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Old 03-25-2006, 07:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Routable I.P. addresses.

192.xxx.xxx.xxx are not routable, right? I think that was how Windows home networking set everything up in the beginning.

Bad computer and good computer number one are both on that lan segment and working. "Good" compter number two is on 169.xxx.xxx.xxx and not working on the LAN. Humm...the plot thickens.
192.168.x.x are not routeable, but thats ok...thats exactly what we want. you're not "routing" those addresses to the internet; what's happening is that the windows gateway machine is acting as a "proxy" server, of sorts. that means that the gateway machine is sending and receiving packets on behalf of the lan clients. everything coming and going to and from the internet to your lan appears to be eminating from the gateway machine (to anyone watching from outside).

the "169" address indicates that this machine is using a default address. It probably booted up when the gateway machine was unavailable. (either "off", or in its crashed state). when these clients boot up, they make a broadcast request for an address to "borrow"...the gateway machine hears this request, and tells the client machine what address it should use. the gateway keeps track of what addresses its lent out, and to whom.

in order to communicate via IP on your home lan, each machine needs to have an address in the same ip address range. In this case, they should be 192.168.0.1-254. Since "good machine 2" doesn't have an appropriate address, it can't communicate.

From the description of the behavior of the gateway machine, it could very well be that the hard drive is heading south. I would back up any data on that drive to one of the client machines "post haste". then replace the drive and give it a "re-do". In the mean time, pull that second nic out of the machine, and put it in another one. win98 and above can do the "connection sharing".

best thing would be to get a seperate box to do these functions...(more secure, less hassle, don't need to leave a computer on to get to the internet=less$ for electricity...). home wireless routers are pretty cheap these days. they have regular ethernet ports for your hard-wired machines, and will provide wireless connections for future ones.
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:34 AM   #16
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Good advice from Chuck. I have a setup much like he discribed, except no wireless. The only time I use wireless is when my cable is down and then I can jump on to one of my neighbors "secure encripted" wireless network. The issue with the hard drive sounds like something I have seen with some Maxtor drives (we have mostly Dell's at work). They will quit working when they get hot. When I replace a drive I like to "ghost" (Symantec utility) it to a new drive. Many times the drive would fail before it finished. What I do then is put it in the refrigerator for an hour, pull it out and clone it with ghost. I do get a few strange looks when I go to the break room and pull out a hard drive for lunch. Here is a picture of my setup. It is on a shelf in the closet of my home office. Cable modem on the left, gateway router next and then a hub to connect all the drops in the house.
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:59 PM   #17
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Chuck, Thank you very much for the overview. After swapping out components/wires/etc for the past day or so, I think I can confidently say that the "bad" computer is indeed the problem. As we discussed earlier, this "bad" computer acts as the file server/gateway/print server for the home network. Each of the other computers on the network can ping one another, as well as the sevrver, but using network resourses is spotty. The plan for tomorrow is to take this computer completely out of the network, designate "good" computer number one as the gateway, then trouble shoot the bad computer. I think AZFLY may be on to something with the overheating problem.

Fly, what utility do you use to mirror drives? I priced a new hard drive (Western Digital) today at the local big box place for about $100. But they want $150 to mirror and install it. I can easily handle simple installations like this, but I haven't had to backup/reinstall one in a while. I'll have to try the fridge bit on Susan and the kids, they will surely think I've slipped over the edge!

Thanks for all the help guys and gals. Hopefully I'll be 100% by tomorrow night.

Jim
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Old 03-26-2006, 02:48 AM   #18
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I use Symantec Ghost (Enterprise Edition). they also make Norton Gost for the home user...
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:58 AM   #19
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Thanks to everybody for your kind help. This forum gets better every day because of folks like you all. So here's an update.

Over several days of trouble shooting (a bit at a time, not several straight days, thank goodness) I've tested the network hardware, all good. I isolated the "bad" computer. Then I rebuilt the network using the first "good" computer as the gateway. That was really the time consuming part, having to reconfigure all the network settings. The LAN is now working again.

I used the link that 65GT suggested to pcpitstop.com. That is a great tool. The "tune-up" software did indeed tell me that the hard drive on the bad computer was "very slow". The software reports that the drive is running at only about 10% of the normal speed.

I've got some other things to look at before I spend the money on a new drive, but all indications are that either a) the drive is failing, or b) there is some junk software somewhere causing big time problems for that drive.

Again, thanks for the help.

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Old 03-28-2006, 11:11 AM   #20
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Hard drives are dirt cheap now. Just buy a new one, reload XP and forgeddaboutit!!! You'll waste a lot of time trying figure out what it is or isn't. I just bought an 80 gig HD for $59.95. I don't like "ghosting" because it can transfer old problems to the new drive. If you are going to ghost, do it after an OS reload, and all your programs are re-installed. Do it BEFORE connecting to the internet!!!!!
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:50 AM   #21
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Pick, that's a great idea. The only problem is that I don't have the original XP discs. This is one of those E-machines computers and I only have a "restore" disc. I don't think it will actually reload the operating system. Anybody actually tried a new hard drive with a "restore" disc?
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:56 AM   #22
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Running the restore CD should bring you back to what the machine looked like when you first got it. All additional apps and data will be lost. You will also need to install all patches that came out since them. It is crude, but effective. Since you will be starting with a new drive, you have nothing to loose. If you ran it on your old drive, it would wipe everything.
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:22 PM   #23
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Ok then. That is good news. I thougth the main problem with the "restore" cd's was that you were not allowed to restore to a new hard drive from the original restore cd. Microsoft's way of selling more operating systems and hardware maufacturers' way of selling more computers.

I saw a new hard drive at Wally World the other day for about $60 or $70. Looks like that's the way to go.

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Old 04-05-2006, 08:54 PM   #24
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Well, all is now well in P.C. land. Many thanks to all who helped out along the way. I thought y'all might want a "final" update.

The hard drive and the CD-RW were both shot in the "bad" P.C. I went ahead and purchaced both at Wally World for about $100 total. Installed both, restored the XP operating system using the restore disks, and the "bad" P.C. came right up. No worries, me thinks, right? Read on, McBeth.

So I go to rebuild the network around the "bad" pc (remember, it was being used as the Gateway/Server). Nothing works. The now rebuilt bad PC can access the internet and ping all of the other PC's in the network, but the other "good" PC's can't log into the internet, share files or see the printer. I screwed around with it for two evenings before I finally figured out what was going on.

The basic LAN problem is the Microsoft "home networking" wizard/setup program. It doesn't work. I ran the wizard a couple of times in an attempt to straighten everything out, no good. I tried many different settings for the various network functions around the LAN on the various computers. In the end, I wound up setting up the LAN settings on each computer manually and things slowly began to come back to life. As an example, the wizard set the internet connection to the lan card that connects to the internet modem, rather than the Mindspring virtual connection that I created as part of the normal internet setup. Go figure.

For all of you Apple users out there, I spent about four hours yesterday loading service packs and security patches back on the bad pc. This was one of the early XP machines so I had about 3 years of stuff to download. An entire afternoon spent just configuring the operating system.

Pick, your advice is well taken. Now that the bad computer is now working again, the only thing that is loaded on that computer is the operating system, anti-virus software and so forth. I intend to give it a few days to let things "settle down", so to speak. After that, I will load a few of the old programs at a time until it is all loaded. Then go back and "Cherry pick" the old files off the old bad drive to a portable zip drive, scan them with anit-virus software, then reload them onto the new drive a few at a time.

What a time consuming nitemare. But, like old Airstreams, they can be resurrected.

Jim
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