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  • SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

    I have just set up a simple SBS 2003 server, running a domain. It connects through a Netgear DG834W router which I have set up using the wizard in SBS 2003 and uPnP. One of the main features I want to utilise are the remote web workplace, so terminal services to remote to the server and Exchange OWA/OMA (using push e-mail to a mobile phone).

    Everything works as it should, but every now and again I will lose the ability to access the server externally. Phone won't connect, no access via the remote web workplace etc.

    I know if I go through the wizard to set up Internet connections again then it will start working, but I'm not sure if this is getting to the cause of the problem or simply patching it up.

    Can anybody point me in the direction of what I should be looking for to solve this, logs, errors etc. So far I can't see anything that looks wrong or out of place. There also doesn't seem to be any pattern to when it does this.

    Thanks in advance for any help

  • #2
    Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

    Event logs should be the first place you look whenever a Windows machine acts up. Anything in there?
    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.

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    • #3
      Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

      Hi Gareth,

      I'll have to check when I get back to it, as I am out of the office at the moment and obviously unable to connect. I'll report back when I get to it with any anomolies.

      Thanks,

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

        Is RRaS setup to accept VPN connections? If so, can you still connect that way? Can you still connect to OWA (directly, not via RWW)? Is email still passing in and out of the server? Can LAN users still browse the web?

        Have you tried swapping out the router for a different model? I've experienced issues with the 834 family (and to be honest, most consumer Netgear devices) being rather flaky. If you have a particularly strong tie to Netgear, I'd recommend one of their Prosafe models.
        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


        • #5
          Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

          Hi Gareth,

          Thanks again for the reply. I have a feeling this is a router issue but need to investigate properly. I have had problems with the port forwarding being very flakey on this router, and some software not even picking it up that it is UPnP. I was quite suprised when Windows did. My 834 is a very early version, I picked up a later version (a Sky router that I 'normalised') and that was awful and reduced my line speed dramatically. This is a very small project and there's no justification for an expensive router. I also have no strong tie to Netgear, it's just that it has worked up until now.

          Is there anything you would recommend? Without sounding like the ever-broken record, cost is an issue and the ADSL line it sits on is a long and noisy line.

          I don't believe the VPN is set up yet, I do not remember running the wizard for it. I cannot connect from a TermServ connection from another computer, or from RWW. No connection to OWA, but the server is still collecting mail from the POP account as I can check this via webmail at the ISP (it's using the POP3 connector). Otherwise, there is nobody using the network at the moment so I can't tell what's happening there, or see if e-mail is coming out.

          Last time it happened and I was with the server, the network was working fine internally, with Internet access but no access from the outside in.

          The more I think about it, the more I think the router is dropping the UPnP forwarding setup. It has been problematic before and it would explain why a reconfiguration of the firewall setup in SBS fixes things for an amount of time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

            You could always ditch using UPnP and configure the router manually.
            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


            • #7
              Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

              Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
              You could always ditch using UPnP and configure the router manually.
              Amen. I've never got UPnP on any router to work reliably for any length of time. Unless it's a port forward that changes, and it shouldn't be as any device requiring incoming traffic should be static, there's no real benefit to it. In fact it's a potential security hole, as utorrent (for example) tries to map a port via UPnP so you could end up with file sharers on your network.

              If you really want/need a new router there are loads of decently priced and specced devices from Netgear, D-Link and Linksys. I'd personally avoid Belkin - had one too many bad experiences there.
              BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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              Cruachan's Blog

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              • #8
                Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

                I will give it a go at manual configuration but from experience I think it just won't work. I had terrible trouble getting access to simple things before. Sometimes it would work, sometimes not.

                Just checked the server and there's nothing in the event logs that shouldn't be there. Also nothing in the router logs at all to show that something has gone wrong.

                Bit stuck where to look next. I will try setting up the router port forwarding manually and then go from there.

                Thanks again for all the help guys

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                • #9
                  Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

                  Is the router's firmware up to date?
                  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: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

                    Ok, I've re-run the Internet connection wizard but without running automated UPnP setup. I've just sat and added the rules manually in to the firewall (hoping I've done this right as I'm still learning about these things).

                    Now I have access again, so I suppose the now we have to see how long it lasts and then go from there.

                    Fingers crossed!

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                    • #11
                      Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

                      Gareth, just checked and yes there is a new version. In honesty, I haven't checked for a while as it's so old I thought they would have withdrawn support for it. It's only had these changes apparently:

                      1. The ADSL driver has been updated to improve ADSL2+ interoperability.
                      2. Added a checkbox to enable Service Message Block (SMB) protocol across VPN tunnels. This feature is available for Auto or Manual VPN policies on the VPN Policies Page.
                      3. Fixed a problem with DNS relay.

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                      • #12
                        Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

                        Unlikely to make much difference, but doesn't hurt to upgrade it anyway.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

                          Definitely stay away from uPnP - I dont know anyone who uses it in a business envirnment. MS are trying to push it in SBS 2008 though
                          TIA

                          Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
                          http://www.wintra.co.il/
                          sigpic
                          Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

                          We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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                          • #14
                            Re: SBS 2003 losing ability to connect from external source

                            It's been stable since I changed it from uPnP the other day, so thanks for the advice guys. It's now completely turned off on my router, after digging around I found some of the possible security flaws in it.

                            On the face of it, uPnP is a great idea, easy to set up etc. but the implimentation of it is pretty bad.

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