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Wireless not issuing DHCP addresses

Posted on 2012-03-28
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Last Modified: 2012-03-28
Hi guys,
I have an ongoing problem with a customer who rins a small hotel with three floors.  We orignally had a Linksys wireless router (running DHCP) with three range expanders one on each floor, but this was constantly going down where guests could see the network but could not get an IP address and therefore not get on the internet.  This is configured as an open network with no security as per the customers request.

In order to get this working again we had to reboot the router and once this was done everything worked again.  This was obviously a problem as the staff wouldn't know it wasn't working until they recieved a compaint from a guest.

So we swapped out that system and put in a Netgear wireless modem/router (running DHCP) and replaced the range expanders with two new Netgear wireless access points.  This worked fine for a couple of months but now the same thing is happening again.  After a few days of resetting the router guests can see the network but will not get an IP address.  Once we reboot the router it works fine again for a few days.  This is still an open network with no security.

What am I missing?
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Question by:XLITS
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 37776099
Have you checked the router logs for errors? How long does it take for the problem to appear? Is the time between the failures consistent?

Are all users affected at the same time? If so, the problem would appear to lie within the router itself. If a computer is connected to the router with a cable, does it suffer the same problem at the same time? If it does, I would suspect a problem with the DHCP server in the router.
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Author Comment

by:XLITS
ID: 37776210
I haven't checked the logs, but I will do that on my next visit.  I can't be sure as to whether the time between failures is consistent as they only report it when a guest reports it to them.  Yes all users are affected.  When DHCP stops issuing addresses, nobody can connect.  I will also check a cabled connection next time it is down.  These are all good suggestions but my concern is that it's too much of a coincidence that the same thing is occurring with two different routers with two diffeent configurations.  Am I just unlucky or am I missing something?
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Assisted Solution

by:Perarduaadastra
Perarduaadastra earned 250 total points
ID: 37776274
I agree that it does seem unlikely that two devices from different vendors develop the same fault, unless there is an issue with its location. Are there any devices close by that could emit enough RFI to prevent the DHCP from working properly, for example a service lift motor that only operates once every few days to get supplies into the building?

A workaround (well, kludge really) would be to ensure that the night staff reboot the router at, say, 3am every two days; the problem with this is that it will interfere with finding the cause, as it only addresses the symptom.
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Accepted Solution

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Darr247 earned 250 total points
ID: 37776299
You could always plug the router into an electronic timer such as
http://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=70132086
and set it to turn off the power at checkout time every day, then make another setting to turn it back on 1 minute later (I think 1-minute is the finest granularity you can get with that particular timer).
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Author Closing Comment

by:XLITS
ID: 37776471
I think I will try the timer solution as a workaround, but I will also have a look at the other suggestions.   Thanks for your assistance.
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