Windows XP/Vista Workstations Fail To Connect to SBS 2008 When Using Http://connect


Windows XP/Vista workstations using http://connect fail to join the domain when using static IP addresses.

Internet Explorer displays the following error.


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Cannot find server or DNS Error

Internet Explorer

  • If you attempt to ping "connect" from command prompt it fails with:

    "Ping request could not find host connect."
  • If you attempt to ping the "FQDN" <connect.domainname.local> it resolves successfully.


The problem is the dns suffix on the workstation is missing or incorrect.


Use the following steps to add the correct DNS suffix within the network card dns settings of the workstation. Afterward http://connect should work successfully.
  1. Click Start, click Run and type: ncpa.cpl and click OK.
  2. Right click the Local Area Connection network card and click Properties.
  3. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click Properties.
  4. Confirm that the IP address is on the same subnet and that the Preferred DNS server is pointing to the IP of the Small Business Server.
  5. Click the Advanced button and click the DNS Tab.
  6. Fill in the "DNS suffix for this connection" box with the DNS suffix name.

    In order to find the correct dns suffix open a command prompt on the SBS 2008 server and type: Set Userdnsdomain

    This will return the USERDNSDOMAIN=<yourdnsdomainsuffix.local>
  7. After entering the correct DNS suffix, click OK two times and click Close.
  8. Close Network Connections.

    To test the setting open a command prompt and attempt to ping "connect". This should resolve to the ip address of the Small Business Server 2008.
  9. Open Internet Explorer on the workstation and type: http://connect and hit <enter>

You should now get the "Welcome to Windows Small Business Server 2008"

Advanced Steps

  1. Give the workstation a static IP address on the same subnet as the SBS server.
  2. Verify that the DNS suffix for this connection is blank.
  3. From workstation open command prompt and ping connect or sbsconnectcomputer.
  4. Open Internet Explorer on the workstation and type: http://connect and hit <enter>.