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This topic contains 31 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  kaboondy 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #4163

    kaboondy
    Member

    I would like to know if it is recomended to change from WIN2000 OS where WinFax is currently installed on all my computers (with one Host and all others are clients) and change all the computers to WIN XP SP3 (which is still supported by Microsoft). Is there any performance gain in spending the effort and making the change to the Host and Clients all installed on Win XP machines?

    The other option is to have Host installed on a WIN2000 machine while the clients are installed on XP machines.

    Please post your opinions and experience. ❓

    #9458

    admin
    Keymaster

    @kaboondy wrote:

    Is there any performance gain in spending the effort and making the change to the Host and Clients all installed on Win XP machines?

    in regards to WinFax, there is no performance gain. If you do switch to Windows XP SP3, you would need to make changes to Windows XP DCOM security for fax sharing to continue to work. There are postings about this in the Fax Sharing forum.

    #9459

    kaboondy
    Member

    @Moderator wrote:

    @kaboondy wrote:

    Is there any performance gain in spending the effort and making the change to the Host and Clients all installed on Win XP machines?

    in regards to WinFax, there is no performance gain. If you do switch to Windows XP SP3, you would need to make changes to Windows XP DCOM security for fax sharing to continue to work. There are postings about this in the Fax Sharing forum.

    I am sorry, I should have asked the question a different way – is there a performance loss or are there continuing installation related issues (after the installation). I am specifically referring to the use of WinFax in Networking (or Host/Client mode). I have used WinFax for many many years with XP as the OS. BUT, the XP install has always been in stand alone mode (without ever having any problems). Until I found this forum, I had given up on the idea of trying to make the WinFax work in Host Mode using XP. In other words, once the program is set up in XP SP3, does the program run as well (in Host Mode) as it does in WIN2000.

    From my point of view, the main benefit of using XP SP3 is that one can still get updates for XP and cannot for WIN2000 (from Microsoft). I refrained from upgrading the OS because my worry is the use of XP in Host Mode might still be full of problems (despite the solutions offered on this forum). If it is as stable as WIN2000 then I might take the effort to replace (reinstall) win2000 with XP on all the computers. A lot of effort – so that is the reason to ask.

    Thank you for patiently answering my question.

    #9460

    admin
    Keymaster

    In other words, once the program is set up in XP SP3, does the program run as well (in Host Mode) as it does in WIN2000. ]

    The DCOM Security Host sharing settings should only have to be applied once. There are some situations where these can be “reset” and have to be re-applied.

    #9461

    kaboondy
    Member

    I have finally had the time to install a new WIN XP box in my network. I have the following configuration:

    1. Private Wired Network (no wireless access) with no access to to the internet (hence no firewalls and no anti-virus program)
    2. WinFax server is a WIN 2000 box (10.03)
    3. 5 clients are WIN 2000 boxes (all 10.03)
    4. A shared phonebook is located on the Server computer (the allows a single update to the shared phonebook rather than having to update each client phonebook individually whenever there is an update – we have weekly updates of new fax numbers)
    5. A Shared fax database on a separate computer (where all received faxes are stored). This allows all client computers see all received faxes and manage in a shared environment. This is very helpful in an office environment where each staff has shared responsiblity.

    NEW XP SP3 box has had numerous problems – Despite the win firewall being turned off – section 2 needed to be done as well as the following (detailed instructions removed to save space):

    Section 1: To ensure that the Windows Firewall is enabled (turned off initially but did not work)
    Section 2: To add the WinFax Controller program to the Windows Firewall Exceptions list.
    Section 3: To enable Remote Administration traffic through the Firewall by enabling RPC and DCOM
    Section 4: To enable machine wide, remote access to COM for Anonymous Logon users
    Section 5: To enable Anonymous Logon users to have machine wide, remote activation access to COM
    Section 6: To enable Anonymous Logon users to have remote activation access to the WinFax.Attachment DCOM component

    Despite this, the WinFax 10.03 installation on the WIN XP SP3 computer did not access the Shared Phonebook on the Server computer. When I would send a test fax the dialogue would freeze and the program would no longer respond (requiring a “end task” command in Task Manager). When WinFax was updated to 10.04 – the SharedPhone book was readily seen and the send dialogue window was operational.

