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networking NOOB need help regarding mapped drives over wifi & hardwired network


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#1 jerrymck

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 04:37 PM

Hello Everyone, I believe this is my first post here on this forum and I'm pretty sure this is also the right sub-forum. If not kindly feel free to move my post.

Anyways, So I work here at a local real estate office as IT Support. I was very clear with them about my novice skills with networking and they still offered me the job. Luckily, I haven't had much trouble really doing anything. I basically set new agents up with the network printers and mapped network drives. We have windows server 2003 which i am completely new to and I have done my fair share of browsing around active directory, adding and removing users and so on. I realized that this server is strictly used as merely a file server and thats it. Which makes my job easier obviously.

So today I brought in my laptop, connected via wifi and realized I wasn't able to see other computers on the domain or map myself to the network drive. I am able to do so easily on any hard wired pc but not wif.

So I walked in the equipment closet and there are probably 4 different patch panels (which are a complete mess and confuse the hell out of me).

There is one server, a router called a sonic wall, and a modem. 

I did an IPconfig from the WIFI computer and the gateway has 2 seperate addresses : 192.168.5.5, then below it is 192.168.1.1, the subnet is 255.255.255.0

I did an IPconfig from the hard wired pc and the gateway is 192.168.5.5 and the subnet is 255.255.255.0.

So, from the wifi computer, I log into the gateway via 192.168.1.1 which is a netgear router that is not physically connected to the server or patch panel and a check box next to "use router as dhcp server" is checked. 

The pool for this netgear device is 192.168.1.2 - 192.168.1.254.

I log into the dell sonicwall (which is much more intricate) and the pool is 192.168.5.6 - 192.168.5.254. 

So, My question is, is it possible to map the network drive so both wifi and hardlined can access it?

I apologize if there isn't enough information or if something of the information is useless.

 


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:21 PM

First understand why it is configured the way it is.  Doing IT work professionally is a lot different that doing it at home.  My guess is that they wanted to offer WiFi that wasn't on their network.  It is possible, but you'd have to connect the router to the rest of the network, but you'll want to turn off the DHCP on the router.  Like I said, you should understand why things are set up the way they are before you go making changes.  Once you attach the router to the network anyone who connects to the router can access everything you can.

 

Thing number two, Server 2003 is no longer supported by Microsoft, which means no patches will be produced.  You should suggest upgrading/replacing the server.

 

Things for you to do:

 

1.  Diagram your network.  What do you have and how is it connected?

2.  Find out as much as you can about why things are set up the way they are.

3.  Look at updating the server.



#3 Wand3r3r

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:34 PM

You have done quite well for being new to the field.

 

I would suggest one further test concerning the sonicwall and netgear.  Logon to both like you did before and go to ipchicken.com.  Note what this web site says is the wan ip address.  Are they the same?

 

I suspect they are not the same which means these are separate networks.  You will not be able to map drives between separate networks.  It is not uncommon to have wifi separate so as to provide phone and guest internet access without having them attach to the internal network.



#4 jerrymck

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 04:28 PM

First understand why it is configured the way it is.  Doing IT work professionally is a lot different that doing it at home.  My guess is that they wanted to offer WiFi that wasn't on their network.  It is possible, but you'd have to connect the router to the rest of the network, but you'll want to turn off the DHCP on the router.  Like I said, you should understand why things are set up the way they are before you go making changes.  Once you attach the router to the network anyone who connects to the router can access everything you can.

 

Thing number two, Server 2003 is no longer supported by Microsoft, which means no patches will be produced.  You should suggest upgrading/replacing the server.

 

Things for you to do:

 

1.  Diagram your network.  What do you have and how is it connected?

2.  Find out as much as you can about why things are set up the way they are.

3.  Look at updating the server.

Thank you for replying. You are right. I talked to the owner about the Netgear router and it is set up in the conference room for guests. It's on a completely different network. I'm just trying to gain a better understanding of what's going on here.

