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Unable to see remote PC in same workgroup

Posted on 2007-11-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-02
I can ping remote PC - but cannot 'see' it when I search - we are both in the same workgroup and are both 172.21.x.xx. I regularly access a Windows 2003 server at the remote location via VPN.
I CAN ping and 'see' another PC at the same location, set up exactly the same - except for the last digits of the IP address.
The two PCs can 'see' each other.
I need to download files from shared folders on the remote PC.
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Question by:lemmydavid
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 20329774
Is this via a VPN or through a router of some sort?
If so; browsing the network relies on NetBIOS. NetBIOS names can be resolved in 2 ways, NetBIOS broadcasts (as on your LAN) or WINS. NetBIOS broadcasts are not routable and can therefore not be forwarded over a VPN or through a router. Thus, you need WINS servers, which you may not have. Most often with VPN connections you do not need to browse as you are connecting to known devices and known shares. Therefore you can connect by name to the share using:
\\ComputerName\ShareName
or more dependably using the IP address:
\\172.21.xxx.xxx\ShareName
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Author Comment

by:lemmydavid
ID: 20333079
This is via a VPN - using a 'Juniper NetScreen-5GT ADSL'.

When searching for Computers or People, in the manner you suggested, I'm able to 'see' one 'known' IP address but still NOT another 'known' IP address in the same location and on the same LAN.
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 20334021
Is the Windows, or some other software firewall, enabled on the PC's? If so, the Windows firewall by default, when file and print sharing is enabled, will create an exception to allow access, but usually only from the same subnet. This can be changed by editing the firewall scope options for TCP ports 139 & 445 and UDP ports 137 & 138. You will need to add your remote subnet or choose; "allow all computers even those on the Internet". You can see an example as to how to change for port 3389/Remote Desktop" at:
http://www.lan-2-wan.com/RD-FW.htm

I mentioned earlier that NetBIOS broadcasts cannot be router over a VPN. This is true, but seeing which router you have you might not need WINS servers. There are a few routers that seem to be capable of somehow forwarding NetBIOS request, though I no little about it.
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