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net visibility problem

Hi,
some days my win 2000 laptop refuses to connect to the office LAN.
I have to disable and to re-enable the network connection to see other PC's shared folders or to connect to the Internet (we use Internet Connection Sharing from an XP server with IP address automatically assigned by the server). But the connection keeps going on and off. Some times I have to re-enable the connection. Other times the connection automatically re-enable after a few attempts of visualizing the shared folders. Restarting the laptop (or the server) doesn't seem to improve the situation. Then, magically, some days after, everything keeps running smoothly.

I think I understood this happens when I had to connect my laptop to a customer's network with a specific IP address and then change the option back to automatically assigned IP.

Did someone have the same experience and solved the problem?

Thanks
Stefano


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s_federici
Asked:
s_federici
1 Solution
 
MartijnMoreeCommented:
What output do you get when you type "ipconfig /all" in a CMD prompt when it is NOT working?

Then type ipconfig /renew, wait for the prompt to come back and type in ipconfig /all again.

You have to do this every time after you change the settings of your network card to Dynamic!
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s_federiciAuthor Commented:
Well, Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I cannot try it immediately as my network card is working right now. But I'll do for sure. One thing that I really don't understand is why, if the procedure is SO simple, Windows doesn't take care of it???? Do you have any insight?

Stefano
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s_federiciAuthor Commented:
Ok, luckily (?!?!?!?) this afternoon my network connection went down at last!

So, I typed "ipconfig /all" and I got the following output

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig /all

Windows 2000 IP Configuration

        Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : STEFANO
        Primary DNS Suffix  . . . . . . . :
        Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Mixed
        IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
        WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : mshome.net

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : mshome.net
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/100+ MiniPCI
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-10-A4-82-89-F4
        DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
        Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.33
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
        Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, August 04, 2004 4:56:43 PM
        Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, August 11, 2004 4:56:43 PM

Then I typed "ipconfig /renew" and I got an error

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig /renew

Windows 2000 IP Configuration

The following error occurred when renewing adapter Local Area Connection: DHCP Server unreachable        

Last, I typed "ipconfig /all" again (not sure if this was of any help seen that the previous command failed)

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig /all

Windows 2000 IP Configuration

        Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : STEFANO
        Primary DNS Suffix  . . . . . . . :
        Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Mixed
        IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
        WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : mshome.net

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : mshome.net
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/100+ MiniPCI
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-10-A4-82-89-F4
        DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
        Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.33
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
        Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, August 04, 2004 4:56:43 PM
        Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, August 11, 2004 4:56:43 PM

Same result, if I'm not wrong.

The network connection didn't come back (anyway I hadn't changed the IP this time. The connection went down after a full day during which I had no problem).

To restart the connection I had to:

1. Unplug the network cable
2. Plug it back
3. Disable the connection
4. Re-enable the connection
5. Unplug the network cable again
6. Plug it back.

Not sure if all this operations were necessary at all. But now the network is back.

Is all this meaningful to you?

Thanks
Stefano
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MartijnMoreeCommented:
Windows is a quite clever operating system, but not so clever that it can figure out when you have to configure an IP address manually, or when it can obtain one automatically. (This sounds quite patronising, but is not meant that way, please don't feel offended.)

Is this the only computer that has this problem? Or have others got the same issue?

If this is the only one with this problem, it looks like there is something wrong with the network card itself. Do you have another one that you can try to use instead?
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s_federiciAuthor Commented:
This is the only computer with this problem as this is the only one used as a mobile one. All the other ones keep their dynamic IP assignment all the time. And all other computers of our small network run XP.

Today I brought another win 2000 laptop at the office, I changed its IP address to static (it couldn't connect to the internet) , changed it back to dynamic and the laptop could connect with no problem at all.

I tried to change again to static and then back to dynamic the IP of my laptop. At the end I could connect to the net with no problem.

So I really do not understand how I can surely plug my laptop to the office net being sure that the connection will stay on without any troubles.

A friend of mine explained to me that Windows performs a complex voting (depending on OS and time from last shutdown) when a computer changes its IP to static/dynamic to determine which PC on the net will act as the DHCP server. But he didn't know how to avoid problems.

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MartijnMoreeCommented:
Is this the built-in network card of the laptop? Or do you have a PCMCIA card? If you have a spare PCMCIA card somewhere, I would suggest to try that one.
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s_federiciAuthor Commented:
This is the built-in network card. But when I have this kind of problems I also tried with a PCMCIA network card, with the same result (I mean, no connection)
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MartijnMoreeCommented:
I am afraid that we have to have another smoking-gun situation. If it is happening again, open a CMD prompt and do the following (Another_Machine is another computer in the same network, please use the same machine all the time):

ping Another_Machine by name
ping Another_Machine by IP address
tracert Another_Machine by name
net view \\Another_Machine

Please dump these to a file again andpost it here.
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s_federiciAuthor Commented:
I'll do. Stay tuned.
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s_federiciAuthor Commented:
No, I'm sorry, this question cannot be abandoned as it refers to a problem that only sometimes shows up. In fact, I had this same very problem one week ago but, as the problem doesn't allow me to connect to the internet, I couldn't check the suggestions from hewittg. This time I downloaded the question so, the next time, I'll be able to be in touch with hewittg by sending to him meaningful information. So, PLEASE, just wait and leave this question open. Or, if you really prefer to close it, I'll open it again when I'll be able to verify what the problem is. But, as I said, this question is "alive and kicking".

Thanks for your patience,
Stefano Federici
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hewittgCommented:
Stefano

You may be better off reposting the question to get it to the top of the list.

If you would like to do that, I can PAQ this question and refund your points

Thanks

Glenn
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s_federiciAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry for not having responded to your offer of PAQing the question hewittg.
The problem mentioned in this question (that was bothering me for days and days) didn't show up again, so I'm unable to go ahead and testing.

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moduloCommented:
PAQed with points refunded (250)

modulo
Community Support Moderator
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