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Quick Fixes for Network Connections

Updated: August 31, 2007

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

This topic provides a summary of the most common Network and Sharing Center problems in the Microsoft® Windows Vista® and Windows Server® 2008 operating systems and the solutions to those problems. You can use the information in this topic to resolve problems in the same way that you use a frequently asked questions (FAQ) topic to find answers to common questions. Read this topic before you begin any advanced troubleshooting.

The following are common Network and Sharing Center problems and quick fixes:

Unable to connect to a remote access server

When trying to connect, a message is received that says the remote access server is not responding

The sessions with a remote access server on the network keep getting dropped

Connections are disconnecting abnormally

When trying to connect, a hardware error is received

When trying to connect by using ISDN, a "No Answer" message is received

Connections configured by using PPP or TCP/IP are failing

Connections made by using Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) are failing

When using a local area network connection, there is no response

Remote clients cannot see resources beyond the remote access server

The smart card reader does not work

The smart card does not work

When you try to establish a remote access connection by using a smart card, you receive an error

Cause:  Firewall software running on your local computer or in a network device, such as a broadband router, is blocking network traffic to the remote server.

Solution:  Configure your firewall software or network device to allow remote network traffic. For more information, see the documentation for your firewall software or network device.

Cause:  The remote access server is not running.

Solution:  Verify that the remote access server is running. If other clients can connect, the problem may be specific to your computer.

Cause:  You do not have a valid local or domain user account, or you do not have remote access permission.

Solution:  Verify that your user account has been created, and that you have remote access permission.

Cause:  You dialed the wrong number, or you dialed the correct number but forgot to dial an external line-access number, such as 9.

Solution:  Verify that the dialed number is correct.

Cause:  Your modem cannot negotiate with the modem of the server.

Solution:  Ensure that the two modems are compatible with each other. Check the manufacturing documentation from your modem vendor, or modem vendor Web site, for a modem compatibility overview.

Cause:  The modem cable is connected by using a 9-to-25 pin converter.

Solution:  Do not use the 9-to-25-pin converters that are included with most mouse hardware because some of them do not correctly carry modem signals. Use a converter made especially for modems.

Cause:  The telephone line does not accommodate your modem speed.

Solution:  Select a lower bits-per-second (bps) rate.

See also:  Change the Maximum Modem Port Speed.

Cause:  The line you are trying to use is digital.

Solution:  Most modems work only with analog phone lines. Verify that you have analog phone lines installed or, if you have digital phone lines installed, verify that the servers and clients have digital modems.

Cause:  Your modem settings need to be changed because of a remote access server change.

Solution:  Verify the modem settings of the remote access server.

Cause:  

  • At higher bits-per-second (bps) rates, your modem is incompatible with the modem of the server.

  • There is a lot of static on the phone line, which prevents a modem from connecting at a higher bps rate.

  • The phone switching equipment between the client and server prevents the two modems from negotiating at a higher bps rate.

Solution:  Adjust the speed of your modem to a lower bit-per-seconds (bps) rate.

See also:  Change the Maximum Modem Port Speed

Cause:  The remote access server is not running.

Solution:  Verify that the remote access server is running.

Cause:  Call waiting is disrupting your connection.

Solution:  Verify that the phone has call waiting. If so, disable call waiting and try calling again.

See also:  Change dialing properties for a location

Cause:  The remote access server disconnected you because of inactivity.

Solution:  Attempt the dial-up connection again. The time-out value is typically configured on the remote access server and is controlled by the administrator.

Cause:  Someone picked up the phone. Picking up the phone automatically disconnects you.

Solution:  Attempt the dial-up connection again.

Cause:  Your modem cable is loose.

Solution:  Verify that the modem cable is connected properly.

Cause:  Your modem software needs to be updated.

Solution:  Check with your modem manufacturer for modem software updates.

Cause:  The remote access server is not performing optimally.

Solution:   Verify that the remote access server is running properly.

Cause:  

  • Your modem cannot negotiate correctly with the modem of the remote access server.

  • The serial port of the computer cannot keep up with the speed you have selected.

Solution:  Try to connect at a lower initial port speed.

See also:  Change the Maximum Modem Port Speed.

Cause:  Your modem software needs to be updated.

Solution:  Check with your modem manufacturer for modem software updates.

Cause:  The modem is turned off.

Solution:  Verify that the modem is turned on. If the modem is turned off, turn it on, and then redial.

Cause:  Your modem is not functioning properly.

Solution:  Enable modem logging to test the modem. For more information, see the documentation for your modem.

See also:  Log and View Modem Commands

Cause:  Your cable is incompatible.

