Network Troubleshooting Tips

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Here are some basic troubleshooting steps you can perform any time you get an error message when attempting to connect. These do assume that the basic Networking Setup has been done, or at least getting to the point that it is attempting to connect.  Note that you must be logged in as an Administrator to perform these functions.



Intermittent/unstable connections:  


If you have a client that does appear to connect OK and gets at least to "Joined Server", but doesn't get past "Synchronizing" or has problems staying connected (keeps disconnecting and reconnecting), or repeatedly requests a full database, or simply isn't showing correct data, then it's more likely a problem with synchronization..  In those cases, you should perform a Full Network Resynchronization.  See here for full details, but usually you can use the "One-Step" option as long as the Master shows correct data: Full Network Resynchronization.



Connection issues (cannot successfully connect at all):


Any of the 5 error messages below are usually self-explanatory and only require minor changes to fix, since they indicate that it is getting a response from the master but something else is wrong:


Mis-matched software version -- means you need to install the same version on each computer.

Mis-matched database name -- means you need to use File / Rename Database on either computer so the database names match.

Date format mis-match -- means the Region settings in Windows for the location / date format on the computers don't match (e.g. US vs Canada).

Incorrect network password -- means the passwords don't match under Network Setup, so enter new ones.

Date or time too different for proper synchronization -- means the Time & Date settings on the client do not match up to the master, or are too different (according to the setting in Network Setup on the master).



"Verify that the IP and port settings are correct" errors:


However, if you get a connection error message like "Verify that the IP and port settings are correct", that means it can't get a response from the master.  Of course the Master computer should be on, and Campground Master should be running, so that's the first thing to check.  It wouldn't hurt to close Campground Master and restart it to make sure it's not locked up.  Then you need to check the IP addresses.


If you don't know which computer is the master, then go to Maintenance / Network Functions and select Network Setup.  If it shows an IP address (numbers) next to "Master's IP address", then it's a client.  The Master computer will show "(This is Master)" instead of an address.



Assuming a local connection, not through the internet:



Checking the IP addresses and connection


The first step is to re-check the IP addresses (since this can change due to power outages, etc):


1.On the Master workstation ("server"), go to Maintenance / Network Functions and select Show IP address for this workstation.  Make a note of this number.


2.On each of the other workstations (clients), go to Maintenance / Network Functions and select Network Setup.  Make sure the "Master's IP address" is set to the address from the master as seen in the above step.  Especially pay attention to the last number.  If it's different, correct the address and click OK to see if that fixes it.


Note that if that solves the issue, and if you have to do this often to correct the problem (i.e. the Master's IP keeps changing), then you should have your IT person set a Static IP on the master so it doesn't keep changing.  See the next section, Setting a Static IP in Windows, for details.



Checking the Port


If the IP address is set correctly and it still doesn't connect, you should also verify the Port setting.  While this is usually not a problem since it should never change, it's an easy check.  On each of the computers, including the Master, go to Maintenance / Network Functions and select Network Setup.  Make sure they all show the same number for "TCP/IP port".  This should be a number above 6000 (usually 6010, which is the default Campground Master uses, but in some cases there is a need to set it to a different number).  It should never be a number less than 6000, which is likely to conflict with other commonly used ports.  Regardless of the number, the important thing is that they are all set to the same number.



Checking that it can Ping the Master


If the IP address and Port are both set correctly and it still gets the same error connecting, then on each client use the Ping command from Network Setup (under Maintenance / Network Functions, click "Test (Ping IP)" and follow instructions).  This will make sure the master's IP address is reachable from the other computer.


If a Ping is successful, it just means that a computer is at that IP address -- it doesn't mean that it's the right computer, and it doesn't mean that there isn't a firewall that might Campground Master.  Double-check the IP address (of the Master computer, not the client!) using the steps above.  If that all looks correct, a firewall is probably blocking Campground Master on either computer.  If you're not familiar with firewalls and the Firewall Configuration information in this documentation doesn't help, you'll need to contact a professional.


If a Ping fails, then you may have the wrong Master's IP address entered, or some other hardware or Windows issue exists with the network. If the settings are correct, it may be time to get a networking expert involved.  However, you should also try completely rebooting the Master computer (perform a Windows "Shut Down" so it does a full power-down) and then start again with checking the IP address (the reboot could "fix" the IP address, causing it to change).



If connecting through the Internet (the computers aren't on the same local network):


This is more complicated, since the Master's IP address is just the Internet connection IP, not the Master computer itself.  (If you have the Master's IP address setting starting with 192 or 169, that's definitely wrong.)  The Ping would only indicate that the modem or router is reachable, not the Master computer, and Ping may show failure even if the setting is correct.  First make sure you've reviewed the Networking through the Internet information, to make sure you're using the correct IP address and have Port Forwarding set up.  If you've gotten this far and either don't understand what we're talking about or it still doesn't work, it may be time to get a networking expert involved.


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