For my Network specialist friends in TR

By Kiltie ·
A friend has a problem, a home network that used to work, no longer does. I tried to get some details from him, but this was at 3am (my time) so brain was sleepy ;-)

It is a mix of cabled and wireless, Desktop and Laptop, Workgroup and Domain.

Such a mixture is outside of my experience and expertise (mine is in Windows Systems - soon to be Linux - I hope!!), but one day I want to go wireless for my home LAN, it gets a nuisance drilling holes through 24" stone walls in my cottage for the Cat5 cables, so I am interested from a personal point of view, as well as helping a friend out.

Here is an edited version of the IM convo we had:

bruce2712: you sure? its late there
cliff_the_kilt: yeah, it is gone 3am, but give me the gist and I'll think on it
bruce2712: okay.

cliff_the_kilt: how many PCs?
bruce2712: 3 on the network. this desktop, my work laptop, my wife's laptop.
bruce2712: desktop has the printer and the file share.
bruce2712: laptop is not in the workgroup.
cliff_the_kilt: all need file sharing, what OS?
bruce2712: XP
cliff_the_kilt: all need to be same workgroup
bruce2712: okay. the work laptop is in the work domain. i cant change that.
bruce2712: thats not critical tho. the desktop and my wife's laptop are the keys.
bruce2712: dell8400 is desktop, juliaxp is laptop.

cliff_the_kilt: what does My network Places icon show when you double click it?
bruce2712: add network, network wizard, wireless wizard, entire network, my web sites, file shares.
bruce2712: when i browse the workgroup, each only sees itself.
cliff_the_kilt: wireless or ethernet?
bruce2712: both. lol.
bruce2712: desktop is wired. laptop is wireless.
bruce2712: both connected to the netgear router.

bruce2712: desktop is a dell 8400. big honking thing that heats the room. laptop is a dell latitude. tiny portable thing.
cliff_the_kilt: are all wireless?
bruce2712: wireless router has four cable ports. one goes to desktop, one goes to dsl modem. two are empty.
bruce2712: "Use Router as DHCP Server" is checked.
bruce2712: it connects the router to the DSL modem.

cliff_the_kilt: you just introduced a 3rd device, you only said two, or are two dual function?
bruce2712: the router is dual function. its both wired and wireless.
bruce2712: Bruce: both connected to the netgear router.

bruce2712: okay, lemme try again.
bruce2712: in from the wall, phone cable goes to the DSL modem. a 2wire 1000.
bruce2712: from the DSL modem, ethernet cable goes to a netgear wgr614, a 54 Mbps wireless router that has four ethernet ports.
bruce2712: one cable from the router goes to the desktop. the dell 8400.

bruce2712: router is set up with a WEP key. the laptop has that configured using windows native
bruce2712: there's another laptop that also has the WEP key, but it only needs connectivity to the internet, not to file share with the other home computers.
bruce2712: it is in the work NT domain. the desktop and the laptop are in a HOME workgroup.
bruce2712: no other hardware that counts.

cliff_the_kilt: OK, that is enough to go on for a start, I'll need to research, and get back to you
with many more questions
cliff_the_kilt: I'll let you know soon mf

bruce2712: okay. i think the problem has something to do with the ping result. why is it thinking juliaxp is

cliff_the_kilt: kk, that IP is a block reserved addy, dunno why yet, I'll get back to you, hope you can wait a day or two while I check?

bruce2712: no worries. it used to work. something changed.

So I researched a while, and came up with more questions for him, as I thought I would, meanwhile absorbing as much as I could myself (I am like a sponge hehe)

Here's what I came up with so far:

1. How do you mean, it used to work, in what way?
2. What has changed since it last worked?
3. Can each computer access the 'Net individually?
4. What software are you using to network?
5. What are the Local and External IP numbers, and what are the MAC addresses?
6. What OS version, XP Home or Pro?
7. Do you have a firewall? Which one?
8. Have a look, which is closest to your set up?
This one?
9. Try this site, anything looks like it might help here?
Basic Home Networking

So, my question for you all now, is multiple:

What other questions should I be asking him?
What information is needed besides what we have so far and are about to ask?
Any suggestions for my friend in his implementation of a mixed setup like he has?
Is that IP address of significant? (I would have expected something like
Lastly, any other ideas or suggestions?

I haven't got back to my friend yet (it was only yesterday he asked) I preferred to research and ask my friends here.

PS My real name is actually Cliff ;-)

time to get some "thumbs up" folks

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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All Answers

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Cliff I think that you'll find that the Router Cables

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to For my Network specialist ...

Have been changed the Router come WiFi Access Point should be connected to the desktop from one of the LAN Ports and the DSL Modem should be connected to the Router through the Up link socket.

Your Mate is going to have to pull the router out and look at the manner that the CAT Cables are plugged in I think you'll find that someone has cleaned up around the router and disconnected it and when they have gone to plug it back in they have plugged the CAT Cables into the wrong sockets.

That would cause the Internet to drop out and stop the network Share between th Desktop & NB of the wife.

I hope that is of some help to you.


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Been there, done that.

by mjd420nova In reply to Cliff I think that you'll ...

HAL, that's exactly what I found on a similar installation. The cables were even marked, but no one bothered to look. One came unplugged (WAN) and then one of two wired ports got confused. The user was kind enough to mark the cables, but not kind enough to check them and save a service call.

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Ty guys, I'll check

by Kiltie In reply to Cliff I think that you'll ...

I have suggested this check as a simple first check to him in an offline, cos of time zone differences (he is in States I am in UK) it will be several hours before he gets to deal with it)

It's akin to the first Engineers principle, when trouble shooting, isn't it?

First you check for power being supplied, then connections, before you even get out an Oscilloscope

Meanwhile, if anyone else have any suggestions, please dive in.

What (if anything) is wrong with the setup?

As far as I can see it is:

DSL: Modem
Router (dual cable and wireless)
PC (cabled, workgroup), laptop (wireless, workgroup), laptop (wireless, domain)

But no mention of any "access point" that I found, I'll check on that

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In the spirit of HALs response

by Tig2 In reply to Ty guys, I'll check

The cables may all be correct but may have developed a fault. So along with taking a look at the connection, he wants to take a look at the physical condition of the cable itself.

Had one where the primary cable was in the right place but had been chewed by the family cat. Until a look at the cable, couldn't figure out what in the world happened...

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Hal probably has the answer

by w2ktechman In reply to Ty guys, I'll check

But here are a few more things to look at. Does the Internet work on any of the systems?

If not, try rebooting the Router. It may have issues after an auto-update for the router. Can the router settings be looked at from the desktop system?

If Internet is working for all of them, but they cannot see each other, make sure that nobody disabled file and print sharing

make sure that IP's are set to DHCP, renew the IP addresses, and check on each machine that it is one from the routers scope. change the scope on the router, and renew again if it still doesnt work.

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