Multiple Network Adapters/VPN

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by RenoMGer, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. RenoMGer

    RenoMGer New Member

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    Greetings.... as a first timer in this forum, I trust I'm in the right place.... This issue is a little complicated so I will try to be quick about it. We utilize a virtual network adapter along with a Sprint broadband adapter which communicates on an EVDO-A platform for a mobile computing system (public safety). By itself, Win7 functions fine when accessing the broadband network. However, problems arise when we introduce the virtual network adapter which provides access to a secure network. Initially the VNA works fine until the modem for the broadband drops out (dead zone, power outage) then "internet access" is denied to the VNA upon restoral of services. This "no internet access" indication is persistent until we power down the modem, and reboot the workstation.... this loss of network access for a first responder utilizing this mobile computer system can be quite troublesome to say the least. After many hours of troubleshooting, we are convinced that the problem lies with Win7 and not any other of the components.... as we certainly do not have this problem in an XP environment... as a side note... this issue of having a network connection but "No Internet Access" on behalf of Win7 is a little "crazy."
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Hopefully, the experienced folks will drop by shortly, but what version of the VNA are you using? Is this setup for Windows 7 or have there been any updates for such?

    Is there any software that might go with it to prompt it to re-establish the connection?

    When the VNA drops off and will not reconnect, have you checked the IP addresses to confirm good ones?

    I suppose you are using an Uninterruptible Power Supply?
     
  3. RenoMGer

    RenoMGer New Member

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    The VNA is provided by Radio-IP (Canadian Co.) who has looked at the issue but cannot see a problem on their side; we are using their latest and greatest version. And there software does try to reconnect. However, we did take them out of the equation and utilized a lan connection and the broadband connection and got the same result when physically switching from one to the other. We have been able to sometimes, I repeat sometimes, reestablish internet access by releasing and renewing the IP but this has not been consistent. What has been fairly consistent is shutting down the broadband modem and shutting down the computer, and then restarting both which essentially takes the OS back to the beginning if you will. Unfortunately, being in a mobile environment (car or fire truck) we cannot provide an uninterruptible power source - nature of the beast.
    The broadband IP is dynamic, the VNA is dynamic to a fixed IP server so that the broadband connection is directed to a fixed IP where the server then assigns a dynamic ip to its' client connection. I should mention that the broadband modem is from Sierra Wireless (Airlink Pinpoint X). That hardware is also up to date and Sierra Wireless is also a little clueless being that the problem doesn't seem to arise until there are multiple connections. One last note... I did mention that we never had this issue in an XP environment with the same hardware/software configuration.
     
    #3 RenoMGer, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I was thinking about your situation, and the only real experience I have is with a VPN my company used to run we could use from home. That system was basically two different internet connections, with the broadband being the tube the VPN was routed through. The broadband connection had to be established and working before the VPN could connect.

    If yours is similar or even close, maybe some thoughts would open some possibilities for a solution. I am trying to convert your complicated system to my simple system for comparison.

    First, after you loose power and the entire system goes down, does the broadband connection come back normally? If it does, does the VNA wait until that connection is established before it attempts to re-establish its connection?

    If the broadband does not re-establish, we need to get that working first. If it does re-establish, does it do so using IP addresses and network types (ie Private or Business) that are useable by the VNA? Does a location have any effect on the system?

    If the VNA is trying to establish a connection to a static IP address to get its DHCP information, maybe there are some settings in the VNA that might be adjusted, assuming you have not already done that.

    I will have to use a normal Network adapter for guidance, so let me know if you have other options. In the properties for the VNA, IPv4 properties, since it is a dynamic connection, you have the Obtain IP address automatically checked, along with the DNS address? You have nothing set for the Alternate Configuration tab?

    If you go to Advanced Settings, have you changed anything there? If you have not, on the IP Settings tab, I was thinking specifying the static IP address of the DHCP server for the VNA connection might help. Possibly even putting in a Default Gateway would allow the connection to be established quicker. The Automatic metric option might be relevant, but your provider would have knowledge about that.

