Setting up a TCP/IP LAN

I have 3 Win 98 PCs, one 10/100 ethernet hub, 3 NICs, and one cable modem.  The 3 PCs are connected to the hub, and the hub is connected to the cable modem.  I have TCP/IP protocol installed on all 3 PCs (no other protocols installed).

All 3 PCs can ping each other.  All 3 PCs can access the Internet.

Problem:  One of the 3 PCs cannot see the other 2.  IOW, PC #2 and #3 can see each other via Network Neighborhood, but PC #2 can't see #1.  PC #3 can't see #1 via NNeighborhood.  PC #1 can't see either #2 or #3.

I have tried to compare the TCP/IP settings under Network > Properties, and I see no difference.

I have rebooted, reinstalled the TCP/IP protocol, swapped a new NIC card in PC #1,...all to no avail.

Using Winipcfg, the differences I can see between #1 and the other 2 PCs, is that the default gateway and DNS server is different.

BTW, the cable modem/ISP's router dynamically assigns the IP addresses to the NICs.

What could be wrong?
SofttechAsked:
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dew_associatesCommented:
softtech, remember, a ping is run at the dos level, not at the 32bit OS level. It could be a bad protocol, cable, and you mentioned that the gateway and DNS server is different. Why is it different. Also, which PC is set as the master browser?
Dennis
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
If the cable was bad, how could each PC still be able to browse the Internet.  In fact, I am writing this reply to you on the PC which the other 2 cannot see.  All 3 can access the Internet just fine.  This rules out a bad cable.

Why is the DNS server and gateway different?  I don't know.  This is out of my control since these are assigned by my ISP (dynamically)?  I know they use DHCP to assign my NIC IP addresses.

How do I tell which PC is the master browser?  On PC #1, it is set for "Automatic".

And lastly, yes, all 3 PCs have the same workgroup ID.
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cmarks55Commented:
can you see the other pc's in dos?
First, you have at least one folder shared on each computer, right?

Try this:
At a dos prompt, type:
net view

If you see your machine, that's good.  If you see the others, that's better.

Now try:
net view \\one_of_the_computer's_IP_addresses

If you can see the computer's shares, that's good.  Try seeing another computer using that command.

What are your three computer's names as defined in network properties\identification?

Now try:
net view \\computer_name_from_above

Did it work?

If the IP works and the name does not, TCP/IP is fine and NetBios is screwed.

What protocols do you have installed?
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DeweyKCommented:
Have you checked the bindings for PC #1. Is TCP/IP bound to Microsoft Networking?
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
To DeweyK:

Under "Bindings" I have "Client for MS Networks" checked ON.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
to Cmarks55:

>>Try this:
>>                    At a dos prompt, type:
>>                    net view


I simply see PC #1 (the PC from which I am typing net view from).

>>Now try:
>>       net view \\one_of_the_computer's_IP_addresses


I tried this with both PC #2 and #3's IP addresses (from PC #1) and after 20 seconds of waiting, the command DID return a list of shared resources for each PC (IP).


PC #2's name is PC233
PC #3's name is PC200
PC #1's name is PC450

from PC #1, I CAN type  net view \\pc200 and see PC #3
from PC #1, I CAN type  net view \\pc233 and see PC #2

The only protocols I have installed are TCP/IP (for the NIC) and TCP/IP (for a dialup adapter).

If I use Windows Explorer (Win 98) and type  \\pc200 in the "Address" field, I DO see PC #3!

Network Neighborhood fails to detect anything under my workgroup besides the local PC.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
Here's something else I noticed.  If I reboot PC #1, and then bring up Windows Explorer and type \\pc233 or \\pc200   I get "Cannot find the file..." error message.

If I THEN go to a DOS window, and type   net view \\the_ip_address_for_pc200...after 15 seconds I get a list of shared resources.

If I THEN go back to Windows Explorer, and type the very same \\pc200  in the Explorer address field... I get a list of resources on pc200!   It's as if 'net view' kicks the silly network into recognizing the node! What's going on?!
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cmarks55Commented:
Network Neighborhood has a shorter timeout period than net.exe (the dos program) which is why you actually get the list in dos.  Once your computer has gotten the "net view" it knows where to go for each resource, so Net view DOES kick explorer into gear.  Well, your computers are talking, but the initial talk is slow.  I've exhausted my 98 knowledge, anyone else wanna pickup here?
Not a solution, but a workaround could be to create a batch file that runs "net view" on startup so explorer doesn't crap out looking at the network.
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tlikCommented:
- Set all PCs the same Gateway address(Network - TCP/IP - Gateway)
- In DNS Configuration, if DNS is enable, set all PCs the same domain, IP of DNS server. If one's disable, enable it and set like the other (but different Host name)
- Also the same workgroup. (Network - Identification - Workgroup)
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
>> Set all PCs the same Gateway address


Which gateway number do I use?  When I compare the gateway #s via winipcfg, there are 2 different gateways between the 3 PCs.


