XP Machine Suddenly Off The Network

I have a client who has a server running Windows Server 2000 and several client machines running XP. They recently tried to login to one of their XP machines and are not able to access the server (the system worked fine the day before). It looks like they are not connecting to the network as the XP machine that's not working is getting a 169.X.X.X IP and the rest are 192.X.X.X. I also looked at the network connection properties and there were 0 packets received. It seems like the usual TCP/IP settings are correct. They have also been having another problem on this machine which may be related: They say that when they login to this particular machine, they aren't able to change most settings because they get an error about not having proper permission. When the same user logs into a different machine, they don't have any problems.

Since I don't know much about Windows server software, I was wondering:

1. It looks like the user accounts are controlled by the server. Am I correct that if the network had a physical problem (bad NIC card, etc) they wouldn't even be able to login to the XP machine?

2. I had them log in using other accounts and they continue to have the same problem. Is there some setting on the server or client that would cause this behavior? I looked around in the Active Directory settings and found the settings for the different machines and they all appear to be the same.

Thanks for your help...

tim29Asked:
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fusioncomCommented:
The client getting a 169.xx address means it was unable to recieve a DHCP lease from the DHCP server. I'm not sure if their server is running DHCP or if another device is providing this service. The xp machine will allow you to login as it caches the login information, however in some cases it will say you dont have proper permissions if you havent fully authenticated with the Domain Controller (server). What I would do is change the network settings from DHCP to Static and type in an available IP address. If you are unable to ping anything on the network then I would suggest rebuilding the TCP/IP stack you can get a small program for XP here...  http://www.snapfiles.com/get/xptcpiprepair.html

run that which will repair the TCP/IP stack. After running this change the network settings back to DHCP and see how things go.

If that doesnt work start with the obivous change out network cables, patch cables, and lastly change out the network card.

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adamdrayerCommented:
okay.  169.254.x.x is very telling.  Its called APIPA and it usually means the computer is expecting to obtain an IP address from a DHCP server, but is unable to find one.  if you are running DHCP (which i assume you are), then you may be looking at a physical problem.  The first thing i would check is the lights on the back of the network card and on the switchport of hubport it is connected to.  They should be green.  If not its either a hardware problem or a device driver problem.  Start by trying a different cable.

Once a domain computer logs into a domain under a certain username, it can then be disconnected from the domain and continue to login with that username and password.  Its called 'cached credentials' and comes in handy for mobile users.  If you're severs went down, you woudn't want to lock everyone on the network out of their computers, right?

so I would start with checking the lights, and maybe look in Device Manager for the network card to make sure it is functioning properly.  Then you may want to go to a Dos prompt (Start - Run - "cmd") and type:

 ping 127.0.0.1

That will test whether TCP/IP is working properly.  If it is, then try typing "IPCONFIG /RENEW" and see what happens.
adamdrayerCommented:
darnit!  beat me to it.  That's good advice fusioncom.  I swear I didn't plagerize you in under a minute. =)
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fusioncomCommented:
No problem..

He may need to read it twice for emphasis.
tim29Author Commented:
I have the computer back on the network and I'm assuming that unplugging the computer for several minutes is what fixed the problem. I tried pinging 127.0.0.1 and that worked fine. The lights on both the network card and switch showed that they are connected and they show activity. I tried manually putting in a free IP address, the DNS address, gateway, etc. and while that didn't fix the problem, it did give me a different result: I still couldn't ping another computer but there were packets being received. I switched back and forth a couple times between DHCP and manually entering the IPs but I continued to get the same result. During the course of testing I restarted the computer several times but after I unplugged it, it started working.

I guess I can assume it was a network card problem...
adamdrayerCommented:
sounds like it.   When you restart the computer, or when you turn it off, there are still compnents that are getting power.  Someimtes they lock up so much that you need to phsyically disconnect the power and wait for the coils and capacitors to discharge before applying voltage again.
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