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RASPPPOE ReadMe for Windows 98/98SE/ME Users

RASPPPOE

PPP over Ethernet Protocol

for Windows 98/98SE/ME

(If you are using Windows 2000/XP/2002, please click here)

written by Robert Schlabbach

Version 0.96, May 29th, 2001


Contents

1. Introduction

2. Installing the PPP over Ethernet Protocol

3. Creating PPP over Ethernet Dial-up Connections

4. Removing the PPP over Ethernet Protocol

5. Advanced Protocol Features

6. Troubleshooting

7. Known Issues

8. Revision History

9. Contacting the Author


1. Introduction

Welcome to RASPPPOE, a PPP over Ethernet (short: PPPoE) implementation for Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP/2002. PPPoE as a method for establishing PPP connections through Ethernet adapters is described in RFC 2516 and is used by many broadband service providers to allow authentication and maintain the familiar "dial-up experience" when connecting to the Internet through a broadband modem. Although there are other PPPoE implementations for Windows, this one still has its unmatched strong points:

  • Designed exclusively for Windows 2000 from ground up and then ported to Windows 98/98SE/ME, not the other way around.
  • Seamless integration into the operating system. This protocol makes Ethernet Adapters appear as "modems", allowing PPPoE to be easily used within the standard Dial-Up Networking framework.
  • Compatibility: This protocol supports Internet Connection Sharing (including on-demand dialing), power management (Standby and Hibernate) as well as multiprocessor systems.
  • Completeness: This protocol can not only act as a PPPoE Host (client), but also as an Access Concentrator (server), fully implementing RFC 2516.
  • Compactness: The complete protocol is less than 200 KB. Yet no concessions were made in the implementation.

To install this protocol, please follow the installation instructions carefully. If you have problems using it, see Troubleshooting for help. If you are successfully using this protocol, you can check if you find any of the advanced features useful. You may also want to know about the known issues. Users upgrading from a previous version of this protocol should check the Revision History to find out what changed. If you want to get in touch with me, see Contacting the Author.

- Robert Schlabbach

License and Disclaimer

This driver, installation files and documentation is all Copyright (C) 2000-2001 by Robert Schlabbach. All rights reserved. It is distributed without any warranty. Use at your own risk. You may use and copy it complete and unmodified free of charge for non-commercial purposes only. Commercial exploitation, redistribution for commercial purposes, especially redistribution by Internet service providers as "their" service to their customers, is strictly prohibited. Internet service providers must purchase a license for distribution to their customers. The licensed version additionally features an installer, which typically requires no reboot and leads the user to the first login for an "instant success" customer experience. For licensing details please contact me.


2. Installing the PPP over Ethernet Protocol

  • NOTE: Since the installation requires a reboot to finish, you are advised to save your work and close all running applications before proceeding.
  • During installation, you may be prompted to insert your Windows CD-ROM, so please have it ready in case you need it. If you have a preconfigured machine with the Windows installation files residing on your hard drive, you will not need the CD-ROM.
  • If there is already a different PPPoE implementation installed on your machine, it might get confused by the PPPoE traffic generated by this protocol. This protocol was written to peacefully coexist with other PPPoE implementations on the same machine, but other programmers may not have been as thoughtful. Thus, it is recommended (but not required!) that you uninstall any other PPPoE implementations and reboot your machine before proceeding.
  • This protocol requires the Dial-Up Networking component of Windows to operate. If you are not sure whether this component is installed, click on the Start button, select Settings then Control Panel to open the Control Panel window. In that window, double-click Add/Remove Programs. In the upcoming dialog, select the Windows Setup tab, then double-click the item Communications in the list, look for the item Dial-Up Networking and make sure it is checked.
  • Unpack the downloaded archive to a temporary installation directory. Make sure that the following files are correctly extracted: README98.HTM, README2K.HTM, NETPPPOE.INF, RASPPPOE.INF, WINPPPOE.INF, WINPPPOE.DLL, RASPPPOE.DLL, RASPPPOE.EXE and RMSPPPOE.SYS.
  • Right-click the Network Neighborhood (Windows 98/98SE) or My Network Places (Windows ME) icon on your desktop and select Properties to bring up the Network Configuration window.
  • Click the Add... button.
  • In the Select Network Component Type window, select Protocol and click the Add... button. (Note: It could take a few seconds for the following window to come up.)
  • In the Select Network Protocol window, click the Have Disk... button.
  • In the Install From Disk window, either type the name of your temporary installation directory or click the Browse... button to navigate to it (it does not matter which of the three INF files you select, Windows will automatically pick the right one later). Then click the OK button. A new window opens, offering the PPP over Ethernet Protocol for installation. Click OK to start installing the protocol.
  • If you have more than one network adapter in your system, you may want to remove the PPP over Ethernet Protocol for all adapters but the one your broadband modem is actually connected to. To do this, locate all unneeded PPP over Ethernet Protocol -> Adapter Name entries in the Network Configuration window, select them one by one and click the Remove button. (Note: For each adapter you remove the protocol from, you will see two additional entries disappear: PPP over Ethernet Miniport -> PPP over Ethernet Protocol and NDISWAN -> PPP over Ethernet Miniport. Do not remove any of these entries manually!)
  • IMPORTANT: Locate and select the TCP/IP->Adapter Name entry for the network adapter connected to your broadband modem. If this network adapter is dedicated to your broadband modem, simply click the Remove button. If you also want to access other local machines through the same network adapter, click the Configure button and assign a fixed IP address (e.g. 192.168.0.1 with subnet mask 255.255.255.0). If you do not take either of these steps, you will experience periodic pauses while using this protocol, because Windows will periodically halt the network adapter and try to acquire for an IP address for it, which also makes the machine take significantly longer to boot up.
  • Click the OK button to close the Network Configuration window and confirm to reboot.
  • After the reboot, the protocol is fully functional, but you still need to create a dial-up connection to use it. See the next section for details.

