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Trouble Connecting a Router to a Router

Posted on 2010-11-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
To get an extra port to the cable modem, I tried hooking up an unused DSL Modem/Router, but this caused one PC to lose internet connection.

The ORIGINAL LAN diagram (Figure 1) shows our working home configuration. The Trendnet router had 4 ports, all being used. We had a PS3 unit which we would swap in and out with another PC.

Then I found an unused DSL Router Modem - a Westell VersaLink Model 327W
           (actually, Model: D90-327W15-06 Rev.D)

I removed the telephone cord, and plugged it in (possibly using wrong ports and/or cables) as shown in Figure 2. All seemed to work for a few hours awhile with some intermittent problems.

Then the Windows 7 PC (on SWITCH1) reported that there was no internet connection. WV1 (Windows Vista), XP1, XP2 were all connected OK).

I removed the power from the Westell unit, and the Windows 7 PC regained connection almost immediately.

I was surprised that only the Windows 7 PC lost connection. Can the Westell DSL Router Modem be used essentially as a switch to give us the extra port that we need? Any idea why just one PC was affected by the configuration in Figure 2?

I can get a switch, but would think that I should be able to hook up the DSL unit to give us the extra port. All the cables in my home are of the same type.

=====================================

Here is a manual I found online for the Westell unit.
    http://westell.com/content/products/pdf/030_300444A.pdf

From the manual, it appears that the IP address is (192.168.1.1)
=====================================

Figure 1: ORIGINAL LAN
_____________
 Cable Modem
_____________
   ^
   |
Router-Gateway (192.168.0.1) Trendnet TWG-BRF114
  ^                     ^        ^       ^
  |                      |         |        |
-SWITCH1-     WV1    XP1    XP2
^     ^    ^    
|      |     |
XB  W7 XP3

All the cables I have are the same.

=====================================

Figure 2: ATTEMPTED TO ADD PS3 WITH ROUTER
_____________
 Cable Modem
_____________
   ^
   |
Router-Gateway (192.168.0.1)
  ^                    ^       ^          ^
  |                     |        |           |
-SWITCH1-    WV1   XP1    DSL_Router_Modem (DSL not used)
^      ^    ^                            ^        ^
 |      |     |                             |         |
XB  W7  XP3                        XP2     PS3

================================

Thanks for your assistance.

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Question by:phoffric
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 34125887
In the "unused" Router, first turn off DHCP in this router, and then when you hook it up, use only the switch connections, not the WAN connections. Log into the router and give it a static IP address from the Trendnet router (that is, an IP outside the DHCP range of the Trendnet). ... Thinkpads_User
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ken2421 earned 170 total points
ID: 34125889
To use a router as a switch you have to go into the router's web interface and disable DHCP on the LAN. Make it the sam network as the other routher xxx.xxx.0.1   xxx.xxx.0.2
Use a patch cable from a lan port to a lan port from the primary router to the second. It will now be a switch.

HTH,
Ken
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34125895
I think that is pretty much what I wrote above.   ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34126031
>> an IP outside the DHCP range of the Trendnet
How do I determine the DHCP range  of the Trendnet?

>> Use a patch cable
The cables I have now connect a PC to the Trendnet router, or PC to a switch. This same cable is being used to connect SWITCH1 to the Trendnet router. For the two routers that I have, do I have to get a different cable?
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Author Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34126037
Thanks for the replies.

BTW - I was wondering why it sort of worked for most of the PCs, but in the end (not initially), just the Windows 7 PC lost its internet connection.
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Assisted Solution

by:sgt_best
sgt_best earned 80 total points
ID: 34127076
"why it sort of worked for most of the PCs, but in the end (not initially), just the Windows 7 PC lost its internet connection"
 
If you have 2 devices handing out IP addresses (DHCP) in your network it is a very unpredictable situation.  
It is probable that the Windows 7 PC acquired an address from the new router or acquired the same address as the router depending on how connected.
As stated above - turn off DHCP in the newly introduced router and use only the switch ports not the WAN port of the new router.  The WAN or Internet port will be empty.  It is not joining two separate networks you are just using it for its' switch.  You should give it an IP address outside of the DHCP range of your original router.  So if your original router is 192.168.1.1 and it is handing out 192.168.1.2 thru 192.168.1.50 you will want to use something above 50 and use the 192.168.1.1 as the gateway.  This will allow you to have a known address to get into your new router.  I often do this with wireless routers to use them as an access point.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 34127103
>>> How do I determine the DHCP range  of the Trendnet?

Open the management interface on the Trendnet (Normally 192.168.0.1 or some variant), go the DHCP settings and observe the range for DHCP (normally 192.168.0.100 - 200). A static IP on the Trendnet can be 192.168.0.10 (for example).

>>> For the two routers that I have, do I have to get a different cable?

No, assuming the cables are regular cables.  If you made them yourself, you might wish to switch to pre-made cables.

>>>  I was wondering why it sort of worked for most of the PCs, but in the end (not initially)

Having two sources of DHCP is deadly and problem Windows 7 got confused (it has new networking stuff inside).

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34128669
Hey, thanks for all your input. I'll be attending to this but yesterday I got an unknown RAID 0 error. I'm working this now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34179322
Thanks all for your guidance. No problems for a day. Much obliged.

http:#34125887 & http:#34125889 (2 minutes apart): explains to disable DHCP in the router that is to be converted to a switch; and change IP address of this router to be xxx.xxx.0.y, where y is outside the range of the Gateway Router (Trendnet).

http:#34125889 identifies the cable to use between the two routers

http:#34127076 explains why disabling DHCP is necessary to prevent conflicts

http:#34127103 clarifies how to determine the DHCP range  of the Trendnet and clarifies the types of cable to use
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34179474
Thank you. I was pleased to assist.  .... Thinkpads_User
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