OSX VPN to Windows Network and PC Name Resolving

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by covertsurfer, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. covertsurfer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    I have a iMac at home with Snow Leopard installed.

    I have a VPN that allows me to connect to my work network.

    This is all fine but if I try and ping or do VNC to a PC on our network it cannot resolve computer names only the IP Address of those computers.

    I do not know the IP Addresses only the PC Names, is there anyway to get my iMac to resolve the PC Names, its driving me nuts.

  2. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    You will want to make sure you have the DNS server IP addresses for your work network. If the machines are bound to a domain (I assume they are) you should also add the domain to your search domains.

    Typically, the VPN should pass this information onto you, but you can check in the advanced VPN settings.

    See the attached image. Here the DNS server is configured to and the search domains are work.org and local.

    So, you want to get to a machine whose name is covertsurfer.

    When you try to connect to covertsurfer via VNC, say vnc://covertsurfer, it will go out to the DNS server and get the IP, it will also append the search domains if it does not get an ip returned.

    So, for example if your machine's name is really covertsurfer.work.org it will check that name with the DNS server. The local search domain is used by bonjour, so if you wanted to connect to any Mac you would be able to.

    Now, if for some reason they do not use DNS at your job you would have to know the IP address as there would be no way to resolve names.

    Hope that helps. See the attached image. Click advanced when viewing your VPN connection in System Preferences --> Network. And click the DNS tab. Do it while you are connected and see if there are any light gray fields there already, so would be settings pushed by the VPN server.

    Attached Files:

  3. covertsurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    Thanks however yhe PC's I need to connect to are only in a workgroup.

    I tried addin g the domain that exists in the company and local but no use.
  4. covertsurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    if I do a ipconfig on the PC's they do have a DNS Suffix so I tried adding that to the VPN Settings but no luck
  5. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    What is the DNS server they are using?

    It seems that you may not be able to resolve names if there is no DNS server with records for your machines. IP might be your only hope.

    When you are on a PC, can you resolve another PCs name? For example with a ping?
  6. covertsurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    I can resolve another PC name from a ping. There is also a IP address in the DNS Server section in VPN Advanced settings.

    The DNS suffix from a ipconfig is domain.local
  7. kfordham281 macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2007
    I have a similar issue as the original poster. As a workaround, I use my IP and connect to my work PC and then use that PC to connect to names if I don't know their IP. It's something to do with DNS but I've never cared enough to look into why it's happening. The workaround works well enough and I'm since I'm only using it a handful of times a year, the issue hasn't been worth my time.
  8. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    It sounds like you don't have an internal DNS server and the PCs are using NetBIOS name-to-IP mapping in order to resolve (i.e. not DNS but similar to WINS). I would recommend what the poster above does, and RDP to your internal PC using IP, and then use it to connect around.
  9. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    One more thing, if there is a WINS server (I am doubting this) you can try this applescript.

    display dialog "Please enter the IP address of the WINS Server:" default answer ""
    set winsServer to the text returned of the result
    display dialog "Please enter the NetBIOS name of the computer:" default answer ""
    set vncName to the text returned of the result
    set vncIP to (do shell script "nmblookup -U " & winsServer & " -R " & vncName & "| grep '<00>' | awk '{print $1}'")
    tell application "Finder"
    	open location "vnc://" & vncIP
    end tell
    It will prompt for the WINS Server and machine name. You can get the WINS Server from Windows machines (I forget where).

    If you just want the IP, and not vnc, pop this into terminal:

    nmblookup -U WINSSERVERIP -R machineName | grep '<00>' | awk '{print $1}'
    Just put the WINSSERVERIP and the machineName in the appropriate place.
  10. covertsurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    I tried the applescript with a computer name I know the IP of and it started a screen sharing app with the correct IP address however it never connected for some reason. The VNC server on the PC is RealVNC so not sure if there is configuration issues?

    The terminal script ran and returned the IP correctly, thanks!

    Will I have to run this in the future to get an IP as there is no other way to configure the VPN settings?

    Thanks for your help so far!
  11. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    Had this issue. Fix was to change my home IP range.

    ie. at work it's 192.168.1.xxx
    at home it was the same, so I changed home to 10.0.1.xxx

    works everytime now, no issues. It is a simple change in your router config (unless you have an incredibly cheap router). Mine is an AEBS.

    I remote desktop into machines using their domain name, and connect to SMB shares same way.
  12. covertsurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    My work IP range is 172.16.... and my home is 192.168 so they are already different do I don't think that will work.

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