none
At wits end trying to get mobile hotspot working on Windows 2019 Dataceter Server that has mind of its own. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Be me, struggling IT tech with only knowledge from the 90s and early 2000s trying to work as a network admin in far-off future of 2020 because of a time traveling incident. TL;DR, I'm a time-traveler from 2003 stuck here in this crappy timeline.

    But that's a bigger problem and I doubt anyone will believe me anyways. I'm just venting at this point, so back to the original and smaller problem that's the point of this thread. Ahem.

    Everything was running smoothly and timely at first as I was setting up this Windows 2019 Datacenter Server for the company I work for. Ok cool, maybe my skills and knowledge aren't as horrendous in this age of rapid technology advancement much superior and complicated than I'm used to as I was initially nervous about?

    Wrong.

    Because then I got to the part where I was directed by my superiors to activate Mobile Hotspot on this server to dish out IP addresses to everyone on my local office network and keep the office network separated from the rest of the building while still using the Internet provided by the building owner. See, the office for the company I work for is located in this building and there's free and fast wifi provided to anyone leased. But most of the company offices in the building are using and thus paying for their own Internet, most likely over security concerns. The people I work for are kinda cheap though, so that's why they directed me to find a way around that. The Mobile Hotspot idea was the only thing I could convince them on.

    So after prepping the server with the necessary hardware and writing a batch file to more automate the mobile hotspot activation and shutdown process with no issue whatsoever since it became painfully aware to me that Windows Server doesn't have native mobile hotspot options like Windows 10 does. So I flipped the switch so to speak and that's when I first experienced an actual problem in this whole process.

    This first problem that came up was pretty easy to solve. The Wifi wasn't sharing its connection with my virtual Local Area Connection* 11 for some reason and kept insisting on either sharing it with my non-functioning Ethernet or with nothing at all. Everytime I tried to share it with my Wifi, it would give me some kind of error, though now I wish I had documented it as it seems to have escaped my memory. This issue did take a little while to fix, but after different methods and further research, I had finally solved the problem by running regedit as admin and going to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WlanSvc\Parameters\HostedNetworkSettings and deleting the HostedNetworkSettings key before restarting the server. Viola, it worked!

    And once it worked, I got the workstations in the office to FINALLY connect to the mobile hotspot on my server as easy and smoothly as connecting to any other Wifi. I was so stoked! I've finally done it! The true feeling of payed-off hard work and success!

    And now looking back, I can only reflect on all that euphoria I felt that day with just bitterness and disillusion.

    Because when I walked into work a few days later, for no explicable reason it all went to crap.

    Panic. Panic and desperation from my bosses and co-workers as we were all cutoff from the outside world. To this day I can't understand it. As if this thrice-cursed server got a mind of its own like the machines from terminator, it stopped handing out IP addresses to clients on my network. It.refuses.to.do.it. That's exactly what's not working because after days of frustration and confusion, that's as far as I could go doing anything else regarding the problem.

    Because I CAN'T do anything else. That's why I'm here on this forum, despite my deep-seated reluctance and dread to go on forums to figure out problems(Another TL;DR story). I only save that for a last resort, but sadly after almost a month trying to make any further headway beyond identifying the problem, that's exactly where I'm at and why I'm posting this question here. I don't understand it. It was working fine for a whole week and then one day decided on its own not to work anymore. Everything I've tried to get it back working, it simply laughs at. All I could further do is pinpoint that it's not giving ip addresses to clients that connect to the mobile hotspot network. But that's all.  I admit with much painful realization that whatever is beyond that is clearly beyond my knowledge and capabilities. In my timeline, software and machines were not advanced to the point of becoming sentient enough to behave with the dead-end anomaly that I'm now stuck with.

    As what I feel should have become obvious enough, I am in dire need of help and advice from more advanced IT that are native and more adjusted to this timeline. Please help. Please help me. Please. :(

    P.S: I make a point to tell this to anyone that listens and every chance I got, but please don't get HP printers. In my timeline and in this one, I never experienced a single positive experience with HP products. LEXMARK AND DELL ALL THE WAY BABEH! :D


    • Edited by ARIAS AVOS Saturday, January 25, 2020 9:18 PM
    Saturday, January 25, 2020 9:06 PM

Answers

  • The setup is pretty vague but the simplest method to provide wifi would be to use a linksys (or similar) personal firewall / router, then if you wanted your server to be the DHCP server for the wired / wireless network then turn off the router's DHCP functionality and add the DHCP role to your server or to a virtual machine hosted on your DataCenter server.