Solution:  If you cannot see your modem in Network Connections, the cable that attaches your modem to the computer is probably incompatible. You need to install a compatible cable.

Cause:  The remote access server did not answer because it is turned off or the modem is not connected.

Solution:  Verify that the remote access server is working properly.

Cause:  The line is busy.

Solution:  Try calling later, or verify that the remote access server is working properly.

Cause:  There is a problem with the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) hardware.

Solution:  Verify that the ISDN adapters are installed and configured correctly.

Cause:  Your phone number is not configured correctly.

Solution:  In some cases, each B-channel on an ISDN line has its own number, while in other cases both B-channels share a single number. Your telephone company can tell you how many numbers your ISDN line has.

Cause:  If you are located in the United States or Canada, your Service Profile Identifier (SPID) is configured incorrectly. The SPID normally consists of the phone number with additional digits added to the beginning, the end, or both. The SPID helps the switch understand what type of equipment is attached to the line and routes calls to appropriate devices on the line. If an ISDN channel requires a SPID, but it is not entered correctly, then the device cannot place or accept calls.

Solution:  Verify that the SPID is entered correctly.

Cause:  A poor line condition (for example, too much static) interrupted your connection.

Solution:  Wait a few minutes, and then try dialing again.

Cause:  You did not enable line-type negotiation, or a connection cannot be made with the line type you selected.

Solution:  Enable line-type negotiation.

Cause:  Your ISDN switching facility is busy.

Solution:  Try again later.

Cause:  Your DigiBoard card is too old.

Solution:  If you do not have the latest PCIMAC-ISA DigiBoard card, serial number A14308 or greater, contact DigiBoard for a replacement. A DigiBoard is a high capacity serial adapter used on remote access servers for banks of modems.

Cause:  The server does not support Link Control Protocol (LCP) extensions.

Solution:  If you cannot connect to a server by using Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), or the remote computer terminates your connection, the server might not support LCP extensions. In Network Connections, clear the Enable LCP extensions check box.

Cause:  If you successfully connect to a remote server by using PPP, but TCP/IP does not work, the problem might be IP header compression.

Solution:  Try to reconnect after turning off IP header compression.

See Also:  Start or stop requesting LCP Extensions in PPP; Enable or disable IP header compression in PPP

Cause:  The wrong local area network (LAN) network adapter is shared.

Solution:  A computer with ICS needs two connections. One connection, typically a LAN adapter, connects to the computers on the home or small office network and the other connection connects the home or small office network to the Internet. You need to ensure that ICS is enabled on the connection that connects your home or small office network to the Internet.

Cause: If users on your home or small office network cannot reach the Internet, TCP/IP is incorrectly configured on their home or small office network computers.

Solution: Verify that the following TCP/IP settings are established on home or small office network local area connections:

  • IP address: Obtain an IP address automatically (through DHCP)

  • DNS server: Obtain DNS server address automatically

  • Default gateways: None specified

Cause:  The Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service is not started.

Solution:  Use Event Viewer to verify that the ICS service is started.

See also:  Event Viewer Overview

Cause:  The Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) host computer is not properly configured for name resolution.

Solution: You might need to configure the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) or Domain Name System (DNS) name resolution services on the computer. If computers on the home or small office network cannot resolve names to IP addresses, you can check the name resolution configuration of the ICS host computer by viewing the status of the connection in Network and Sharing Center. There are two ways that your ISP can configure name resolution:

  • Statically assigned name servers

    You must manually configure the TCP/IP protocol with the IP address (or addresses) of the name servers provided by the ISP. If you have statically assigned name servers, you can view the status of the network connection at any time to get the IP addresses of your configured name servers.

  • Dynamically assigned name servers

    Manual configuration is not required. The IP addresses of the name servers provided by the ISP are dynamically assigned whenever you dial the ISP. If you have dynamically assigned name servers, you must view the status of the network connection after a connection to the ISP has been made.

See also: View network connection status in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

Cause:  If you cannot play a game across the Internet, the protocol used by the application is not translatable by using network address translation (NAT).

Solution:  Try running the application from the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) host computer. If the application works there but not at a workstation on the home or small office network, then the application might not be translatable.

Cause:  If you cannot play a game across the Internet, the application is not configured on the ICS host computer.

Solution:  Verify that the application, including port numbers, is configured correctly.

Cause:  If Internet users cannot see a service on your home or small office network, such as a Web server, the service is not configured correctly.

Solution:  Verify that the service, including port numbers and TCP/IP addresses, is configured correctly.

Cause: If users on your home or small office network cannot reach Internet sites by using friendly names, there is a DNS resolution problem.

