This is going to sound a little trivial, but we're really scratching our heads. We noticed that about 95% of our desktop units on the floor are not pingable. At the same time, we noticed that we cannot utilize certain remote functions, such as RDP. Since we generally utilize remote support, it hasn't been an issue. However, we're now looking at new software that is affected by this. We've checked some machines to make sure that Simple TCP/IP Services are started, Remote Administration is turned on, NetBIOS is enabled and File and Printer Sharing Services are installed. The Windows Firewall settings for Remote Desktop and ICMP are identical to other systems which are functioning properly (pingable and RDP works).

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Could the problem be with the hardware used to link the systems together? If you have a firmware upgrade to a switch, for instance, that might explain what's going on here. What you might want to do is take two entirely new systems that have no software on them at all, not even the firewall, and see if they can ping each other. If not, then the problem probably lies with the switch you're using, which might be blocking ICMP commands. Also, what about the remaining 5% that are pingable (as is implied)? Are they newer systems, older systems, in a different network segment, etc.?

This was first published in March 2006

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