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QuickBooks does/does not connect

Posted on 2011-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
A customer is running QuickBooks premium 2009 on Windows 7 home premium. The application locally works fine. They have 3 other terminals that connect to all 5 databases on the windows 7 home premium “server”. All clients are windows 7 home premium and windows vista home premium. Inside the network everything works well…

They recently installed an ASA 5505 with Cisco any connect VPN, for their out of state offices to connect to the QuickBooks databases for their region (Denver connects to Denver/Cali connects to California).

The VPN works…

They have had issues connecting to the databases through the VPN. Denver can connect to Denver with no problems, but can NOT connect to 3 other databases.

Cali cannot connect to Cali, but can sometimes connect to other databases.

Locally they cannot connect to any databases through the VPN (Public Wi-Fi), but have no problems connecting inside the network. This seems to be sporadic, and with no common variable, other than windows 7 home premium, VPN, and QuickBooks.

I need ideas on how to resolve this debacle… The errors are different every time but the most common is “QuickBooks recognizes the share but cannot recognize the database file as a QuickBooks file”. That same machine connects inside the network with no problems.
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Question by:ultreya
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Expert Comment

by:Bill Bach
ID: 35186800
Wuindows 7 Home is limited in the number of simultaneous connections allowed. Is it possible that the connection limit is being exceeded?
If so, then the simple solution is to move to a server-class OS, or even Windows XP (which was limited at 20 connections, if memory serves).
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Author Comment

by:ultreya
ID: 35190197
Windows 7 home premium allows for 20 connections as well, If I understood correctly. I do not believe this is the cause, because even after a "server" reboot and no other connections (internal), I still get the hit and miss connections through the VPN.
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by:Bill Bach
ID: 35191057
Hmm.  What about a completely different tack:  Use remote control solutions (LogMeIn, Remote Desktop, PCAnywhere, Terminal Services, etc.) to grant remote access?  This solution provides not only MUCH better performance, but it also provides much better stability, and you are letting only one port through the firewall/VPN.

As for finding out what is really wrong with the current environment, this might be a case where a network analysis tool like Wireshark can be used to monitor the incoming traffic.  However, you'd need it inside the VPN to avoid seeing only encrypted traffic.
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Author Comment

by:ultreya
ID: 35192168
The RDP setup whas my first suggestion, but for cost reasons they did not want to go that route.

I do not have access to a network analyzer tool. are there any other ideas?
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Bill Bach earned 500 total points
ID: 35192202
You can download Wireshark for free from www.wireshark.org.

Without knowing the cause of the problem (which WS can help determine), there is no way to determine a solution.  It's like trying to figure out which part in your car to replace when it doesn't start -- without looking under the hood.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ultreya
ID: 35320651
Turns out according to Intuit.
The bandwidth needs to be a minimum of 32MBs.
Therefore unless the connection through the VPN is at least 32MBs Quickbooks will not work.
Although they can not explain why it works sometimes.
Thanks for the help.
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