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Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Hi - I need some help with a remote desktop connection…

 

My workplace has Comcast business internet; we have a Windows 2003 server.  I need to set up a remote desktop connection to the server from by home.  The client computer is running Windows XP Pro, SP3.

 

Could anyone give me specific step by step instructions on what I need to do on the host side to make this connection?

 

Thanks for your help!:smileycool:

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,230
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

The easiest way to do this is to use LogMeIn. Just install the software on both machines. There is even a free version.

Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Hi, thanks for your reply.

 

I would really prefer to set up the connection without using a program to do it... I have enabled remote desktop for administration, but I'm missing some steps.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,785
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Is the host computer behind a router/firewall. If so the RDP port 3389 will need to be port forwarded.

Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Hi EG,

 

It is.  I found this article on allowing Remote Desktop connections from outside a home network:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/allow-remote-desktop-connections-from-outside-your-home-...

 

Would I need to do something similar to what is described in the article for the Windows Server at my workplace?

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed


jkb07 wrote:

Hi EG,

 

It is.  I found this article on allowing Remote Desktop connections from outside a home network:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/allow-remote-desktop-connections-from-outside-your-home-...

 

Would I need to do something similar to what is described in the article for the Windows Server at my workplace?


Yes, but the details all depend on what firewall is between the server and your remote access system.  If the server is just sitting behind the Comcast SMC gateway, and no other router or firewall in between, then just log into the gateway and port forward 3389 as instructed to the IP address of the server.  Then on the server, make sure the firewall there is accepting external connections and that Remote Desktop is configured with the proper users and allowing connections.

 

Bear in mind that those port forwarding instructions are generic.  Your Comcast gateway is likely sitting at 10.1.0.1, not 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1.  And the actual steps once into the device vary quite a bit.  Consult your specific model's manual for details.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,785
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Thanks for jumping in here Baric !! :smileyhappy:

 

None of us can ever be here 24/7...

Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Thanks guys - I'm going to read over your replies and study up on what I actually have equipment-wise, etc.  I'll let you know if I have further questions.

 

Thanks again for all of your help, I appreciate your time and expertise!

Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Hi - I've run into a problem when I try to set up the port forwarding on the Comcast router.  The model is SMCD3G-CCR.  When I click Apply on the port forwarding screen I get the following message:

 

"Server IP isn't in LAN IP address subnet!"

 

At the end of my post is what I get with ipconfig/all on the server.  I tried using both of the IP addresses listed below (192.168.102.12 and 192.168.102.3) and get the same message with each of them.

 

One other thing to note: I can't get into the router from the server, I have to hook up a laptop to it and do it that way.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig/all

 

Windows IP Configuration

 

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : xyz2
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : mywebaddress.local
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : mywebaddress.local
                                       server.xyz

Ethernet adapter Server Local Area Connection:

 

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : HP NC7782 Gigabit Server Adapter #2
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-16-35-69-9B-83
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.102.12
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.102.1
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.102.12
   NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Disabled

 

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

 

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : server.xyz
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : HP Network Team #1
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-16-35-69-9B-83
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
   Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.102.3
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.102.1
   DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.102.1
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.102.7
                                       204.157.98.8
   Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Sunday, October 09, 2011 5:52:22 PM
   Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5:52:22 PM

Networking Expert
kevj
Posts: 4,853
Registered: ‎10-03-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

So when you get into the router and look at the LAN setup page, what is the LAN subnet the router is using?

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Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

What is the IP address of the SMC gateway, 192.168.102.1?  Or is that the IP address of some other router sitting behind the SMC?  If so, you have a double NAT setup (ie two NAT routers connected in series), and must port forward on the first to the WAN interface IP of the 2nd, then port forward on the 2nd router to the actual server IP address.

 

Um, why two IP addresses on the same machine to the same subnet?  Not that you can't do that, but it requires some work setup and properly maintain a multi-homed machine.

Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Here's what is on the SMC router's LAN page:

 

LAN IP SETUP
The LAN section is the IP information distributed by the gateway to your local network (computers connected to your gateway).

 

IP Address: 10.1.10.1
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Domain Suffix: (box is blank)

 

Enable LAN DHCP (checked)
Lease Time: 1 Week
DHCP Start IP: 10.1.10.10
DHCP End IP: 10.1.10.199

 

Assign DNS Manually (unchecked)

 

There is a second router which appears to be used for routing print jobs to a printer and plotter.

 

 

 

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Your computer is connected to another router sitting at 192.168.102.1, that is where the default gateway is and that is where all incoming connections have to go through.  So, you have to log into this router (whatever it is), find it's WAN IP address and setup port forwarding on the SMC to this new router's WAN IP address, then another port forwarding setup in this new router pointing to your computer's IP address.  So your setup looks something like this (baring any other unknow routers):

 

Internet --> (public IP) SMC gateway (10.1.10.1) --> (10.1.10.x) mysterious router (192.168.102.1) --> (192.168.102.12) your computer

 

For an incoming RDP connection on port 3389, the request has to hit the SMC gateway, find a port forward there to be directed to the unknown router's , find another port forward there which in turn directs it on finally to your computer.

 

Double NAT setups are ... messy.  They can be made to work, but they require extra care and feeding, and will slow things down a bit, depending on the router throughputs and configurations.

Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Hi Baric,

 

That makes perfect sense... But I'm having problems getting into the second router.  It's a Netgear RT311.  When I enter the 192.168.102.1 IP address in the browser address bar, I get an "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" error message.  Any ideas on why that would be happening?

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

[ Edited ]

Try:

 

http://192.168.102.1

 

Some older versions of IE required that if your URL is an IP address, you had to manually enter the "http://" explicitly.  If that doesn't work, try Firefox.

 

That router is OLD (and probably MOLDY, too).  It even has an old style RS-232 serial port for "advanced" configuration, or via telnet, not all functions are available through the web interface.  To use the serial port, you will need a serial cable and a terminal program to get that level of access.  See your manual, Ch 4 and 5 about how to use the web interface or the more "advanced" Manager interface via serial port or telnet.

 

If it were me, I would get rid of it now, replace it either with a plain ethernet switch (and let the SMC handle the routing duties and only one port forwarding setup required), or a more modern router with better capabilites, like gigabit ethernet ports, a full web admin interface, better throughput, etc.

 

If you do go with an ethernet switch, make sure you understand what's connected through the router and how the change would effect the IP addresses and routing setups of those systems currently using the RT311.

Contributor
jkb07
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-07-2011

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

I'm actually offsite from the office - but I believe the person I'm working with onsite did type in http://192.168.102.1 in the browser address bar (I'll double check that with him).

 

It sounds like it would be a good idea to get rid of the Netgear router...  I think that is something that has been considered.  At this point I'm going to put together a diagram of everything in the network and how it is connected (I wasn't in on the network setup from the beginning) - I want to make sure I understand how everything is working.

 

I'm sure I'll have additional questions once I do that.  I just want to say thanks for your time in answering my questions, you have been very helpful.

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Setting up a remote desktop connection - step by step instructions needed

Glad to help, if I can.  Also consider that since the device is very, very old (upwards of 11 years which is positively prehistoric in tech terms), the embedded web server may be serving up pages that your modern browser considers as "invalid", leading to that error message.  Depending in your browser, if this is the case, there might be some settings that control the browser behavior with such old websites, like HTTP 1.0 vs 1.1, etc.