Server/Client Setup issues.

I'm requesting assistance on the early stage of an assignment, which I've tried to research myself for the last couple days, but I'm just not understanding what the issue is. I'm still a bit new to setting up servers so any help is appreciated.

Basically I'm trying to set up one laptop with Windows Server 03 to a client running Windows XP SP3. The server is connecting to my home router for internet access via wifi, and an ethernet cable is running directly from the server to the client. I've installed active directory, dns and dhcp on the server.

Theres a number of issues here:
1. When the ethernet port is disabled on the server, I have net connectivity, but when ethernet is enabled, I lose connectivity. I've changed the connection priority in the Advanced Settings of Network Connections and that still didn't work. Several restarts later and it seems to be working now, however my client no longer recognises the server as a dhcp provider.

2. As above, client not recognising dhcp provider and is auto-allocating itself an ip address. However earlier when it was being leased an ip by the dhcp, it had no internet connectivity.

3. Client is unable to locate or join my domain.

For the sake of providing more information and relevant labels, here are some details:
Router IP:
Static IP for ethernet port on server:
Dynamic IP for wifi.
Gateway has been left blank for both NIC's.
Ethernet port on server's DNS:
DHCP Lease range: to

I'm sure i'm forgetting some crucial detail but I can't think of what it is. If anymore info is needed, please let me know. I'm more eager to figure out why the problem is occurring rather than just fixing it, but the goal is to do both.
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More about server client setup issues
  1. To update, I've disabled the wireless adaptor, as internet connectivity isn't crucial. I have an ethernet lead going directly from the server to the client. The client is being allocated an IP from the dhcp server and is auto detecting dns and gateway details from the server.

    Now the only issue that remains is that I can't get the client to join the domain. I'm completely stumped. Any help troubleshooting is greatly appreciated.
  2. It sounds like you have a router in place. That router has DHCP running on it. You can only have 1 DHCP server running. This would explain why you get net connection when the server port is disabled.

    Your Server should have DHCP configured. Included you should have your DNS server listed (The IP address of your server). Also, the gateway. Your gateway is your Router's IP address if on a switch. Though, it sounds like you have your client connected directly to the server. In this case you will have to set up either Routing or ICS.

    Essentially here is what you want to do:

    Router connects to a switch or a hub. Server and client both connect to the switch. Using a switch/hub will be the easier way to configure, otherwise you are looking at a headache to get working.

    Static Private IP address (
    Disable DHCP

    Static IP address (
    Enable DHCP
    *Add default gateway (Router IP address
    *Add DNS server (Server IP address,
    Install DNS
    *Enter IP Forwarders in DNS to point to your ISP's DNS servers. You can pull this from the router's Public IP address info.

    Automatically assign IP address. This will pick up the DHCP info from your server. It will populate with an IP address in the range you set, along with the DNS and Gateway information you plugged into the DHCP server.

    With that, the client will use your local server as the first portion of DNS (local area network DNS). If it does not resolve your local request, it will forward it out to the ISP DNS servers. It would appear to me based on what you stated that right now the client is using the ISP DNS servers, so it won't be able to find your server and the domain since those names are not registered in DNS.
  3. Yep, I realised the router's DHCP was causing an issue. Being part of a project and that I will be taking my server and client to class, and as internet connectivity is not required, I've disabled the wireless nic on the server.

    Currently its an offline system with the only connection being a crossover ethernet lead directly from the server to the client. I don't intend to put the router in the mix as its my own personal home router and won't be part of the assignment.

    The client is being assigned an IP from my DHCP server, and it is picking up DNS info. Being that I don't have the router connected, theres no gateway info for it to pick up.

    The sole issue now is that I can't get the client to join the domain. As I said, the client is being assigned info from the DHCP, and it is able to ping the server but when joining the domain, it asks for username, password and domain, then tells me that it could not detect the domain. The next screen asks for my computer name and domain information (i assume its asking for the server's computer name, but I've tried both server and client name). It tells me that it can't connect as a computer with that name already exists on the network.

    If it makes any difference, the user I'm trying to log in as has been created on the server, in a new OU. It is a member of the following groups: user, domain user, administrator, domain admin.

    Also, I've noticed that my client is getting a DNS of which is the routers IP. My server is using a loopback DNS and the servers IP is, so shouldn't that be what the client is using?
  4. Issue resolved. Was a typo in configuration.
  5. Simple enough. Everything seems to be working then?
  6. Yeh thanks. Feel sheepish for not spotting it myself.
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