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    • Proposed as answer by Tim CerlingMVP Monday, January 27, 2020 1:34 PM
    • Marked as answer by ARIAS AVOS Tuesday, February 4, 2020 10:49 PM
    Saturday, January 25, 2020 9:19 PM
    Owner
  • I don't even know the best router in this day and age to use for bridging a local network to an existing wifi connection.

    Most any one of these should work fine for what you've described.

    https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/default.aspx

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Monday, February 3, 2020 7:26 PM
    Owner

All replies

  • The setup is pretty vague but the simplest method to provide wifi would be to use a linksys (or similar) personal firewall / router, then if you wanted your server to be the DHCP server for the wired / wireless network then turn off the router's DHCP functionality and add the DHCP role to your server or to a virtual machine hosted on your DataCenter server.

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    • Proposed as answer by Tim CerlingMVP Monday, January 27, 2020 1:34 PM
    • Marked as answer by ARIAS AVOS Tuesday, February 4, 2020 10:49 PM
    Saturday, January 25, 2020 9:19 PM
    Owner
  • Hi,

    Just checking in to see if the information provided was helpful.

    Please let us know if you would like further assistance.

    Best Regards,

    Ellen


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, January 31, 2020 7:34 AM
  • Hello hello my friends. Thanks for the replies and helpful info. One of the things mentioned that caught my eye the most though was the mention about the virtual machine. I have read brief articles and rumors that it's possible to host a mobile hotspot on a virtual machine running Windows 10. Is that true? Would I be able to host a mobile hotspot on a virtual machine running Windows 10 in the background while at the same time running everything else on my Datacenter sever?

    Another thing that lit up a lightbulb for me was the mention about DHCP. That made me curious because when I had initially setup wireless on the sever, I had to go into server manager to enable the Wireless Lan Service in the feature category. So I went back through there and discovered there was other IP related and DHCP options not enabled in either server roles or features. Is it possible that could be what's blocking my server from handing out IP addresses through mobile hotspot? I'm kinda nervous about even touching them without getting some solid advice from you guys around here.

    Also, please forgive me for not posting this earlier - It's the commands I wrote for the batch file to automate the mobile hotspot process:

    @echo off
    CLS
    :MENU
    ECHO.
    ECHO Press 1 To Set WiFi Sharing Attributes
    ECHO Press 2 To Start WiFi Sharing
    ECHO Press 3 To Stop WiFi Sharing
    ECHO Press 4 To Exit
    ECHO.
    SET /P M=Please Press 1,2, 3 or 4, then press ENTER:
    IF %M%==1 GOTO SET
    IF %M%==2 GOTO START
    IF %M%==3 GOTO STOP
    IF %M%==4 GOTO EOF
    :SET
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=***** key=****** keyusage=persistent
    GOTO MENU
    :START
    netsh wlan start hostednetwork
    GOTO MENU
    :STOP
    netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
    GOTO MENU

    I used the astricks on purpose to cover the sensitive authentication stuff like the ssid and password that's already entered in there.

    My last question is that if all else fails, is there a 3rd party mobile hotspot app that anyone could recommend me? Trust me, I have tried to convince my superiors the benefit of a seperate router but they're not having it. I don't even know the best router in this day and age to use for bridging a local network to an existing wifi connection.

    Thanks for all the kind and civil replies, this is honestly the best experience I've ever had on an online forum. :)

    Monday, February 3, 2020 7:20 PM
  • Sorry, I meant to type my reply to you as well but I'm not sure how to reply to multiple replies at once rather than one at a time. But nevertheless, thank you kindly for the offer of further assistance. It's much appreciated my friend. :)
    Monday, February 3, 2020 7:23 PM
  • I don't even know the best router in this day and age to use for bridging a local network to an existing wifi connection.

    Most any one of these should work fine for what you've described.

    https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/default.aspx

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Monday, February 3, 2020 7:26 PM
    Owner
  • Hi,

    As this thread has been quiet for a while, we will propose it as ‘Answered’ as the information provided should be helpful.

    If you need further help, please feel free to reply this post directly so we will be notified to follow it up. You can also choose to unmark the answer as you wish.

    Best regards,

    Ellen


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, February 4, 2020 10:48 AM