    HOWEVER, there is a constant “hourglass” change to the cursor now – even when not in WinFax (ie on the desktop) as if there is a process that overtakes the computer. I was not able to define this easily in the Task Manager. This is quite irritating as every few seconds one has to click the window that one is working on as it turns “grey” and becomes “inactive”. This would make productivity very limited.

    I wonder if you can figure something out from the information I have iterated above. I can provide more information if needed.

    It would be nice to know if (in general) WIn XP ultimately works are effectively with WinFax as WIN2000. The main issue for me is that computers do not always have proper drivers for WIN2000 – hence the push to try to make WIN XP work. I would appreciate any help/ideas that you might have. Thank you.

    #9462

    admin
    Keymaster

    @kaboondy wrote:

    4. A shared phonebook is located on the Server computer (the allows a single update to the shared phonebook rather than having to update each client phonebook individually whenever there is an update – we have weekly updates of new fax numbers)
    5. A Shared fax database on a separate computer (where all received faxes are stored). This allows all client computers see all received faxes and manage in a shared environment. This is very helpful in an office environment where each staff has shared responsiblity.

    I’m not sure what you mean by #5 above. You shouldn’t be sharing any databases in WinFax, with the exception of a read-only shared phonebook that is a supported feature. Are you referring to the “Host/Server” installed on a Windows 2000 PC with WinFax PRO 10.03 ? The “Server” should be handing all sent and received faxes locally, and when you connect using WinFax Fax Sharing Mode with a “client” you then can send and receive faxes on each separate connected “client”. A copy of the faxes are then stored on each client PC in addition to the Host (Server)

    @kaboondy wrote:

    NEW XP SP3 box has had numerous problems – Despite the win firewall being turned off – section 2 needed to be done as well as the following (detailed instructions removed to save space):

    Section 1: To ensure that the Windows Firewall is enabled (turned off initially but did not work)
    Section 2: To add the WinFax Controller program to the Windows Firewall Exceptions list.
    Section 3: To enable Remote Administration traffic through the Firewall by enabling RPC and DCOM
    Section 4: To enable machine wide, remote access to COM for Anonymous Logon users
    Section 5: To enable Anonymous Logon users to have machine wide, remote activation access to COM
    Section 6: To enable Anonymous Logon users to have remote activation access to the WinFax.Attachment DCOM component

    Despite this, the WinFax 10.03 installation on the WIN XP SP3 computer did not access the Shared Phonebook on the Server computer. When I would send a test fax the dialogue would freeze and the program would no longer respond (requiring a “end task” command in Task Manager). When WinFax was updated to 10.04 – the SharedPhone book was readily seen and the send dialogue window was operational.

    I’m confused here. Does this mean the Fax Sharing is working between the host/server and the clients?, but sharing a common (read-only) phonebook does not? Sharing a phonebook doesn’t require any of the DCOM settings that you mentioned above in section 1 though 6 – all is required is a shared network location that is accessible from each client (it should be the same process as sharing a folder from a networked PC to another PC.) You would need create a read-only phonebook in WinFax on the Server PC and then add an existing phonebook (pointing to the shared network location) at each client. The folder where the phonebook is stored needs to be a “shared” folder in Windows and accessible to each of the client PCs for this to work.

    @kaboondy wrote:

    HOWEVER, there is a constant “hourglass” change to the cursor now – even when not in WinFax (ie on the desktop) as if there is a process that overtakes the computer. I was not able to define this easily in the Task Manager. This is quite irritating as every few seconds one has to click the window that one is working on as it turns “grey” and becomes “inactive”. This would make productivity very limited.

    What else in addition to WinFax PRO 10.04 installed on this Windows XP system? WinFax is always running in the background if the WinFax PRO Controller is active. There are two processes that also run all the time, they are WFXSNT40.EXE and WFXSWTCH.EXE (active on Windows XP v10.02 or higher only). These shouldn’t use much CPU, or slow down your system and are both required by WinFax and should never be disabled. An optional Windows service that is started when Windows loads is always active. The WinFax Service (WFXSVC.EXE) isn’t required and can be disabled. (It shouldn’t be running anyway if you have installed WinFax as a client for use with Fax Sharing.)

