Problems when trying to setup remote debug across network domains

Action

When remote debugging a windows application (windows form/service) across 2 networks, 2 machines on 2 different domains, you may get an error message similar to this one if there is a Network Address Translation (NAT) or a hardware firewall/router between the 2 machines.

“Error while trying to run project: Unable to start debugging. The Visual Studio Remote Debugger on the target computer cannot connect back to this computer. A firewall may be preventing communication via DCOM to the local computer”

Result

Even after setting all the firewall settings on the machines correctly and on the local machine when going to Debug->Attach to Process, and browsing on the remote machine the process to be debugged appears but still unable to attach to the process and continue to get the same error message.

Cause

This is by design.  The router/NAT is causing the problem with communication between the 2 machines in order to debug the application.

Resolution

There isn’t a way to by-pass the NAT, so one of the following needs to happen:

1.       Move both machines to one side of the NAT, server side or client side.

2.       Move the firewall up a level making both remote and local machines under the same firewall/NAT

More Information

One way to make sure both machines are communicating correctly is to use net view command from both server and client to see if each can see the other.

Net view
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490719.aspx (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490719.aspx)

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APPLIES TO
    Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002 Professional Edition
      Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Edition
        Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
          Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition

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          Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

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