3. Creating PPP over Ethernet Dial-up Connections

PPP over Ethernet dial-up connections can be most conveniently created with the Dial-up Connection Setup application provided with the protocol, which creates dial-up connections with all the correct settings at the click of a button.

  • NOTE: The Dial-Up Networking folder interferes with the operation of this application and prevents successful creation of dial-up connections. Thus, if you currently have the Dial-Up Networking folder open, please close that window before proceeding.
  • Click the Start button on the taskbar and select Run... to bring up the Run dialog box.
  • Type RASPPPOE in the edit field and click the OK button to run the Dial-up Connection Setup application.
  • If the application quits with an error message, follow the advice it gives.
  • A dialog box comes up with a combo box labeled Query available PPP over Ethernet Services through Adapter: at the top. Select the network adapter your broadband modem is connected to from the list. If the protocol is only operating on one network adapter, the box will be grayed out as there is no choice to make.
  • Generally, it is recommended that you create a connection for an adapter, not for a specific service, so that it continues to work even if your provider changes the server or service name. To do this, simply click the Create a Dial-up Connection for the selected Adapter button now. Shortly afterwards, a shortcut to the new dial-up connection named Connection through Adapter Name should show up on your desktop.
  • If you want to create a connection for a specific service, click the Query Available Services button. The application will send out a query for offered services and display the result in the list view below. If an error message is displayed, see Troubleshooting for help. Otherwise, select the desired service and the button below will change to Create a Dial-up Connection for the selected Service. Click the button to create a connection for this service. Shortly afterwards, a shortcut to the new dial-up connection named Connection to Service Name at Access Concentrator or Connection to Access Concentrator (if the connection is for the default service) should show up on your desktop.
  • After you have created the connection(s) you need, click the Exit button to quit the application.
  • Double-click the desktop icon for the dial-up connection you created.
  • In the Connect To window, enter your user name and password if your service provider requires authentication.
  • Click on the Connect button. If all goes well, you should be connected to the Internet almost instantly. If not, see Troubleshooting.

4. Removing the PPP over Ethernet Protocol

  • NOTE: Since the removal requires a reboot to finish, you are advised to save your work and close all running applications before proceeding.
  • First, you may want to remove all dial-up connections you created for connecting with this protocol. To do so, first double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop. If you are running Windows ME, double-click the Control Panel icon in the opened window. Now double-click the Dial-Up Networking icon in the last opened window. In the Dial-Up Networking window, right-click each of the dial-up connections you created for this protocol and select Delete. If you had created any shortcuts to these dial-up connections on your desktop, right-click them and select Delete as well.
  • Right-click the Network Neighborhood (Windows 98/98SE) or My Network Places (Windows ME) icon on your desktop and select Properties to bring up the Network Configuration window.
  • For each adapter the protocol is operating on, you will find three bindings in this window:
  1. NDISWAN -> PPP over Ethernet Miniport.
  2. PPP over Ethernet Miniport -> PPP over Ethernet Protocol
  3. PPP over Ethernet Protocol -> Adapter Name
  • Locate all PPP over Ethernet Protocol -> Adapter Name entries in this window, select them one by one and click the Remove button. The other two bindings belonging to this one will be automatically removed. If you accidentally remove one of the other bindings, no harm is done - you only need to remove the other two manually in this case.
  • Once you have removed all protocol instances, click the OK button to close the Network Configuration window and confirm to reboot.
  • After the reboot, the protocol is usually completely removed from your machine. In some cases, Windows keeps a copy of the INF file in the \WINDOWS\INF\OTHER directory, named as Robert SchlabbachWINPPPOE.INF. You can safely delete this file after removal.

5. Advanced Protocol Features

This section covers the advanced features of the protocol. Average users should be perfectly happy with the default settings, although specifying the link speed to display may be of interest. Users having problems with VPN software might try if overriding the MTU reported by the protocol helps. Users with flat rate Internet access may be interested in making the connection "always on". If you are interested in using the protocol's server capability, please see Enabling the protocol to act as a PPPoE Access Concentrator.