    The DNS tab might help if the VNA had to search an extended time to find one, but not sure. The other options on that tab are over my head.

    If you look at the Adapter properties, configure, Advanced tab, possibly something there would help allow the connection to establish. Not sure exactly which ones, but your provider might be able to give you guidance. Something that would allow for more leeway in establishing the connection, like buffer sizes or changing an Automatic negoiation to a known number, like link speed and duplex. I have not found one, but perhaps there is a place to increase the timeout for attempting the connection.

    If you say the system works fine in XP, perhaps a comparison of different configuration options might be helpful.
     
  5. RenoMGer

    RenoMGer New Member

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    Saltgrass... thanks for getting back to me, sorry for the delay in responding but the holiday got in the way.

    In answer to your first question: Yes, the broadband connection needs to be estlished and working before the VNA will connect. And the boradband connection does come back normally upon restart of the modem/cpu. In regard to the VNA waiting for that connection to establish, technically speaking I would presume so but I have the option of manually starting the VNA which basically makes that theory moot since I have tried that approach without success. Once the broadband is established, the VNA is statically (IP) directed to the secure Radio-IP server (in house). The broadband IP address is not relevant. Furthermore, I have also statically inserted the DNS addresses rather than letting DHCP make the assignment in hopes of eliminating any DNS issues but again, no success. I have also tried manipulating some of the settings on the NIC card but no positive outcome either which doesn't suprise me since those settings would really only affect the broadband connection - there are no advanced settings for the VNA.
     
  6. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I am sure I don't have any ideas that will help you with your situation. A response is not expected, just check to see if anything might help.

    Did you check the differences in the XP and Windows 7 setup?

    Any chance you could run the Virtual XP?

    And if you just break the VNA connection while the broadband remains stable, the VNA will not re-establish? Just wondering if changing the IP address of the Broadband connection causes the problem until you reset the system (I know you said it was irrelevant). But Windows 7 has a bad habit of assigning a network, it does not recognize, to a public version which changes how it is handled by the firewall.

    Do you know what firewall settings are use for the VNA? Does turning off the firewall help?

    You are not getting error messages in the Event Viewer?

    Anyway, good luck in finding an answer, sorry I could not help.
     
  7. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    I can't help but wonder if all of the underlying hardware and software are 100% Windows 7 compatible. Since the overall system seemed to have worked without issue when running on the Windows XP operating system is the current (presumably laptop) a Windows 7 computer, did it come with Windows 7 pre-installed or was it upgraded to its' current OS? Are all the supporting device drivers up to date (especially chipset and bios)?
    Is the broadband device certified by the vendor to work with Windows 7, including device drivers and any supporting software?
    Same for the Virtual Network Adapter, does the vendor certify it to work with Windows 7 in conjunction with the broadband device which presumably it either shares or bridges to accomplish its' job?
    Typically vendors of such products have a list of compatible / preferred devices as well as system requirements that should show if they are supported under Windows 7 OS.
    How helpful have the vendors been in supporting and assisting you in resolving your current issue? Seems like they might have some case studies or testimonials from other municipalities that might help.
    Something like ya, the EMS guys over in Burnt Cupcake, Iowa have that same laptop running Windows 7, with that same broadband device and our VNA works without issue there. That's when you can get those guys on the phone and find out what the trick was to get it to work.
    Sometimes these guys will go the extra mile to help and sometimes they sell you the equipment and software and you can't find them again with a search warrant.
    Moving from XP to Windows 7 can be a problem for any computer, hardware and software and almost every time the problem is a bad legacy, or poorly written driver.
    It's an interesting problem and I would be very interested in hearing how it shakes out ultimately, so if you find the box that wasn't checked or the registry key that had to be edited please come back and update your thread. I know for sure Clark (saltgrass) and I will be watching.
    Regards
    Randy
     

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