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Mac - Connect to Server - "There was a problem connecting to the server 192.168.1.10"

Posted on 2014-10-28
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Last Modified: 2014-10-29
Mac - Connect to Server - "There was a problem connecting to the server 192.168.1.10. The file server is available on your computer. Access the volumes and files locally."

I am attempting to connect via SMB, though I have attempted via AFP only to get the same message.

The end user is connecting via VPN and can ping the IP of the server and obviously has an IP assigned to it that is on the same network.
The end user is running OS X 10.9.2

I was not able to recreate the issue on another Mac using the same user credentials, server address, etc...

Other forums suggested renaming the Mac's Computer Name in Sharing, but this has not helped.
I have listed the volumes, but only the local hard drive populates.
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Question by:webitservices
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3 Comments
 
LVL 53

Assisted Solution

by:strung
strung earned 250 total points
ID: 40410752
The problem you describe is usually caused by having the Mac's local LAN use the same subnet as the office server. If, for instance the office server is 192.168.1.1 and the Mac is on a local LAN on the subnet 192.168.1.x, the Mac VPN client will not know whether to direct 192.168.1.1 to the local or remote LAN.

The solution is to change the subnet of the local LAN to something different, say 192.168.5.x.
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Accepted Solution

by:
schaps earned 250 total points
ID: 40412075
I think strung is on the right track, but there's a bit more to it in this case.

First of all, it is apparent that the user's home network also uses the IP subnet 192.168.1.x/24. Furthermore, on the user's home network, his Mac has the same IP address as the server in question, 192.168.1.10.
When your user pings what you think is the server, it's actually hitting the Mac's own network adapter (you can confirm this by having him ping 192.168.1.10 in the Terminal and then type "arp -n 192.168.1.10" - the MAC address shown will be the Mac's own NIC MAC address).
When the user connects to the VPN, he gets another IP address in the 192.168.1.x subnet for the VPN connection, but an outgoing ping will hit its own NIC first before coming over the VPN connection and return the ping response.

Strung's suggestion to have the user change the IP subnet used at home to something different is technically correct, and it would help in this one case, but you will keep on running into this kind of problem with VPN users until you change the subnet on your network.

192.168.1.x and 192.168.0.x are the most common subnets used by home/consumer routers. For the office environment, the best solution is to change the office network to an IP subnet which is unlikely to be used by any of your VPN users, such as 172.27.1.x/24. Just make sure the subnet you use is private IP space:
10.0.0.0 through 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 through 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 through 192.168.255.255

Ask more about that, if you're not sure about IP ranges, subnet masks, etc.
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Author Closing Comment

by:webitservices
ID: 40412125
Indeed it was the remote users home network subnet that was causing the issues.  We changed to a different subnet for her home for now and all is working now.

Thanks for the help!
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