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Home Network Error after VPN installation - Wireless LAN

Posted on 2004-04-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Hi!
I don't know if it's what caused the problem, but I recently took my laptop to school and installed the VPN client to get on the wireless network. Now I'm home and I can get on the internet fine, but I can't get on my home network to share files. I have since uninstalled the VPN and done everything I did before to re-set-up the home network, but it keeps saying the network is not available. I have XP Pro on the laptop. Any ideas?
Paix120
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Question by:paix120
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by:NBstrat
ID: 10738149
Do the other computers on your home network recognize the XP laptop?
And have you tried pinging the other computers from the laptop and vice versus?

It really sounds like the workgroup name was changed during the install/uninstall of the VPN client. You should be able to ping the other computer(s), but they should not recognize the XP laptop. Double check this at START, SETTINGS, CONTROL PANEL, SYSTEM. It will be under the Computer Name tab.

If this doesn't do the trick, tell us a little more about how your home network is laid out. (DHCP, router, switch, wireless, etc......)

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by:paix120
ID: 10738296
Thank you for helping. No, they don't see it. And pinging fails...

The workgroup name is the same as the rest of the computers. I was able to get on the network 3 days ago. Basically, there is a computer set up with a router, and 3 computers connected to it on wires. Right now, I'm connected to it with wires, too - but I can connect wirelessly through an access point. The internet works fine, just not the network neighborhood. I have been sitting here for hours trying various setups and none seem to work, even though it worked fine a few days ago.

I really think it has to do with the VPN client. Does anyone know what happens to the network setup when you install one?

thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:jsalloum
ID: 10738455
I've installed the Cisco VPN Client without issues before...  You said that you were running XP.  Have you tried using a Restore Point?  The Cisco VPN software (if that's what you installed) sets a Restore Point before installing the software.  If it was working before the installation, you could use the restore point and it should work again.

To do that:
Start > Run > msconfig
Hit the "Launch System Restore" button, choose "Restore My Computer to an Earlier Time" and choose the date on the calendar when you installed the VPN software...  You'll have to restart.

Hope it helps!
j.
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by:paix120
ID: 10738576
whew that sounds major... but what do i have to lose? i'll try it.
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by:paix120
ID: 10738858
tried it... said it couldn't restore it to that date (the day before the installation)...
not sure what that means. help!
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Expert Comment

by:RDAdams
ID: 10742824
Has your NIC been changed to static IP from DHCP?
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by:NBstrat
ID: 10744916
Since the workgroup name is identical, but pinging fails....

Double check the subnet mask and make sure that they match your other pc's on the network.
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jsalloum earned 50 total points
ID: 10745468
OK... if the restore point didn't work, then you gotta go from the beginning...

Forgive me, you probably tried some of this, but just in case:  (these instructions assume that you have a router that gives out a DHCP lease to your laptop when you connect)

1.  Reset the router by powering it off and on again... (just in case)
2.  After the router is back up, reset your computer (again, just in case)... No connection?  We keep going.
3.  Now you have to check to see if your wireless card is connecting to the router.   It's possible that the laptop and router are talking, but just not talking well... So:

Start > Run > cmd
ipconfig

If it indicates "Media disconnected" for your wireless connection, then obviously the two aren't talking.  If you don't get a Media disconnected error, then your laptop might actually be tallking, just not well...  For example you might have an IP address starting with 169... (and auto config IP...)
4.  If you have a Media Disconnected error, you might want to try taking any mandatory encryption (WEP, WPA etc.) requirement off of the router to make life simpler (don't forget to make the same changes in the Wireless networking changes on your laptop).  You should put it back on later, but the fewer variables that you're juggling, the fewer things that can go wrong.  Reset the laptop... see if they connect.

Once you no longer have a Media Disconnected error:
5.  If you have a 169... IP or don't have a media disconnected error, try "ipconfig" in the cmd window to see if you have an IP address.  If not, try "ipconfig /renew" in the cmd window... hopefully it grabs a DHCP lease.
6.  If you get one... great, re-enable the encryption, you're good to go.  If you don't get one... something's fishy.  Delete the profile for your router in your Wireless network card management software (Windows, Intel PROset... whatever you're using), then scan for an available network and set it up again from scratch.  Note:  sometimes Windows forgets that my network is WEP encrypted. All I have to do is go into the settings and change it from an 'Open' network to a 'Shared Key' network...

I don't know... without more specific information about your setup that's all I can say right now...
good luck!
j.
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by:paix120
ID: 12202127
Well, this was never solved but j gave the most in-depth answers, so I'll award the points there.
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