Loss of network & internet connection

We have a small office with 5 computers (one which serves as the file server) and DSL modem networked via an SMC Barricade router.  We also have a 10 port network switch connected to the router (for some other stuff including printers and a large outdoor sign that runs public service announcements, etc.).

Our problem is that the computers lose connection with the server and also lose their internet connections.  This happens every week or two.  I don't think it correlates with any specific event (e.g. power dips/surges/dropouts, etc...) but I can't be too sure about that.  The only solution I've found is to turn off the router and then turn it back on.  

I don't know much of anything about networking and the network was setup by the former owner.  Any help troubleshooting this would be greatly appreciated!  

Thanks,
Darin
DarinOBrienAsked:
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predragpetrovicCommented:
hi,

sometimes this is an issue when using low budget switches (I've seen this behavior on Compex, ZyXEL etc...). My suggestion is that you try with some better switches (Linksys/Cisco for SMB, 3Com or something like that).

predrag
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giltjrCommented:
Can you get to the management interface of the router?
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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
Do you have any experience with D-Link routers?  

I'm thinking this would be a good fit based on their product selection guide:: http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=530

Also, this is a 1gig router.  This is probably a dumb question, but what else would I have to upgrade besides computer network cards to get 1 gig performance?  I'm pretty sure the office is cabled with Cat5e.  Speed is not a big issue but it would be nice if it's not too much trouble to ugrade.

Thanks,
Darin

 
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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
I can get to the logon screen for the router (http:\\192.168.2.1) but unfortunately I don't have the password!
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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
Can you also tell me what I'll have to do to configure the new router?  Is it simply a matter of unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one?

Thanks,
Darin
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RANJINAPCommented:
Check the harare performance using  Device manager and clean the disk using disk cleaner.
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giltjrCommented:
If you truly want 1 Gb/ps performance you need to switch to Jumbo frames.  The default 1500 byte frames will only get you to about 400 Mbps through-put.  However, you will also need to do "large" data transfers.  Because of TCP's slow start, if you do a lot of little file transfers you really can't get the performance of 1 Gbps.
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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
I ordered the new router but I'm still concerned about the install.  Can you give me step by step instructions?  Is it simply a matter of unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one?

Ranjinap:  Can you tell me what the "harare" performance is and how to check it?  Is that a potential problem here?  

Giltjr:  Thanks for the advice on the 1 Gb/ps performance.  I'm doing a lot of small files so it sounds like it really isn't worth it.

Thanks,
Darin
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giltjrCommented:
It depends on what your router is doing today.  It is doing DHCP?  If so, what subnet and what other parameters does it provide: DNS, Wins, ect..

Some routers may be plug and play, but if you have done any customization of the current router, you will need to know what you did and do the same thing with the new router.
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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
The router was installed by someone else a long time ago (before my time) so I'm not really sure what other parameters it provides.  

It looks like I'm going to have to figure out what the password is to access the router management interface so I know exactly what it was customized to do.    Please let me know if you have any words of wisdom on cracking the password on a router :-)!

thanks,
Darin
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giltjrCommented:
You best bet is to look at the documentation for the router and/or contact the router vendor to see if there is away to get into the router withOUT losing its configuration.
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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
I found the router logon credentials!  However, I'm not really sure what to do at this point.  I caught a screen capture of the router user interface (see attached).  Can you tell me where to go from here?  One of my main concerns is any special settings that might be in place for a large outdoor digital sign connected to the router.

Thanks,
Darin
Router-interface.pdf
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giltjrCommented:
Well, I would go through every configuration page and write down each option and the setting.

Even if it is a default.  If you replace it, the default on this router may not be the same default on another router.

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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
I'm still waiting for delivery of the new router.  I should get it some time this week.  Strangely, I don't see any special settings for the large outdoor sign but I have documented all of the settings for the old router.  I'll keep you posted.  
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giltjrCommented:
It sounds like the sign is connected to the switch and not the router.  If it is, then unless the sign needs something special to communicate with the Internet you should not have any special settings in the router.
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DarinOBrienAuthor Commented:
I installed the new router and it appears that everything is working great again!  I have a problem with a webcam that needs configured but I have good instructions on that.  

The D-Link install software is really helpful in recognizing the old router and pulling settings from it.  The install was a snap.

Thanks for all the help!
darin
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