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Name recognition change on Remote Desktop

Discussion in 'Networking' started by djangojazz, Apr 15, 2008.

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  1. djangojazz

    djangojazz Thread Starter

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    Where is the log that translates your records for Remote Desktop on a LAN?

    EG:
    Simple LAN at my office, I get onto Remote Desktop via Start>All Programs>Accessories>Communications>Remote Desktop Connection.

    Remote Desktop starts I put in the name of the computer it gives me their desktop.

    Problem is name of computers change so the computer name changes or sometimes the computers change their IP's via DHCP from the server.

    So where are the records kept in windows for Remote Desktop that makes 192.168.1.19=John Doe so when I put in: John Doe in remote desktop the association figures out he is 192.168.1.19? And how can I refresh it's record like I can a dns record? I saw someone do it before, but I can't remember where it's set. When IP's change it's like the server can't remember John Doe changed from ...1.19 to ....1.25 or vice versa.

    Any help is much appreciated.
     
  2. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    The connection information is stored in a text file with a .rdp extension, usually in My Documents. When you start Remote Desktop, click the options button, then you can click the Open button to open a particular profile, edit the name, then save it under its current name, or give it a new one.

    The IP address to PC name resolution is not usually stored in the file, just the PC name, unless you used the IP address to make the connection.
    If you open the *.rdp file in Notepad,, you'll see this line:
    full address:s:<PC Name or IP address Here>
    If you see an IP address here instead of the PC name, then you will need to edit the rdp file.
    If you see a name, then the network resolves the name; How this is resolved will depend on your network setup. Could be DNS, WINS, hosts files, or NetBIOS broadcasts.
    To clear DNS cache, type ipconfig /flushdns at a prompt.
    Once resolved, PC names are stored in the NBT cache.
    • To clear the NBT cache, type nbtstat -R at a command prompt (Note, this must be a capital R)
    • To view the currently cached names, type nbtstat -c
    • Default time to cache names is 600 seconds
    For a hosts file, the file will need to be edited. Default location for 2K/XP/Vista is \WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc, for Win9x \Windows

    Note that on a large network with multiple DNS/WINS servers, it can take 15-60 minutes or more for all servers to be updated when a PC gets a new IP address/name. It all depends on the replication schedule and how busy the network is.

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  3. djangojazz

    djangojazz Thread Starter

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    Did not know that, thanks. My cache said it was empty though yet my remote desktop default RDP in: My Docs/default.rdp can drop down many PC's and the IP I previously listed. How is that list created I guess is what I was curious of and is the translation of best practice default Windows Server 2003, default 192.168 DHCP addressing done on the server and I relay or do I have a file I may change on my client somewhere?

    I think that's what I was getting at, but how it is set is what get's me and what a HOSTS file actually does.

    EG the one I have on my XP SP2 Workstation at locale you said:

    Code:
    # Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
    #
    # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
    #
    # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
    # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
    # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
    # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
    # space.
    #
    # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
    # lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
    #
    # For example:
    #
    #      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
    #       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host
    
    127.0.0.1       localhost
    192.168.1.9 HP000D9D06044B
    192.168.1.8 HP000D9D157063
    # Start of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy
    127.0.0.1	www.007guard.com
    127.0.0.1	007guard.com
    127.0.0.1	008i.com
    127.0.0.1	www.008k.com
    127.0.0.1	008k.com
    127.0.0.1	www.00hq.com
    127.0.0.1	00hq.com
    127.0.0.1	010402.com
    Now this may be asking a dumb question but I know that 127.0.0.1 is a loopback address reserved for my PC's own NIC. Why would repeat lines be getting listed by my spybot protection software as what looks like a blacklist? Is it for it to protect mimics coming in posing as 127.0.0.1 and if so how could they do that anyways?

    Anyways aside from that yes on a DHCP address pool on the server there are reservations for 6 through 10 for 192.168.1.(something) but how come I only see 2 and one is actually for a printer that is no longer listed? Since mostly anything over 192.168.1.10 is a leased IP license from the DHCP server they do change. Which leads me to is permanently increasing static licenses on the DHCP a security risk for clients and that's why they are leased in the first place or does it not really matter and I may set permanent ones and then start the HOSTS file like:

    Code:
    127.0.0.1        localhost
    192.168.1.9 HP000D9D06044B
    192.168.1.8 HP000D9D157063
    192.168.1.11 John Doe
    192.168.1.12 Mary in Accounting
    192.168.1.13 djangojazz's computer
    etc.........
    
    and then edit the HOSTS file as things change? Or am I way off still?

