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I'm on a work laptop. If I do a 'net send' to all computers on the domain while not VPN'd into the network, and it says it's successful, one of the following is true:

  1. It failed, but thinks it's successful, and it won't send anything.

  2. It failed, but it will send next time it's on the work domain.

I know I was off the domain when I sent it (I made sure of that first).

What will happen?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you're not within a routable network where the domain can be reached using NETBIOS then "success" just means it's been broadcast but tells you nothing about what it has reached. In almost all scenarios that will mean it hasn't gone anywhere beyond being broadcast on your local subnet which will have no effect since there is no connection to the NETBIOS domain you are aiming at.

If you do open a VPN there is some chance that it might have an effect but these days nobody should be listening because of policy changes and security concerns that have led to the messenger service being disabled. Back in the day (hmmh early 90's) this would have generated a popup dialog on every machine in a domain but s of XP Service Pack 2 the Messenger service was disabled by default so in any reasonably patched environment there would be no effect whether you are connected to a specific domain by VPN or not.

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It will successfully send a netbios broadcast, but nobody will be listening on your local (non-domain) network.

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When NET SEND reports it was successful that merely means it was able to send the message over the network. It in no way indicates whether or not anyone will see it. Think of it a bit like successfully getting a car moving on a road is no indication of where it will go or if it will reach its destination.

As for your option 2, that won't happen. It's now or never.

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