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  1. #1
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    Can't enable ICS

    This is a combination Satellite and network problem to be sure and one which has me totally baffled. Everything was working 100% until this morning. And let's eliminate any thought of infections of any kind, for there are no viruses nor spyware on either the Host or Client PC's

    Specs:
    - Both machines are running Win XP SP-2
    - Direcway software version 4.0.3.9/SP-c

    Background Info:
    I discovered the problem when I was trying to copy over a file from my Host PC to my wife's Client PC. I got the infamous error message saying I might not have permission, blah, blah. So, I checked the network icon in the System Tray and sure enough it said that it was "Acquiring network address". So, for the next 3 hours I searched on Google for remedies and applied everything even remotely relevant to this so as to re-establish the network connection. Eventually I got it to work but assigning a static IP to both PC's.

    Okay.. so now all that was left to do was to enable sharing on the Direcway Satellite Connection, right? Now here's the part that has me totally bewildered. When I went to enable the sharing, it seemed to be going through the process (I could see the word "shared" appear in the Network Connections window and then it disappeared and I got the message, "An error occurred while Internet Connection Sharing was being enabled. The RPC server is unavailable." That also disabled my previously established LAN connection AND...... the TCP/IP parameters reverted back to "Obtain an IP address automatically", leaving my static IP information blank. So, I spent another hour with Google and tried to find something that would tell me what has gone awry. I found nothing that helped.

    I sure could use some expert assistance on this one. HELP!!!

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  2. #2
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    Are any of these folders "My Documents" on either machine and or user account?

    What firewall and what settings are being used?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    Yes, both have "My Documents". There is only one account for each PC, plus the "Guest" account.

    Firewall is Outpost Pro, which I have used for years. I have shut the Firewall down on both PC's during my attempts to get sharing working with the Satellite connection service.

    Again..... I can establish a working network connection when using a static IP on both machines. It's when I try to enable sharing for the Satellite service that causes the problem and changes my NIC setup back to the default. Also, I am including a screenshot of my current HOST TCP/IP settings. I am not sure if the "Preferred DNS Server" IP is correct at all. It was just a guess on my part. But the LAN works fine with it; I can transfer files, etc. However, perhaps this is part of the issue??

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  4. #4
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    Try selecting the "Obtain DNS server address automatically" and see if that works for you.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    Dave,

    First of all to answer your question: IF I use "Obtain DNS server address automatically", I can't establish a LAN connection. If I try and use the "Repair" on my Host PC, I get an error message saying that it couldn't Renew the IP. I've tried doing a Release/Renew manually and that doesn't work either. I've tried using both the Auto Obtain DNS option and a static IP and using "Use NetBIOS over TCP/IP" and I cannot renew the IP. And if I try to create a new Network using the Wizard, it too fails with an error that says something about the RPC service wasn't started or wasn't available, when in fact it is running. I've tried stopping it and restarting it but with no positive results.

    I've spent several hours trying to work this thing through in my mind, eliminating those things that it cannot be and isolating those things that it might be. Here's what I have concluded thus far: 1) It cannot be hardware, e.g., cable or NIC's since I CAN establish a LAN by using a static IP on both Host and Client. 2) It doesn't seem likely that it is XP, since myriad people who use XP don't have this issue.

    Now, here's some things that I have no knowledge about and which may be relevant. I am totally ignorant about this "DNS server" item which seems to be mentioned. Is this an XP software thing or what? Is it possible to have a bad NIC that allows a LAN to be established with only the static IP's and not with using the DNS server?

    I'm thinking that I need directions to help diagnose the problem so as to eliminate things and move on to the next possible cause. For example, WHY can a LAN be established with ONLY the static IP's being used? etc. It is very well possible that THIS may be what is denying the Satellite service to be shared which when I try to enable it, the NIC configuration is changed back to "Obtain DNS server address automatically", and which then breaks the LAN connection.

    Jeff
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  6. #6
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    I don't understand the symptoms well enough to offer a lot of help, can you give some more explanation of how the internet connectivity is terminated (direct connection to one of the PCs? some box on your network?) and of how the PCs are connected together (ethernet hub? router? switch? direct cable connection?)

    In the meantime, here is a bit of background that may be useful.

    When you tell a computer to "obtain IP address automatically" it needs a DHCP server on the local network to supply the address. This is why it would be useful to know what network hardware you have. When you enable Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) on one PC, it sets itself up as a DHCP server so that it can provide IP addresses etc. to any other computer on your home network and then route packets for them. If you do this then you will have to configure the other PC to obtain it's IP address automatically. You will also have to make sure that nothing else on the same network is acting as a DHCP server.

    regards,

    StuartR

  7. #7
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    <hr>I don't understand the symptoms well enough to offer a lot of help, can you give some more explanation of how the internet connectivity is terminated (direct connection to one of the PCs? some box on your network?) and of how the PCs are connected together (ethernet hub? router? switch? direct cable connection?)<hr>
    I'll give it a try! The PC's themselves are connected via a crossover cable using standard Windows ICS. To create the LAN I simply run the "Wizard", indicating that my PC connects to the Internet directly and others through me. Then I go to the 1 Client PC and run the same Wizard (both using XP SP-2) but check the option that says that the PC connects to the Internet through another on a network.

