21 May 2007

Windows XP Won't Return Ping, Otherwise Fine

I make this post in the hope that it will help some other poor sap who's run into the same head-bangingly frustrating problem with Windows that I did.

(some incidental keywords for Google: windows one-way ping doesn't respond to ping Internet works no ping can't connect)

Here's the situation: A couple of weeks ago, I bought a refurbed Tablet PC (Toshiba Portégé 3500, for anyone who's curious) off of eBay, mainly to allow me more mobility. (The Toshiba weighs 4.1 pounds... the department Dell laptop weighs >10 pounds. Yeah.) However, there are some applications on the Dell that I'd really like to be able to use remotely, so I was trying to set up TightVNC (third-party open-source remote desktopping application) so's I could log into the Dell from anywhere.

Soooo, I installed TightVNC on both computers, set up the server as a service on the Dell (so it automatically loads the server on boot), and tried to connect. Nothing. On further investigation, I found I actually couldn't even ping the Dell (from anywhere); nor could I ping the Toshiba. Even after disabling Windows Firewall and McAfee entirely... nothin'.

So. After trying an interminable number of combinations of settings and plying Google for at least ten hours, I came upon what must be the single forum post that had the answer. Namely, the Cisco VPN client that MIT uses for remote network localization (important for things like Matlab licensing and access to journal subscriptions) itself includes a firewall, which in this case was shutting out both the pinging and the TightVNC connection. Two quick clicks in the menu of the client, and both functions work slick as ice. G'bah!

So. This might not be the magic bullet fix for some people, especially if they don't have Cisco VPN installed. But... check every application you can think of for a firewall setting and make sure it's disabled! (I suppose this seems pretty obvious in retrospect, but... at least nobody else I asked thought of the VPN as the possible culprit, so... I'mma not feel too bad on this one!)

Ain't technology grand? :-p

19 comments:

Dudek said...

Thank you good man! Indeed, you have saved me a lot of time in looking what is going on. Thanks to you and Google I resolved my problem in 5 minutes.

Anonymous said...

At last a solution! I can't believe I've already rebuilt one laptop because of this, thanks!

Jeffrey said...

OMG! I have been pounding my head on this problem for weeks. I was about to give up and do a complete re-install!

If you're ever in Miami, I owe you a drink . . . or 2!

Erik said...

Thanks a lot, I've spent an hour looking for a solution without any luck.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

I spent two days debugging this issue, for remote connection software that uses ICMP for initial sensing. I tried EVERYTHING!

Both Win XP systems were roaming laptops with Check Point SecurRemote VPN installed. I disabled the VPN services binding check box in NIC Connection Properties and all my troubles disappeared!

Thanks for this post! My sanity has returned!

Regards,
Another Poor Sap

Andrew said...

Let me add my thanks for such a brilliant post. As soon as you mentioned Cisco VPN the cogs started turning 8-). I only started using the Cisco client because the stupid Microsoft client stopped working. Fix one problem ... create another!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, dude!

major_appliance said...

This is great. I won't know for sure if this fixes my problem but I'll be damned if I didn't install the cisco client a while back. It would be nice if you get got a little system tray pop-up saying that "Cisco VPN client is blocking incoming connnections periodically to remind you about this buried toggle."

Anonymous said...

Ahh, thanks a lot for this blog post. I had checked all firewalls I knew of... that is the McAfee and Windows firewall and tried all combinations of stuff. Then I saw this post, checked the Cisco VPN client and there it was. "Stateful Firewall (Always on)" was turned on.

Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey man, i love you...
3 days passed on that %$¶@£ problem. Thank you very much

Q Schroe said...

You are a saviour. I only lost an hour on this issue thanks to you!

fabio said...

I love you man... You saved me some valuable time... Cisco VPN client was the crook. Cheers!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!! You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

Anonymous said...

wow ... i didn't even think of that. So simple yet hard to not realise that was the problem. Thank you, thank you, thank you ;-)

Anonymous said...

Man, I've fussed with this problem off-and-on for several years. I have tried everything (almost) including the windows fire wall, group policies, etc. Thank you for this post, it has solved my problem.

Anonymous said...

Legend! This was doing my head in, all fixed now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!
It worked for me too.

Guilherme Chizungu said...

You are the man of situation, It work for me too, I already get this issue on many computers and I was always forcing to re-image the computers, now in 2 minutes the issues is fixed by your gracefully solution shared.

Once more thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - it was driving me crazy.