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I moved into a new apartment - now I have network problems.

Posted on 2006-06-12
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Hello everyone, my name is Zarly and I have a problem.

I have two computers, a Dell 8200 with Win XP Home, and an IBM laptop from work, with XP Pro.

I recently moved into a new basement suite apartment and that is where this problem starts. In my old house, everything worked swell... those were the good old days.

OLD HOUSE
My set up was simple and worked great. Internet came in via a cable modem, and then to a Linksys Router which sent a lovely strong wireless signal to my IBM thinkpad.

NEW APARTMENT
The owner of the house supplies cable and internet. For internet, there is a blue cable that comes from a little hole in the ceiling. This is I assume connected to the owners router upstairs. When I first moved in, I didn't bring my Dell, and just plugged my IBM Thinkpad into the blue cable from the hole in the ceiling and that worked Great! I had fast reliable internet and I still do on the laptop. However, when I try to connect my Dell PC to the same blue cable from the ceiling, NOTHING! No light flashing indicating  activity on the NIC, no surfing, no anything. It just says "A network cable is unplugged." Well, it's not unplugged but it's clearly not working.

I took the cable out and plugged it into the IBM, and BING! Internet works great.

I thought I would try things exactly the way they were at the old place. I tool the blue ceiling cable and plugged it into the wireless Linksys router, then attacthed the Dell to the router with a spare CAT 5 568A patch cable I have. The NIC light on the Dell lights up green, but not only do I not get a wireless signal to the Thinkpad, I get a message on the PC that says "This connection has limited or no connectivity." So, no wireless, no internet connection on the Dell, and no joy.

However, the blue network cable from the ceiling still works in my laptop, which has allowed me to type out this long convoluted message to you experts.Can anyone out there help me? I'm so tired. I have looked throughout this site trying to find a similar situation, but nothing comes close.

If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you very much.
Zarly Doug Walker, over and out.
Good night.
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Question by:zarly
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by:
pseudocyber earned 125 total points
ID: 16884731
>>This is I assume connected to the owners router upstairs

You need to find out.  This might not be the case. It sounds like to me, that your laptop might have the ability to cross over a cable internaly - so the internal NIC can go to what's called MDI/X.

You can test this by plugging the cable into the LAN port of the Linksys - if you get a link and light, you know that the other end of the cable is plugged into a PC.  If you don't, then the other end should be a switch also - which wouldn't make sense.

I think what you need is a cross over converter cable - I could make one of these, but you might have to try to buy one.  Basically, it would be female on one end (connects to blue cable), and male on the other, which would plug into your LAN port on your Linksys.  Then, plug your PC into your Linksys as normal.  

This should give your LINKSYS network connectivity and all should be good.

But first, ask the owner about the setup up stairs.
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Assisted Solution

by:jar3817
jar3817 earned 125 total points
ID: 16885268
Does your dell laptop have a 10/100/1000 nic in it? The gigabit autosensing nics are very sensitive to proper wiring. If this blue cable is not up to standards or was made by someone who didn't know what they were doing it can cause problems.

I agree with pseudocyber, find out what is on the other end of that cable and if it is a straight or crossover cable.

If you're going to plug your wireless router into the blue cable...make sure you plug it into one of the LAN ports (not the WAN port) and make sure you turn OFF dhcp in the router config.
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Author Comment

by:zarly
ID: 16887676
Pseudocber, Jar... thanks for your answers. I will talk to the landlord and see if he will tell me what's going on upstairs, or even let me have a look at it.

Pseudocyber said: "You can test this by plugging the cable into the LAN port of the Linksys - if you get a link and light, you know that the other end of the cable is plugged into a PC.  If you don't, then the other end should be a switch also - which wouldn't make sense."

Jar said : "If you're going to plug your wireless router into the blue cable...make sure you plug it into one of the LAN ports (not the WAN port) and make sure you turn OFF dhcp in the router config."

