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Connecting home cable modem to work laptop

Posted on 2003-03-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I have Comcast Cable hooked up to my desktop at home (Win98 SE).  At work I use a Win2000 Pro laptop.  I'm only at the work site one day a week and use the local lan connection when I'm there.  I plug in the ethernet cable and it hooks me up to my companies network.  Normally at home I use a dial up modem and vpn for work.

I tried disconnecting the cable connection from my desktop, putting it on the laptop and booting the laptop up.  It comes up ok, but there is no internet connection available.  I tried 'ipconfig /release' (to follow with 'ipconfig /renew') but it won't let me do the release. The configuration is set up to obtain an ip address automatically, so there doesn't seem to be a set address that must be used.  At this point I'm a bit out of my league in what to look for.

Others I work with have the same laptop that they use the same way at work and at home with their cable modems with no problem.  One guy just had the cable modem put in and says he just hooked his laptop to the modem and away it went with no configuration changes at all.

As a side note, on my Win98 desktop I installed the same vpn as on my laptop and it works fine in seeing the company Intranet sites.

Any hints would be appreciated.
Question by:larryvancleve
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 8187094
Some ISP's hook up the subscriber with the hardware address of their network interface, which would mean that only one machine could use the cable connection.

I suggest you get a router/switch to connect to your modem. This would allow you to use more than one computer at home and it would also enhance security for your connection. If the router is set to act DHCP server, you should be able to move your laptop between sites without any problem. You may have to talk to your ISP or go through some reset procedure if they indeed combine hardware address to your subscription. They will probably tell you that routers are not supported, but that shouldn't be a problem. In most cases their support is more like "support" anyway, and lots of people use these router connections without any problems.


Expert Comment

ID: 8187132
Sounds like the modem has already assigned out it's only IP address to your Win98 machine.  First thing to try would be power cycling the modem (unplug it from power for a few seconds then plug it back in) when you connect it to a different computer.  That causes the modem to relearn the MAC address of whatever's connected to it, and is usually required when moving the modem from one computer/router to another.

RID is right, a router would solve this issue nicely.  The modem would learn the router's MAC address and assign it an IP address, the router would then hand out private IP's to the computers connected to it, and would allow them to connect to the internet through NAT.  Side benefit: using your desktop's printer, scanner, drives, etc. from your laptop (enable file/printer sharing).

Good luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 8190207
That or.. typically work ip's assign static ip's do they not?

iprelease/renew would work only if your laptop is setup to automatically grab the ip/dns .. if not, and your works laptop is setup statically,or if its not working properly, what i would suggest doing is creating a new configuration to auto grab the ip address (for your home internet use) then with win2k it should automatically see whats up.

As far as cable companies setting it up so you can only have 1 piece of hardware on - ive never heard of that. Ive done the whole cable installation bit for a while, and for them to do that - it would take alot more "know how" than most techs have.

However, the modem grabbing a mac and not being able to release it is true.. and it happens with most modems, so do be sure to unlug the modem, connect to your laptop then plug back in. that, or sometimes on the back of the modems there is a release button (usually gotta push it w/ a pin/pen/qtip - etc).. does the same thing. Basically making the modem reboot.

That or like the 2 guys abive said.. u can always buy a router :)
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Accepted Solution

devan143 earned 200 total points
ID: 8256889
Hi larryvancleve - I have the EXACT same setup as you.  I don't have a router.  When I want to use the laptop for work, I unplug the ethernet cable connection from my desktop and plug it into my laptop.  Before I boot up the laptop, I unplug the power supply from the back of the cable modem for a few seconds (10-15) and plug it back in.  I wait a few seconds for the cable modem to re-set itself.  Then I boot up the laptop and I have my cable connection with no problem.  I also follow the same procedure when I switch back to the desktop.  I only have to do this 1x per week, otherwise I would probably get the router :)
Hope this works for you too!

Expert Comment

ID: 8258827
now give some1 points so the q gets closed ;)

Expert Comment

ID: 8266506
Everyone is correct for different reasons. The Cable modem holds the IP internally and is bound to the MAC of the equip. you are using (router, computer{NIC,USB}.  By unplugging the modem you are releasing that MAC and refreshing after starting back up. (clearing memory in modem) This will work fine, or use a router, server, or set up one computer as a gateway on a LAN. Router will work nicely too. Check with your work, they may static code the laptop, in which case you have a different issue and need to get with them on how to set up.  Depending on your company, you may not have admin. access to change these settings.

Author Comment

ID: 8303668
That was it exactly.  Unplug the cable modem then plug it back in and my laptop connected fine.  Thanks to everyone!

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