    #9463

    kaboondy
    Member

    @Moderator wrote:

    @kaboondy wrote:

    4. A shared phonebook is located on the Server computer (the allows a single update to the shared phonebook rather than having to update each client phonebook individually whenever there is an update – we have weekly updates of new fax numbers)
    5. A Shared fax database on a separate computer (where all received faxes are stored). This allows all client computers see all received faxes and manage in a shared environment. This is very helpful in an office environment where each staff has shared responsiblity.

    I’m not sure what you mean by #5 above. You shouldn’t be sharing any databases in WinFax, with the exception of a read-only shared phonebook that is a supported feature. Are you referring to the “Host/Server” installed on a Windows 2000 PC with WinFax PRO 10.03 ? The “Server” should be handing all sent and received faxes locally, and when you connect using WinFax Fax Sharing Mode with a “client” you then can send and receive faxes on each separate connected “client”. A copy of the faxes are then stored on each client PC in addition to the Host (Server)

    I am sorry I was not very clear. What I have done is create a new message store on a networked drive. (Start with File, New, Message Store – once created – we can then use the same protocol for all the other client computers but “use existing message store option on the menu”). This method allows each user to have all the same information on their computers. In the past each client computer downloaded the received fax from the server computer into the local received folder and received folder on each cleint became divergent and work (annonations) made on one received fax could not be easily shared with other clients. By having a shared message store, we are able to have a common received storage location and workload can be shared while sub-folders can also be created to distribute the workload in an organised manner. I hope this is a better explanation.

    I have highlighted the response in red to make the readability easier (hopefully). Thank you.

    @kaboondy wrote:

    NEW XP SP3 box has had numerous problems – Despite the win firewall being turned off – section 2 needed to be done as well as the following (detailed instructions removed to save space):

    Section 1: To ensure that the Windows Firewall is enabled (turned off initially but did not work)
    Section 2: To add the WinFax Controller program to the Windows Firewall Exceptions list.
    Section 3: To enable Remote Administration traffic through the Firewall by enabling RPC and DCOM
    Section 4: To enable machine wide, remote access to COM for Anonymous Logon users
    Section 5: To enable Anonymous Logon users to have machine wide, remote activation access to COM
    Section 6: To enable Anonymous Logon users to have remote activation access to the WinFax.Attachment DCOM component

    Despite this, the WinFax 10.03 installation on the WIN XP SP3 computer did not access the Shared Phonebook on the Server computer. When I would send a test fax the dialogue would freeze and the program would no longer respond (requiring a “end task” command in Task Manager). When WinFax was updated to 10.04 – the SharedPhone book was readily seen and the send dialogue window was operational.

    I’m confused here. Does this mean the Fax Sharing is working between the host/server and the clients?, but sharing a common (read-only) phonebook does not? Sharing a phonebook doesn’t require any of the DCOM settings that you mentioned above in section 1 though 6 – all is required is a shared network location that is accessible from each client (it should be the same process as sharing a folder from a networked PC to another PC.) You would need create a read-only phonebook in WinFax on the Server PC and then add an existing phonebook (pointing to the shared network location) at each client. The folder where the phonebook is stored needs to be a “shared” folder in Windows and accessible to each of the client PCs for this to work.

    Yes, Fax Sharing is working very well for sending/receiving faxes between the Host and all WIN2K clients. There is also no problem with the shared (read-only) shared phonebook located on the host and the WIN2K clients. The same shared phonebook seems to cause the XP client to freeze when trying to acces the phonebook in the menu or when sending a fax (which then causes the shared phonebook to be used). The send dialogue window freezes. The root folder where the shared phonebook is located is shared (but not specifically the actual sub-folder where the shared phonebook is located – I assume this should not be a problem).

    @kaboondy wrote:

    HOWEVER, there is a constant “hourglass” change to the cursor now – even when not in WinFax (ie on the desktop) as if there is a process that overtakes the computer. I was not able to define this easily in the Task Manager. This is quite irritating as every few seconds one has to click the window that one is working on as it turns “grey” and becomes “inactive”. This would make productivity very limited.

