Category Archives: Home Lab

Running two (or more) networks from a Thomson Gateway (TG585 v8) router

A key requistite in running a successful home-lab setup is to get at least a couple of separate networks connected together. This will create a more realistic ‘work-like’ environment to test any server configuation you have.
Personally I have a bit of a mish-mash of routers and switches to do this with and although I knew the theory of how this should work, I did struggle slightly getting the Thomson to forward packets like it should do. I put this down to the version I have (v8) and any documentation I could find was all v.7.
My other router is a MikroTik RouterBoard and I highly recommend investing in one of these if you’re serious about routing. They’re cheap (sub £50) but offer everything you’d expect on a professional router. Everything. In all honesty, most of the stuff this router will do I’ll never need nor indeed, understand. But if you’re looking for another router for this kind of lab setup, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Anyway, my goal was to set up my network similar to that below:


Having plugged the WAN interface of my routerboard into the Thomson, I was immediately able to access the 192.168.0.x network and hence, the internet. Great. However going back the other way wasn’t so pretty. “hmmm…looks like I need a static route set on the Thomson router” I thought. However there appeared to be no way of configuring this from the router interface. After a bit of digging, I discovered I was able to telnet to the router and set it that way. I found this link which led me in the right direction:!/2012/10/add-routing-in-thomson-tg585-v7.html
However I was still unable to contact the 88.x network from the 0.x network. Turns out the problem I was having was that the gateway I added was actually incorrect:
ip rtadd dst= gateway= intf=LocalNetwork srcintf=LocalNetwork static=enabled

So what had I done wrong? Well the gateway should actually be the interface on the 0.x network. What was happening is that the Thomson router was providing a dynamic address to the WAN port of the routerboard, and it was this address I should have been providing as the gateway address. In my case this was, so the command line should actually have been the following:

ip rtadd dst= gateway= intf=LocalNetwork srcintf=LocalNetwork static=enabled

Obviously you should really make sure this address is static but this address won’t change in my configuration so it’s fine. My routing problem was then solved.

Some resources that helped me solve this problem (and one or two others)
List of telnet commands on Thomson Router
Set up DHCP configuration via telnet on a Thomson Router (not directly relevant, but helped me out elsewhere)

Windows 2012 – Problems creating new forest / domain from scratch

OK so I decided to take a look at Windows Server 2012 and obviously the first thing you want to do after installation is to add AD DS. This is a pretty straightforward operation, not a whole lot different to how it’s done in Windows 2008. Simply select roles and features, add AD DS and follow the wizard through, creating the new forest, domain and DNS on the way.

However this is where I started to see some problems. I can’t say for sure whether I am the only one to experience this problem but as soon as the installation finished I was unable to open any AD tools and I was presented with an error similar to the following:

“The Specified Domain Does Not Exist or Could not be Contacted”.

My initial reaction after some minor troubleshooting was simply to remove and re-install it, after all this was a brand new installation and I really shouldn’t be seeing these issues on such a virgin server. I removed and reinstalled twice but still saw the same issue. Now as much as I love a challenge, I’ve been a busy man recently with one thing and another and finally this was an opportunity to use one of my support calls up that came with my Technet subscription. Last year I didn’t use any and it annoyed me I couldn’t carry them over. But I digress. I will therefore blog their analysis which finally fixed the issue. Apologies for the slightly iffy grammar, I’ve tried to fix the worst of it! I am still at a loss why I have experienced this issue, I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has had similar issues with server 2012.


=> On server 2012 made sure we have default shares “Sysvol & Netlogon” available as shared. This wasn’t the case.

=> With server 2012(a New Forest & Domain) the Sysvol replication is done by DFSR, thus checked the events in DFSR for any errors/warnings. We found the following :-

“The DFS Replication service stopped replication on volume C:. This occurs when a DFSR JET database is not shut down cleanly and Auto Recovery is disabled

=> We ran the following Command in order to recover from the Issue, and resume the replication :-

“wmic /namespace:\\root\microsoftdfs path dfsrVolumeConfig where volumeGuid=”69718B5D-152F-11E2-93E8-806E6F6E6963″ call ResumeReplication”

(Note: enter appropriate GUID)

=> Since server 2012 is the only server part of Forest/Domain, we followed the KB :- 2218556 ( and made the server authoritative.

=> Once done we had the “Sysvol & Netlogon” available as Shared, and were able to open the AD Snap-Ins and DNS was up & running fine.


With Server 2012 being the first DC in domain, the Sysvol replication is done using DFSR and detailed analysis of the DFSR logs yesterday revealed the DFSR service itself was in a state of error. We were getting an event id 2213 wherein the DFSR Jet database was not shutdown properly. This happens every time the service is stopped. Moreover by default auto recovery is not enabled for DFSR and without this starting and running correctly, he Sysvol & Netlogon shares weren’t getting shared. When we found the event we first fixed the DFSR database for Sysvol as per the KB and then resumed the replication using WMI command. This made sure the database is set correctly and the replication is underway. Sysvol and Netlogon were then shared.



Unable to Open AD Snap-Ins and Getting The Specified Domain Does Not Exist or Could not be Contacted


=> We promoted a server to a domain controller running 2012, the dcpromo process went fine without any issues, however when the server was restarted we couldn’t open any of the AD Snap-Ins and not DNS

=> The DNS zones failed to load and the snap-ins error out with “The Specified Domain Does not exist or could not be contacted

=> When checked the serer we found the Default Shares of “Sysvol & Netlogon” missing

=> The server is running 2012 so the Sysvol replication would be on DFSR, thus we need to make the server authoritative for the same

=> We first made sure we have policies and scripts created fine, once done we followed the steps in KB 2218556 (The steps were followed in LDP as ADSIEDIT would not load the partitions)

=> Once we were able to perform the steps we checked the events, were getting the event for DFSR Database issues, also checked the Debug Logs in Detail, and ran the following :-

wmic /namespace:\\root\microsoftdfs path dfsrVolumeConfig where volumeGuid=”69718B5D-152F-11E2-93E8-806E6F6E6963″ call ResumeReplication

=> We got the event id :- 4602 and the sysvol , netlogon got shared fine



Connection to Hyper-V VMs are very slow from remote Windows clients

So you have your Hyper-V box set up along with several virtual servers. Communication between Hyper-V host and VMs is fine. However when a remote Windows client tries to browse for a share on a VM there is a very long delay (sometimes minutes) before the share is displayed.

This problem had me puzzled for a fair while. Fortunately it was only in my lab environment but it was still frustrating. My network was IPv4. What I needed to do was to disable most of the advanced properties under the virtual network adapter on the Hyper-V host. Unless you have a IPv6 network you can leave the IPv6 settings as they are. After I’d disabled all these settings I was able to successfully browse shares properly.