Remote Computer Mixup

Posted on 2013-11-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have an SBS Essentials 2011 system running with 12 computers in the network. Our users have Remote Web Access into their work computers and all was going alone fine until Computer xx006 seems to have become mixed up with Computer xx008.
eg. When xx006 is selected from the Remote Web Access available computers list the user is taken to a computer with a label at the top indicating that their remote computer is xx006 but in fact they are on xx008 which is confirmed by going to Control Panel/System/Computer Name.

I guess I could try removing xx006 at the server dashboard and re-connect it but I am looking for some confirmation of what the problem might be and perhaps advice on where I could look first.

Looking forward to suggestions

Question by:Benview
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 39638386
very strange. What happens if you log in via IP addresses of computers ??
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 39639551
I had this happen and the only way I got it to work correctly was remove both computers, place in a workgroup, delete any DHCP and DNS entries and add them back. One computer still was mixed up so I changed the computer name. I know this doesn't help with "why" this is happening but hopefully will get things up and running for you.

Personally I believe the problem was in the registry and I didn't feel digging around too much was worth the time then computers working correctly.

Author Comment

ID: 39639820
Thanks 'innocentdevil', I checked what their IP allocations were in the router and then used Remote Desktop Connection to connect to those IPs. I was taken to the correct computer each time.

Thanks 'WORKS2011' It is good  to know that someone else has had the same problem and it is fixable by removing and replacing the computers.

I have a few days to fix this so I might chase the "why" for a bit longer......

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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 39641520
I'm sorry to disagree with WORKS2011 this is a DNS error.

The way this work is when you type the name the OS will look for the assigned IP to that name within the DNS server designated on that machine the DNS will in turn return the IP address.  If for some reason the DNS is not updated properly it will return a valid IP but not for the machine requested.

There could be 2 reasons for this, you have 2 or more DHCP on your network:  Here your clients will get an IP from either DHCP and will register on DNS server then when is time to renew its IP if that other DHCP is full or the IP taken it will look take a different one and register again in the DNS at that time you will have 2 entries for the same machine but with different IP; the DNS will always return the first one in the list.

Second, you have 2 or more DHCP and DNS servers and your DNS server are not replicating/updating:  In large scenarios it is a good idea/practice to divide and conquer, having multiple DHCP and DNS servers can help improve network traffic and servers disasters; if the replication/update process between the DNS servers is affected sooner or later one or more clients will get a bad IP return from their assigned DNS server (I don't think this is your scenario as you mentioned only 12 clients).

 WORKS2011 solution worked for him because he changed the name of the computer therefore a new name on the list but in time the name will get duplicated with a different IP.

Double check your only DHCP server should be the Essential server don't use your router even if your clients are just 12.

Good Luck
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 39641538
re-above post. If there were more than one DHCP server on the network i.e: rogue dhcp then everyone would be having major issues and IP conflicts so I do not think that is the case at all.

I would just delete those computers off the AD and try again and see if it makes any difference.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 39641551
I'm not guessing here... I have this issue every time I have to service one of my DHCP servers as clients get their address in another DHCP.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 39641654
@Benview how are things working towards a resolution? As Captain Obvious (AKA @hecgomrec) stated how a network works I'm assuming you don't have two DHCP servers or two DNS servers, you're network is setup correctly since it worked in the past.

To take my scenario a step further it turned out that offsite backup software was the problem, it saves computer name and IP info in the registry when the users switched computers and profiles were changed the software didn't update the registry. I didn't find this out until it happened again and the reason I didn't mention it is because the offsite backup company (if) I had done their recommendation I wouldn't have much registry left.

Another note, being in this business for 15+ years time is invaluable. If I sat around and waited for every answer I wouldn't have a job. Sometimes getting the computers (equipment) up and running in the minimum amount of time is the professional thing to do, least amount of problems for clients while techs will continue to resolve problem in virtual environment afterwards and continue to research and troubleshoot. This is another reason I have a virtual environment for time sensitive problems I'm curious about.

If troubleshooting takes longer than rebuilding and it's annoying to the end user...you get the point.

Author Comment

ID: 39643046
Thanks to the respondents to my issue, the discussion is certainly broardening my understanding. I have a good background in IT but looking after networks is not my daily activity. In this case it is a system within the family so we do what we can to help. Having said that we are like a dog with a bone when a problem arises.

The SBS Essientials 2011 was set up with the router as DHCP server as that is where I was lead to during setup... ie SBS Essentials as DHCP server was not a recommended configuration. So without solid network experience I went with the instructions at the time. Afterall, I am the type of person SBS Essentials was designed for.

I have a group of 12 computers working just fine within the site, our backup system is in place with copies moving offsite regularly. I have one issue (as explained in my initial question) when one user tries to get to their computer via Remote Web Access, they get the wrong one. I do not have the confidence (or experience) to stop a 99% working system in mid stream and change DHCP servers and have them back up running the next morning (maybe when they go on a holiday break!).

The site does have a static IP, Within the router I have allocated a local range and isolated several IP addresses for major items including the server. Using Remote Web Access I  can get to the correct computer using IP address but not using the computer name.
It seems to me that there should be somewhere I can look be it in an IP or DNS place to check entries and perhaps find an inconsistancy. Any suggestions as to where I should look would be helful as at the moment it seems like I am wondering aimlessly in a big place.

Thanks again for your interest
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

hecgomrec earned 1500 total points
ID: 39644581
Your Essential should be your only DHCP server.

Changing it is as easy as turning your router off and the one on the Essentials on or if is on already do nothing else.

To check the list of your DNS entries:

Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click DNS.

In the left pane of DNS Manager, expand the server node then expand Forward Lookup Zones then in the right pane, verify that you can see the DNS records that represent your network.

You can find more here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc463451(v=WS.10).aspx

Author Comment

ID: 39650596
Success ..... "hecgomrec" your suggestion that I look in Admin Tools/DNS was a good move, there I found my two conflicting computers with the same IP.....

xx006       Host(A)           ..........1.106
xx008       Host(A)           ..........1.106

The other 10 computers had there own IPs. What I did notice was that the Time Stamp on xx006 was old whereas the Time Stamp on the other computers in the list was very current. Almost as though xx008 was taking the update every time. I was able to edit the record and set the xx006 to the IP allocated in the router's DHCP. Remote Web Access now takes the user to the correct computer.

I know you are an advocate for the Essentials server to be the DHCP server but as I now know that I can easily fix the issue if it happens again I've decided to stay with the router at the moment at least. I know I only have one DHCP server configured as I set the system up from the start and have not configured any other.

I am not expecting a repeat as it has only happened once and to only one computer pair. Perhaps I could consolidate the system by reserving IPs from within the local range at the router for all computers as I have done already for several items.

Thanks for your input


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39650602
After several interactions this response took me to the DNS Manager where the problem was identified and fixed.

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