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Network Connection Issues XP Pro

Posted on 2010-09-01
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Previously stable Dell 380 Workstation that was taken off the network is now being drafted back into service.

Logging into the local machine presents no speed or functional issues.  Can access internet via both wired and wireless methods.

Logging onto the network causes the machine to practically grind to a halt.  Mouse almost freezes, cannot launch any programs.  PC does not totally freeze, but it almost does.  After two hours of sitting, same issue exists.

Linksys wireless card installed, with latest driver.  Latest driver for wired network card.  Firewall settings on this machine are confirmed to match other machines having no issues on network.

Mcafee AV had been previously installed, and I removed it before issues were detected.  Removed via add/remove programs wizard.  Further "cleaning" of Mcafee components done after network connection issues noted via MCPR.exe.

Orange LED lit solid on ethernet port, both when logged in locally and when trying to log onto network.  No errors noted under Device Manager.

Ipconfig /release and /renew done with no change.

XP Pro on workstation. Server2003 operating system on server.  Rest of network is troublefree.

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Question by:Toddavid
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by:dontseme
ID: 33582809
If you disable ALL network adaptors while logged into the network what happens? Does the taskmgr show any process hangning resources?
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by:Toddavid
ID: 33582825
Response from the PC is so slow, I cannot access any admin functions when logged into network.  Basically frozen PC.

Log into the machine locally, and no problems.  Plugging and unplugging the ethernet port when logged into local machine does not seem to affect any  process memory being used.
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ching023 earned 250 total points
ID: 33582878
do you about to check in the Task Manager? to see what is holding up the CPU power?

I am thinking Anti-Virus scan. if you have a AV server running, it might scan the machine remotely. which will hold up the client machine.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33582879
"Orange LED lit solid on ethernet port" is supposed to indicate a problem with the connection.  Any chance you have a bad cable?  One or two bad wires could reduce it to 10Base-T?
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by:dontseme
ID: 33582891
Have you tried removing the machine from the domain both from the server side and machine side (while offline)? I would then rename it and add it back. Goodl Luck
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33582933
Yes, I have renamed it on both sides.  No improvements.
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33582940
<<Orange LED lit solid on ethernet port" is supposed to indicate a problem with the connection.  Any chance you have a bad cable?  One or two bad wires could reduce it to 10Base-T?>>

I have swapped cables, ports on the switch, etc.  No change.  Same issues when connecting with the wireless, too.
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33582956
<<do you about to check in the Task Manager? to see what is holding up the CPU power?

I am thinking Anti-Virus scan. if you have a AV server running, it might scan the machine remotely. which will hold up the client machine.>>

PC response is so slow when connected that I cannot get the task manager to launch, let alone tab through it.

I can attempt unloading the remaining Trend AV client from the machine when offline and see what happens, but I'll need to reload it at some time. Currently, PC name is recogniized as online under the server AV console.
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by:ching023
ID: 33583035
You can try disconnect the machine from the network, then pull up the task manager.
then connect it again, and see if something using up the CPU power.
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33583050
To reconnect to the network, I have to log out of the local account and log back in with a network account to the domain.  I can't keep the task manager open during a log out/log in (as far as I know).

Connecting and disconnecting the ethernet cable while logged into the local account does NOT cause issues.  Issues happen only when I try to join the domain.
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by:bigg_oil
ID: 33583082
point your dns directly to the logon server if that does not work

Delete the user profile from the computer and recreate it  
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by:ching023
ID: 33583086
Got you.

But then I have some other questions.
this machine had been off the network for awhile. was it taken off from the domain already? or it is still part of the domain?

When you try to login with an AD account, was that account on this machine before? or it is a new AD user for this machine?
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33583113
I originally tried logging in under the original computer name and user, but after having issues, I realized that the replacement PC was using that name and user account.

I then created a new user and PC on the server and renamed the PC and added the new user as an admin on the domain via the PC's local account.  Logging back into the domain with the new PC name and account had the same issues.

I verified that the users are actually on the domain and not just the local machine and the new PC name is part of the domain.

The orange light on the ethernet port seems to be a clue here.  When connecting to the network, the base10 speed must throttle the PC down.  Why is the port operating so slowly, and why does the wireless card act the same way...
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583177
We really need to sort out if it is a hardware or software problem.  It is relatively easy to test hardware, so I usually start with that.

Putting wireless aside for the moment.  Please disable the wireless interface (most XP machines cannot reliably handle two network interfaces connecting to the same network)

Test cabling.
When you swapped cables, did you swap cables and ports for known good ones?  Did you try putting a computer that was working on the port the not working one is using (and using its patch lead).

Test NIC
do you have another known good network card you can install.  If the computer has a discrete (not built into motherboard) try it in another computer).  Eliminate Windows from the test by using the NIC to access the server without windows:  do you have a boot CD you can use to access the network and test the hardware is OK (eg a BartPE or winPE disk to boot up and map a drive to the server and do a large test file transer.  

If all these test OK, I would start to suspect software, a configuration problem or Malware.

Some malware only kicks into play when a computer is networked, or has access to the internet, are you sure the computer is clean?
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583193
I tend to agree the solid LED on the NIC does not sound normal, so you really need to check the hardware, I would be checking what it is like when you boot from a CD.  if it is an on board nic, try disabling it in the BIOS and use a USB nic or another network card.
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33583213
Port is built in.  Swapped PCs on the cable and wired access points. I have removed the wireless card to systematically trouble shoot hardware and have conclusively ruled out cables and wired access points as the cause.

