Cannot map network drive using server hostname when connected to VPN

Have a windows server 2003 domain controller/file server that I can't seem to access from a VPN.  on the affected VPN client (XP Pro w/firewall turned off), I have already manually specified the file server as the DNS server for the VPN connection.  I also created host file entries on the client.

When I try to browse the file server using its local host name via windows explorer it just shows a blank page.  If I try to add a share name to the path, it gives an error saying the path cannot be found.  Same thing happens when doing this via the command line.  Mapping drives to shares on the file server gives "the network path was not found".  Running the net time command and specifying the file server as the time server gives "the server is not configured for transactions").

If I use the FQDN for any of the above commands and procedures, it behaves correctly.
The really odd thing though is that I can ping the file server using just its why can't I use just its host name to map drives and run the net time command??
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Are you using MS VPN? I am going to assume you are.

Why do you have host entries on your machine? Get rid of those, they will drive you crazy one day. Also, remove the manual DNS entry, your VPN server should hand out the IP addresses and DNS settings, you might need to make sure the DHCP Relay Agent is active. Now, go into your properties for you VPN connection on your client and do this:

Go to Networking, IP, Properties, then go to Advanced, then the DNS tab, select Append these DNS suffixes (in order)... and click Add, then add your domain here (full domain, ex. for =, click OK all the way out and try it now.

We have to do this with most of our remote clients here...but not all, for some reason.

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When I try to browse the file server using its local host name via windows explorer it just shows a blank page..

Might be worth checking duplicate names also...

esmith69Author Commented:
I will try to make the changes on the client related to adding the suffixes.  Didn't think about trying that for some reason.  And there's only one DNS server on the network, so I figured it wouldn't hurt specifying it to be the main DNS server for the vpn connection for the remote user.
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