Yea, I actually read online that server 03's service ends in July this year. I talked to my boss about it and we have decided to stay with 03 for now. The current server we have doesn't meet the system requirements for the latest version of windows server and we only use the server to share files over the network but that leads me to another question. The IT technician that was here before me left behind like 6 instructions for when a new agent comes to the office and how to set them up to everything. I'm just curious, what is the point of adding a new user and computer to active directory? I know how to do it but it doesn't seem like doing so has any point. If i add them its seems like it basically just adds their name to AD but what good does that do? Same question for adding a computer to AD. What is the point?


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#5 CaveDweller2

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 06:38 PM

Normally with a server you have permissions/rights to access certain things, files, programs, and printer to name a few. You can give a group certain rights, then add users to the groups and they gain the group rights. You can also restrict access to what they can and can't do on their PCs.

 

How many users are we talking about? How much storage is on the 2003 server?


Edited by CaveDweller2, 14 May 2015 - 07:44 PM.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

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#6 jerrymck

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 12:54 PM

Normally with a server you have permissions/rights to access certain things, files, programs, and printer to name a few. You can give a group certain rights, then add users to the groups and they gain the group rights. You can also restrict access to what they can and can't do on their PCs.

 

How many users are we talking about? How much storage is on the 2003 server?

I believe there is about 30 users and the hard drive is small. 160 gb I believe. I just set a password to the shared drives and I distribute the password to the people who are allowed access to the folder. Isn't that enough. 

Let me show you how we are set up in AD

So we have different groups. one group is agents and the other is staff.

When I click on an agents name, and then go to the "member of" tab it just says Domain Users

then we I go to "Staff" and click my name and click the "member of" tab it says "administrators, remote desktop users, and domain users".

Like I have more permissions but permissions to what? How does the server differentiate user names if nobody is logging in to the server. We are on a work group but we don't log in to any domain. When we turn on our computers we log in without a domain. 

If I go to AD and create a new computer and make the name the exact name of my computer does that like somehow sync my computer to the server or something? Thank you for tolerating my endless amounts of questions.


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#7 Wand3r3r

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:19 PM

Unclear why you think you are in a workgroup if you are adding computers to Active Directory.  That operation means they are added to the domain. 

Just because the computers autologon does not mean they are not logging on to the domain.  You can set this with a registry edit.

If on a workstation you go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System does it say workgroup or domain?

What is the password policy on the server? 

If users want to access files/programs on the server they must have an account.



#8 CaveDweller2

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:26 PM

I will be the first to admit that I know WAY more about networking than I do about servers. Not that I am completely unfamiliar with them. In the next room I just set up a Windows 2008 server to learn on.

 

So you sit down to the server like it is a normal PC? mouse keyboard, monitor. If the screen is locked what account is it showing? Yours? then you enter a password? or do you remote in? same questions, what username(UN) and password(PW) do you use?

 

If the server is just sharing a folder(s), like mine is now. When you set up a network drive on a users PC, do you enter a UN & PW? Theirs? I just set a network share on my non-domain joined PC and had to enter my Admin creds(cause I couldn't remember the couple users creds I had made lol)

 

It sounds to me like when it's time for the server to go away, which it is approaching quickly, you should just get a 1 - 3 bay NAS system. Cause that is what it sounds like you have now just using Server 2003 for the OS. And I believe some will even act as the print server. And yes you can build your own but it they take a lot of fiddling and fair bit of knowledge to get it up and running, specially when you can buy one and it's plug in, a little set up, and play(pretty much).


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

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#9 jerrymck

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:52 PM

Unclear why you think you are in a workgroup if you are adding computers to Active Directory.  That operation means they are added to the domain. 

Just because the computers autologon does not mean they are not logging on to the domain.  You can set this with a registry edit.

If on a workstation you go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System does it say workgroup or domain?

What is the password policy on the server? 

If users want to access files/programs on the server they must have an account.

Under system properties on my workstation it says I am in a workgroup. 

So to access the shared drive from the server all we have to do is click my computer > Map network drive> enter the drive letter > enter the correct password to the drive. 


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#10 jerrymck

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:56 PM

I will be the first to admit that I know WAY more about networking than I do about servers. Not that I am completely unfamiliar with them. In the next room I just set up a Windows 2008 server to learn on.

 

So you sit down to the server like it is a normal PC? mouse keyboard, monitor. If the screen is locked what account is it showing? Yours? then you enter a password? or do you remote in? same questions, what username(UN) and password(PW) do you use?