    What else in addition to WinFax PRO 10.04 installed on this Windows XP system? WinFax is always running in the background if the WinFax PRO Controller is active. There are two processes that also run all the time, they are WFXSNT40.EXE and WFXSWTCH.EXE (active on Windows XP v10.02 or higher only). These shouldn’t use much CPU, or slow down your system and are both required by WinFax and should never be disabled. An optional Windows service that is started when Windows loads is always active. The WinFax Service (WFXSVC.EXE) isn’t required and can be disabled. (It shouldn’t be running anyway if you have installed WinFax as a client for use with Fax Sharing.)

    The only other program running on the XP client (and all the WIN2K) is a medical program. Office 2003 is also installed but not always active.

    I did uninstall the 10.04 program on the XP client and reinstalled the 10.03 to see if there would be any difference. None was noted when 10.03 was reinstalled. I may have made an error in the dcom settings as I used all the setting changes on the client – from 1 – 7 which are normally required for an XP host only. Could this be a source of the problem? I can revert the changes and see what happens.

    I am sorry that, perhaps, I am not supplying good useful information to you. Please let me know if there is any other information you need. Any help in resolving the issue would be very helpful as we will need to move to XP as newer computers do not have all the drivers for WIN2000. Thank you again.

    #9464

    kaboondy
    Member

    This is just an update to the last post. Since your earlier advice that “the shared phonebook is no different than a shared drive and does not relate to the COM issue” or other security issues, I gave the shared phonebook a drive letter on the XP client so that when the computers boots, it would register the location. In addition, I also deleted the shared phonebook (located on the server) even though it was working with all the WIN2K clients. I created another shared phonebook (and did not make it read only). With the above changes, the phonebook is not creating a problem any longer. The send window dialogue no longer freezes.

    Also, while i do not know if this was an issue but as an experiment, I removed all the changes related to the security settings that are supposed to be for the Host computer – I had originally applied all the host security changes to the XP client which presumably was unnecessary (but not sure if created the problem). I also turned the Windows firewall off. the above changes seem to work. When I turned the WIN Firewall on – (with the controller as an exception) I ran into a problem with connecting with the Host.

    I hope the above information is useful. Thank you again for your help.

    #9465

    admin
    Keymaster

    I am sorry I was not very clear. What I have done is create a new message store on a networked drive. (Start with File, New, Message Store – once created – we can then use the same protocol for all the other client computers but “use existing message store option on the menu”). This method allows each user to have all the same information on their computers. In the past each client computer downloaded the received fax from the server computer into the local received folder and received folder on each cleint became divergent and work (annonations) made on one received fax could not be easily shared with other clients. By having a shared message store, we are able to have a common received storage location and workload can be shared while sub-folders can also be created to distribute the workload in an organised manner. I hope this is a better explanation.

    Yes, those steps will work for sharing the message store but you do need to select the option of a Shared Message Store when the Message Store is created (I assume you’ve already done this).


    Yes, Fax Sharing is working very well for sending/receiving faxes between the Host and all WIN2K clients. There is also no problem with the shared (read-only) shared phonebook located on the host and the WIN2K clients. The same shared phonebook seems to cause the XP client to freeze when trying to acces the phonebook in the menu or when sending a fax (which then causes the shared phonebook to be used). The send dialogue window freezes. The root folder where the shared phonebook is located is shared (but not specifically the actual sub-folder where the shared phonebook is located – I assume this should not be a problem).

    I see that you’ve deleted the shared phonebook and created a new shared phonebook and its no longer crashing. Its possible there was some sort of anomaly that caused the crash.

    The only other program running on the XP client (and all the WIN2K) is a medical program. Office 2003 is also installed but not always active.

    I did uninstall the 10.04 program on the XP client and reinstalled the 10.03 to see if there would be any difference. None was noted when 10.03 was reinstalled. I may have made an error in the dcom settings as I used all the setting changes on the client – from 1 – 7 which are normally required for an XP host only. Could this be a source of the problem? I can revert the changes and see what happens.

