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  • Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

    Ok, long posting....

    Sad as though it may seem, myself and my next door neighbour have linked our wired LANs. They're using my fileserver for storing their pictures (clean...) etc, and we're performing backups to each other's house etc.

    My LAN is 192.168.1.0/24, and my router is 192.168.1.1.

    Their LAN is 192.168.0.0/24, and their router is 192.168.0.1.

    In order to allow traffic to flow between them, my router has a secondary IP address of 192.168.0.254, and on their router I've added a static route 192.168.1.x to 192.168.0.254.

    Each house has the default gateway pointing to its own router.

    We have no DNS servers, except the DNS proxy that each router provides.

    IP-wise, everything works perfectly. I can ping their computers, they can ping my computers. BUT...we can only do this via IP address, and for convenience (e.g. mapping network drives) we'd like to do it via NETBIOS name. We can map network drives via IP address (e.g. \\192.168.1.40\Pictures)

    If I type ping 192.168.0.109 to access a computer in the other house, I get replies. If I type ping -a 192.168.0.109 I get Pinging CHRIS-PC [192.168.0.109] with 32 bytes of data, so there's clearly an element of resolution happening.

    But if I type ping CHRIS-PC I get ping request could not find host CHRIS-PC.

    Needless to say I can ping any computer on my LAN via NETBIOS name and get a reply. They can ping any computer on heir LAN via NETBIOS name and get a reply. But we can't ping by NETBIOS name across the network.

    Both computers (one on each LAN) are running Win7 RC, and therefore both have NETBIOS over TCP/IP enabled by default.

    The two routers in question are a Cisco 877 and a NetGear SRXN3205.

    I'm pretty sure this is a NETBIOS issue, but I've no idea what...

    Many thanks,



    Jim

    PS I want to avoid HOSTS files
    Last edited by jimwillsher; 2nd August 2009, 11:47.

  • #2
    Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

    It is a name resolution issue. I'm not sure why ping -a is working for you (AFAIK it shouldn't). When pinging by hostname Windows is going to try several methods to resolve the name:

    1. The local Hosts or Lmhosts file
    2. It's local name cache (NetBIOS and DNS).
    3. A DNS server
    4. A WINS server
    5. Broadcast

    Don't ask me the order of the above methods, I never remember it.

    At any rate you need to set up a name resolution method that can be used by hosts in both LAN's. My recommendation would be to set up a DNS server in each LAN. Create a forward lookup zone (domain) for each LAN in the appropriate DNS server. Configure each DNS server to use the other DNS server as a conditional forwarder for the other DNS forward lookup zone (domain). Configure each DNS server to use the router/modem in it's own LAN as a forwarder for all other domains. Configure each host to use it's own LAN's DNS server for DNS resolution.

    So the way this will work is:

    Host1 in LAN1 will query DNS1 for the FQDN of a host on the other LAN (host2.lan.domain), DNS1 (through the conditional forwarder setting) will forward the request to DNS2 in LAN2, which will send the result back to DNS1, which will pass it to Host1. Vice versa for the other LAN (LAN2).

    When Host1 queries DNS1 for any other domain (google.com, microsoft.com, etc.) DNS1 will forward the query to the router/modem, which will send the result back to DNS1, which in turn will send it to Host1. Yada-yada-yada.

    If for some reason you and the neighbor have a falling out or whatever, all each of you has to do is remove the conditional forwarder from your own DNS server that points to the other DNS server, remove the routes from your router/modem and bada-bing you networks are isolated again.

    You'll need to use FQDN's for all your mappings,etc. If you want to use only the single label name (NetBIOS) then you'll have to add the other domain name to the TCP/IP properties of the NIC of each host in each LAN. You could also use a WINS server or the lmhosts file but I think using DNS is the easiest, most straight forward approach.

    This may sound complicated but it's not. IMHO this is a better solution than setting up a WINS server or manually editing the hosts and/or lmhosts files on each computer. (The hosts file is for FQDN names and the lmhosts file is for NetBIOS names).