No boot CD.

No issues when accessing internet via the local account.

According to AV scan (Trend), machine is clean, but I will do a manual scan again tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for the traffic on this thread.  I am not an IT expert, but something "simple" like this should have been well within my capabilities.  I can't believe how much time I wasted on this today.  I vow not to spend more than another hour on the trouble shooting tomorrow before just replacing the machine.  It will be cheaper than calling in our IT pros, but I hate to see a good machine go to waste over something that *has* to be a simple fix...

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by:Toddavid
ID: 33583221
I tend to agree the solid LED on the NIC does not sound normal, so you really need to check the hardware, I would be checking what it is like when you boot from a CD.  if it is an on board nic, try disabling it in the BIOS and use a USB nic or another network card.>>

I have to assume that I ruled out the NIC as the source when wireless card has no trouble seeing the wireless access point and accessing the internet when logged in locally.  BUT it has the PC has the same issue via wireless when logging into the network.  I have disabled the local NIC connection to eliminate PC "confusion", and no improvement.
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583226
If the connection is throttled down, and you have not set it that way, it usually indicates a cabling problem.  Do you have a cable tester, to at least test continuity (Continuity is the only thing a cheap cable tester will test, it will not test if the cabling is working at Cat 5 or Cat 6 etc).

In addition as I mentioned in my earlier post, Windows XP does not like two network interfaces connecting to the same network at the same time, it usually one uses one of them.  To test each connection, the other one needs to be disabled.  To test if the wireless interface is actually working, I would disable the wired one.
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33583232
<<If the connection is throttled down, and you have not set it that way, it usually indicates a cabling problem.  Do you have a cable tester, to at least test continuity (Continuity is the only thing a cheap cable tester will test, it will not test if the cabling is working at Cat 5 or Cat 6 etc).>>

Already tested by swapping in other known good cables.

No issues with the wired access point when plugging in other PCs, regardless of cables used.


<<In addition as I mentioned in my earlier post, Windows XP does not like two network interfaces connecting to the same network at the same time, it usually one uses one of them.  To test each connection, the other one needs to be disabled.  To test if the wireless interface is actually working, I would disable the wired one.>>

I have tried every combination of enabled/disabled/actual cardremoved, etc.  No differences.

I have uninstalled and reinstalled the wireless card drivers.  No changes.
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583254
OK, I see you have tried disabling the wired Nic and logging in with wireless, and that internet is working when you log in locally.  When you log in locally, can you map a network drive to the domain controller using your domain credentials?  Does a large file transfer work without dropping out.

How long has the PC been off the network.  
Many network administrators use domain controllers and group policies to deploy applications, if a major application upgrade has occured since the loast time the PC logged into the domain this could be part of the problem.
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583266
Sometimes a new application is not compatible with an old application and can cause computers to hang.  A classic example is antivirus software.  Do you know if the company has changed its antivirus platform during the time the computer was off the domain?
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Author Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33583277
I'll try mapping a drive from the local account.

After creating a new user, the server automatically deploys new group policies when connecting for the first time, including any AV maps/changes, and that initial stage is extremely slow, just like everything else.  After two hours, it was only two steps through a 4 step deployment...
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583284
<Already tested by swapping in other known good cables.>

If you have used other known good cables, and the port is known good, I would suspect the on-board nic may have an issue, so I would disable it for now and focus on using the wireless connection.  

Log into the PC locally, connect up to the wireless network, and in explorer (or comand prompt), try mapping a drive to a share on the domain controller using domain login credientials.
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583293
Wireless is also much slwer than wired (if you have a gigabit wired card, wireless can be 10-20x or more slower than wired), so if your wired nic is having a problem, I would expect it to be slow.
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583316
I addition to the relative slowness of wireless compared to wired network connections, The wireless connection is a shared collision domain and shared bandwidth, whereas on wired network switches, each port is it's own collision domain, with the traffic bottleneck at the server nic end.
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by:helpnet
ID: 33583347
10/100/1000 Mbit/sec for wired (depending on NIC and Switch hardware)

11 Mbit/sec shared for 802.11B
55 Mbit/secshared for 802.11G
802.11N allows for multiple inputs/outputs with multiple antennas, with a maximum of 600 Mbit/s (not all implementations reach this maximum) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009

Wireless networks performance may also be reduced if other wireless devices are operating in the frequencies it uses.

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by:ching023
ID: 33584071
It sounds more like a configuration issue to me. from what you said, joining the machine to a domain might already has some problem.

What you can try is.

1) make that machine to join a work group. (off from the domain first.)
2) then rename that machine.
3) join the machine to the domain from that machine, don't have to do anything on the server. all you needs is a user account that has the permission to join a machine to the domain.

Now, you should be able to find this machine in your AD. move it to the right OU, if needed.

4) login to that machine with a AD user account. (you don't really needs to add that user to the local admin group, if that isn't needed.)

see if that make things smoother or not.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Toddavid
ID: 33586310
Remaining AV client after Mcafee removal was the culprit.  Unloading the client via the local account allowed network login.  Group policies then deployed and reloaded the AV with no issues.
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by:helpnet
ID: 33586965
< A classic example is antivirus software.  Do you know if the company has changed its antivirus platform during the time the computer was off the domain?>

Antivirus software changes often cause these sort of problems as the uninstall, reinstall often isn't clean, and easily scripted
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