To bring up the protocol settings for an adapter:

  • Right-click the Network Neighborhood (Windows 98/98SE) or My Network Places (Windows ME) icon on your desktop and select Properties to bring up the Network Configuration window.
  • Locate the PPP over Ethernet Protocol -> Adapter Name entry for the adapter the protocol settings of which you wish to modify, select it and click the Properties button to bring up the protocol's settings for this adapter.
  • Any changes to the protocol settings require a reboot to take effect. You will be prompted to reboot when you close the Network Configuration window with the OK button after making any changes.

The General tab offers the following settings:

5.1 Limit TCP MSS Maximum Segment Size (MSS) Option

When using Internet Connection Sharing, the client machines are completely unaware of the packet size restrictions imposed by the nature of PPP over Ethernet (in contrast to e.g. modem or ISDN connections, which allow passing arbitrarily sized packets). Typically, a client assumes that packets of up to 1500 bytes can be passed and thus indicates a Maximum Segment Size of 1460 bytes (1500 bytes minus 40 bytes for the TCP and IP headers) when opening a TCP session, resulting in either side of the connection sending packets up to 1500 bytes in size, too large to pass through a PPP over Ethernet connection, which can only pass packets up to 1492 bytes in size. These oversized packets are then often silently dropped at either side of the PPP over Ethernet connection, leading to delays or hangs when accessing the Internet from a client.

To work around this problem, this option makes the protocol scan all network packets it sends and receives for the TCP Maximum Segment Size (MSS) option and, if a value greater than either the default (1492) or the overridden MTU minus 40 for the IP and TCP headers (i.e. 1452 in case of the default MTU) is found, change it to this value, recalculate the TCP checksum and pass the modified packet. This option is enabled by default. If you are not using Internet Connection Sharing, you can disable this option to save a little (very little) CPU power, although leaving it enabled has no negative side effects.

5.2 Override Maximum Transfer Unit

By default, the protocol will report an MTU of 1492 bytes, the maximum possible for PPP over Ethernet. However, you can use this option to override the MTU initially reported by the protocol. Making the protocol initially report a lower MTU was found to help with certain VPN software packages which "blindly" add their own overhead without paying any respect to the MTU reported by the driver, making the network packets too large to pass through a PPP over Ethernet connection. Check the Override Maximum Transfer Unit checkbox and type the MTU the protocol should report in the Maximum Transfer Unit (MTU) edit box. The valid range is 576 through 1492 bytes. Reducing the MTU by 32 bytes to 1460 should generally suffice to make misbehaved VPN software work. Note: Regardless of this setting, the protocol will always send and receive packets of up to 1492 bytes. Only the MTU initially reported by the protocol (the MaxFrameSize value in response to the OID_WAN_GET_INFO request) and, if enabled, the TCP MSS option limit are affected by this setting.

Note that the Dial-Up Adapter's IPMTU registry parameter is also set to the override value, since the Dial-Up Adapter ignores the MaxFrameSize returned by the driver. This means that this setting will affect the MTU of all dial-up connections, and that the use of any other MTU adjustment tool will possibly conflict with this option, altering it.

NOTE: This option will only "stick" if you enter an MTU other than 1492. If you only check the checkbox, but leave the MTU at 1492, the protocol will recognize the default value and clear the checkbox the next time you open the properties dialog, because the MTU was not actually overridden.

5.3 Number of lines (WAN endpoints)

The protocol is capable of running several simultaneous PPP over Ethernet sessions through one adapter. This feature will probably be very rarely - if ever - needed. To allow this, you can configure the number of WAN endpoints (dial-up devices) the protocol exposes for a network adapter. The default is 1, and up to 10 WAN endpoints can be configured. This setting requires a reboot to take effect.

The Advanced tab offers the following settings:

5.4 Specify Link Speed

By default, the protocol will report the speed of the network adapter you are connecting through as the speed of a dial-up connection you make through it, as it cannot find out the actual speed of your broadband modem. However, you can specify the connection speed the protocol should report for connections through a specific adapter. To do this, check the Specify Link Speed checkbox and type the link speed the protocol should report in the Link Speed (kbps) edit box, in kilobits per second. If you want to revert to displaying the adapter's link speed, clear the Specify Link Speed checkbox. Note: This setting has absolutely no effect on the network traffic through this adapter; it is purely a cosmetic setting.

