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A bizarre networking issue

By michaeld ·
I manage a group of about 35 PC's in a NT Server/Win 98 workstation Fast Ethernet LAN. I use TCP/IP protocol because Internet access is necessary.

I recently updated the 3Com 3C509B NIC's in 15 of these machines with the new Version 6.1 driver in an attempt to resolve an intermittent network communication issue. It didn't help the original issue and added a really strange new one.

I now cannot connect to these machines from "outside", that is, from any machine not having one of these NIC's. I can PING them, and they will pass the 3Com network diagnostics, but will not accept a connection of any kind except from another of this group of 15 PC's. I have full network communication from these machines to any other on the network.

Worse yet, I tried replacing a 3Com NIC with a new Kingston KNE110TX 10/100, and it behaves exactly the same even though 3 other Kingston cards elsewhere in the network behave completely normally. I have done every possible troubleshooting process Ican think of even to the extreme of a 98 SE update, and completely repartitioning, reformatting, and reinstalling of Windows and the new Kingston card (to keep the 3Com driver out of the picture). No luck.

Anybody got any ideas on how to cure this issue?

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