    I am sorry that, perhaps, I am not supplying good useful information to you. Please let me know if there is any other information you need. Any help in resolving the issue would be very helpful as we will need to move to XP as newer computers do not have all the drivers for WIN2000. Thank you again.

    While all the 7 steps aren’t necessary on the client, if you applied them all it shouldn’t affect the operation of WinFax on the client.


    Also, while i do not know if this was an issue but as an experiment, I removed all the changes related to the security settings that are supposed to be for the Host computer – I had originally applied all the host security changes to the XP client which presumably was unnecessary (but not sure if created the problem). I also turned the Windows firewall off. the above changes seem to work. When I turned the WIN Firewall on – (with the controller as an exception) I ran into a problem with connecting with the Host.

    Did you re-apply step 1-4 on the client? It should connect with both firewall off and on if steps 1 -4 are applied.

    #9466

    kaboondy
    Member

    @Moderator wrote:

    Yes, those steps will work for sharing the message store but you do need to select the option of a Shared Message Store when the Message Store is created (I assume you’ve already done this). Yes, I did create a Shared Message folder and it works so very well

    I see that you’ve deleted the shared phonebook and created a new shared phonebook and its no longer crashing. Its possible there was some sort of anomaly that caused the crash. I must assume the same conclusion as since the change there has been no issues with the shared phonebook; knowing that this issue is absolutely not dependant on the DCOM issue was very helpful


    Also, while i do not know if this was an issue but as an experiment, I removed all the changes related to the security settings that are supposed to be for the Host computer – I had originally applied all the host security changes to the XP client which presumably was unnecessary (but not sure if created the problem). I also turned the Windows firewall off. the above changes seem to work. When I turned the WIN Firewall on – (with the controller as an exception) I ran into a problem with connecting with the Host.

    Did you re-apply step 1-4 on the client? It should connect with both firewall off and on if steps 1 -4 are applied.

    Yes I did re-apply the changes from steps 1-4. However, I am not confident that the changes in step #3 (RPC and DCOM) were done successfuly as I am not sure how to assess the conclusion despite the “Show Service” command at the end as the output does not make sense to me. I did this several times. The output in the DOS window is like this (I tried to copy and paste a screen shot but this does not work for this window):

    Service Configuration for Domain Profile:
    Mode Customized Name


    Enable No File and Print Sharing
    Enable No Remote Desktop
    Enable No Remote Adminstration

    Service Configuration for Standard Profile:
    Mode Customized Name


    Enable No File and Print Sharing
    Enable No Remote Desktop
    Enable No Remote Adminstration

    Despite the attempts, if WIN Firewall is activated (with the Controller and PING) as exceptions (in my network only OR any computer on the internet) there is still the same error when connecting with the Host – “RPC server error”.

    I hope this is helpful information. Thank you again for remaining interested in this issue. My ultimate purpose is to set up the network so that a WIN XP Host can connect to a WIN XP Client. I have already tried this in an experiment on another very small (two computer) network and it failed completely. Thank you again.

    #9467

    admin
    Keymaster

    Enable No Remote Adminstration

    The above indicates you enabled the Remote Administration when typing “netsh firewall show service” command. More info on this command is here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc737332(v=ws.10).aspx The first “Enabled” shows it has been enabled, the “No” indicates there are no custom configurations, and the third item “Remote Administration” is the service name.

    What I suggest is to take a look at your Event Viewer (in the System Log) to determine what specific DCOM error messages that you are encountering on the client and Host. More info on the Event Viewer is here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427

    Post a copy of the errors (if any) related the DCOM at the exact date/time you attempted to make a connection with a client to a Host. The event viewer can be viewed on both the Host PC and the Client PC. You should see a red “X” along with a DCOM related message if a DCOM error is generated by WinFax.

    #9468

    kaboondy
    Member

    Thank you. It appears that the settings are correct for the RPC. I found the Event Viewer in the computer management. There are Application, Security, System, and Internet Explorer as options to view. I assume it is the System option that you want me to report on. In fact, on my experimental trial of the XP Host to XP client, I found this error (this is at the home whereas the the main issue with the WIN2000 Host and XP client is at the office).

    Can you also advise if the Host computer (which is WIN2K) will also have an event viewer as does the XP client?

