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VPN to SBS2003 goes "dead" after about 20 mins

Posted on 2009-12-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I've got a VPN set up to a site I support. I tend to find that after about 20-30 minutes of being connected on the VPN, it seems to "die". The VPN connection remains connected, but I am no longer able to reach anything on the remote site - my RDP session closes and refuses to reconnect, and remote resources become unavailable.

I can work around this by disconnecting and reconnecting the VPN, then it works fine again - for about another 20-30 minutes.

I'm using XP SP3, the remote server is running Windows SBS 2003 premium. the VPN is configured in SBS 2003 using the routing and remote access wizard, the appropriate ports are open and forwarded on the network router, and i'm connecting from XP using the standard windows VPN connection.

any ideas?
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Question by:Statick001
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by:farazhkhan
ID: 26095556
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 26095871
What type of connections do the host and client site have? I have seen this with some PPPoE connections. They time out if there is insufficient activity.

Perhaps try using a tool like NetGong/IPMonitor to sen a Ping every minute from client to server. See if this keeps the connection alive. If successfully you can then further diagnose.
http://netgong.tsarfin.com/download.html
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by:Statick001
ID: 26098574
both client and server are using regular ADSL broadband, which is in constant use. the internet connection is not being lost at either end.

also, i've experienced this "dead" VPN while in the middle of an active RDP session (causing the RDP to stop responding to mouse/keyboard input before deciding "connection lost, attempting reconnection") so i'm pretty sure it's not an "idle" thing, but i'll try the ping idea.

i did used to use RDP directly to the server, and have started going through the VPN for greater security, and the RDP sessions would remain connected for hours even if left idle.


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by:Statick001
ID: 26098589
having read that thread, which suggests that momentary internet loss is a primary cause, i'm going to investigate this. it's possible that this is happening, and the line being reconnected quickly enough, that i otherwise wouldn't notice.
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by:Statick001
ID: 26098680
although - that thread refers to the VPN becoming disconnected, and an event appearing in the log. this is not what's happening to me - the VPN remains connected, the icon remains in the system tray, and if i check it's status it says it's connected. but if i try and access anything on the other side of the VPN, it fails, and i have to disconnect/reconnect to make it work again.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 26098731
>>" suggests that momentary internet loss "
This is common with PPPoE DSL connections.
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by:Statick001
ID: 26101789
sorry, to clarify, both ends are connecting with PPPoA
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 26101839
PPPoA is similar to PPPoE, though generally not available in North America. Does the configuration have a "keep alive" option you can enable or extend.  Static IP's or Dynamic cable connections do not seem to have the same problem.
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Accepted Solution

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farazhkhan earned 2000 total points
ID: 26103477
Hi,

If you are saying that connection remains but doesn't work, then also make sure that you have updated NIC driver installed, also latest Microsoft patches/updates installed from Microsoft update site.

Regards,
Faraz H. Khan
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Author Comment

by:Statick001
ID: 26104425
we're in the united kingdom, most people get PPPoA over here as cable is not very common (in my city, only about a quarter of homes have cable).

both connections have Static IPs and both of them are set to "always online". and again, the VPN connection does stay up, it just stops "working".

both systems are fully updated from microsoft, i'll check NIC drivers now.
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Expert Comment

by:farazhkhan
ID: 26157802
Hi,

Did you manage to get the latest drivers for NIC?

Regards,
Faraz H. Khan
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Author Comment

by:Statick001
ID: 26328726
i've not yet had a chance to do this - hopefully will get them updated on monday.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Statick001
ID: 31668503
i've not been able to get the NIC drivers updated on the PPTP server, however in the last week i've added two more VPN connections to two new sites on my office computer, and found the same problem with these. i also then found that my own NIC was using microsoft drivers dated 2001, when the latest manufacturer's drivers are dated 2009.

i thought i was already updated, but apparently not (this system has had several new OS installs over the last couple of years, i guess i forgot to update drivers on the last install).

so i've updated, and the problem seems to be resolved now.
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