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Flaky network

Posted on 2000-02-13
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Last Modified: 2010-03-17
I have a small network of 4 Macs, 2 PowerPCs, a PowerBook 3400 and a 640.  We use thinnet (looks like a coax cable) to daisy chain the network. We do not have a dedicated server.  We have an Omnis database file on a 4400 PowerPC which is used heavily by 2 machines and a Now Up To Date calender also used primarily by 2 machines.  All 4 machines use SnapMail frequently for interoffice communication.  Our problem is that the 4400 crashes once or twice a day.  When it does, it often ties up any machine that is running the Omnis database.  All 4 machines are running OS 8.1.  The PowerPC have 32 meg or better, the 640 has 16 meg.  Most have VM turned on.  We tried doing a clean install of the system on the 4400 but that did not help much.  Someone told us that the problem may be in the thinnet which cannot handle the volume of traffic.  Would switching to twisted pair cable and a router significantly improve our performance?  We have a small router which we are only using to connect the PowerBook as that was the only way to connect it to the thinnet network.  We would need to purchase several hundred feet of cable to connect the other machines to the router.  I do not want to do this unless it really would be a real improvement.
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Question by:Quackerback
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First off switching to 10Base-T (Twisted Pair) would be a big help as all traffic goes to a hub instead of daisy chained through computers. Secondly it sounds like your 4400 has serious issues. It should not be crashing 1-2 times a day and would lead me to believe that it needs either a fresh system, a complete norton runthrough, or a different choice of software that may be causing the crashes. Perhaps all of the above. I run a mac server here that takes some heavy traffic and i get a crash once every 5 months usually due to me doing something to it that i shouldnt be doing. What i would recommend is buying a cheap 8 port 10Base-T hub with some twisted pair cable and create your network from there. Clean up the 4400 and use it as your quasi-server or dedicate it purely to serving. If thats too big a step to take right now i would suggest checking ALL the cabling you currently have right now for defects. Often a bad cable can cause serious stability issues to the network as well as the computers connected to it. Even on a twisted pair network a bad cable can cause issues beyond network transmission such as crashes and lockups.
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