>>In DNS Configuration, if DNS is enable, set all PCs the same


DNS is DISabled on all 3.


>>Also the same workgroup

They already have the same workgroup (see above).
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
Bad news...

I rebooted PC #3, and upon reentry into Windows, it failed to detect the other PC #2.   So rebooting has now isolated yet another PC.  PC #2 cannot see PC #1 or PC #3, whereas before the reboot, PC #2 could see PC #3.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Softtech, let's reduce the issues to the lan first and then worry about the internet connection.

1. Disconnect the cable modem from the hub.

2. On all three machine, go into control panel, networking and remove all of the adapters and protocols and reboot each one.

3. Pick one machine and add back Client for Microsoft Networks and an adapter.

4. Although these are Class A IP addresses, try them anyway.

On PC #1: I/P:  10.0.0.10
Subnet:  255.255.255.0
Computer name: Choose whatever, but different from all others.
Workgroup: Same for all 3 PC's
Computer Descr: Whatever you choose.
Make sure resource sharing is enabled and at least one resource is shared, such as a drive.


On PC #2: I/P:  10.0.0.20
Subnet:  255.255.255.0
Computer name: Choose whatever, but different from all others.
Workgroup: Same for all 3 PC's
Computer Descr: Whatever you choose.
Make sure resource sharing is enabled and at least one resource is shared, such as a drive.


On PC #3: I/P:  10.0.0.30
Subnet:  255.255.255.0
Computer name: Choose whatever, but different from all others.
Workgroup: Same for all 3 PC's
Computer Descr: Whatever you choose.
Make sure resource sharing is enabled and at least one resource is shared, such as a drive.

Reboot each machine and tell us if they see each other in network neighborhood?


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GleasonGuyCommented:
Turn on "File and Print Sharing" for computer #1.
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mntgomeryCommented:
Is PC #1 set up for File and Print Sharing?  I was having similar problems until I selected these boxes from the Network Properties screen.

Hope this helps.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
>>Reboot each machine and tell us if they see each
>> other in network neighborhood?


Upon removing all items from Network Neighborhood on PC #1, and rebooting...disaster struck...

"While initializing device WSDRV invalid VxD dynamic link call to device #28, service 8016.  Your Windows configuration is invalid. Run the Windows setup program to correct this problem."

3 hours later, I was finally able to reboot Windows 98 on PC #1.  After doing all dew_associates suggested, all the PCs can see each other within network neighborhood.

HOWEVER....none of them can see the Internet when I reconnect my cable modem.

I therefore had to disable the IP address definition and revert back to "Obtain an IP address automatically" and reboot in order to reconnect to the Internet.

Problem is...after rebooting, I'm back where I started...actually worse.  Now none of the PCs can see each other.

So...what does all this tell you?
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cmarks55Commented:
does my suggestion still show you the computers?

(lets be sure we're back to where we started...)
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dew_associatesCommented:
Softtech, how are you handling DHCP to access the cable modem? What are you using for a firewall or proxy? Remember, in a peer-to-peer relationship, one machine will need to act as an access server or the proxy will need to handle it. A mere hub and cable modem won't handle these issues unless there is a proxy built in.

Take the fastest of the PC's and upgrade it to Win98SE and use its proxy features by installing the modem to the SE machine. Now return the TCP/IP to what it was before, and access through the SE machine. It will handle DHCP and proxy issues.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
to cmarks55:

>>does my suggestion still show you the computers?

If you are referring to...

net view \\one_of_the_computer's_IP_addressesnet view

....then the answer is 'yes', I'm back to where we started.  Typing  net view \\\one_of... does show the other PC, but that's the only way these PCs can find each other.


to dew_associates:

>>Softtech, how are you handling DHCP to access
>> the cable modem?

Unfortunately I don't quite follow the question.  Under TCP/IP properties > WINS configiration, I have "Use DHCP for WINS Resolution" turned 'on'.


>>  What are you using for a firewall or proxy?

There is not a firewall or server.

Is 4.10.1998 the SE or is this the 1st edition?

>> use its proxy features by installing the modem
>> to the SE machine.

