Network is not reliable
Posted on 2000-04-22
We are having trouble with a computer on our network.
Pentium III 866mz
Windows 98 SE
3Com 3C905C-TX NIC
What we do that causes the problem:
- Restart the computer and logon to the network.
- Optionally close all open programs by pressing CTRL-ALT-DELETE and shutting everything down except explorer. The problem occurs regardless of whether we take this step or not, indicating nothing in memory is the cause. However, would it be worthwhile to edit the registry and delete all the programs that start when the computer does and do the same with the "Startup" group? Perhaps a program alters the state of the network before I have a chance to close it?
- Map a single drive letter to a network drive on another computer on the network.
- Check to make sure the drive is accessible by clicking on it within Windows Explorer and browsing through a few folders.
- Leave the computer sit over night or for a length of time during the day (8 hours or so).
- Open Windows Explorer and click the same drive letter.
- Windows Explorer crashes. The cursor changes to a pointer with a small hourglass. If we attempt to restart the computer by going to Start->Shutdown->Restart, all programs will close, the computer won't restart (it just sits there) and "rundll32" will be the only thing listed in the CTRL-ALT-DELETE menu/tasklist. To restart the computer at this point requires pressing CTRL-ALT-DELETE 2 times (once to bring up the menu and another to restart it).
- Alternately, we can open the "My Computer" screen and it crashes as soon as it displays the network drive (everything past it is not displayed, indicating that when "My Computer" opens, it tries to access each drive before displaying it in the list. When it reaches the network drive, it has some difficulty accessing it and hangs right there)
Notes/Things we've tried:
- We've reinstalled the drivers for the network card by deleting the NIC from Device Manager and re-starting the computer. The drivers we re-installed were those found on the 3com web site for this NIC.
- We've tried to access other drives on other computers from this one, but all fail. This indicates the problem is with this computer in particular.
- Computers besides this one can access other computers without difficulty, indicating the network does function fine otherwise.
- We have not tried to access this computer from another to see if something will crash. Perhaps this would be worth a try to see what happens?
- We've run the 3com diagnostic software on the NIC to see if any errors were shown, but none were, indicating the NIC is not damaged. The NIC Test indicates everything is fine.
The configuration of the NIC according to the 3com NIC Diagnostic software is as follows:
Network driver optimization: Normal
Boot PROM: Disabled
Media Type: Autoselect
According to the General Tab->NIC Details screen in the software, it has chosen Half Duplex. It detects the network as being 10mbps.
- The computer can access other network drives for a period of time after restarting, but will crash if the computer is left idle for any length of time and an attempt is made to access a network drive. We have been unsuccessful in determining exactly what changes take place that cause it to be fine one moment but crash the next.
- The network consists of 3 computers altogether: 2 desktops and a laptop. They are connected through a 3com Office Connect 10base-t hub with 8 ports.
- No other computers on the network have this same exact NIC. The other desktop has a 3com NIC and the laptop has a generic PCMCIA network card.
What would be the best course of action in this case? How can we get the network on this computer to function reliably? If you need more information, just post below. Thanks!