Hardware

Pop Quiz: Why won't my cable modem and VPN play?

This week's pop quiz asks why a user can't connect to an office network using a cable modem, Windows 98 SE, and VPN. If you have a solution, you could win a free TechRepublic T-shirt.

You could win a TechRepublic T-shirt by submitting a correct solution to this week’s Pop Quiz. A random winner will be selected from all correct entries received. Just think, you could be the envy of your IT peers! The deadline for entries will be Monday, July 10, 2000. Good luck!
Why can’t David access his office network using VPN and a cable modem?
David has the luxury of being able to work from home whenever he wants. He has a laptop provided to him by his company, as well as a personal computer at home. Both machines run Windows 98 SE.

His company provides him with dial-up Internet access through AT&T, which he uses to connect to his office network via VPN. However, due to the slow speeds of the 56K modem, he decided to order a cable modem so that he could have a faster connection to his company’s network. His notion was that since the cable modem connected to an ISP, much like the dial-up AT&T access, there should be no problems connecting to the network using VPN.

The cable company came to David’s home, installed a NIC in his personal computer, set up the cable modem, and configured Windows 98 SE to connect to the cable service. Once the installers were satisfied with the job, they left, and David continued setting up VPN on his desktop.

He installed the Microsoft VPN adapter in the network control panel and restarted his machine. Next, he went into My Computer, then Dial-up Networking, and created a dial-up VPN connection to his office network. He opened the connection, typed in his network username and password, double-checked the IP address to his office VPN server, and hit connect. He watched as the dial-up VPN service connected him to his office network, but ran into a problem when he tried to access a specific folder.

David opened up Internet Explorer and typed \\ntmachine1, which should have allowed him to access the server that contained the company’s data files. However, he received an error message asking him to submit another password to access the folder. He typed his password as requested and hit OK, but to his dismay, another error message popped up stating that the password he provided was incorrect. He tried accessing the folder several more times, but received the same error messages each time.

Concerned that his permissions had changed on the company network, he contacted the company’s IT department. They could see that David was connected to the VPN server but couldn’t figure out why he was unable to access the \\ntmachine1 folder—or any other folder that he had privileges to. They tried accessing the VPN server with David’s username and password using a Windows NT machine with a dial-up Internet connection. The NT machine connected without any problems, so the IT department explained to David that it wasn’t on their end, but was instead a problem with Windows 98 SE.

Now it’s your turn to shine!
Do you think that you may have a solution to David’s problem? If so, you could become one of the lucky individuals who owns a TechRepublic T-shirt! Submit your solution by Monday, July 10, 2000. If your solution is correct, you’ll be eligible to win that spiffy TechRepublic T-shirt! One winner will be randomly selected from all correct entries received.
By submitting your answer, you agree to let TechRepublic publish your solution on its Web site. You also agree that TechRepublic may adapt and edit and authorize the adaptation and editing of each submission as it deems necessary. TechRepublic may or may not publish a submission at its sole discretion.

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