    Thanks for the help thus far, you peeled back another layer for me to think about.
     
  4. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Sorry for the long delay, seems a few email notifications never got to me.

    That list called an MRU - Most Recently Used.
    It's created as you type in names and is stored in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default

    Doesn't seem to let you hightlight a name and delete it, so deleting the value in the registry is the only way I know to remove entries from the list.


    As you mention Server 2003 I suspect your network uses DNS rather than WINS, as DNS has been prefered over WINS since Win2K Server came out. You can check to see if a WINS server has been configured from a command prompt
    Start | Run type cmd and press enter
    type ipconfig /all and press enter
    look through the output for the lines Primary WINS Server and Secondary WINS Server and see if they show an IP address (means you are using WINS) or are blank (not using WINS).

    I've never set up a DNS server, but you can probably test your network to see if that is how it resolves names by first clearing the DNS cache, ping one of the local PCs by name, then display the DNS cache to see if the PC name was put in the cache.
    From a command prompt:
    ipconfig /flushdns
    ping PCname
    ipconfig /displaydns


    Wikipedia has a pretty good description http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file

    These lines are added to prevent you from accessing those sites, be they ad sites or known malware sites. The hosts file is loaded into the DNS Resolver cache. When your browser tries to find a web site, DNS Resolver cache is checked first to see if the name is listed. If it's not, then a DNS lookup is done.
    Let's say you goto todaysnews.news and that page tries to load 007guard.com/popupadd.html
    On your system it will find 007guard.com in the hosts file so will use 127.0.0.1 as the IP address instead of the real address 69.93.148.42, so it will try to load popupadd.html from the web server on your PC, which will fail unless you are running a web server AND have a page named popupadd.html

    The whole point of using DHCP is to avoid having to manage hosts files on every PC. The reason for reserving a few static IP's is usually for devices that can't use DHCP to get their own address, like the DHCP server itself, or devices that need to have a fixed address because the DHCP server is what tells all the other systems what that device address is, like DNS Servers, Proxy servers, routers, and some printers.

    Printers are often seen in hosts files, as some older ones don't respond to a name, only the IP. Adding them to a Hosts file lets you connect to the printer by name instead of IP address.
    Some printers can have a name configured, and will register themselves with a WINS server, but won't register with DNS. You can put these in a hosts file, or manually add a static entry to the DNS server

    The reason you are seeing an address for a printer that doesn't exist is because no-one updated the hosts files when the printer was removed.

    I don't know why remote desktop is not getting the new addresses when an IP address changes. When a PC changes its IP and you can no longer connect, what happens if you try to ping that PC? Do you get the old address, or the new? Does doing ipconfig /flushdns correct it?

    Jerry
     
  5. djangojazz

    djangojazz Thread Starter

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    Didn't know that either on the hosts file, thanks.

    That seems logical considering one day I just yanked off the power and the CAT 5 cable out of it and never did anything to notify clients or the server.

    It is with a Vista Business Machine and I am running MS Small Business Server 2003 with Sharepoint 2.0 and Small Business also has a slightly different group policy settings mmc or whatever you would call the GUI node that handles it. Anyways the preferred method of attaching to the domain that it has established is:

    open IE (you may try another browser but connecting MS software through other browsers is not best practice) type in https://(servername or server IP)

    You get connect wizard, it attaches policy, COM+ settings, group policy, computer in OU specified, and authenticates domain free user to have local user settings of choice as well as hook to the domain. You may do it the other way of just going Right Click>My Computer>Properties>Computer Name>Change button>Type in Domain name>Give authenticated credentials you hook to the domain. But........ then you seperately need to change the computer in the right OU under active directory if needed, make sure group policy applied from that takes, and then authenticate to Sharepoint for user, and then make sure your user settings were copied or you may copy them.

