AdminChallenge: Can you solve Valerie's VPN misfortune?

Valerie is having problems with her VPN. Figure out the problem, and you could win a brand new TechRepublic T-shirt. Plus, check out what caused Bishop's headache.

Every other Monday, AdminRepublic poses a systems or network problem requiring a solution. Some challenges are routine, while others may be more difficult. We then conduct a random drawing from the correct responses and send two lucky winners a fancy new TechRepublic T-shirt. You'll be the envy of the office! Let's start with the solution to our previous challenge.
Bishop has this little boot problem…
In our last AdminChallenge, we left Bishop with a terrible headache. He needed to make a setup disk for a Windows 2000 Server that had crashed. However, when he tried to make a setup disk on another Windows 2000 machine using WINNT.EXE /OX, the OS wouldn’t make the boot disk.

Bishop decided to phone his friend, Rook. He knew Rook had been working with Windows 2000 since its days in beta and might have a solution. Indeed, Rook had the answer!

Rook explained that the WINNT.EXE /OX command, while working correctly in Windows NT 4.0, doesn’t operate in Windows 2000. He further explained that if Bishop wanted to create a setup disk, he would have to use MAKEBOOT, found on the Windows 2000 Installation CD.

Rook instructed Bishop to insert the Windows 2000 CD-ROM into the Windows 2000 machine and insert a blank floppy in the A: drive. At the command prompt, Rook had Bishop type d:\bootdisk\makeboot a:, with Bishop replacing the D: with the drive letter of his CD-ROM.

Rook explained that this would create a set of four disks that could be used to boot the computer. He also explained that setup disks were specific to the version of Windows 2000 that Bishop was using. A Windows 2000 Professional setup disk would not work with Windows 2000 Server, and vice versa.

Bishop thanked Rook for all his help and proceeded to boot the machine with the setup disks. He fixed the problem on the computer and moved on to the other machines in the network.
Congratulations go to Anthony Eaker and Mike Sullivan, whose winning entries were randomly selected from all the correct submissions received.
The next challenge!
Valerie believes she spends too many hours at work. She has hardly spent any time with her husband and children in the past two weeks, and the paperwork at the office keeps piling up. She was almost at wits' end when a co-worker suggested she try virtual private networking at home using her cable modem.

Valerie contacted the IT support personnel at her office and inquired if she could indeed use the VPN from home with her cable modem. They said it was possible, and the support pro gave her account dial-up permissions. She was then given instructions on how to install the VPN on her Windows 98 machine at home and was told to use dial-up networking to connect to the network. She was also given the IP address needed by the dial-up networking interface.

Valerie went home that evening and followed the instructions to install the VPN software on her computer. She found the program in Control Panel under Add/Remove Software, installed it, and proceeded to set up dial-up networking:

  • She opened My Computer and then opened the Dial-up Networking folder.
  • She clicked on the icon to add a new connection.
  • She was given the option to name the connection, which she decided to call Office.
  • She saw that her 56K modem was the selected device, and she clicked Next to continue.
  • She was prompted to type in a number for dial-up networking to dial. She entered the IP address that the IT people had given her.
  • She clicked Next to continue, and in the next window, she clicked Finish.

Afterward, Valerie opened the new icon created by the wizard. It asked for her user name and password. At the bottom of the window was the IP number she had previously entered. She provided her username and password from work, and then clicked on Connect to dial up her office.

She could hear the modem dial; however, no computer on the other end picked up.

Your turn
Why couldn’t Valerie connect to the network at her office?

Send your answer to TechRepublic by Monday, May 15, 2000. We'll send a TechRepublic T-shirt to two individuals whose names we select randomly from all the correct answers received.

Now for the lawyers' favorite part
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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