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Level 2

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

Hi,

 

We have Quickbooks Desktop Premium (No. The boss doesn't want to go online. Yet. ;-)       )

 

We have 3 workstations and 1 server. The workstations cannot open the company file which is on the server (with Windows 10). I found the reason why. And, I've found a workaround (which I'll explain later).

My question is : Is there a better way around this? A real fix? We'll get back to that question later. shall we. Also below: A suggestion to Intuit on how they could easily fix this.

 

On the server, the firewall and antivirus (Windows Defender) are disabled (So they don't interfere with the troubleshooting). Client workstations can connect to the shared folder where the company file is, and have read/write access to it. We can browse the files, create new files, modify files (In Windows Explorer). But... Quickbooks cannot open the company file. What !? After a restart of the server PC, workstations can open the company file, but every morning (or 2) Workstations cannot open the company file. Again.

 

I dug in and found why after quite a while (WoooooOuuu!). It's because of the .ND file. The ServerIp address in there was the wrong one. Instead of taking the local network IP, Quickbooks decided to use our VPN's IP address (Hamachi VPN). So instead of a 192.168.xxx.xxx address, there was a 25.112.xxx.xxx address in the .ND file. 

 

Here's what a .ND file should be like:

 

Spoiler
//This is QuickBooks configuration File. It exists while users are connected
// to a company file. Do not delete this file yourself. QuickBooks may not
// operate correctly IF you manually delete this file.
[NetConnect]
ServerIp=192.168.0.240
EngineName=QB_Accounting_29
ServerPort=51305
FilePath=C:\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files\NunChaKu_Biz.QBW
ServerMode=1
FileConnectionGuid=

 

I've changed the ip address to our server's local network IP address 192.168.0.240, saved the file, and then : BAM! All the client workstations could open the company file!

 

OK, we have a VPN, so that makes 2 network cards in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network Connections. It's not very different than some other business' server which have 2 or 3 different network cards, each with a different subnet. OK it's not that common to have multiple subnets on a server, but it happens once in a while in a business environment. Quickbooks seems to chose randomly which card (and IP address) it uses. And then writes the chosen IP address to the .ND file. Since the workstations don't use the VPN (or that subnet), they don't recognize the IP address and cannot connect to the company file.

 

Workaround: I've used a script I've found on the great internet to insert the correct IP address every 2 minutes. Since then the workstations can connect perfectly. No more interruptions. 

 

So my question again: Is there a better way around this? A real fix? 

 

 

The solution QuickBooks developpers could implement: 

In Quickbooks Database Server Manager, there could be another tab listing all the network cards and their IPs. By default it would select a typical local IP address (192.168.xxx.xxx). There would be an option to select another network card. 

 

For those in the same situation as us, here's the script (.bat file) I've used to insert the correct IP address in the .ND file. (save this text in a text file renamed as "Quickbooks_Insert_Correct_IP.bat") (In Windows Explorer: File: Change folder and search options: View: Disable: Hide extensions for known file types.) I've used Windows Task scheduler to start the script on PC startup and repeat every 2 minutes. All you need to change is the FileName and TempFile paths, and the ServerIp address: 

 

 

Spoiler

REM Great thanks to god Mofi   ;-) on stackoverflow.com for this!!! Source at the end of this file. It works like a charm.

@@echo of

setlocal EnableExtensions DisableDelayedExpansion

set "FileName=C:\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files\NunChaKu_Biz.qbw.ND"
set "TempFile=C:\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files\NunChaKu_Biz.qbw.ND.tmp"
if not exist "%FileName%" goto EndBatch

del "%TempFile%" 2>nul

for /F delims^=^ eol^= %%A in ('%SystemRoot%\System32\findstr.exe /N "^" "%FileName%"') do (
set "Line=%%A"
setlocal EnableDelayedExpansion
if not "!Line:ServerIp=!" == "!Line!" (
echo ServerIp=192.168.0.240
) else echo(!Line:*:=!
endlocal
) >>"%TempFile%"

rem Is the temporary file not binary equal the existing INI file, then move
rem the temporary file over existing INI file and delete the temporary file
rem if that fails like on INI file currently opened by an application with
rem no shared write access. Delete the temporary file if it is binary equal
rem the existing INI file because of nothing really changed.

%SystemRoot%\System32\fc.exe /B "%TempFile%" "%FileName%" >nul
if errorlevel 1 (
move /Y "%TempFile%" "%FileName%"
if errorlevel 1 del "%TempFile%"
) else del "%TempFile%"

:EndBatch
endlocal


REM Source : https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52712050/batch-script-find-and-replace-line-that-starts-with-spe...

 

 

 

Solved
Best answer December 11, 2019

Best Answers
Highlighted
Level 2

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

I am the IT guy.

 

Since I didn't get a real solution (for someone that doesn't want to go hosted or online) or a hope that Intuit will make an effort to fix this I'll put this reply as the Accepted solution.

 

Solution : Look at the original post: It contains the workaround. 

 

Thanks for the ideas thought : 

-Quickbooks hosted on the cloud

-Quickbooks online

-Remove the VPN (which is not a solution for us right now)

 

Thanks to all for the input. I appreciate it.