I'm having a hard time picturing the cable routing.  Current the cable modem and hub are in the basement.   All of the PC's are on the 2nd floor, with wires dropping to the basement, plugged into the hub.  The cable modem is connected to the hub's uplink port.   Describe to me how the cables should be routed under your suggestion?

Maybe I should return back to NetBui where I started from?
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
One more comment to cmarks55.

Once I use the net view \\one_of... to "kick start" the network to recognize another PC on the network, if I then try to access another PC on the network using \\computer_name, I notice that file transfer is very slow and irratic.  Example, if PC #1 is pc450 and PC #3 is pc200, if I try to listen to a MP3 audio file that resides on pc450 using Winamp which resides on pc200, the audio is so irratic and full of static that you'd think that one PC was in Siberia and the other in Miami.
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DeweyKCommented:
What is the IP info you get from the router on the 3 PCs? Please post all of the IP info from each machine.

Can you disconnect the router from the hub, reboot the PCs and run winipcfg to find out if the IP addresses change from what the router gave out?

It sounds like the machines may be communicating with each other across the router. This would explain the delays in viewing each other and the poor audio.

Of course the simple solution is to enable netbeui, then the machines should talk properly. But isn't that why you are here, to find the solution, not the patch.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
>>Please  post all of the IP info from each machine.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think posting IP addresses to my PCs in a public forum is a very good idea.

>>Can you disconnect the router from the hub

I don't have a router.

>> It sounds like the machines may be
>>communicating with each other  across the router.

It would be my ISP's router, if that was the case.

I went ahead and installed NetBUI, and all PCs can now see each other within Network Neighborhood and audio streaming between the PCs is back to normal.
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cmarks55Commented:
">> It sounds like the machines may be
 >>communicating with each other  across the router.
It would be my ISP's router, if that was the case. "

your computers just may be doing that.  there is nothing in this mix to tell your computers they have a different route to each (your hub) other other than your ISP (through the cable modem).  Typically one would use a private subnet for the computers in the lan and use the cablemodem as the gateway/proxy (as dew_associates pointed out).  Up here (in Vermont) one is charged much more for the ability to share a cablemodem in the method you were describing (i.e. each getting their own real world IP).

In this case, Netbeui gave your computers the information they needed to connect to each other without going to your ISP so things are much faster.

Colby.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Softtech, the TCP/IP install for this setup (peer-to-peer without server) should be:

PC# 1 Windows 98 Second Edition with ICS sharing enabled.

Install one NIC to run to the cable modem.

Install one NIC for the hub connection to the other computers.

PC#2 & #3:

One NIC each with CAT 5 to the Hub.

Create the ICS sharing diskette on PC# 1 and use it on PC's #2 and #3 to enable ICS sharing (ICS= Internet Connection Sharing)

Now you have true peer-to-peer TCP/IP with all machines seeing each other and all having internet access.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
Is 4.10.1998 the 2nd edition or is this the 1st edition?


>>Now you have true peer-to-peer TCP/IP with
>> all machines seeing each other and all having
>> internet access.


Except for the fact that if PC #1 with dual NICs goes down, all of the Internet connections to PC #2 and #3 are lost.

The real issue is getting a 2nd cable from the 2nd floor to the basement, since PC #1 now would need 2 cables.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
Any reason why I can't just stick with the NetBUI and TCP/IP combo as I now have it?  It works fine.  Is there something severly deficient with NetBUI that would urge me to go with 100% TCP/IP?
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dew_associatesCommented:
From a pure use point of view, there's nothing wrong with it. NetBUI creates alot of overhead for the machines and for the network as a whole, but with a small lan you may not see that in your situation. This aside, you should be aware that the lan is completely insecure and as soon as one of the machines IP addresses is determined by a hacker, that person can peruse the entire lan. If this is not a threat to you, then you're good to go!
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
>> as soon as one of the machines IP addresses
>> is determined by a hacker, that person can
>>peruse the entire lan.


Then why did expert DeweyK ask for my NIC IP addresses?

Can a hacker peruse my LAN even if I have my drives password protected (Properties > Sharing > Access Type > Password protected)?

Is 4.10.1998 the 2nd edition or is this the 1st edition?
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dew_associatesCommented:
Frankly, I have no idea what DeweyK had in mind. Password protecting a drive in Win98 is meaningless as the passwords can be extracted with 3rd party software from the PWL file. This is one of the reasons to use a proxy and firewall.

4.10.1998 is the 1st edition. Your Win98 CD, if second edition, will say so right on the CD.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Second edition is 4.10.2222 A
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
To dew_associates:

Thank you for all your assistance.
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JobberCommented:
I really agree strongly with DEW on this, having a LAN without a Proxy and a Firewall is almost asking for someone to hack into your LAN.