    So I think my response to your post is the longer posting here...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

      Cool, many thanks for the detailed notes. Setting up DNS does seem to be the way forward, as I'd rather do that than hosts/lmhosts.

      Time for me to experiment......


      Cheers,



      Jim

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

        Keep us posted as to how it works out for you.

        Also, I'm not sure why the routing is working for you (it shouldn't be working) but if it's not broke, don't fix it. Or is it that you've physically connected the two LAN's together? If so, that would explain it. That must be one long cable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

          Hi,

          Yes, it's one long cable. Through a hosepipe, buried under the lawn It still connects at gigabit speed though, so it must be a fairly good connection.

          I did some experimentation yesterday with a Windows 2008 server (Virtual Machine) as I have MSDN access. I set computers on BOTH of the LANs to use the Windows server as the DNS, and things seemed to work okay. So I think the DNS setting will be my answer.

          Cheers,




          Jim

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

            Thanks for the info.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

              Originally posted by jimwillsher View Post
              Hi,

              Yes, it's one long cable. Through a hosepipe, buried under the lawn It still connects at gigabit speed though, so it must be a fairly good connection.


              Cheers,

              Jim
              Hope you used the appropriate cable since it is buried in the ground at some stage the cable will get wet and then you will have network problem. Also note that in some countries it is illegal to connect properties by this means. I believe the reasoning behind it was that the network eventually connects back into the phone system and could theoretically end up causing problems at the phone exchange. Highly unlikely with the equipment of today but these laws still stand.
              1 1 was a racehorse.
              2 2 was 1 2.
              1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
              2 2 1 1 2

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

                There's no reason why it should get wet. It's buried in a hosepipe (pretty waterproof I think ) the ends of which terminate above ground and behind waterproof plates. So it should be pretty robust.



                Jim

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

                  Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                  Hope you used the appropriate cable since it is buried in the ground at some stage the cable will get wet and then you will have network problem. Also note that in some countries it is illegal to connect properties by this means. I believe the reasoning behind it was that the network eventually connects back into the phone system and could theoretically end up causing problems at the phone exchange. Highly unlikely with the equipment of today but these laws still stand.
                  Not sure if it's illegal over here - although you certainly wouldn't get it certified - connecting two buildings via copper rather than fibre exposes you to potentially dangerous voltages (pun by accident not by design ) should there be an earth fault at either property, or indeed should there be any earth voltage difference between the two buildings. Plus if a fault does develop and the two buildings are supplied by different phases, that could be nasty.

                  Unlikely, but I would strongly advise that people do not run copper between two buildings. Fibre is dirt cheap these days, and the required transceivers are pretty cheap too.
                  Gareth Howells

                  BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                  Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                  Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                  "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                  "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

                    All (or most?) UK domestic properties are served by a single-phase supply, and as the houses are next door (and I watched them lay the cable when they were built two years ago) I know it's single phase from the same supply.

                    I agree, it's probably a bad idea in principle. But I'm sure we're safe, and we'd pull the cable back through if one of us moved house.


                    Jim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

                      Originally posted by jimwillsher View Post
                      There's no reason why it should get wet. It's buried in a hosepipe (pretty waterproof I think ) the ends of which terminate above ground and behind waterproof plates. So it should be pretty robust.
                      Jim
                      Just telling you what I know Jim and it is one to keep in mind if you start to get strange unexplained network problems.
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Need help with NETBIOS across two linked LANs

                        Indeed, most UK properties are on a single phase supply - I know for a fact though that my house is on L1 and my neighbours either side are on L2 and L3 respectively - just a quirk of where are houses are relative to where the supplies run.

                        Whether it's a house or a factory or an office though, and even when the property has its own three phase supply and we know for a fact that this factory is on the same phase as this office next door, I never run copper between them due to the risks I've mentioned. Even if you don't suddenly wind up with 400V accross your network cable, I wouldn't like to take the risk of an earth fault at either end causing sparks and/or blue smoke and/or geeks smelling slightly of smoke.
                        Gareth Howells

                        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                        Comment

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