    As for the actual Internet connection, this is done via a set of USB modems which are plugged in to my Host PC and on which the satellite software is installed. The Client has some extra parameters in its TCP/IP setup to indicate that it is going through a Host that has the software. As I've said several times, everything was working fine until just the other day. The only thing that has changed is that both PC's installed the latest Windows update. That mayb be an issue and it may not. No one else that I know that is running similar setups has indicated a problem.

    Thanks for the explanation re: DHCP server. Apparently there is a problem in that with either PC set to "Obtain an IP automatically", it fails. And thus I have gone to a static IP which at least establishes the LAN where files and printers can be shared. When I had the Client PC configured to use a static IP because the "auto" function didn't work, everything still worked fine. But now even the LAN will only work if both have the static IP and of course the satellite sharing kicks it out and reverts my Host PC's IP settings back to "Obtain an IP automatically", which then kills the LAN connection.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  8. #8
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    That is a very helpful description.

    It looks like the entire problem is down to the PC connected to the satellite being unable to start ICS then. As soon as this works everything else should be OK.

    A quick browse on Google for "RPC Server Unavailable" suggests that this occurs most commonly when you are a member of a Domain and you have problems connecting to your DNS server. Can you confirm that both computers are configured to be members of a Workgroup (Control Panel > System > Computer Name).

    Can you try these steps (on the computer that connects to the satellite unless otherwise stated)
    <UL><LI>Reconfigure network cards on both PCs to "obtain IP address automatically"
    <LI>Reboot
    <LI>Connect to the satellite Internet connecton
    <LI>Try to enable ICS and note the exact error message
    <LI>Check the event logs, going back to the time of the reboot. Any errors at all? What is the sequence of errors?[/list]StuartR

  9. #9
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    Here's the information you asked for after following your instructions. (I assumed you meant to configure TCP/IP properties and not the NIC proper). <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    Both PC's TCP/IP properties set to obtain IP address automatically. Of course, when I do that, the LAN does not work. Both PC's show "Aquiring Network Address" and the connection is never established. When I go to the "Local Area Connection" and try to use the "Repair" utility, it fails as says it could not renew the IP. Okay.... so with both NIC TCP/IP properties set to "Obtain IP address automatically" and trying to enable the "Sharing" on the "Direcway Satellite connection" in My Network Places, I get the Error:

    An error occurred while Internet Connection Sharing was being enabled.
    The RPC server was unavailable


    Looking at the Event Viewer/System Log the following error was recorded:

    Event ID: 10005

    DCOM got error "The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. " attempting to start the service upnphost with arguments "" in order to run the server: {204810B9-73B2-11D4-BF42-00B0D0118B56}


    Now some additional information which may/may not be relevant and/or helpful. After setting the Client's TCP/IP properties to "Obtain IP address automatically", an entry was recorded in the Event Viewer/System which said:

    Your computer has automatically configured the IP address for the Network Card with network address 004063C04CD8. The IP address being used is 169.254.254.114.

    However, this was not the case on my Host machine; nothing was recorded in the Event Viewer logs. Interesting too is that whenever I make changes to the TCP/IP properties on the Host machine, it requires a reboot. But no reboot prompt is displayed on the Client when they are changed?? Right now I'm simply <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/dizzy.gif>

    Jeff
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  10. #10
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    The assignment of a 169.*.*.* address is perfectly normal for a NIC with no fixed address on a network with no DHCP server.

    Is the only other event in the eventlog this Event 10005 error starting upnphost? I'm not sure what that is about, but I can't see it stopping ICS from starting. I'm starting to run out of ideas here, but whilst waiting for someone to come up with inspiration can you try:
    START > RUN > SERVICES.MSC
    what state is the service "Windows Firewall / Internet Connection Sharing" service in?
    how about the "Universal Plug and Play device host" service?

    If either of these is not running can you right click and start it.

    StuartR

  11. #11
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    Stuart,

    Thanks for your time and patience spent on this frustrating problem.

    "Windows Firewall / Internet Connection Sharing" shows as "Started"
    "Universal Plug and Play device host" has been disabled for over 2 years as per myriad recommendations. I doubt it has anything to do with ICS. Although yesterday I did start it out of curiosity and it didn't resolved anything.

    I am not thinking of resetting the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) as per Microsoft knowledge base Q299357 to see if that helps. And I might even try using the WinSock Fix utility found here: http://www.spychecker.com/program/winsockxpfix.html if the TCP/IP reset doesn't work.

    Okay... I'm desparate! <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/rofl3.gif>
    Jeff
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  12. #12
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    The MS firewall is blocking the use of ICS. Get a GOOD third paty firewall and the MS one should turn itself off. With a new firewall you will need to add the different computers, routers, amd modems to the safe list.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    <hr>"Universal Plug and Play device host" has been disabled for over 2 years as per myriad recommendations. I doubt it has anything to do with ICS. Although yesterday I did start it out of curiosity and it didn't resolved anything.<hr>
    I agree that it doesn't seem related, I was just grasping for a convenient straw!

    StuartR

  14. #14
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    Thanks for the tip, Dave, but I have never enabled Windows Firewall. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> I have been using Outpost Firewall Pro for over 3 years and it auto configures applications and network parameters, so that isn't an issue on my system. In fact, I even uninstalled Outpost on both computers just to eliminate it as an outside possibility, even though the Logs didn't indicate that anything having to do with ICS was being effected.

    Jeff
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  15. #15
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    Re: Can't enable ICS

    If you are running XP SP 2 you WILL have a firewall. Once you uninstalled Outpost the MS firewall will kick in.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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