Problem pinging computers on a peer to peer network

Posted on 2006-11-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Up until recently I was sharing a dial-up internet connection on my home network via a modem connected to the serial port on a dlink DI-704P router, which worked fine (but slow).

Then I got an Earthlink broadband cable account.  I am using the same router, and changed nothing except the WAN connection type from "Dial Up network" to "Obtain an IP address from ISP automatically".  This also works fine.  I now have fast shared internet access on my home LAN.  Cool.

All the computers on my LAN are set up for DHCP and the router is the DHCP server.  They are on a network, and have Windows XP Home.

The problem is that I can no longer ping other computers on my network by computer name.  Also, I can't VNC to the other computers by computer name.  Using their IP addresses does work.  netbios over TCPIP is enabled.

If I try to ping a computer named "computer1", for example, I enter:

ping computer1

the response I get is something like:

Pinging computer1.earthlink.net [] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=32ms TTL=50

How can I stop it from appending the earthlink.net suffix onto the computer name?  It seems that it should first check the netbios name before going outside and looking for a FQDN.

I could change the hosts file on all the computers and that would probably stop this behavior, but I would rather not.  I could probably make them all static ip addresses and that would probably help also, since I assume the DNS suffix must be coming from the router through DHCP.  Unfortunately there are no settings for the DHCP server on the router besides enable\disable and the address pool.

Any ideas?



Question by:misgci
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 17914052
You could add a dns suffix entry or local domain name of something.local to each machine.  Then when you PING computer1 it will be pinging something1.something.local and won't get a an answer from DnS.  The trouble is I imagine before it would not get an answer from DNS so it would broadcast to get the ip address resolved.

You might also be able to configure your router so that it has a fixed domain name of something.local too rather than one picked up from the ISP - I presume it will not run a DNS server itself but runs a caching DNS server and all your clients point to the router?

As you say adding a hosts table is a potentail fix too

LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 17914104
(The problem here I assume is that earthlink.net nis either resolving anything.earthlink.net to an IP or there just happens to be hostnames there that match your computer names).


Author Comment

ID: 17929708
As you say I can ping any random series of characters and get a response, so they are resolving anything to an IP address.  I was hoping there might be a way, even a registry change, to keep XP from picking up the domain suffix from the DHCP server.
LVL 43

Accepted Solution

Steve Knight earned 750 total points
ID: 17930944
If you set a domain name manually it shouldn't use one from DHCP... or I would imagine you must be able to change this in the router.  Have you tried setting one in the properties of My Computer | network ID tab -- can't remember the exact location on XP but 2000 you click on the Advanced button and set the domain name there.  You can also set a "domain name for this connection" against each tcpip entry in your LAN card settings.  Just use yourcompany.local or something


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