    I have tried to attach the file but I am unsure if this worked in a desired way. Please advise if this information is what you wanted (and in a format that is understood). Thank you.

    #9469

    admin
    Keymaster

    Yes, Windows 2000 also has a similar Event Viewer. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302542

    That is the correct screen, with the errors displayed. Obviously, there is a problem related to DCOM. We need to determine the exact error that is being displayed in those messages. From this information, we can determine if the problem is on the Host it is attempting to connect to, or on the local client.

    Double click on the entry (the last one with the error message related to DCOM) and it should pop-up another window with a descriptive error message.
    You should be able to copy & paste the entire error/warning message into a reply.

    Check the other errors related to DCOM that appear underneath the last error to determine if they are the same messages. If not, please also post those error messages in a reply.

    #9470

    kaboondy
    Member

    Thank you. I have attached the error message . As an aside, are only Pictures uploaded on to the website? Just curious. Please see the message below from the Host XP computer and I will also find the same window on the XP client. I checked all the DCOM error messages and each says the exact same information.

    Please note this is not the same setup in the office where I am dealing with a WIn2K Host and WIN XP client. However, if this works, it would be very very helpful as well. Again, thank you.

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: DCOM
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 10021
    Date: 8/27/2012
    Time: 6:22:15 PM
    User: N/A
    Computer: MAIN
    Description:
    The launch and activation security descriptor for the COM Server application with CLSID
    {17EAB2A0-70E2-11CE-A7FB-008029E0ABE9}
    is invalid. It contains Access Control Entries with permissions that are invalid. The requested action was therefore not performed. This security permission can be corrected using the Component Services administrative tool.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

    Addendum: I checked the WIN XP Client and there is no DCOM error listed in the System Event log (or any of the other system logs) at the same time as listed above. In fact there is no DCOM log at all. Only the following is listed at the approximate time of the error above (the computer clocks of the two computers are not exactly the same).

    Event Type: Warning
    Event Source: mfehidk
    Event Category: (256)
    Event ID: 516
    Date: 8/27/2012
    Time: 6:22:23 PM
    User: N/A
    Computer: FAMILY
    Description:
    Process **VSTSKMGR.EXE pid (1560) contains signed but untrusted code, but was allowed to perform a privileged operation with a McAfee driver.
    Data:
    0000: 00 00 00 00 03 00 58 00 ……X.
    0008: 00 01 00 00 04 02 00 81 …….
    0010: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ……..
    0018: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ……..
    0020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ……..

    I am not sure if this has anything to do with the DCOM error issue and WinFax. Thank you again.

    Addendum #2 – Please accept my apologies. I am not sure why I did not consider this earlier. I have a second software firewall installed on each of the WIN XP computers at home (Comodo). When trying to connect the Client to the host – the client kept failing to ping successfully during the initial setup despite “computer found”. When I went to a command promt, I was AGAIN not able to Ping the computers (despite being able to see each other in Windows Explorer and the the drives and contents). That is what threw me off. When the PING with the DOS Prompt did not work, I realised this has nothing to do with WinFax. I changed the settings in Comodo to widen the range of the network to include both computers IP Addresses (on the Host computer) and now the connection works and I was able to send a fax from the client through the Host! Thank you very much for your help and patience.

    Now if I can set up the office computer systems as well. There is no Comodo installed in the office – hence the problem in the office is quite different. I look forward to your thoughts once I review the event log in the office XP and Win2K computers.

    #9471

    admin
    Keymaster

    Yes, if you have another third-party firewall or anti-virus that block TCP ports 135 and/or 445, then you will have problems connecting. The remoteadmin command and firewall exceptions are only specific to the Microsoft Windows Firewall.

    Post the same Event Viewer “DCOM” related errors (if found) on both the Host and client PCs that are having problems connecting, and error messages reported by the WinFax client(s) when you attempt to connect.

    Also, if your attempting to connect a Windows XP client to a Windows 2000 Host (that is currently working and connecting to other Windows 2000 clients). You shouldn’t require to make any changes on the Windows 2000 Host PC. The only steps required would be the client specific steps on the Windows XP PC.

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