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Cannot Connect Computer Windows Essentials 2012

Posted on 2014-12-03
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Last Modified: 2015-09-20
Hello Experts,

I am not able to connect a client to Windows Server Essentials 2012.  While I am able to browse to http://mydomain/connect with the client when I run the join app it fails with, "The server is unavailable. Try to connect....etc".

I have two nics on the server, one for the internet (WAN) and the other for the LAN.  The WAN nic is just fine and I have access to the internet from the server; however, the LAN nic can't seem to hold the the server's own ip address though it is able to hold the server's ip address as the DNS since that's running.  When I run ipconfig/all I do see that the LAN nic is referencing the server's ip address correctly; though when I look at this nic directly the ip address for the server is missing.

I've run BPA I get the "DNS client not configured" and I've tried various suggestions to fix this but none seem to work.  I've also changed the nic for the LAN to ensure it's not a hardware issue.

Finally both the server and the client display limited connection on the LAN nic.  I don't know what it is I am doing wrong but at this point I've exhausted what I could come up with, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
configall.txt
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Question by:ShadowIT
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40480168
IN th e ipconfig /all you have attached the LAN has an automatically assigned microsoft IP address and NOT a statically assigned IP. The two nics need an IP address on DIFFERENT subnets, your WAN is on 192.168.111.10 via DHCP so I sugguest you use 192.168.1.x for your LAN.
Fix that  and try again.
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Author Comment

by:ShadowIT
ID: 40480210
Thank you for your suggestion; unfortunately it didn't solve the issue.  I also tried one with different subnets...neither worked.
newipcofigall.txt
again-ipconfigall.txt
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40480270
your WAN still shows a DNS on a 169 address, it should not be.
When on a client now what happens if you ping mydomain
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40480298
What you described is known as "multi-homed" due to multiple NICs being haned to multiple networks. Essentials (as a SKU and as a role) do not work with multi-homed severs, or multi -NIC servers in general actually. You can't do what you want with your current topology.
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Author Comment

by:ShadowIT
ID: 40480668
Neilsr: Good catch, I fixed the DNS on the WAN side (see attached).  Unfortunately it is still not working properly.  Thank you

Cliff Galiher: This is new information to me; I suppose that since SBS supported this, as it's replacement, I assumed Essentials did as well.  OK, if this topology isn't supported what is?  Do I just have a single nic on the server, which I assume I would configure to connect to the internet, I then also configure the client this same way and just join it this way?  So what are the implication of this, Windows Essentials is basically just a file server?
ipconfigallfixed.txt
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Author Comment

by:ShadowIT
ID: 40480894
Cliff Galiher:  You mean like this, correct?
WindowsEssentialsTypicalTopology.png
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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 40481183
SBS hasn't supported multiple NICs in a long time either. Then last version that did was 2003, and even them, it was only supposed to be done with the premium edition that shipped with ISA as a routing and firewall platform. Since 2008, SBS and essentials were designed to be deployed with a single NIC and a private IP address. Any internet access for the server and clients is provided by a separate NAT capable router. Configuring SBS or Essentials with a public address or multiple NICs is not supported.
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Author Comment

by:ShadowIT
ID: 40481268
Yes, I was referring to SBS 2003....so you didn't say specifically if I had this right now, I'm guessing yes?
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40481274
OK what exactly do you have? 2012 essentials or SBS 2003?  You question was for 2012 but now you say 2003SBS
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Author Comment

by:ShadowIT
ID: 40481309
I had SBS 2003 but now I am moving to Windows Essential 2012.  As I explained, because I had SBS I have this expectation, what I guess is now incorrect for  Windows Essential 2012 which explains why it is not working.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40481320
A few clip-art images with no labels or IP spaces declared is not much to go on. You may have it right. Or you may have it very very wrong. I can't answer that with the limited information provided.
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Author Comment

by:ShadowIT
ID: 40481347
I've always pondered the peculiar personality that professes aid but can't but deliver it with that light sprinkle of snarkiness.
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