Lost access to MS Server 2016 Essentials server after changing routers

oldsports 21 Reputation points
2022-08-24T02:01:34.937+00:00

I have a MS Server 2016 Essentials server in my home network that provides file-sharing for my home computers. When I installed the server, the router in my network was a Netgear Nighthawk R8500 and I connected my home computers via the server connect software. Recently, I decided to build a pfSense router so I could create an IOT network to separate the increasing number of IOT devices in my home from my home network. After building the router and putting it into service (swapping it with the Netgear device), my computers could no longer access files on the server. I can ping the server from the computers, but when I try to access files I get an error message stating that "the network path cannot be found". I thought that maybe the server connect software needed to be re-installed, so I uninstalled it from one of the computers and tried to re-install it but I got an error that said that the server was not responding.

I assume that there must be some sort of firewall issue, but I cannot figure it out. I removed all of the firewall rules so that the interface is "wide open" (no rules to block traffic across the network) but still no luck. I only use the server internally (i.e. no remote access). Can someone provide me with some ideas to try to regain access?

Thanks!

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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Accepted answer
  1. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP
    2022-08-26T19:13:52.137+00:00

    Sounds good, please don't forget to close up the thread by 145510-image.png


8 additional answers

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  1. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP
    2022-08-24T02:06:22.097+00:00

    Pfsense is not a microsoft product. Id suggest asking for help over here.
    https://forum.netgate.com/category/66/pfsense-software

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

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  2. oldsports 21 Reputation points
    2022-08-24T09:54:50.617+00:00

    @Dave Patrick ,

    Thanks for the reply. I know pfSense is not a MS product. I was hoping that someone could tell me what router settings that MS Server 2016 Essentials needs to communicate with clients. It appears that the Netgear router had the correct settings but the pfSense router does not. Could it be the DNS settings? Something else? Thanks!

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  3. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP
    2022-08-24T12:17:41.123+00:00

    I'd check the domain controller and all members have the static ip address of DC listed for DNS and no others such as router or public DNS

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

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  4. oldsports 21 Reputation points
    2022-08-25T01:47:01.467+00:00

    @Dave Patrick ,

    Your answer is definitely part of the solution. The clients were accepting the DNS address from the router versus having the static IP of the server. When I changed the DNS address to the static IP, I still did not get any access. Looking on the Web for solutions, I found an article that stated that the router's UPnP service needed to be running or I needed to do some manual port forwarding. I figured out how to set up the pfSense's UPnP service and I was able to reach the server, re-load the server connector on the clients and access files again.

    I thought everything was great until I tried to access the Internet. The router is the gateway, so with the server's static IP installed on the clients, I cannot access the Internet. If I get the DNS from the router to access the Internet, this breaks the connection to the server. The other issue this causes is for my laptop. If I have a static IP for DNS and then I leave home with the laptop, I will need to change the setting to automatically obtain the DNS address from the wireless service I connect to and then reset the static IP when I return home.

    So, something is still off in my set-up. When I was using the Netgear router, I did not have any of these problems. The clients were set up to automatically receive the DNS address which must have been the router's address since it was serving as the gateway, and they were able to access the server without issue. It appears that the pfSense's router's DNS is not resolving the MS server's name so it does not know how to find it. I assume that there must be a way to load the server's information on the router's DNS list so that it can find it when it is queried. I will try to figure out how to do that.

    Does this seem like the right course of action or should I try something else?

    Thanks!

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