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Windows Networking problem

Posted on 2013-01-25
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Last Modified: 2013-02-11
We have a small office of 12 users. Most of the PC's are XP but we have 2 Win 7. We're having a random problem for the XP workstations at random times they open a browser (IE, Firefox doesn't seem to matter) and try to go to any website and it says page cannot be displayed. I'm never there when it happens and it always seems to work when I go out there. The problem what ever it is seems to go away after a min or they close and open the broswer a few times. When this happens their Outlook and server loaded apps still run so it doesn't appear to be a server or network H/W problem like a switch port. Its at random times so nothing else running seems to be causing it the ISP checked their equipment and the Win 7 users so far have been uneffected. How can I troubleshoot a random problem like this?
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Question by:Axis52401
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choward16980 earned 2000 total points
ID: 38820898
What's your internal and external gateway appliance/server on the network for the machines?
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 38822236
This sounds like a DNS forwarders issue:

On one XP machine, can you go to the command prompt and type IPconfig /all > ipconfig.txt and post that for us to look at?
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by:bbao
ID: 38823353
when the problem occurs, first try to PING a new website (never accessed from web browsers) from command prompt and see if it has the same problem.

if yes, it should be first considered a DNS resolution issue, most likely caused by the DNS settings (e.g incorrect DNS forwarding) or the WINS settings (e.g incorrect node type).
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by:Axis52401
ID: 38853087
OK, I was just at that office and ran a few tests. From a workstation that is having problems I set up various continuous pings. One to the server which was a steady 1ms and one to the firewall which in most places is the same 1MS but here varied between 30 and 680MS not sure why. I even tried replacing the firewall with another and got the same result so its not the device itself. And another to 208.67.222.222 (OPEN DNS) which would connect for a few seconds every min and then mostly not respond. While that address responds DNS resolution works and the websites will come up but it then it drops.

I still can't figure out why the 3 Win 7 PC's are unaffected. I'd appreciate ay suggestions I'm stumped here.
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by:bbao
ID: 38853597
please post the IPCONFIG /ALL and ROUTE PRINT results of both the unaffected W7 and affected XP.

that would show the routing difference between the two hosts.
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by:Axis52401
ID: 38860771
I'll get that in about an hour also I logged into the network last night and remotely into a few PC's that were left on and they seemed to be working fine. Could the problem be something wrong with one of the PC's that was turned off?
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by:bbao
ID: 38863457
are they purely workgroup based computers or domain based?
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by:Axis52401
ID: 38865633
I was wrong about the PC's that were off being the problem. Today I replaced the firewall again and tried a new network switch and still have the problem. I even plugged one PC a ta  time into the new switch and gave it 5 min to see if the problem starts on a certain PC and for one or 2 it seemed to but unplugging that PC didn't stop the problem. Is there any way to could be some sort of virus flooding traffic to the firewall? and if so how can I find it?

Its a standard Windows domain. Windows Small business server 2003. I even get the slow or irregular ping time from my personal laptop when plugged directly into the firewall.
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