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Laptop cannot aquire network address

Our company has 2 offices.  One has an active directory domain, the other has no server and is set up on a workgroup.  There are some users with laptops that work out of both offices.  One of them started having problems with the workgroup.  For the first 2 months or so everything worked fine for him.  Then, he couldn't access the internet through the wired LAN.  In fact, whenever he plugs into the network, it kicks everyone else off.  The problem seems to be that he is not able to aquire an IP via DHCP and the laptop is trying to use a 169 block APIP.  There is also a wireless network (same firewall) that does assign an IP and he can access the internet on that.  The main problem is that it is a guest network and he can't use the printer while he's on it.  He has no problem on the network in our other office so I don't think it's a NIC problem.  I have tried different cables and tried signing him on with the local account instead of the domain account.  He's using a Lenovo Thinkpad running XP Pro.  Thanks in advance for any help.
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scodat
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scodat
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1 Solution
 
techno-wizCommented:
If his laptop is working on the other network I would first check the obvious that there is no static IP set on the NIC which it sounds like there isn't if you are getting a 169 address. Next I would go directly to the switch and plug his laptop in directly to the switch with a cable you know to be good. See if he picks up in IP address. Another way to do this is unplug a desktop that is working and plug the cable in to his laptop and see if it gets an IP address.
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scodatAuthor Commented:
I have tried different cables that worked with other PCs.  Next time I get a chance I will try plugging directly into the switch too.  I had double checked for a static before.  TCP/IP properties are set to obtain IP automatically, and I checked ipconfig /all and DHCP was enabled.  
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techno-wizCommented:
Another troubleshooting method to try, plug in the laptop and set a static IP on the NIC. See if you can ping, browse,etc. This will tell you if the problem is connection related or DHCP related. If that works but you still aren't getting a DHCP address, plug the laptop in, wait a minute, then at the command line do ipconfig /renew and see if that works. I've seen problems before where you plug into a switch that doesn't have portfast configured and the switch takes up to 30 seconds for the port to go active but the DHCP request on the laptop has already timed out by then so it just grabs a 169 address.
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scodatAuthor Commented:
That's a good idea, thanks.  Next time he works out of that office I will try that.  I am not familiar with the portfast feature- but I don't think it's a managed switch so I'm not sure if that could be the issue.  Is there anything simalar on the firewall that could be causing that sort of a problem that you know of?  
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ChiefITCommented:
""For the first 2 months or so everything worked fine for him.  Then, he couldn't access the internet through the wired LAN.  In fact, whenever he plugs into the network, it kicks everyone else off.""

Sounds like your DHCP is trying to give your client the IP of your default gateway to your LAN as this client's IP. Look  at the DHCP leases and see if your default gateway's IP has been passed out to this client machine.

If so, make an exception to the default gateway's IP address.

Also if your server is on service pack 1, consider updating to SP2. SP1 has problems with the coding of MTU channels and can knock down services lke DHCP or DNS if fragmented packets are being sent out from DHCP or DNS off the server. That would also explain the 169 address because DHCP is shutting down for a moment and not providing a DHCPoffers to the client machine. This will appear like intermittent DHCP and could also appear like interittent DNS. (You will probably not see any errors of this in DCdiag, Netdiag, or Event logs, sometimes event ID 333 will pop up if this issue occurs).

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ChiefITCommented:
This client may also have IPversion 6 enabled on a IPversion 4 network. Look in your IPconfig /all to see if you see a funky looking IP and an line that says something like "toredo tunnel".
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scodatAuthor Commented:
Great ideas.  I am scheduled to go back to that office next tues after hours to work on this so this helps a lot.  I will let you know what happens.  
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scodatAuthor Commented:
I still haven't gotten a chance to get back to the office where the problem happened.  However, I had the person plug the laptop in to a different jack with a different cable, and he was able to connect.  It has to be a problem with physical connection he was using.  
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