadowColossus
ID: 19553308
i can ping the name of the mail server when I console into the machine, but once I vpn in, I can't ping the name of the mail server anymore. Will the solution above still fix my problem?
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Expert Comment

by:Irosha
ID: 19553330
Can u ping to other servers or hosts through the VPN Server by using the server name ????
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Author Comment

by:ShadowColossus
ID: 19553486
hmm actually no i can't ping and server names when i logged into the vpn server (but i can when i console into the machine)
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Expert Comment

by:Irosha
ID: 19553563
ok check the DNS Setting of the VPN Server as well as put a nslookup for the exchange server from VPN
then let me know if you get any error
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Accepted Solution

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giltjr earned 750 total points
ID: 19555043
Know problem.  Deals with the way that MS does DNS queries when you have more than 1 "NIC".  With VPN you have a virtual NIC.  By default MS will do the queries for the VPN NIC last, which means it has already received a "I don't know this host name" from your other DNS servers.

Here is a link to a page that has a script that will change the NIC order so that the VPN one is searched first.  Please note that almost anytime you make a change to any network settings on your NIC's, Windows will change the order so that the VPN NIC is LAST.  So my suggestion is to execute the script just before you connect to your VPN, EVERYTIME you connect to your VPN.

http://www.ureader.com/message/89324.aspx

You can also refer to MS KB Q311218 about this issue.
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Author Comment

by:ShadowColossus
ID: 19568814
Thanks for all of the help. Got it working.
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