As for DeweyK, I think he may have been innocent in asking for your IP address, maybe by seeing if it was in the correct format. Again though he may have wanted to gain access to you complete peer to peer.  

Back to the subject though, unless you are going to start running NT server or WIn 98SE (both with built in Proxy software) you should invest in some software out there that will make you a little more secure against hackers.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
To Jobber:

Would it be more economical to buy a used Pentium 200 and install Linux on it and some free firewall/proxy software?  I am not keen on the idea of having several PCs using a regular desktop PC as a firewall/proxy.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
And...

perhaps you can recommend some good firewall software?

I heart Norton and McAfee/NA are working on personal firewall utilities to be released 2000.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Softtech, BlackIce is the hottest out right now and really inexpensive. As for a proxy, you may want to look at a Toshiba or Cisco or Ramp router with the proxy and firewall built into it. They would be less than a cheap P200.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
I understand what a firewall is...but a proxy?  What is a proxy's purpose?
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dew_associatesCommented:
In this particular instance, a proxy provides a server service, eg; Internet access. In addition, it enables you to govern and control the sockets used for ingoing and outgoing transmissions, something that Win98 nor NT can do by itself. If you were to undergo a malicious attack, it would probably come from a hacket gaining access via an open socket layer via the cable modem, as in your case all communication sockets would be open an available. Very much like the Winsock attacks from a couple of years ago during the Winnuke days.
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JobberCommented:
I have heard nothing but GREAT thing about BlackIce, as for Linux, I would not bother with it. It takes much more to setup then WIN 9x and also takes more to maintain it.

WIN NT Server comes with Back Office with has MS Proxy 2.0 on it. WINProxy is also a good proxy software.


Another feature of Proxy Servers (and this has nothing to do with what you want to use it for) is if you are on a large network it will filter out certain web addresses from being accessed.(Ex. - Here at work we use the Proxy to block out any offensive sites and also any sites that are not work related.)

Sib
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DeweyKCommented:
Sorry guys I didn't mean to try and pry into anyone's machine! I wish I had time to learn how. I was simply trying to find out if the machines were using the router (in this case the cable modem) to access each other. That is what it sounded like, but I wasn't sure how to verify it otherwise. What it sounds like to me is that you have three machines each accessing the Internet through the cable modem (router). Since you said that each got it's IP address from the router and that one gateway address was different I figured they were probably even going through your ISP to see each other (very slow and means that the machines are definitely exposed to the outside). It doesn't surprise me at all that a cable modem provider would leave you open like this and not explain it. I would consider contacting them and finding out if they are aware that they have done this.

As for the discussion on proxy servers/firewalls I have found that most cable providers in my area (Florida) won't touch it yet. They have outside contracters that set up the cable modem and won't even try attaching more than one system to it. I agree that you should have some kind of barrier between your network and the Internet with unused IP addresses (192.168.0.1 - 192.168.0.254) for the private side, but then you have to configure something to provide routing through the cable modem. Linux could definitely handle what you want if you know enough to configure it, but the cable modem may also be able to do the job. You probably don't need a proxy server to cache web pages, but you do need something to translate addresses (ie. Network Address Translation).

Sorry about making this so long, but I didn't want to get labeled as a hacker. I am also very curious how you have this working, because I have several customers that would like the same thing. Cable modems are still new around here.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Dewey, small router\proxy servers are about the size of an external modem. Plug a Cat 5 from the cable modem to the router\proxy to the hub. Configure it and your ready to rock and roll.
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
>> on proxy servers/firewalls I have found that
>> most cable providers in my area (Florida) won't
>> touch it yet.

To DeweyK,

If I have a problem and I call my ISP and if I open my big mouth and mention that I am on a LAN, they immediately say "Sorry, we don't support networks"....<click>.

When I ask whether I am at risk from outside attack, they reply that the likelihood is slim.

Currently I have turned off all TCP/IP bindings, and enabled password access to all drives.  I installed SyShield software on one PC to see how it works.

I'm not sure where to go next at this point.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Softtech, ultimately what you choose to do here is up to you. If you want to get just a small idea of what a hacker would see, try this.

Log on with any one of the machines on the lan. Once on line, start your email reader and IE.

Now click Start, Programs and MS-DOS prompt.

At the prompt, type netstat -a<enter>

This will show you your open ports that the PC is listening on.
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rajansCommented:
Install NETBUI protocol and Enabale file and print shairing. Make sure that all these computers are on the same workgroup...
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rajansCommented:
I know this will fix your problem
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