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I am experiencing an odd problem with one specific server at my data centre connecting from my laptop.

Basically the server is accessible from other machines in my house, but not from 1 particular laptop which is running windows XP.

I have setup tcpdump on the server and wireshark on the laptop, and I can see ping echo request and reply packets that actually make it back to the wireshark on the laptop, but nothing shows in the ping console output like so;

$ ping xxx.55.32.255

Pinging xxx.55.32.255 with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for xxx.55.32.255:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

But I can see from the wireshark on my local laptop that the ping reply gets back...

No.     Time        Source                Destination           Protocol Info
     46 3.964474    192.168.1.64          xxx.55.32.255         ICMP     Echo (ping) request

Frame 46 (74 bytes on wire, 74 bytes captured)
Ethernet II, Src: Intel_31:d3:01 (00:19:d2:42:c3:01), Dst: ThomsonT_01:b8:2c (00:14:7f:02:b9:3c)
Internet Protocol, Src: 192.168.1.64 (192.168.1.64), Dst: xxx.55.32.255 (xxx.55.32.255)
Internet Control Message Protocol

No.     Time        Source                Destination           Protocol Info
     48 4.119060    xxx.55.32.255         192.168.1.64          ICMP     Echo (ping) reply

Frame 48 (74 bytes on wire, 74 bytes captured)
Ethernet II, Src: ThomsonT_01:b8:2c (00:14:7f:01:b8:2c), Dst: Intel_21:c3:01 (10:20:d2:31:c3:01)
Internet Protocol, Src: xxx.55.32.255 (xxx.55.32.255), Dst: 192.168.1.64 (192.168.1.64)
Internet Control Message Protocol

obviously I have disabled the windows firewall and there is nothing in the windows event log. There is nothing else obviously strange about the server as it is the same build as other servers that I can connect to fine.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your problem is probably the IP xxx.55.32.255.

Even if your network is not a /24 windows does not play well with any IP address ending with .0 or .255. The IP stack probably dropps the packets. Yes, this is a serious bug in the IP implementation in Windows.

Read http://support.microsoft.com/kb/281579

share|improve this answer
    
The .255 address is the host address and not the client address, also that article applies to XP Home only, and not XP professional. However I agree that it is likely to be some limitation in XP that is the problem. –  Tom H Dec 31 '10 at 15:51
    
It doesn't matter if it's the host or the client address. Windows will simply drop the packets, and it is less obvious when it is a remote address. I know (from experience) that that list of systems is incomplete. There might be an updated KB somewhere, but I don't have the time to look it up. –  pehrs Dec 31 '10 at 17:10

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