 

View solution in original post

10 Comments
Highlighted
QuickBooks Team

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

Hello!

 

First of all, great screen name! That's definitely a blast from the past earworm. Secondly, I can appreciate not wanting to go to QuickBooks Online if it's not right for the business. Using the networking with QuickBooks Desktop is certainly one way to make sure that everyone can access the company file from their workstation, but I can see how the issues you're encountering could cause you to run into snags during the workday.

 

It's awesome you've been able to find out what's going on with your network connections and I imagine it took a lot of technical know-how to do that and figure out the workaround. Knowing more about what is happening when trying to open the company file is important, such as whether there are error messages, but one of the reasons you're running into the troubles you are is because of the VPN. Because of the type of connection it is, it can cause dysfunction in the program and is not something we can troubleshoot as a technical support team. Take a look at this article to learn more: Recommended networks for QuickBooks

 

If you'd like to consider one of the supported, recommended networks, you're welcome to get in touch with support to learn more about how that would work. Read over the Intuit Quickbooks Desktop software support policies to learn about hours and support options.

 

I hope you have a great weekend!

Highlighted
Level 14

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

@iambluebadadibadada 

Company does't support any VPN solution to access QBD. So when we use such solution, we have to prepare to self-troubleshoot. Consider deploying a private cloud to let users have an alternate option to access the local data by internet connection. You may start for 1 user access only and anyone can utlize it to take turns as needed.

https://partners.myquickcloud.com/?pc=fiatlux

 

Highlighted
Level 2

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

Thanks! It was a great dance song hey?

 

We don't use the VPN to connect to the Quickbooks Company file directly. 

We have a remote computer which connects to Quickbooks Server PC with Microsoft Remote Desktop. The Remote Desktop connection is over the VPN. So the remote user can use the PC and all it's apps (Including Quickbooks Desktop) remotely. That way the performance is really good. It's like using TeamViewer, for example.

Highlighted
QuickBooks Team

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

I appreciate the follow up. Even with what you're describing here, it's the way the computers themselves are being accessed, through the VPN, that's the problem. I recommend using a hosting service instead to make sure that you're able to open your company files as seamlessly as possible, no matter where you are. The link I gave you in my original response includes a link to third-party companies that can be used for hosting with QuickBooks Desktop.

Highlighted
Level 2

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

What about companies with multiples network cards on their Quickbooks server?

 

Quickbook doesn't know how to choose the correct network card and will put a random IP address in the ND file.

 

Not acceptable in my point of view.

Highlighted
QuickBooks Team

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

Hello again. When it comes to how your networks are set up and how they're working with QuickBooks Desktop, that's something an IT specialist can look into. I recommend touching base with one if you don't have someone looking into this already. What I've covered above is the extent of troubleshooting that can be done with QuickBooks Desktop tech support. I want to make sure you're able to get this sorted out and get back to working in the program. It may be the case that you stick with the workaround you've found, but your IT guy may be able to shed more light on this.

Highlighted
Level 2

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

I am the IT guy.

 

Since I didn't get a real solution (for someone that doesn't want to go hosted or online) or a hope that Intuit will make an effort to fix this I'll put this reply as the Accepted solution.

 

Solution : Look at the original post: It contains the workaround. 

 

Thanks for the ideas thought : 

-Quickbooks hosted on the cloud

-Quickbooks online

-Remove the VPN (which is not a solution for us right now)

 

Thanks to all for the input. I appreciate it.

 

View solution in original post

Highlighted
Level 1

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

I've had the same issue for years.  In fact I have two issues.  One is that the .nd file is randomly getting server mode set to 2 (so no multi-user) with no IP set.  The other is the same problem described here where the quickbooks manager will grab whatever interface it feels like and put that in the .nd file.  Today it was just like the OP and it tried to use a virtual interface used for a virtual machine running on the server instead of the interface of the server itself.  It seems like it would be really easy to add a small section in one of the .config files to specific the IP of the interface.  That would solve this problem for many people.

Highlighted
QuickBooks Team

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

I appreciate the feedback, donbinator. As suggested by my colleague above, I recommend getting in touch with an IT specialist, or reaching out to our tech support team. This issue may be specific to how your file is set up on your computer or network. It's important to have one of our agents take a closer look to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is occurring on your end. 


Cheers.

Highlighted
Level 1

Clients PCs cannot connect to Company File on server (Because of multiple network cards / VPN)

After reading this post, I felt the need to thank you for confirming that there are others with issues surrounding this simple oversight on Intuit's part. 

 

It is short and sweet... Quickbooks Database Manager is unable to automatically choose the appropriate network adapter on a server that has more than one NIC.  The developers do not see fit to add this functionality to their software (or are more likely, completely unaware of the shortcoming of the product.)

 

It is difficult when the Quickbooks dev team has no idea the issue they're neglecting along with a customer support team that is not trained to recognize the moment an actual flaw in the program exists.

 

As an IT vendor, we support quite a few of these scenarios:

-Quickbooks hosted from a server.

-Server has multiple NICs.

-QB chooses the wrong NIC.

 

Anyway, thanks again for bringing this up and for the script idea!  Until now, it felt like we must be missing something, so it's nice to know a solution doesn't technically exist for the design flaw. :)