Beyond these settings, the protocol offers the following possibilities:

5.5 Making a dial-up connection "always on"

Users who enjoy flat rate Internet access may find it desirable to turn their connection into an "always on" connection that is established automatically when you log on to Windows and kept until you log off. To make your dial-up connection "always on", follow these steps:

  • If your service provider requires authentication, make sure you have saved the password by checking the Save Password checkbox in the Connect To window and connecting at least once.
  • Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop. If you are running Windows ME, double-click the Control Panel icon in the opened window.
  • Double-click the Dial-Up Networking icon in the last opened window.
  • If you are running Windows 98/98SE, click on the Connections menu of the Dial-Up Networking window and select Settings... to bring up the Dial-Up Networking settings dialog. In this dialog, clear the Prompt for information before dialing checkbox.
  • If you are running Windows ME, locate the dial-up connection you want to make "always on", right-click it and select Properties. In the properties dialog, select the Security tab and check the Connect automatically checkbox. Then select the Dialing tab, check the This is the default Internet connection checkbox, select Always dial my default connection and clear the Enable idle disconnect and the Disconnect when connection may not be needed checkboxes.
  • Click OK to save the changes.
  • Now click and drag the desktop icon of the dial-up connection and drop it under Start Menu, Programs, into the Startup folder.
  • Log off and log on again. Windows will establish the connection automatically and keep it connected until you log off.

5.6 Addressing a specific Service and/or Access Concentrator

In most cases, there is no need to address a specific Service or Access Concentrator. But should you have a need to do so, you can use the phone number field of your dial-up connection to specify a Service, Access Concentrator or both. The following phone number formats are possible:

  1. "0": The protocol will connect to the default Service of the first Access Concentrator that replies to the connection request.
  2. "Service-Name": The protocol will connect to the first Access Concentrator that replies offering the requested Service.
  3. "Access-Concentrator\": The protocol will connect to the default Service of the named Access Concentrator.
  4. "Access-Concentrator\Service-Name": The protocol will connect to the requested Service of the named Access Concentrator.

The RASPPPOE application uses format A for the phone number if you create a connection for an adapter and format C or D if you create a connection for a specific service.

5.7 Enabling the protocol to act as a PPPoE Access Concentrator

The protocol is able to act as a PPPoE Access Concentrator (server). This feature can be used for testing purposes, but also offers a future potential for advanced provider services like instant messaging or instant e-mail even for users who are offline at the time a message is received. The server capability is fully integrated with the operating system's Dial-Up Server component. No PPPoE-specific configuration is needed. The protocol uses the current Computer Name as the Access Concentrator Name and offers any Service Name requested by a client. Note that the protocol will not offer any services until you explicitly enable its dial-up devices to accept incoming connections. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop. If you are running Windows ME, double-click the Control Panel icon in the opened window.
  • Double-click the Dial-Up Networking icon in the last opened window.
  • In the Dial-Up Networking window, click on the Connections menu of the Dial-Up Networking window and select Dial-Up Server... to bring up the Dial-Up Server settings dialog. If you cannot find this menu item, you first need to install the Dial-Up Server component. Go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Windows Setup, Communications and enable the component there.
  • If you see a message saying "No modem is installed.", or you don't see any tab with the name of your network adapter on it, you may have to reboot to make Dial-Up Server recognize the dial-up devices exposed by the protocol (see Known Issues).
  • Select the tab with the name of the network adapter through which you want to accept incoming PPP over Ethernet connections and select Allow caller access on that page. Click the Change Password... and the Server Type... buttons to configure the access.
  • Click OK to save the changes and enable the server.
  • If you want to disable the server, open the Dial-Up Server settings dialog again, select the tab with the name of the network adapter on it and select No caller access. Then click OK to stop the protocol from offering services on that network adapter.

For further help on using Dial-Up Server, please refer to the operating system's documentation on this topic.

NOTE: Machines running Windows 98/98SE/ME will not be able to successfully connect to another Windows 98/98SE/ME machine acting as a PPPoE Access Concentrator (server) due to this known issue.


6. Troubleshooting

This section helps you with possible problems you might encounter during the installation and use of the protocol.

6.1 RASPPPOE application does not list the desired adapter

First, be aware that you can use this protocol only on Ethernet adapters. As PPP over Ethernet only works over Ethernet, the protocol will only bind itself to Ethernet adapters (NdisMedium802_3). Adapters that do not support this medium type (e.g. internal or USB broadband modems that do not expose a standard Ethernet interface through their driver) are not supported by this protocol.

Check in Device Manager whether the network adapter connected to your broadband modem is enabled and working properly. If it is, try rebooting the machine. If that does not help, try uninstalling the protocol, rebooting, re-installing and rebooting again. Your adapter should be listed now.

6.2 RASPPPOE application reports "RASPPPOE - No Service Offers Received" when querying available services

This error message means that the protocol did not receive any response from your service provider. You should check the following things in order:

  1. Check if your broadband modem has successfully established a link with its counterpart. Most DSL modems have a Sync LED on them which indicates this status. If your modem has such an LED and it indicates that the link is down, contact your service provider for assistance.
  2. Check in Device Manager if the network adapter your broadband modem is connected to is enabled and working properly.
  3. Bring up the Network Configuration window, select the network adapter your broadband modem is connected to and click Properties. In the Properties window, select the Advanced tab, look through the options and make sure that the correct Line Speed and duplex mode is selected (most DSL modems only support 10Mbps half duplex mode). If your network adapter has several connectors at the back, make sure the correct connector is selected, which is most likely Twisted Pair (TP).
  4. Check that the cable connecting your broadband modem to your network adapter is properly attached and of the correct type. Note that broadband modems typically have a "crossed" connector on them, so you will need a straight cable to connect it directly to a network adapter, while you need to use a crossed cable or use an uplink port to connect it to a hub or switch.
  5. Check with your service provider whether they currently have a service outage.

