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NET SEND suddenly not working to majority of PCs on corporate network

Posted on 2009-02-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Has worked like a champ up until maybe a week ago. Suddenly only a few machines receive the message. Messages are being sent from a 2000 SP4 box to everyone in the organization (about 65 PCs, 11 Servers [all win2k3]). Best I can tell there are maybe 4 or 5 PCs that are still getting the messages - rest of us get nothing, no error on the originating machine. At least one server is getting the message as well. Have checked messenger service, all ok.

Here's the interesting part - if I specify a machine (ie. net send pc1 test) it works. Anything broadcast fails. Windows firewall on DCs is disabled - obviously nothing on the win2k machine. One of the machines that does receive the message is on the same switch. At least one of the other machines that it works fine on is at the opposite end of the building and the server that is receiving fine is half way through the building. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this? No errors on any receiving machine nor on the sending machine.
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Question by:Konos
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by:ccpjc
ID: 23605461
check to see if the messenger service is running on the affected machines
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by:oBdA
ID: 23605490
Do you have a WINS server up and running? "net send" is completely NetBIOS based and will only work reliably in a larger environment if there's a WINS server present.
Otherwise you can use a workaround with a batch script that enumerates the network neighborhood and sends to all machines separately:
Save this as NetSend2All.cmd or Whatever.cmd, and just pass it the message in the command line:


@echo off
for /f "delims=\" %%a in ('net view ^| find "\\"') do net send %%a %*

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by:Konos
ID: 23605503
Pretty sure I had that in there - but yes I've checked messenger service on several machines - its running on all of them.
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Author Comment

by:Konos
ID: 23605593
WINS server is present and I've double-checked to ensure that it is in fact running. Doing a Display Records pulls names and IPs so that should be operating properly. Good idea though.
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by:oBdA
ID: 23605663
The "net send *" can be unreliable; if you get a complete list of the network neighborhood with "net view", then try the script above as replacement.
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Author Comment

by:Konos
ID: 23611377
oBdA - while that code does work it appears as though it will take quite some time for that message to propogate throughout our network. I'll give you some points when I close this for the solution but I really do need something that sends with the immediacy of net send.
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oBdA earned 750 total points
ID: 23611542
You can try to use

@echo off
for /f "delims=\" %%a in ('net view ^| find "\\"') do start /min net send %%a %*

For less than a hundred machines, this shouldn't be much of a problem to handle.
Or if you can send from a W2k3/XP machine with admin credentials, you can use msg.exe instead of "net send".
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Author Comment

by:Konos
ID: 23673487
Discovered that the affected machine had a static IP address. When I changed it to a dynamic address it worked fine. Oddly enough when it was static only other static machines had the message display. When I switched it to dynamic only other dynamic machines on the network received the message. I checked the WINS and DNS settings again to be sure that they are correct and they are.

The solution that ObdA provided worked regardless so while it didn't find the root/cause of my problem it certainly provided a working alternative.
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