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NIC only works with a static IP Address

Posted on 2008-10-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-19
ON a Thinkpad T40p, the NIC will only connect to the LAN if I assign it a static IP address. When I enable it for DHCP, I get a yellow warning over the network connection.
This is what I done so far with no results:

1. Run the winsock XP repair fix
2. Checked that ICS and Proxy server have been disabled
3. Uninstalled the network card, Reinstalled the network card
4. Uninstalled all the network services, Reinstalled the Network Services

I have NOT followed these instructions:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928233
as this is an XP SP 3 machine and not VIsta, but I am tempted at this point

I don't know what else to do with this machine other than reformat and rebuild. I have got to image this machine before I do  that though to get important databases and various versions of the same application for the person who will take over the support of our software product. My plan was to SYSPREP this machine, image and then drop the Image onto another laptop with the same hardware, But I am thinking that issue with the NIC will be imaged to the new machine so want to make sure it can get DHCP first.

I am busy Imaging the laptop with the broken NIC at the moment ( using a portable USB drive). When thats done, I'll do the sysprep deal and then image again, then drop the image onto another laptop and see what happens.

I just wondered if anyone here would have some clues as to why a NIC cannot do DHCP?

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Question by:djwernars
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Expert Comment

by:flyingsky
ID: 22778012
anything in between the laptop and your dhcp server preventing dhcp packets? Like firewall?
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22778118
No - I turned off the windows firewall too and no hardware firewall in between. There are 50 other similar laptops on the same LAN all plugging along the way they should. When I enable the NIC for DHCP, the Local Area Connection shows that the ethernet cable is not plugged in. When I configure a static IP, the Local Are Connection  becomes live. Have also changed cables more than once. Checked the ethernet port on the wall by plugging in another machine with DHCP enabled - that worked so I know the cable and the ethernet port in the wall is okay.

There has be something wrong in the networking software on the laptop somehow.
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by:CorruptedLogic
ID: 22778404
Shot in the dark, but, you haven't run out of addresses on your DHCP scope have you?
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22778616
I wish it was that simple LOL. I have just fired up the 2nd laptop used by the same person who used the laptop I have been complaining about. He has definitely done something to the NIC settings but I don't know what because his 2nd laptop is having the same issue. This one is not so critical as I can blitz it, but I would love to know what he has changed. Can't ask as he was recently terminated.
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Expert Comment

by:CorruptedLogic
ID: 22778691
Try stripping out the hardware enumerator from the registry and having the OS re-detect all the hardware on the less critical laptop, see if that cures the problem. Also, the user didn't install any third party software that you don't know about did he?
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by:CorruptedLogic
ID: 22778713
Oh, and check whether or not the DHCP Client service is running on the machine.
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by:JimmyLarsson
ID: 22779279
Also, install a packet-sniffer (like Wireshark) on the PC and let it show you the traffic. Make sure that the client indeed sends out DHCP discover-packets and that no packets returns from the server.
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22779854
Okay stripped all the hardware enumerators out and then redected hardware. Checked that DHCP service is running. On second machine there is no third party software - it was only used for email. Still cannot get an IP via DHCP.
This is so bizarre!
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Expert Comment

by:CorruptedLogic
ID: 22779922
Can you rule out the OS by booting to something like BartsPE?
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22780008
Going to give that a shot.
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22780303
There is no connectivity with BartsPE. I am thinking I will have to reboot the DHCP server and see what happens - can only do that later as people will freak if I take it down now.
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by:CorruptedLogic
ID: 22780402
hmm..you shouldnt have to reboot the DHCP server to provide an address to a BartsPE client (it's just like any other DHCP request). However, could you get away with simply restarting the DHCP service? (that is, assuming your DHCP server is a windows / *nix box and not a router or firewall).
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22780565
Hey I am desperate. The DHCP service runs on a PIX firewall. This whole issue gets more bizarre. I have now nuked the 2nd laptop - did a  restore to factory default job on there. Guess what, no DHCP attained IP! I am talking about XP before the service packs here. Static works just fine.

Chekced the switch and patch panel I connect to just in case. Everything is as it should be.

How do I explain this issue - its like being in the twilight zone.
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by:CorruptedLogic
ID: 22780671
This is starting to sound like a Pix DHCP issue. What model pix is it? Can you stop/start the dhcp server on it?
Quick recap so that i know my brain is in the right place with this...

1. you have 2 laptops which cannot obtain a DHCP IP address.
2. you have proven the physical cabling is good by plugging another workstation into the same jack.
3. you have tried the offending laptops in different wall jacks also.
4. Statically assigned IP's work ok.
5. The DHCP server is on the Pix device.
6. You have proved it is OS independent by trying to obtain a DHCP address by booting from BartsPE (or something similar).
7. You have addresses available in your DHCP scope (ie, they are not all leased out to other machines).
8. There are no other rules on the firewall preventing DHCP traffic to the MAC of the two laptops.
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22781375
All of the above is correct. You're definitely correct in saying that its pointing to the PIX DHCP. Its a PIX 515E - I am going to stop/start it later.
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by:CorruptedLogic
ID: 22781602
What happens if you take an existing pc and release it's DHCP address? can it renew it again?
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22781839
I just checked on my PC, no it can't and now I have to set it to static  to connect - this looks like its turning into a network wide issue. I have rebooted the PIX in the meantime as well. So.......Any ideas on where to start troubleshooting. lol
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Accepted Solution

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CorruptedLogic earned 250 total points
ID: 22782073
I'd definitely start at the pix. maybe try stripping out the dhcp config and recreating it (backup your config first!), see if that helps. An alternative might be also be to create a windows dhcp server (if you have the resources) and see if it can issue addresses correctly.
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Author Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 22801352
It was the PIX, I followed your tips, CorruptedLogic. I stripped out the DHCP and recreated it, and we were back in business. Still an odd situation however I am just happy that we're back in business.
I'll be awarding all points to you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:djwernars
ID: 31508809
Thanks so much. Its  strange that this happened and I cannot explain why or how but the problem is resolved.
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