New internet gateway problem

Ok, this is a long one. Can't figure it out so far.
The company I work for has a network of about 160 pc's.
They all connect to a rack of switches and get internet access
from a redhat linux box that is used as a proxy server.
It's address is 192.168.1.1 port 8080
We recently purchased a hardware firewall that will also act as the new internet
gateway, it's address is 192.168.1.2
We go to each pc, disable the proxy settings, set the pc's ip to a static one, enter
192.168.1.2 as the gateway and add a dns server address.
In most cases, this works fine. The pc gets it's internet access from the new gateway.
But with about 20 of the pc's, it does not work. Most are 98se machines, but a couple XP pro machines do it too.
And what's even weirder is that on the machines that don't take the settings, I can't even ping the 192.168.1.2 address.
Now here are my thoughts, the guy that built this network (he is no longer here) has some pc's logging into a domain, and others just plain workgroups.
So this network has both, which as far as I know you should stick with one OR the other.
I don't know much about wins, but have a hunch that might play a part as well.
Any help at all is appreciated.
TuscolaCountyAsked:
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JammyPakConnect With a Mentor Commented:
hmmm...sorry, but workgroup or domain membership shouldn't make a difference here - unless the proxy server address is being given out using GPO in the domain or something. Ditto for WINS...it won't affect something like pinging an ip address.

hate to say it, but the first thing I would do is re-check the 'static' ip settings you've used...sounds like there's a problem there
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TuscolaCountyAuthor Commented:
it's not a problem with the static ip's, they are fine. If i leave the static ip, i can ping any address on the network accept the .2, and if i turn the proxy settings back on, i get internet. No ip conflict is shown at startup either. That is not the problem.
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TuscolaCountyAuthor Commented:
I have fixed this problem so I will give the points to who tried to help.
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JammyPakCommented:
glad it's working - what was the problem?
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TuscolaCountyAuthor Commented:
well there were a few problems, first of all any pc with an address between 20 and 40 would not work because i set those aside for vpn tunnels, so "duh" on that one.
the other I ended up uninstalling nics and windows networking and reinstalling it all. So it's all good now.
Thanks for the help.
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JammyPakCommented:
glad to try...
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