Weird problem with network / win2000

Posted on 2002-06-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
hi there,

please help.

my PC is a Win2000 Professional, IP is

my server is a Windows 2000 Server, IP is

the gateway  we're using a 3Com switch.

i have this strange problem.  every once in a while, my PC will not be able to connect to the server.  if i ping, i get 'Request timed out.'.  no problems with pinging the gateway.

after about a minute or two, i will get a response from the server.  this is very strange!  during the period of 'Request timed out', the taskmanager on the server is reporting a very low cpu usage, so the server is NOT too busy to reply.

this is not only happening to me, but on everybody on the network.  it's as if the server is randomly ignoring us one by one every once in a while.

could this be a problem with the server (ie. win2k) or the switch?

please advice.

Question by:jchew
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Expert Comment

ID: 7053097
Are the timeouts exclusive to the server, or do they happen in other places in the network? I've had unexplained timeouts in my home network (then again, I don't use 3Com...)

Have you gone through the usual procedure - check for bad cables, try switching network cards, etc. Have you checked for a previously answered question on this?

Author Comment

ID: 7053267
hi Monchanger,

i'm pretty sure it's not a physical connection problem or a hardware problem.

when the connection failed, i opened a command prompt window and entered the following command

ping -t

after a while of 'Request timed out', then all of the sudden the connection is back, without anybody touching the cables/pc/switch.

presently, i opened a command prompt on the server and entered the following command

ping -t

so that it'll continuely ping our gateway. so far none of my users complaint of connection problems, but i'm waiting for this evening (3 hours to go) b'cos that's when it happens quite often.

i suspect that it's something to do with power saver / sleep related issue.  it's like after a while the server's LAN network will go down (sleep) even though the server is running 24by7.  but if i keep pinging it, the connection is ok.

Expert Comment

ID: 7053748
How many pcs do you have on your network?  Have you tried setting up a secondary Gateway?
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 7054025
1) Update the NIC drivers and get any relevant patches from

2) Check your subnetting. Isn't 10.10 usually class B not C ?

I would use 192.168 for class C Private network.

I hope this helps !
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

jhance earned 100 total points
ID: 7054463
>>could this be a problem with the server (ie. win2k) or the switch?

One thing to try to determine this would be to put one workstation on the same wire as the server and therefore bypass the switch.

My guess is that it's a configuration problem with the switch.

Assisted Solution

sbooher earned 100 total points
ID: 7054649
Run this at the command prompt tracert and you will get a text based map of the ip hops to get to your server. Run the command again when it doesnt work and you should be able to see where the route stops and troubleshoot that particular path.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 7054654
Moderator, please step in here!

Expert Comment

ID: 7054765

I noticed that your account was established a while ago, but you weren't too active.

So welcome to EE.

We usually write a comment instead of an answer, so the question won't be locked and other experts have the chance to give their opinions, too. Only if you are 150% sure that you have the right answer, we would post it as an answer. Please take a look at "Tips on Comments and Answers" at the end of this page.

I will reject your answer.

** Mindphaser - Community Support Moderator **


Expert Comment

ID: 7054814
Sorry for the quick answer folks. Ran into the same prob last week and that solve for me. should have been a comment.

Author Comment

ID: 7056080
hi everybody,

thank you for your info.

i did a tracert, and got the following:


Tracing route to embassy []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1   <10 ms   <10 ms   <10 ms  embassy []

Trace complete.

my network here is very simple, switch A connects to the router/firewall/servers, switch B connects the PCs/printers, and [obviously] there's a connection between A & B.

i can't afford to connect directly to the server (via cross-cable) b'cos that would mean taking the server off the network, and furthermore the problem is occurring randomly.

if i constantly ping the server, the problem would not appear.


my server is a Compaq proliant server.

for the past 2 days, after i set the server to constantly ping my gateway, the problem seems to be reduced. i'll be checking with the rest of my colleagues tomorrow morning to see if they have been having problems connecting.

frankly, i'm lost as to how i can determine for sure where the problem lies.


LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 7056104
As I already said once, but which you conveniently IGNORED!

"One thing to try to determine this would be to put one workstation on the same wire as the server and
therefore bypass the switch.

My guess is that it's a configuration problem with the switch. "
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 7056350
I would agree with jhance.

used to have similar problem with Nortel (prev. Bay Networks), switches.  It turns out to be some configuration on the switch .

If you can afford to test, put the dumb-hub instead of that switch.


Author Comment

ID: 7058172

sorry, didn't meant to ignore your post.

i assumed that when you mean to put the workstation on the same wire is to connect the PC to the server directly via a cross cable, right?

if not, then how should i do it?


Expert Comment

ID: 7094397
This sounds like an intersting problem that I have been having.  
In my room there is a Linux box which is my server and a Win2k Machine that is my normal PC.  
They are both connected to a hub downstairs in the study.
Sometimes when I am connected to Webmin on my server I lose connection, and then try to ping it, and get "connection timed out".  So I try pinging my PC from my server and I get "unknown host", but if I ping our gateway downsatairs from either computer it works with out a problem, If I change the IP address of my PC it will then start working again

This is weird and I don't know what is going on


Expert Comment

ID: 7109294
Question? Did you run tracert when you could not get a ping to work? When the source showed unreachable? That would be an important part of the test. The answer you displayed for the trace complete is normal. If you got that answer when the system already showed that you were unable to ping, then this is indeed an interestin prob.

Expert Comment

ID: 7109301
Also, a silly question, but your server name is Embassy right?

Author Comment

ID: 8776016
hi all,

I was assigned to do other task hence I have still not managed to resolve this problem.  Anyway, network support is not my primary task, in fact, it was not my job function at all.  I just stepped in while the network guy is on leave.  Anyway, I was posted to another country so I can't solve the problem but am awarding the points to jhance & sbooher b'cos you both helped the most.

Thanks for all your assistances.


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