    What that means basically for Vista is that MS did not role out the client attachment software for hooking vista to a server 2003 domain. You need to download it from microsoft technet or something similar for Vista. Then the two weird things I have noticed that may only happen on my server for all I know.

    1. Is that name changing a Vista machine sometimes will not register on the server for whatever reason, even after a reboot. EG: I get a Vista machine, download the client access software to attach to domain through https://server wizard, get's in works, have to give it a name already there in OU of active directory like wrkstn13. Computer get's that name, I change it later to say John Doe, server still lists computer as wrkstn13 NOT John Doe under active directory even after 2 reboots of server.

    2. DHCP licensing of a vista machine given out via DHCP in order of coming back on line changing after a long shutdown of server. EG: Electrical work is to be done in office over weekend, shutdown server to avoid spike to battery to possibly hit it. Computers come back on domain and get different IP addresses since their leases may have expired over weekend. One Vista machine's did, can't use the computer name for remote access, have to manually go to computer, write down new IP address and then go to remote desktop to use updated IP address.

    What that means for an admin is that the ease of RDP is taken away a little in that when systems go down I can't count on the domain or whatever record it is that hold's reconciliation of PC name to IP address to get me through to Vista machines. I hope someone somewhere knows what I did wrong, what commonly happens with Vista and results in this, or a possible hotfix or similar. I have also heard word that the forever delayed SP1 for Vista is going to change group policy settings for Vista machines on a domain and not accept some older settings. How that will lay out for my domain I don't know but I know that my opinion of Vista is not as bad as the masses, I think it's decent and in time will probably be better than XP. But I notice lot's of little things that should work easier not harder and that's what get's me.
     
  6. srhoades

    srhoades

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    I'm just curious, why are the computers hostnames being changed?
     
  7. djangojazz

    djangojazz Thread Starter

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    I change the computer names and users to account for new person. For example: Jim is part time and does data entry and leaves, John comes into his spot. I reset the user in active directory on the server and change the name but also change the computer name. It's just my preference because I would have no clue who was on what or would care to memorize IP's if I had to say type in 192.168.1.16 or Wrkstn14 to remote into Jim/John's computer. It's much easier to just go 'John' and have his PC pop up. Since I know everyone's name and it's a small LAN environment with only 12 machines total, it's a lot easier that way. Point is that when IP changes for a Vista Machine regardless of the 2 it is at my office, name recognition will then not work, but looking up their IP and using it will. So I am still getting access, just not name recognition, have no idea why.
     
  8. srhoades

    srhoades

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    It might be easier to implement a unified naming scheme like workstation1 workstation2 and just keep track of who sits where in an excel file rather than changing hostnames everytimg someone new comes in.
     
  9. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    'Fraid i don't have an answer for ya, but sure sounds like DNS is not working quite right. When you change a PC name and reboot that PC, the new name should be recognized right away. If the PC gets the same IP address (which in my experience is likely) the old name may also work until it ages out of the cache (with my WINS setup that's a little over 18 days), so I can use either name for quite a while, but the new name works as soon as the PC is rebooted.

    Question is, is it just Remote Desktop that it fails in, or does Ping also fail?
    If you rename one of the Vista systems, can you ping it by the new name?
    When the Vista PC gets a different IP address, does pinging by name still use the old IP, or does ping find the new IP?

    Is the Small Business Server pointing to itself for DNS? Or to your ISP's DNS server? It should be pointing to itself.
    This MS Article On Win2K3 DNS may be helpful.

    Though in your situation, with only 12 PCs, especially if you only need to use Remote Desktop from just one system (so only one hosts file to maintain), a hosts file might be a good way to go. You wouldn't need to rename the computers either. Only change you would need to make is the name in the hosts file on your PC, and the IP when/if it changes.
    Example, whitht following three lines added to your hosts file, you can change the "Name I use" at any time without renaming the actual PC and start using that name right away.