6.3 Connection attempt fails with "Error 678: There was no answer."

First, you should check whether you can get any reply from your service provider with the Dial-up Connection Setup application provided with the protocol:

  • Click the Start button on the taskbar and select Run... to bring up the Run dialog box.
  • Type RASPPPOE in the edit field and click the OK button to run the Dial-up Connection Setup application.
  • If the application quits with an error message, follow the advice it gives.
  • A dialog box comes up with a combo box labeled Query available PPP over Ethernet Services through Adapter: at the top. Select the network adapter your broadband modem is connected to from the list. If the protocol is only operating on one network adapter, the box will be grayed out as there is no choice to make.
  • Click the Query Available Services button. If an error message is displayed, continue here for further help.
  • If the list view shows one or more offered services and you had tried to connect to a specific Service and/or Access Concentrator, make sure the one you had tried to connect to is listed. If you find your provider has changed the Service Name and/or the Access Concentrator name, simply create a new connection with the new name(s) or edit the Phone number field in your existing dial-up connection accordingly.
  • Click the Exit button to quit the application.

If you do not want to connect to a specific Service and/or Access Concentrator, make sure the Phone number field of your dial-up connection really only contains a single zero digit.

6.4 Connection is successfully established, but some (or all) Internet websites do not load properly

This is usually a sign of an MTU problem. A possible cause for this could be that the Dial-Up Adapter's common IP MTU setting was altered to a value too high for PPP over Ethernet. This setting is altered e.g. when you change the IP Packet Size value on the Advanced tab of the Dial-Up Adapter Properties to something other than the "PPP over Ethernet" setting added by the protocol, or by some MTU tools. You should not change this setting, nor use any tools that alter it when using PPP over Ethernet. To ensure this setting is correct do the following:

  • Right-click the Network Neighborhood icon on your desktop and select Properties to bring up the Network Configuration window.
  • Locate any PPP over Ethernet Protocol -> Adapter Name entry, select it and click the Properties button.
  • Close the properties window with the Cancel button.
  • Close the Network Configuration window with the OK button. If Windows prompts you to reboot, the IP MTU setting had to be corrected. Allow the reboot and try if the connection works properly.

If that did not help, you should determine the Path MTU to the problem site(s) (Note: The method described here does not work with all servers. If you get no reply at all from a server or a number below 548, you cannot determine the Path MTU to the server in question):

Connect, open an MS-DOS Prompt and run:

ping -f -l xxxx Address

Where Address is the name or IP address of the server you have problems accessing. For xxxx, start with 1464 and lower the number until you get a reply. Then add 28 to the highest number at which you get a reply. The result is the Path MTU.

Example: You start getting replies at ping -f -l 1372 Address. The Path MTU is 1372 + 28 = 1400 bytes in this case.

Normally, the Path MTU to all servers should be 1492. However, some service providers appear to have a configuration problem which reduces the Path MTU. If you determine a Path MTU lower than 1492 to several (or all) servers on the Internet, you should enable the MTU override option and set it to the Path MTU you determined. After that setting has taken effect, all sites with a Path MTU greater than or equal to the value you set should load properly.

6.5 Connection is successfully established, but there are periodic pauses while using the Internet

This is typically the result of leaving the TCP/IP->Adapter Name entry in the network configuration, not assigning any fixed IP address to it, and not having any DHCP server on the local network either. This also makes the machine take significantly longer to boot up. To fix this, right-click the Network Neighborhood (Windows 98/98SE) or My Network Places (Windows ME) icon on your desktop and select Properties to bring up the Network Configuration window. In this window, locate and select the TCP/IP->Adapter Name entry for the network adapter connected to your broadband modem. If this network adapter is dedicated to your broadband modem, simply click the Remove button. If you also want to access other local machines through the same network adapter, click the Configure button and assign a fixed IP address (e.g. 192.168.0.1 with subnet mask 255.255.255.0).

6.6 Cannot get Internet Connection Sharing to share the PPPoE connection

A common cause of this is that Internet Connection Sharing was incorrectly set up to use a network adapter for Internet access, which bypasses the PPP over Ethernet Protocol. Re-configure Internet Connection Sharing and make sure you select the Dial-Up Adapter as the device through which to access the Internet. For further help, see this article in the Microsoft support database:

Q273587 - How to Configure ICS for Use with DSL Connections That Use PPPoE Adapters

6.7 The "Override Maximum Transfer Unit" option does not remain checked

This option will only "stick" if you enter an MTU other than 1492. If you only check the checkbox, but leave the MTU at 1492, the protocol will recognize the default value and clear the checkbox the next time you open the properties dialog, because the MTU was not actually overridden.


7. Known Issues

This section documents known issues with the protocol.