 

If the server is just sharing a folder(s), like mine is now. When you set up a network drive on a users PC, do you enter a UN & PW? Theirs? I just set a network share on my non-domain joined PC and had to enter my Admin creds(cause I couldn't remember the couple users creds I had made lol)

 

It sounds to me like when it's time for the server to go away, which it is approaching quickly, you should just get a 1 - 3 bay NAS system. Cause that is what it sounds like you have now just using Server 2003 for the OS. And I believe some will even act as the print server. And yes you can build your own but it they take a lot of fiddling and fair bit of knowledge to get it up and running, specially when you can buy one and it's plug in, a little set up, and play(pretty much).

 

 

So, I can do either or. I use "mstsc" in the run box to log in remotely. The server name is MACK2.LOCAL. The password is private, but I use the same creds to access the shared drive. I am not familiar with NAS system but I have built a server and numerous custom computers. I have never SET UP a server though . 


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#11 Wand3r3r

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:25 PM

if unique password and tied to your account this would explain why you need accounts on the server.  I don't see any reason for computer accounts though


Edited by Wand3r3r, 18 May 2015 - 04:26 PM.


#12 CaveDweller2

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:26 PM

If I said personal cloud, would you know what they are? Cause that's just what some companies call Network Attached Storage. It's just a box that runs some software and has hard drive(s) in it. And it sounds like that is all your 2003 server is, specially if you don't actually log into a domain.

 

You can go nuts with them but I don't think they'd need to spend more than $200, maybe a lot less since their storage needs aren't that great. You could look at a bare 1 bay and a NAS style hard drive. Doubt that would be more than $150 and that's for 2 TB. You could also look at a Linux solution. Because in the end, they just want a shared drive. All the server stuff isn't needed cause they aren't using it.

 

 

If I go to AD and create a new computer and make the name the exact name of my computer does that like somehow sync my computer to the server or something?

 

If you aren't logging into a domain, then the server has no control over your PC. That set up is nothing more than having a normal PC sharing a drive to other PCs, much like you'd do at home. There might be a bit more security but not much.


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#13 jerrymck

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:34 PM

If I said personal cloud, would you know what they are? Cause that's just what some companies call Network Attached Storage. It's just a box that runs some software and has hard drive(s) in it. And it sounds like that is all your 2003 server is, specially if you don't actually log into a domain.

 

You can go nuts with them but I don't think they'd need to spend more than $200, maybe a lot less since their storage needs aren't that great. You could look at a bare 1 bay and a NAS style hard drive. Doubt that would be more than $150 and that's for 2 TB. You could also look at a Linux solution. Because in the end, they just want a shared drive. All the server stuff isn't needed cause they aren't using it.

 

 

If I go to AD and create a new computer and make the name the exact name of my computer does that like somehow sync my computer to the server or something?

 

If you aren't logging into a domain, then the server has no control over your PC. That set up is nothing more than having a normal PC sharing a drive to other PCs, much like you'd do at home. There might be a bit more security but not much.

Damnit, I would really like to mess around with domains more! I thought this was my opportunity. Oh well. I will set up a domain then mwahahahahahaha - evil laugh

thanks for the help and baring with my incompetent retardation


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#14 CaveDweller2

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:48 PM

there is no reason you can't make a few users and log into the domain from your PC. On my PC I have several Virtual Machines that I can log into my server with. So they can just stay in the domain. but I also have none domain users on those systems as well so I can just switch the user. And then you can get as deep as you want into settings and permissions. No one but you will be messed with. And you can always go to the server itself to make changes in case you screw something up lol


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

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#15 jerrymck

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:51 PM

there is no reason you can't make a few users and log into the domain from your PC. On my PC I have several Virtual Machines that I can log into my server with. So they can just stay in the domain. but I also have none domain users on those systems as well so I can just switch the user. And then you can get as deep as you want into settings and permissions. No one but you will be messed with. And you can always go to the server itself to make changes in case you screw something up lol

I guess I will make a virtual machine too then.  Then I can add the virtual machine to the domain and my actual physical operating system won't be modified? Can you point me in the right direction to set up a virutal machine? I'm sure I can figure it out


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