    Code:
    #IP address           Name I use     Computers actual name
    192.168.1.10          djangojazz     #wrksta12
    192.168.1.11          Jim            #wrksta5
    192.168.1.12          Mary           #wrksta14
    Jim leaves, John takes his place, so now it is changed to:
    Code:
    #IP address           Name I use     Computers actual name
    192.168.1.10          djangojazz     #wrksta12
    192.168.1.11          John           #wrksta5
    192.168.1.12          Mary           #wrksta14
    
    With this you can now access the 192.168.9.11 PC by John, or by wrksta5
    If you need it to work from any PC, then you would need to have the hosts file updated by a login script or Policy.
    This won't fix the underlying issue of name resolution not working correctly though.

    For the IP addresses changing, you can simply increase the lease time to 4 or 5 days, or even a couple of weeks.
    Only reason for short lease times is if you have a lot of different PCs coming and going.
    Example, DHCP is setup with a pool of 100 addresses. You have 20 different salespersons/support reps/managers come in each day. In 5 days, all 100 addresses have been assigned. If your lease time is set to more than 6 days, on day 6, no-one can get an IP address as they are all assigned, so a shorter lease time is needed.

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  10. djangojazz

    djangojazz Thread Starter

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    That's setting up a whole other app just for knowing where someone sit's where, when by changing the computer name I just did that on some database that is referenced somewhere. I know it works because I can rename an XP machine, restart it and it reads in active directory under computers or my OU of choice as the new name. Vista does not in certain instances only, so I am asking if anyone knows where that association exists, is it on my local machine or the log on server.

    I'm pretty much against making more things to track more things I can just see by getting a screen capture of the DHCP to see the last capture of leases from the server and gives their names. What you are suggesting is creating more work for something that is just 12 computers named by the first names of the people I see every day and know their names. It's not easier at all, it's more work for no reason to look up a sheet that lists people by ambiguous machine names when I can name their computers as they are hired as their names in smaller offices and change them out quite easily with a single reboot. Besides if they are a unique user I'm in active directory anyways adding them as a user, do I set up their user as user12 instead of Bsmith?

    If I really can't get in, I can remote into the server that is a fixed IP then into the DHCP server and just see what computer has what IP leased and use that to get into their station remotely. Which unfortunately is what I need to do. What I am asking is why can an XP machine on a server 2003 domain understand name recognition in a few minutes while Vista even after reboots of itself and the server will not? I can go to the Vista Machine and see the name is different on the machine, logged onto the server though it is not different. Maybe SP1 will address this, hope so. It seems Vista specific as I just renamed an XP machine the other day and logged into it remotely after about just an hour. One Vista Machine will do it the other won't, but the trick is this I think. One machine had the same name as an older XP machine, Penny, their is possibly a log somewhere I need to change for that association I just don't know where.
     
  11. djangojazz

    djangojazz Thread Starter

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    The local Hosts file on my machine does work to solve it on my machine only remoting in only but the name recognition is somewhere still existing wrong. Like said above the HOSTS file is nice on some things but changing it a lot may get to be a pain. I think the permanent fix would be finding the old association for Penny, I know there is probably some list somewhere that something like:

    Computer Name OS IP
    Penny XP SP2 192.168.1.32
    Penny Vista 192.168.10

    Meaning there is another association relating that name to another IP address I believe besides I would guess a HOSTS file if that is possible. I only say that because the server HOSTS file shows nothing so there has to be a log or association that can be changed to incoming requests somewhere else. The IP Address will work for anyone but the name won't work except if on an individual client the HOSTS file is changing to describe that name as you said above.

    See attached, the problem is that name associations themselves are weird. For instance WS13, which I don't like that name is also, Jay, I can use either Jay or WS13 or his IP to remote into his station. Yet Penny does show and doesn't work for name association. The weird thing is that it is Vista Machines only that exhibit this behavior.

    What you said did work for my workstation and will work for others but I would have to change it as the IP lease changes in the future for Vista Machines, the rest associations for PC to IP is entact just fine.

    Thanks for your help thus far though, it gave me a partial solution which is something. I should probably change the PC name of the Vista machine to something else and unique name versus the same name will change it most likely.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. srhoades

    srhoades

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    Check the PTR and reverse lookups on the domain controller.
     
  13. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    It'll be the DNS server that is hanging onto the old "name - ip address". Sounds like the Vista machines aren't asking the DHCP server to update the DNS server.

    See if anything here applies:
    Using DNS servers with DHCP

    Jerry
     
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