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renaming restores connectivity


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#1
jgsparks

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I am using a Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless Router on a home network. I have two computers wired to the router (one Win Xp—firewalled, one Win 2k—not firewalled) and two wireless connections using the Linksys PC Card Wireless Adapter (one Win 2k, one Win 98—neither firewalled). Recently I installed Win 2k on the one wired computer and I lost network connectivity (not Internet connectivity) on it and on two of the other three computers. I renamed the workgroup on all computers and regained network connectivity. Then I installed the Agnitum Outpost freeware firewall on the same wired Win 2k computer, this time with a different install of Win 2k that networked fine. I immediately lost network connectivity as before. Uninstalling the firewall made no difference, I did not regain network connectivity. When I again renamed the workgroup on all computers I regained connectivity. BTW, I did try disabling the Win Xp firewall, disabling antivirus, etc., these steps made no difference. Does anyone have any idea what could be going on?
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#2
-=jonnyrotten=-

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Can they all still access the internet? Have you run ipconfig /all to see if all computers are receiving addresses from the router? This is just narrow it down a little bit.

-=jonnyrotten=- :tazz:
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#3
jgsparks

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Thank you for your reply. Yes, I keep Internet connectivity all the time from all computers, but they lose (file sharing) connection with each other within the home network under the conditions I mentioned.

I am new to networking. I want to make sure I do this right. I run ipconfig with no switches, right? Then look for the IP Address of the computer and the Default Gateway to see if there is communication between the computers and the router?

Thanks.
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#4
-=jonnyrotten=-

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You can run it with no switches, or even better run it exactly like this ipconfig /all. 1 space between ipconfig and /all. Also try this from each computer.

Click "Start", "Run" and type \\computername\C$

C$ is an Administrative share that you should be able to access on each computer from each computer as long as you enter the username Administrator and the Administrator's password for each machine. It also works if you have the same account on each machine with Administrator priveledges. That is how I test my network connectivity most of the time.

-=jonnyrotten=- :tazz:
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#5
jgsparks

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First, I ran the ipconfig on each computer with the system working

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : domain_not-set.invalid
IP Address ..................... : 192.168.1.101 (.102, .103, etc)
Subnet Mask .................... : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway ................ : 192.168.1.1

Secondly, \\computername\C$ produced very strange results:

sometimes it would bring up a given "computername's" files/folders, sometimes not, with one error message or the other, even when all computers were communicating.

Thirdly, I sought to reproduce the difficulty by installing uninstalling the freeware firewall. The same conditions were produced when I loaded Win 2k on one computer. I thought it easier to produce the problem with the firewall install-uninstall rather than reload a whole operating system--which I can do but I figured easiest things first. I reproduced the difficulty to some extent !!! only, some computers are still networked together, others refuse to cooperate. Anyway, it looks like the same basic trouble was introduced into the system by installing and uninstalling the firewall.

The wierd thing is that though the connectivity between computers changed, the above tests came out no different. I believe that means that all computers are still talking to the router despite having lost some connectivity with each other. The wierd behavior of the C$ command from the beginning makes no sense to me.

Any thoughts will be much appreciated.
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#6
-=jonnyrotten=-

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Looks as though they are all receiving proper IP addresses from the router, so that's a plus. What were the random error messages? Were they saying that you do not have access rights or priveledges to view those files? Then sometimes it would let you? Trying to figure out if this random or if there's a pattern here.

-=jonnyrotten=- :tazz:
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#7
jgsparks

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With Win Xp the inaccessible computer's icon simply does not show up in My Network Places. With Win 2k I receive "\\computername not accessible, the network path was not found" when I click on the icon of the computer in question in the networking window. With Win 98 I receive "\\computername not accessible, the computer or sharename could not be found..."

Another wierdness: computernameA may recognize and share with computernameB but computernameB may not recognize and share with computernameA. Still another wierdness. The problem will start out with one computer acting up between another computer on the network and then this behavior will spread to its becoming inaccesible to other computers and then other computers slowly becoming inaccessible to still others. This led me to think there was a virus involved. But I have three different brands of virus protection installed on respective computers, Norton, PCCillin, Antivir Freeware. All are uptodate and none detect a virus. And as I mentioned the problematic behavior starts only under certain conditions.

The Win Xp computer is the only one I have firewalled. Normally I only have the other computers share files with it--as my backup system. Normally I never read or write files from or to the other computers so I didn't firewall them. For this testing I have enabled fire sharing on all computers and I tried the system with the Win Xp firewall active and not active ... no difference. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the Win 2k that caused the problem, so I reloaded another Win 2k. That did not cause the problem but the install and uninstall of the freeware firewall did even with that Win 2k load, once again. I include these details if they are of any use.

I naturally could avoid the concrete problem by avoiding the conditions that start it, but I'd still like to know what is going on, and the problem could creep up later under different circumstances; so I appreciate your help in figuring this out.

Thanks again for your time.

Gary
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