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cannot connect XP to P2P network through unmanaged switch

Posted on 2008-06-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I have a peer-to-peer network, configured statically, that works just fine on all machines except the newest addition, a Windows XP Pro machine.  The other PCs connected to the network are Windows 2000 Pro.  I have other network devices connected (network scanner running XP embedded, network printer running LanMan 4.22, NAS running NT 4.9) which all work well.  I have a total of 10 devices in the workgroup when all computers and devices are turned on (not all devices are turned on at all times).

There is a wired broadband router (Linksys RT-41 BU, UPnP capable, apparently no longer supported by Cisco) connected to an unmanaged switch.  When the new WinXP machine is connected directly to the router, it is recognized by the other computers, it recognizes the other computers, and everything works as expected.  As such, I believe the hardware is working and configuration is (almost?) correct.

When the XP computer is connected to the switch, it recognizes itself as the only member of the workgroup; it can send packets, but cannot receive them; it cannot be pinged (100% loss), and can ping only itself.  The other computers connected directly to the switch see the XP computer (it is listed as a member of the workgroup), but if you right click and check the properties, a windows networking error indicating "the server Vostro200 could not be found on the network" (Vostro200 is the network ID I am using).  The XP machine cannot be pinged from the 2000 computers when connected to the switch.

I have eliminated the possibility of a bad port on the switch, or a bad cable.  I have swapped cables, plugged into various ports on the switch, and have even changed the entire switch to troubleshoot the issue.  I am focusing on the idea that a managed switch may help, since I could better ensure that the port connected to the gateway (the router) would be located.  I have also considered the possibility of the router being the problem; however, when connected directly to the router (instead of to the switch, which is connected to the router) everything apparently works perfectly.

Any ideas?
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Question by:TxTur
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 21786903
For the record, and it doesn't appear to have anything to with your problem, are you aware Windows 20o0 and XPro have a 10 connection limit? Printers "can" be seen as a connection. XPhome has a 5 connection limit. However if that were the issue you would get a message stating there were too many connections.

It can be a configuration issue or a firewall issue, but very doubtful if everything works when connected to the router.

To state the obvious; the switch is on the LAN side of the router is it?
internet=>modem=>router=>switch=> PC's
And, also you are sure it is a switch  and not a router, and also it is not a managed switch with VLAns set up to isolate ports.

Are the PC's using DHCP? If so does the problematic XP machine get an IP when connected to the switch (with switch connected to router)?
Have you tried taking the router out of the picture and assigning the problematic XP machine and one other a static address and connecting just those two to the switch?
It does sound like a bad switch or cable (or cross over cable)
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Expert Comment

by:Casey Herman
ID: 21787351
Right click on Network places -->go to properties-->
Right Click on Local Area Netowrk Connections --> properties
Then TCP/IP properties check to see if it is set to Obtain automatically.  
If you are not on a server or this is a home application then it should be set to automatic.
Set both boxes to Obtain automatically.

To the command prompt..

start-->run-->type cmd-->Enter

in the dos window type these commands in this order :

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

Now check to see if you show a gateway / dns .

if you recieved an address of 0.0.0.0 this can be 2 things one it can be that DHCP is off on the router/server or it is a winsock error.

The second instance that you will see for a winsock error is when you go to renew your ip it will say
something to the effect of:

Cannot renew on something that is not a socket.    

Third thing is if you see an ip, gateway,dns, and you still cannot browse try to ping yahoo.

command prompt:
ping www.yahoo.com

if it comes back saying unknown host then you have to ping an ip to verify winsock error.
so ping this

ping 69.147.76.15      (this is another one of yahoo's ip's)

If you get responses from this you have a winsock error. Else your router needs attention or cabling needs to be looked at.

Winsock error can be fixed with the highly recommended winsockfix tool... Google it on a working machine.

Else you can type these two commands and it should get you up and running.

this one is long....

netsh int ip reset c:/reset.txt                              

(this will create a file in c: that will tell you what registry entries were fixed)

then run this command

netsh dump

Then reboot your PC.

If that didn't take care of the winsock error get the tool off the internet.

Hope this helps

Casey
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Author Comment

by:TxTur
ID: 21793592
I am aware of the ten device limit, I am at ten.  However, I haven't seen an error message referring to the number of connections, and most of the time all ten devices are not being used simultaneously.

The switch is on the LAN side of the router.  This is part of what I can't figure out.  Why would a device connected to an unmanaged switch (I am certain it is unmanaged) that is connected to the router be seen any differently by the router than a device connected directly to the router?  Beyond this, it is not simply an internet connection issue, it is a local network connection issue.  The XP machine sends information to the network (it can be seen by the other computers as a member of the workgroup), but accepts no information when connected to the switch (0 packets recieved).  Pings from the XP machine to any connection, local or internet, fail (100% loss); the only machine that it can ping is itself.

Also, the machines should not have problems identifying the gateway, since the IP addresses are static, there are no duplicate addresses, and the router firewall is controlled using the computer MAC addresses.  The DHCP is disabled on the router, since I am using static IP addresses.

I will try the winsock error suggestions.  I have not yet taken the router out of the picture, to see if the connection to the switch alone works.  I have also purchased a new router to help troubleshoot this issue.  I'll post the results later today.  Thank you for your replies.
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Author Comment

by:TxTur
ID: 21799167
This is apparently not a winsock error.

Now I'm convinced that this is not a hardware issue, but an XP configuration issue.  I don't have enough knowledge to know what is missing in my configuration that can be corrected by being connected directly to the router.  I have started and stopped every service available to see if anything needed was not enabled.

One additional note - the device manager shows an error on Microsoft Tun Miniport Adapter #2 (Code 10 - the device cannot be started).
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 21799198
If it works while connected o the router and not the switch I would think it is hardware or wiring. Having said that, no chance you have changed the workstation/s from auto to some fixed combination of 10/100/full/half duplex? If so either the router or switch may not be compatible.
Also, have you tried connecting two directly with a cross-over cable.
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Author Comment

by:TxTur
ID: 21799222
I did switch to a fixed speed, just to see if it would help, it didn't so I switched back to auto.

I haven't tried a crossover cable yet.  I will try this tomorrow - I'm ready to go home.
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Author Comment

by:TxTur
ID: 21804544
Well, RobWill, you were right all along.  It was a cabling issue.  I can't believe how long I spent beating my head against the wall.  After struggling with this half the day yesterday, Ithought about it after reading your comment.  I realized that despite all of the changes I made (switching cables, switches, routers, software settings, ...), there was one cable I had not yet replaced.  Of course, this was the problem.

Thank you for your time.
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Author Closing Comment

by:TxTur
ID: 31467208
Thank you for your help - I was worried that there was something I didn't understand in the software.  Fortunately for me, your experience told you where I should really be looking.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 21804634
Don't you love it ! What is really frustrating is the fickle ones. work one minute and not the next.

I actually come from a network cabling and infrastructure troubleshooting background, and I have learned 80% of network issues are cable related, and 80% of that 80%, is bad patch cables. I have cheap $1400 meter just for testing that. The good ones are $8000+.

Glad to hear it is working.
Cheers !
--Rob
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