I’m having trouble with multi-user mode / connecting to my server in inFlow On-Premise

This article is to help you if you are having problems connecting to another computer to share data (in multi-user mode). The typical error that shows up is “inFlow was unable to connect to the server“.

Please try the following steps sequentially:

Try a different method of connecting

  1. Verify that the inFlow SERVER Computer Name is correct when entering it on your CLIENT computer. The easiest way to get this information is to log into inFlow from the server computer and select Main Menu > Options > Connection Settings. The program should show you the computer (server) name as well as the IP address. Please double check the server name.
  2. Try using the server IP address to connect instead of the server computer name when entering it on your CLIENT computer (as described in the previous step you can get your IP address via inFlow SERVER computer, see screenshot above).
  3. Check that your client computer and your server computer are on the same version of inFlow. You can do this on the server computer by going to the Main Menu > Options > About inFlow.On the client computer, as you have no access to inFlow, you can check this by checking your list of installed programs (Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features) and looking for the ‘inFlow installation’. If “Version” is not a column listed, right-click on the header to include it (see screenshot below).


    If they’re not on the same version, that’s why it’s failing to connect. Please see this article for more information on what to do if you’re running different versions.

Check that network sharing is on, or that you’re on the same network

Navigate to the “Network and Sharing Center” screen depending on your operating system:

WINDOWS VISTA: Go to START > Control Panel and open the Network and Sharing Center
WINDOWS 7 / SERVER 2008 R2: Go to START > Control Panel and open the Network and Sharing Center.
WINDOWS 8 / 8.1 / WINDOWS 10 : Hit the Windows key on your keyboard and type in “Control Panel” anywhere on the screen. Click on it, then go to “Network and Sharing Center”.

  1. In this screen, the network name listed here must be the same for all computers you’re trying to connect together. The network is the middle icon connecting your computer to the internet (e.g “Network 3” or “WirelessNetwork1”). If it’s not the same, inFlow won’t be able to connect, so you’ll need to change it and reconnect to the same network.
  2. Ensure that your network sharing is on on both the SERVER and CLIENT computers. This can be done by following the steps below according to your operating system.WINDOWS VISTA: In the Network and Sharing Center and ensure that Network Sharing and discovery is on as well as file sharing.
    WINDOWS 7 / SERVER 2008 R2: In the Network and Sharing Center click the “Change advanced sharing settings” option and ensure that network discovery as well as file and printer sharing are both on.
    WINDOWS 8 / 8.1: Press Windows Key + C to bring up the Charms Bar on the right hand side of your screen. Click the Settings icon and then click your network icon (it should appear at the bottom of the bar now). Once in the “Network” section right-click your network and choose, “Turn Network Sharing On or Off.” You will want to choose, “Yes, turn on sharing and connect to devices.
    WINDOWS 10: Click Start > Settings > Network and Internet > and then click on your network. Click “Advanced Options” at the bottom if you’re using Wi-Fi. Turn on the option to “Make this PC discoverable”.
  3. Windows blocks connections, including inFlow’s, when you’re on a public networks which may be untrustworthy. If this screen is saying your network type is “Public Network”, see below for how to change from public network to “Private network” depending on your operating system:

WINDOWS 7 / WINDOWS SERVER 2008 R2: In the Network and Sharing Center screen, click on the listed “Public Network” and then change it to “Home” or “Work”.
WINDOWS 8 / 8.1: Press your Windows Key + C to bring up the Charms Bar on the right hand side of your screen. Click the Settings icon and then click your network icon (it should appear at the bottom of the bar now). Once in the “Network” section right-click your network and choose, “Turn Network Sharing On or Off.” You will want to choose, “Yes, turn on sharing and connect to devices.
WINDOWS 10: Click Start > Settings > Network and Internet > and then click on your network. Click “Advanced Options” at the bottom if you’re using Wi-Fi. Turn on the option to “Make this PC discoverable”.

Check the firewall settings or disable antivirus/other connections temporarily

  1. If you find that you are unable to change your network type from private to public, access the Windows Firewall screen from your control panel and set the program to be allowed on public networks on your SERVER. This only applies to versions later than Windows XP.
  2. Go to Start > Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Allow a program through Windows firewall.
  3. Scroll until you see entries starting with “inFlow inventory”. There may be multiple instances of this.
  4. Ensure that all instances of inFlow Inventory have all checkmarks filled.
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  5. Try temporarily disabling any anti-virus or firewall programs on both the SERVER and CLIENT computers. Your Windows firewall can be found via START > Control Panel > Windows Firewall (in Windows 8, hit the Windows Key + X, and then hit P to bring up the Control Panel). Please also look at the programs you have running in the system tray at the bottom right (near where your date and time are displayed) for other programs to shut down.
  6. Click Start (or hit your Windows key) and type in “services” to bring up the Services window. Scroll until you see something that says “Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service”. Check that the startup type is set to “Manual”, and that it is running. If it isn’t, you can right-click to start it, and also right-click > Properties > set Startup Type to “Manual”.

Other advanced things to try

Can you see the SERVER computer on the network? Test if you can reach the SERVER computer from the CLIENT computer by pinging it. To do this open a command prompt.

WINDOWS XP: Click Start > Run > type “cmd”
WINDOWS VISTA / 7 / 10: Click Start> type “cmd” > right click on cmd.exe > select Run as administrator.
WINDOWS 8/ 8.1: Press the Windows Key + R, hit A, and then say Yes to the User Account Control prompting your for permission.

Type  ping <ip address>  or  ping <server name> (swapping those placeholders for your actual server name and IP address).

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If it can’t even resolve it based on the hostname or IP address, then you have a problem with your network setup (i.e. you get an error message “Ping request could not find host . Please check the name and try again.”). If you get the error message “Request timed out.” then it may still be possible that inFlow can connect. If you get a response that says “Reply from…” then your network is working, and the connection is probably blocked due to an antivirus on either computer.

If you’re still having trouble connecting to your server computer please get in touch with us at support@inflowinventory.com.

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