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Problems with a linksys router


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#1
smapde

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I'm having trouble setting up a network of wired computers to my cable modem via a linksys router...

So here's the setup. A sprint 645 series dsl modem connects to my linksys router, model BEFW11S4. It's wireless, but i've only been using it for wired connections. I then have my main computer (windows ME) connected to the router, along with another running XP and a third (mac). This setup worked perfectly until recently when a storm knocked out the power and reset the system. For some reason I can't get back online unless I connect directly from the main modem to one computer, so I guess it's the router's fault.

I've tried all I can think to do. Visited the router's setup page, set up the PPPoE options to match the ISP info. Reset the modem/router many times. I'm tired of being smarter than the good people at Linksys and Sprint, and figured I needed to look for higher help. Any suggestions?

Edited by smapde, 25 July 2005 - 08:04 AM.

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#2
SoccerDad

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Hi smapde and welcome to GTG!

Is your router on a UPS or powerbar of some sort? It's possible that the router itself was damaged in a power spike during the storm. With all the machines connected to the router, can they ping each other and the LAN side of the router?

ttysoon, SD
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#3
smapde

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Thanks so much for your help! Unfortunately, I think you might be right about the damaged router. Just checked and it was the only thing not hooked into the surge protector. Of course it was the last thing I would think of considering past linksys problems.

How exactly do I ping the other machines to make sure? And if it's damaged, does that just mean I gotta buy a new one? Again, thanks.
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#4
SoccerDad

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Hey smapde!

To ping between machines on a network as a diagnostic tool:

First you will need the IP addresses of the machines on the network. For diagnostic purposes (and ONLY if you have a firewall/router in place), it is recommended to temporarily turn off any firewalls running on the machines. Don't forget to turn them back on when testing is complete!

IP addresses are typically obtained by one of two methods:

a) Static assignment: they are "hardcoded" on each machine

b) DHCP: Dynamic Host Control Protocol. This is a piece of software sitting on a firewall/router or dedicated machine that assigns IP's as needed. If your machine is configured this way (In Windows: "Obtain IP Automatically") when your machine boots up, it will search the network using the DHCP protocol for a machine/device to answer. Assuming all is working on the network, the DHCP server will respond usually with IP address, DNS servers, and default gateway.

If you can log in to your router/firewall, most of these devices will have a list of current hosts and their respective IP assignments. Jot these down or print the page. (To obtain the IP address of the LAN (Local Area Network) side of your firewall/router, and assuming you are using DHCP on your network, use either method as outlined below and make a note of the entry marked "Default Gateway". That will be it.)

If you don't have, or don't have access to your router/firewall, you will have to go to each machine in turn and use one of the following methods for obtaining the IP address:

a) Right click on the two computers by your clock. select Status, then Support. The IP will be listed at the top.

b) Open a command prompt and type (no quotes) "ipconfig" and hit enter. This will also show you your IP at the top right of the list.

Windows by default will send 4 packets to the machine you specify. This is done in a command prompt window and should look something like this (IP only an example):

-------------------------------------------------
C:\>ping 192.168.1.1

Pinging 192.168.152.175 with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=3ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 3ms, Average = 0ms
-------------------------------------------------

Another important test is to ping each machine from itself. In the command prompt type:

ping 127.0.0.1

The IP 127.0.0.1 is reserved for "localhost". You want to get a response from that test.

Succesful pings will show a reply. Timed out (as show below) means they cannot hit each other which is either a network issue, or blockage by a firewall. Additionally, if you ping your gateway (firewall/router) note that the unit itself may block response to the ping giving you a timeout. This is fairly common and could be considered normal.

-------------------------------------------------
C:\>ping 192.168.1.1

Pinging 192.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
-------------------------------------------------

Assuming the following:
a) IP addresses have been assigned to each machine via hardcode or DHCP and have been entered correctly in the ping test. (typos will sink ya ;-) )
b-1) Cables and connections are good (connection light is on solid (many switches/routers/firewalls will have a couple or more lights usually indicating connection/speed/data activity) on the router/switch/firewall and machine) and the cat hasn't chewed the ethernet cable

and/or

b-2) Wireless connection is solid via whatever utils you are using
c) Firewall(s) are temporarily disabled
d) Each machine can ping itself

If the machines cannot ping each other, the most likely cause is a bad switch. If some can, and others cannot, then it may be a single or couple of bad ports. If you cannot reach your gateway via whatever means the manufacturer has setup (standalone util, webbrowser, telnet, etc.) and there is no reason (configuration wise) that you should not be able to, then again, most likely the router is pooched.

The final test is to get out the manual, reset the router to factory and try to connect as specified in the manual. If this also fails, a moment of silence for the lost companion.

As for the replacement: I will leave the ethics portion up to you. If under warranty, you could try to get a replacement. These devices generally are not repairable...

One final note: I have seen power spikes mangle the firmware on these devices rendering them inoperable, but yielding no physical damage. If your vendor will, it's possible to have the unit sent back to the manufacturer for firmware repair. You would have to weigh the cost(s) involved versus outright replacement.

Best of luck and let me know how you make out!
cya, SD
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