I changed my VPN portal but can't access a server

Troubleshooting steps for VPN and server access

  • One common issue with accessing a server over VPN is not using the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) of a server.

    • What is an FQDN? Simple really: a server has a full name, much like all of us, and we have to use that full name in order for it to be found. So, if I want to access the Discovery file server in Science Hall, I would have to ask for discovery.shc.wisc.edu. We do this by going to a network address similar to this:

      • \\discovery.shc.wisc.edu (Windows)

      • smb://discovery.shc.wisc.edu (macOS/OS X)

    • We can't just go to:

      • \\discovery

      • smb://discovery

    • because we are in a large, shared network and there might be tens of other servers named 'discovery' out there each with their own unique suffix. To avoid confusion, the FQDN is used to single out a specific server.

    • So to get to a few example shares, one would go to:

      • \\discovery.shc.wisc.edu\nelson\office

      • \\discovery.shc.wisc.edu\Research

      • smb://discovery.shc.wisc.edu/geography

    • So make sure your server names end in the .shc.wisc.edu suffix!

  • You're prompted to login when connecting to a server but nothing. is. working.

    • Do you have an existing SHC account? If so, use shc\{yourSHC-Username} (same as your NetID) and then your SHC password. Your NetID account hasn't been migrated yet so your NetID has essentially no access to anything because none has been added. Would you like your NetID migrated to replace your SHC account? That process will be happening in the future, and more information will be provided at a later date.

    • Otherwise, use ad\{yournetid} as your entire username, and then your NetID password. That will direct the login process to look at the Active Directory domain (NetID login system) for your account, then logs you in with your NetID password.