By Scott Clowers
We have about 42 franchises scattered across the US that connect to the home office via a mixture of frame-relay and VPN's. All of these franchises have at least one server running SCO OpenServer 5.0.4. The majority of workstations are running on Win98, but we have Windows 2000 starting to show up as these franchises upgrade to new equipment.
Last week I got a call from a user at one of the franchises who had a new system running Win 2000. The problem he reported was that several times a day, he and another user (that was also using Win 2000) could not retrieve email or access the Internet. (We house the E-Mail server for the whole company here at headquarters, and provide access to the Internet for all the frame-relay connected franchises). He stated that he could reboot these machines and everything would work for a short period of time and then the same problem re-appeared. He further stated that when this problem existed, he could establish a dial-up connection to the Internet (AOL, Mindspring, etc.) and access the Internet just fine. He thought the problem was related to our company DNS server. He was experiencing the problem when he called me, so I did some trouble-shooting. His DNS resolution checked out OK, and he could ping everything on his local network, but could not ping anything here at the home office. However I could ping other nodes on their LAN from headquarters and the computers on their LAN that were running Win98 showed no sign of trouble. I had him bring up a command prompt and run "route print". I have included a screen shot of the results that he sent me over his dial-up connection.
I was very surprised to see that there were 2 routes listed for every destination network. One route was correct and pointed to their router as the gateway. The second route pointed to their SCO OpenServer machine with a metric of 2 or 3. All of the franchises have only one router and the SCO machine uses that same router as it's gateway, so this made no sense to me. I have no experience with Win 2000 yet so I turned to the Microsoft Knowledge Base to research routing issues in Win 2000. Several articles seemed to indicate that in Win 2000, if RRAS is installed, so is RIP. However, we only run RIP on the router(192.168.x.5) at our franchises so that didn't explain where the routes pointing to the SCO machine(192.168.x.1) came from. So I decided that the SCO machine must be running RIP. A little research (I read the SCO man page for routed) revealed that if the SCO machine was configured as a gateway, it automatically enabled RIP. Since our SCO servers only have one NIC in them, we don't configure them to be gateways, but I took a look at this one anyway. Low and behold it had mistakenly been configured as a gateway. I deselected this option, did a kernel relink and rebooted it. I had my user reboot his Win 2000 machine and do another "route print" and the dual routes were gone. This seems to have solved his problem.
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More Articles by Scott Clowers © 2012-07-15 Scott Clowers
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