Linksys Router Replacement Networking Issue

While I was away on vacation, our company experienced issues with email and internet connection.  They kept getting a "Microsoft Exchange server delay" message and could not connect to our servers periodically.  I tried pinging the router from the server (windows 2003 OS-linksys BEFSW41 wired router) and it would not connect.  I therefore thought it might be a bad router/switch problem and replaced the router with the same model router, with a newer firmware version.  I called my ISP (Comcast Cable Modem) and got the static IP,etc.  I could ping the router, but could not get any internet connection still.  I called Linksys and he said I needed to enable the DHCP on the router.  I did that and stopped the DHCP server service on my server.  Still nothing.  Do I need to do anything more to stop getting DHCP from my server and have the router give out the addresses?  Also, do I need to restart the DHCP server service on the server (does that affect the router)?  On the router under the setup page it gives you an IP range defaulted to 192.168.1.100.  My IP range on the server is 192.168.1.1 (router) and 192.168.1.2-192.168.1.9 are static IP addresses for my servers and printers.  I therefore started the range at 192.168.1.10....will this still allow internet access to the static IPs.  To be clear of the setup, I have a cable modem hooked into the router (Linksys), the router, servers and printers are connected directly to a 5 port switch (linksys 10/100/1000) and then that 5 port switch is hooked into a netgear 10/100 24 port switch.

When I coonect the main server directly to the router, I can get internet connection.  The switch the server is connected to is just a 5 port switch without any web interface or anything...should just need to be plugged in and go?  

I appreciate any help!
melissajketrickAsked:
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melissajketrickAuthor Commented:
Please help!
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websupermanCommented:
I would say that simplifying the setup would be a good place to start.  Is there a need for the router and 2 switches?  Could you operate with the router and the 24 port switch?  This would reduce the points of failure.  

If the router is going to do the DHCP, you need to connect the router to the switch and then all networked devices to the switch.

If you are going to have the server handle DHCP, it would probably be best to run the internet connection directly to a nic on the server and then from another nic on the server to a switch.  This would require that NAT is also set up and working on the server but would also allow greater control.

Make sure any devices you have set to static have the appropriate gateway.  If you go with the server doing DHCP, NAT, etc then it would need to be the IP of the server.  If the router is going to handle that, then the IP of the router (default for linksys is 192.168.1.1).

DHCP does not have to be enabled on the router so long as the server handling the DHCP is doing so properly but you can only have one DHCP server on the network.  

Sorry if some of this is stating the obvious.  I want to try to help and need to know exactly where you stand to do so.
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