7.1 If the installer requires a reboot to finish, the initial connection will not have an icon in the system tray

If the installer detects that it can not start the protocol dynamically, it informs the user that a reboot is required. Upon the next reboot, the installer creates a dial-up connection and brings up the Connect To dialog before the task bar appears. If the connection is established, it will be fully functional, but there will be no icon for it in the system tray. To disconnect the connection, double-click the Connection through Adapter Name icon that was placed on the desktop to bring up the connection status and click the Disconnect button there.

Background: The installer places an entry under the RunOnce registry key to run itself after the reboot. When starting, Windows runs all entries under this key and waits for each one to finish before starting the shell. Thus, the connection will be established before the task bar is created, making it impossible for Dial-Up Networking to add a connection icon to the system tray.

7.2 Dial-Up Server does not recognize the dial-up devices exposed by the protocol until the machine is rebooted

If the installer starts the protocol dynamically without a reboot, it is possible to make outgoing connections with it, but the Dial-Up Server will not recognize the dial-up devices exposed by the protocol. The user must reboot the machine to make Dial-Up Server recognize the protocol's dial-up devices.

Background: The cause of this issue is undetermined.

7.3 When acting as a PPPoE Access Concentrator, Windows 98/98SE/ME machines cannot connect

When you configure a Windows 98/98SE/ME machine to act as a PPPoE Access Concentrator (server) and try to connect from another Windows 98/98SE/ME machine, the connection will hang during negotiation and cannot be successfully established. There is currently no workaround for this problem other than using a different operating system on the client or server machine. Connections with Windows 2000/XP/2002 at either end work fine.

Background: Windows 98/98SE/ME negotiates the PPP options Address Field Compression and Protocol Field Compression, despite the protocol indicating that these options are not supported, since RFC 2516 explicitly forbids these options for PPP over Ethernet connections. When there are Windows 98/98SE/ME machines at both ends, these options are successfully negotiated, but the machines can no longer communicate as soon as they are used. When there is a Windows 2000/XP/2002 machine at either end, it will reject any of these options and the connection can be successfully established.


8. Revision History

  • Version 0.96, May 29th, 2001

  • First release with Intel Itanium 64-bit CPU support! The IA64 version is distributed in a separate archive for now.
  • Fixed: Some code paths in the ProtocolReceivePacket() handler returned a non-zero value, which would not return the received packet to the network adapter driver, eventually causing it to run out of packets, making unable to operate. Fixed this by ensuring all code paths return zero.
  • Changed: The watchdog timer that checks every ten seconds whether any packets have been received will now send up to three LCP Echo-Requests before terminating the connection. Thus, a connection loss will now be detected within 40 to 50 seconds. This should cure the disconnection problems a number of users have been suffering from due to the watchdog timer being a bit too sensitive for some service providers.
  • Changed: When connecting to the unnamed default service, the protocol will now connect to the first offered service, even if it is not unnamed. This enhances compatibility with service providers who are not fully RFC 2516 compliant.
  • Version 0.95, December 29th, 2000

