The job today blew up. After 3 hours of troubleshooting to find out that their network is highly unstable. The only solution is to replace their wireless network to a wired one. Kim won't like that and won't understand why. Only other thing is to replace their Netopia with another kind of router. Those are the only options I can think of. Here is a break down of events:
First their printer: hp laserject 1320 pcl 6 died. Kim went out and purchased a new one and installed the printer like the first one. The second printer is identical to the first. Since she installed that printer everything stopped working. I was ok, I know why. She broke the share. I went in and installed the printer from scratch and established the share. Then I tested the printer by sending it a test page locally.
Next I went over and deleted the office image writer. It was assuming it was the default printer. afterward, removed the actual image writer from Office 2003 itself. But, for some reason it kept reappearing. Later, I tried to install the printer share that was on Kim's Machine. The machine told me it was could find it or it was a rights issue. I started to troubleshoot the rights issue. Kim's machine was showing up in on the network. So I didn't think it was a communications problem but a rights issue.
Opened up gpedit and made sure that the everyone and anonymous groups were enabled for network access. The security tab wasn't present in the folder view so I had to turn off simple sharing. Now, I can use the security tab. I went there and made sure everyone group was in there.
*** No one uses passwords to logon to their machines. So, I made a temp admin acct with a password to test it out. Still could access Kims machine. Once I figured out that didn't work I removed the acct. Didn't want to leave open a security hole. ***
While all of this was going on I made sure to reboot the machines to rule out anything else like memory corruption. During this time I noticed that the Kim machine would appear and disappear on the network. Right there I knew something was up. I started to ping the machines from each other and saw the problem. Kims Machine could ping the Secretary machine. But, Secretary's machine could see Kims. Thats why the printer share couldn't be added and why image writer was taking over the default.
I told Kim I needed another wireless card to check if it was the card. She went home and got hers. It was identical to the one on the machine. I was like YUCK! They were the usb kind. I was thinking something cropped up interfere wise. So when she returned with the other card and I moved it around. It was still behaving in the same way no communications. I started to ping the gateway and a dns server that I know that works. All worked except the printer share.
So inclusion what do you suggest? Get new PCI wireless cards that have external antennas. Or do I just wire them up with wired cards. Or do I just remove the router and install a new one? However, everything worked before the printer died. What has changed since then? Did I cover all of the bases, did I forget to do something. It was frustrated to be in a pickle while the client is over your shoulder breathing down your back. I explained to her that I did all that I could do and that we needed to do some further troubleshooting. I also told her that I won't increase my rate cause of the hours spent. She paid for the problem not the time. She said if it take a lot of work to fix the problem, I'll pay you accordingly. Wanted to pass along that I wasn't there to rip her off but more troubleshooting was needed. I tried to explain that to her in a way she would understand. "Oh should I get best buy or the Geek squad" I told her No, they will charge her way too much money and they will make things worse." She will have to pay them upfront. It wouldn't be so easy for her to just "Oh, I'll take $200 off of your rent!"