Solution:  Have users on your home or small office network use fully qualified domain names, such as @@contosoexample@@, or IP addresses when accessing Internet resources.

See Also:  Change Internet settings for ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) in Windows Help.

Cause:  There might be problems with your network adapter.

Solution: Try the following:

  • Check the appearance of the local area connection icon. Depending on the status of the local area connection, the icon appears in different ways in the Network Connections folder. Also, if the local area connection media is disconnected (for example, the cable is unplugged), a status icon is displayed in the taskbar.

  • Use Device Manager to verify that your network adapter is working correctly.

See also:  View the List of Available Connections; View network connection status in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

Cause:  The LAN cable might not be plugged into the network adapter.

Solution:  Check to make sure the LAN cable is inserted into the network adapter.

Cause: If the IP addresses that are being allocated to remote clients are not a subset of the network to which the remote access server is attached, you must create a route to the remote clients on the intranet computers.

Solution: Reconfigure your range of IP addresses that are being allocated to remote clients so that it is a subset of the network to which the remote access server is attached. If you cannot do this, then configure your intranet hosts with the IP address of the remote access server as a default gateway. The term intranet hosts is used to describe computers on the same subnet as the remote access server.

  • If your intranet hosts are configured to obtain an IP address automatically and a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server is present, you can configure your DHCP server to assign the default gateway.

  • If your intranet hosts are configured to obtain an IP address automatically and a DHCP server is not present (you are using the Automatic Private IP Addressing feature), then you must manually configure all of your intranet hosts with an IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.

Cause:  The smart card reader is not installed.

Solution:  Install the smart card reader, and then make sure that it is properly attached to the port.

Cause:  The smart card reader is not installed properly.

Solution:  Try the following:

  • Make sure that the smart card reader appears in Device Manager.

  • Ensure that you have the latest drivers installed for your smart card reader. To do so, right-click the smart card reader in Device Manager, and then click Update driver. If this does not work, check Windows Update to verify whether you are using the most recent drivers.

  • If the drivers for your smart card reader are not loaded correctly or have become corrupted, you can reinstall them. To do this, right-click the smart card reader in Device Manager, and then click Uninstall. Right-click any device, and then click Scan for hardware changes.

  • If the solutions given above do not work, uninstall the smart card reader drivers using Device Manager and then unplug the smart card reader from its port. Next, plug the smart card reader back into its appropriate port. Windows will automatically reinstall the drivers for the newly detected hardware.

  • If Windows Update does not offer drivers for your smart card reader, contact the supplier for your smart card reader to verify whether you have the appropriate drivers.

  • Try a different smart card reader.

An improperly installed smart card reader can generate the following errors:

  • Error 0x80090022: Provider could not perform the action since the context was acquired as silent.

  • Error 0x80090019: The keyset is not defined.

  • Error 764: No smart card reader is installed.

  • An internal error has been detected, but the source is unknown.

  • Error 0x8010002e: Cannot find a smart card reader. For customized troubleshooting information for this connection, click Help.

If you are using cryptographic service provider (CSP) software from a supplier other than Microsoft, the software might not be installed properly or might be corrupted. If this happens, you might see the following error messages:

  • Error 0x80090022: Provider could not perform the action since the context was acquired as silent.

  • Error 0x80090019: The keyset is not defined.

  • An internal error has been detected, but the source is unknown.

Cause:  The smart card reader might be physically damaged.

Solution:  Try the following:

  • Check whether the smart card reader has an LED or a display that tells you whether the device is functioning properly. Verify by using the manual supplied by your vendor.

  • Try a different smart card reader.

Cause:  The smart card might be inserted incorrectly.

Solution:  Try the following:

  • The smart card might be inserted upside down, or wrong end first in the smart card reader. Make sure you insert it oriented as described by the smart card reader documentation.

  • If this does not work, see the solutions for "The smart card reader does not work."

Cause:  The smart card might be physically damaged.

Solution:  Try the following:

  • See the solutions for "The smart card reader does not work."

  • Try a different smart card reader to determine whether the smart card itself might be damaged.

Cause:   Multiple users might be logged on to the remote client computer.

Solution:  Try the following:

  • Log off any additional users that are logged on at the same time by using Remote Desktop or Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).

  • If more than one user is logged on with administrative credentials, the following error message appears: "Local Security Authority cannot be contacted." Log off additional users that have logged on with administrative credentials.

  • If more than one user is logged on by using local user credentials, the following error message appears: "Cannot find a smart card reader (Error 0x8010002e). For customized troubleshooting information for this connection, click Help." Log off additional users that have logged on by using local user credentials.

For additional information, see the following:

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