Ok, my Linksys has 5 ports on the back. One set off all by itself marked "internet" and then 4 others in a row marked 1 through 4. Are you saying that I should plug the blue cable into one of the ports marked with a number, and not the one marked internet?

Thanks again you guys!~

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Author Comment

by:zarly
ID: 16887691
Would it help if I bought a new NIC for the Dell, if so is there any special sort that I should get that allows crossover internally?

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 16887869
>>Are you saying that I should plug the blue cable into one of the ports marked with a number, and not the one marked internet?

Correct.

>>special sort that I should get that allows crossover internally?

They will say "autodetect" or "auto MDI/X" - note, this is DIFFERENT than Autonegotiate.
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Author Comment

by:zarly
ID: 16888266
Do you think it could be an IP problem, where it hasn't released the IP addess from the old place and can't connect to the new network? I noticed that the IP address on the dell when I do IP config, is consistently the same, and DIFFERENT, than the IP address that I get on the laptop when plugged into the same cable.
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Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 16888305
Sounds like the Dell is pulling an IP from someone else's network.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 16888314
... which would be why it doesn't work.  Configure it to connect to your SSID only.  Maybe even static IP addressing would be nice.

Also, I like to totally change my network, so I can tell just by looking at the IP address whether I"m on MY router or not - like go from 192.168.1.0 to something weird like 192.168.69.0 - or whatever.
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Author Comment

by:zarly
ID: 16888907
There seems to be a problem releasing the IP address from the Dell though. I've tried IPCONFIG /Release and it doesn't let it go... it's always there when I turn it back on. Now, seeing as I can't get the Dell to connect to anything at my new place, maybe that's why I can't release it. I'm network challenged, FYI.
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Expert Comment

by:FriarTuk
ID: 16892787
if the dell desktop is getting a 169 ip addr & the nic's link led isn't on then it isn't connecting
it's obvious that the blue cable is good as it works in the ibm laptop

try reseating the nic inside the dell, if link isn't good try moving it into another slot, if link still isn't good try replacing the nic

now if you hook the blue cable to the internet port on the linksys & set the wireless on, then it must be set as a dhcp server - you can select a different C class & subnet to make sure it isn't linked to the owner's system (192.168.2.1 & 255.255.252.0)
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Author Comment

by:zarly
ID: 16909235
OK... everyone who gave me information - thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

Let me say, I am totally confused. My internet is working now, and here is what is different.

I think it was Jar who said that I should plug the blue cable from the ceiling into one of the LAN ports marked 1 through 4, and then from another one of those ports, connect the Linksys the NIC. Well... that seems to be working. So the internet port on the back of the linksys is empty, and I am connecting my PC through the Linksys. It's still the same old story if I try to skip the linksys and go straight into the computer... it just doesn't work. Now the only problem I have left is that my thinkpad doesn't seem to be getting a signal... or something. I'm going to keep working on that.

Can someone explain in simple terms why my computer is getting a signal through the linksys but won't get a signal all by itself? This is weird, right?
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Author Comment

by:zarly
ID: 16909254
Friartuk, I just wanted to say that I did the things that you suggested, reseated the NIC and tried another slot. I haven't purchased a new one yet.
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Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 16910295
>>I think it was Jar who said that I should plug the blue cable from the ceiling into one of the LAN ports marked 1 through 4

Actually, that was me.

"You can test this by plugging the cable into the LAN port of the Linksys - if you get a link and light, you know that the other end of the cable is plugged into a PC.  If you don't, then the other end should be a switch also - which wouldn't make sense.

I think what you need is a cross over converter cable - I could make one of these, but you might have to try to buy one.  Basically, it would be female on one end (connects to blue cable), and male on the other, which would plug into your LAN port on your Linksys.  Then, plug your PC into your Linksys as normal."

First things first - before worrying about the wireless, plug your laptop into another port on the Linksys - so now you have three - one from upstairs, one to the PC, one to the laptop.  Can you get Internet on both the laptop and pc at the same time?  
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