  • Added: A no-reboot installer (fully licensed version only) that installs, repairs or upgrades the protocol from a single, self-extracting executable, typically without requiring a reboot on any of the supported platforms. Additionally, it creates a dial-up connection and then prompts the user to connect to allow an "instant success" experience. The protocol will be added to the list of installed programs in Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel for convenient and complete uninstallation. Optional command-line switches allow silent installation, upgrade and removal for licensees who wish to provide their own installer front-end.
  • Added: Server capability. If one of the dial-up devices exposed by the protocol is configured to accept incoming connections, the protocol will offer the unnamed default service on the corresponding adapter and use the computer name set in the networking configuration as the Access Concentrator name. If the connection is accepted, the protocol will do a left-to-right (big-endian) comparison of the adapter's MAC address with the one of the connecting host, and generate an even (LSB 0) session identifier is the adapter's MAC address is lower, or an odd (LSB 1) one if it is higher, to ensure that two machines connecting to each other simultaneously do not generate identical session identifiers. The server is not industry-strength. There is no limit on the connections per MAC address, nor is any encryption being used in the Access Concentrator Cookies generated by the protocol, so a malicious user on the same Ethernet segment could occupy all incoming lines with a denial-of-service attack, but do no harm beyond that. Great care has been taken to minimize the load on the system if such an attack is made.
  • Added: Timers. The protocol now times out connection requests and resends requests two times, once after one second, then after two seconds, and three seconds after that indicates no answer. Incoming connections are offered for five seconds before being rejected. When a connection is established, a watchdog timer checks every ten seconds whether any packets been received, and generates and sends an LCP Echo-Request to the peer if no packet has been received since the last check. If at the next check still no packet has been received, the connection is terminated with no answer. Thus, a connection that was dropped by the other end without proper termination will be detected as lost within 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Added: In Windows 98/98SE/ME, RASPPPOE.EXE now checks whether Dial-up Networking is installed and gives an error message if it is not. Additionally, it checks if NDIS.VXD version 4.10.2222 is installed, and warns the user to install fix Q243199 if it is.
  • Added: In Windows 98/98SE/ME, WINPPPOE.DLL now adds a new value to the Packet Size setting of the Dial-Up Adapter called PPP over Ethernet, which sets the packet size to either the default (1492) or the overridden MTU.
  • Fixed: RASPPPOE.EXE would show erroneous query results if more than one Access Concentrator offered services, because the driver was returning an incorrect query result length. Fixed this by correcting the length calculation in the driver.
  • Fixed: In Windows 98/98SE/ME, RASPPPOE.EXE was unable to properly retrieve the names of network adapters which were 58 characters or more long, which led to it displaying a blank adapter name and being unable to create a dial-up connection for the adapter. Fixed this by increasing the size of the retrieval buffer and limiting the size of the passed name.
  • Fixed: Windows 98/98SE/ME was unable to tell apart the dial-up devices exposed for two network adapters of the same name. Fixed this by appending a "#X" suffix to the dial-up device name if the protocol is already bound to a network adapter of the same name.
  • Fixed: In Windows 98SE/ME, NDIS.VXD versions 4.10.2224 (from fix Q243199 for Windows 98SE) and 4.90.3000 (included in Windows ME) randomly dropped packets received from the NE2000 or the Realtek RTL8029(AS) driver without indicating them to the protocol for an unknown reason. Worked around this problem by adding NDIS_PACKET_TYPE_ALL_LOCAL to the packet filter if Windows 98/98SE/ME and one of these two drivers is detected, which makes NDIS.VXD work reliable again.
  • Fixed: If TAPI requested to drop a call, the protocol would not transition to the idle call state, because I had misunderstood a paragraph in the DDK documentation. This might also have been the cause of TAPISRV.EXE causing crashes in RPCRT4.DLL in Windows ME. Fixed this by reviewing all TAPI call state transitions and making sure the behavior is compliant with the DDK documentation.
  • Fixed: When running a repair or upgrade install on Windows 2000, the protocol could crash the operating system with a blue screen indicating that RASPPPOE.SYS was unloaded without canceling pending operations. Investigation revealed that Windows 2000 was trying to call the protocol's ProtocolPnPEventHandler() function after it had been unloaded, because the protocol had not been deregistered. Further investigation revealed that the ProtocolUnload() handler is never called in Windows 2000, which is not documented in the Windows 2000 DDK documentation. Fixed this by providing a DriverUnload() handler again to deregister the protocol, and by putting the pointer to this function directly into the driver object in DriverEntry() to omit the NdisMRegisterUnloadHandler() call, which is not available in Windows 98. The ProtocolUnload() handler is still provided for Windows 98/98SE/ME.
  • Changed: RASPPPOE.EXE now displays a different error message if the user tried to query available services through an adapter which line is already in use by an active PPPoE session, explaining that the user needs to disconnect that session to be able to query services.
  • Changed: If more than one WAN Endpoint is configured for a network adapter, "Line X" suffixes will now be appended in Windows 2000 as well. Previously, they were only appended in Windows 98/98SE/ME.
  • Changed: In Windows 2000, the protocol no longer logs query results to the event log. RASPPPOE.EXE made this function obsolete.
  • Changed: Removed the NCF_NOT_USER_REMOVEABLE flag from the WAN miniport (PPP over Ethernet Protocol) INF file for Windows 2000, allowing manual removal of any miniport instances left behind in Device Manager.
  • Changed: Replaced the previously imported strncmp() and _strnicmp() kernel functions with inline functions. Removed the need for the _snwprintf() kernel function by generating the "Line X" suffixes directly in the code.
  • Changed: During protocol initialization and shutdown, the MiniportQueryInformation(), MiniportSetInformation(), MiniportReset() and MiniportWanSend() handlers now return NDIS_STATUS_ADAPTER NOT_READY instead of NDIS_STATUS_FAILURE.
  • Changed: The protocol service name and the driver binary name were changed to RMSPPPOE and RMSPPPOE.SYS, respectively, to enhance compatibility with future Windows versions.
  • Version 0.94, May 17th, 2000

  • First release with Windows 98/98SE/ME support! No thanks to Microsoft's complete lack of documentation on NDIS intermediate drivers in Windows 98/98SE/ME.
  • Added: Windows 98/98SE/ME support. Figured out the INF format for NDIS intermediate drivers in Windows 98/98SE/ME and where WAN.TSP expects an NDIS intermediate driver's TAPI registry subkey to be located in the registry. Added a 16-bit Windows DLL (WINPPPOE.DLL) with an NDI procedure to create that registry subkey upon installation, set the Dial-Up Adapter's IPMTU registry parameter to the MTU for PPP over Ethernet (Windows 98/98SE/ME was found to ignore the maximum frame size returned by the driver) and offer the protocol properties GUI. Changed the driver unload function to ProtocolUnload(), since NdisMRegisterUnloadHandler() is not supported in Windows 98/98SE/ME. Removed the NdisIMAssociateMiniport() call from the DriverEntry() function, since that call is not supported in Windows 98.
  • Added: RASPPPOE.EXE user-mode application for easy dial-up connection setup.
  • Added: Limit TCP MSS Option to make MTU changes on Internet Connection Sharing client machines unnecessary. A new function scans all incoming and outgoing packets for the TCP Maximum Segment Size (MSS) option and, if necessary, limits it to either the default (1492) or the overridden MTU (see below) minus 40 for the IP and TCP headers (i.e. 1452 in case of the default MTU) and recalculates the TCP checksum.
  • Added: MTU Override option to override the MTU initially reported by the driver. If an override value is specified, it will be reported as the MaxFrameSize in response to the OID_WAN_GET_INFO request. In Windows 98/98SE/ME, the Dial-Up Adapter's IPMTU registry parameter is also set to the override value. It will furthermore be taken into account when limiting the TCP MSS option. Making the protocol initially report a lower MTU was found to help with certain VPN software packages which "blindly" add their own overhead without paying any respect to the MTU reported by the driver.
  • Added: WAN Endpoints GUI option to easily change the number of dial-up devices exposed for a network adapter.
  • Fixed: Dial on demand in Windows 2000 never triggered a connection. Windows 2000 apparently only dials modems, ISDN and X.25 devices on demand. Changed the device type of the dial-up devices exposed by the protocol to ISDN to work around this bug.
  • Fixed: The protocol could lose one of its internal packets each time an NdisTransferData() call failed, until it would eventually be unable to receive any data. It appears that never actually happened to anyone, though.
  • Fixed: The PPPoE version and type fields were reversed in the declaration. As the current PPPoE version and type are both 1, this bug went unnoticed.
  • Changed: The protocol will now no longer log a warning to the event log if it receives a PADT packet for a session that does not exist (or no longer does).
  • Changed: The Event Logging Options now default to logging all types of events. This should now produce no log entries during flawless operation.
  • Version 0.92, February 6th, 2000

  • Fixed: No data transfer possible after successfully establishing a connection. The protocol was corrupting data packets it had to retrieve through NdisTransferData(). I had made the incorrect assumption that NdisTransferData() would use the ByteOffset parameter on the destination buffer as well, but instead it just starts at offset zero in the first buffer chained to the passed packet. Fixed this by chaining an additional buffer descriptor pointing to the desired destination location to the front of the packet before calling NdisTransferData().
  • Fixed: Connection Error "Opening port... Error 797: The connection failed because the modem (or other connecting device) was not found." after waking the machine from Standby. There were no OID_PNP_XXX handlers in the protocol. Additionally, it turned out that TAPI requests OID_TAPI_PROVIDER_INITIALIZE after returning from Standby, although it never shuts the provider down with OID_TAPI_PROVIDER_SHUTDOWN. The protocol did not allow re-initialization without shutdown. Fixed this by adding the missing OID_PNP_XXX handlers and allowing TAPI provider re-initialization without a prior shutdown.
  • Version 0.90, January 30th, 2000

  • First release that actually works! A wholehearted Thank You! to Jerome Whelan who invested so much time to provide me with the comprehensive feedback that I needed to make this protocol functional.
  • Fixed: Installation Error "Could not add the requested component. The error is: Invalid access to memory location." on some machines. On those, the loader crashed when loading RASPPPOE.DLL, because I had linked it with the /align:16 linker switch. Removed the switch from the build settings.
  • Fixed: Connection Error "Disconnected. Error 619: The specified port is not connected." on all connection attempts. NDISWAN failed to recognize the PPP frames within the complete received Ethernet frames the protocol passed to it, although I had specified the HeaderPadding correctly as outlined in the DDK documentation. Fixed this by setting the HeaderPadding to zero and only passing the portion of the buffer with the actual PPP frame to NDISWAN.
  • Fixed: Ping Timeouts with certain packet sizes. NDISWAN passes up to four bytes more to a WAN miniport's send handler than the WAN miniport indicated as its MaxFrameSize. Apparently a WAN miniport driver writer is expected to make assumptions about the PPP HDLC overhead NDISWAN adds before passing a packet to the miniport - four bytes of simple PPP HDLC framing (Address and Control fields and Protocol Identifier). Fixed this by adjusting the maximum frame and total sizes accordingly and changing the size limit comparisons.
  • Version 0.80, January 15th, 2000

  • Initial public release

9. Contacting the author

Before contacting me, please bear in mind that you are getting this piece of software for free. You cannot expect me to spend my time providing "tech support". If you have a problem that you cannot resolve after reading above documentation thoroughly, please first check if there is updated information or a newer version of this protocol available on the RASPPPOE Home Page. Of course, developer suggestions for fixing the known issues, success stories (please mention your service provider, so that I know which ones this protocol works with) or just "thank you" notes are always welcome.

You can contact me via the e-mail address normanb@cs.TU-Berlin.DE.


*EOF*

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