HELP ME: networking stress and woes

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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HELP ME: networking stress and woes

My home network has gone screwy again and I need help.

The config is as follows:
DSL in bridge mode is conneccted to uplink port of AirPort Extreme
; dumb ehternet hub is connected to down link of Airport Extreme
; Airport extreme is set to make PPoE connection and act as DHCP server
; two machines access the netwoerk by the AirPort, one by the wired hub
; attached to the wired hub is an Epson printer

This all worked well until this past week. Now, anything connected to the hub is not being assigned IP addresses from the DHCP server on the AirPort, meaning no internet access. Anything connected via the Airport (wirelessly) can see the internet. The break in the link is two-way in that no wireless device can see the printer, only those connected to the wired hub.

I have dropped power to the hub and the AirPort in various combinations. I have restarted the AirPort numerous times. I have verified all physical wires connecting devices and they are good.

I am at my wits end and so frustrated with the fool thing that I have even waited a full day and a half before posting to keep me from including the slew of obscenities that I feel must accompany any good description of how this thing makes me feel right now.

Factors known to have changed in the last three weeks (all before the wired connection from AiPort to hub began to fail):
1 - original printer (Epson 900G) dies and was replaced with an Epson 850N (both using a network card and connected to the hub.
2 - neighbors moved in downstairs and *may* have wirless network (again, my network was stable when I observed the presence of the new wireless point on my system for at least a week or two).

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Couple things to try: 1. P

Couple things to try:

1. Plug a machine into the LAN port (the one your hub is plugged into) of the AirPort. Make sure you don't have a bad hub. You really should be using a switch, anyway.

2. Use a program like MacStumbler to see what channels the wireless networks in your area are on. The safest channels are 1, 7 and 11. The other channels overlap those three a little bit, so interference is possible. If you find another network using the same channel as yours, you should definitely switch yours to another channel.

When you power cycle things, you should power them all off at the same time, and power them back on from upstream to downstream. That is, power on the DSL modem, wait a couple minutes, then power on the AirPort, then power on the hub/switch. That way, when the AirPort comes online, the DSL modem will be ready and waiting to assign it its IP address.

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i had that problem with my ds

i had that problem with my dsl modem and my linksys wireless b router. i would have to power cycle them and press the reset button on the router.

sometimes the modem would lose connection and the router would be doing fine and some times the modem would be fine and the router would not assign a ip address. when the router would not assign the ip address it would assign some crazy ip to the machine and since it was way out of the ip of the router the machine would not connect. i knew the router assigned anything from 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.100. so i would manualy put the ip into the machine as 192.168.1.1 if that ip was not in use from another machine.

all i had to do was set up the machines to manualy assign the ip and go from there and all was fine till the modem would lose connection.

the modem i had was the speed stream 5100 or 6100 which was known to cause problems with a router if it was not in briged mode. my modem was version 2 which didnt have briged mode so i could never set up the modem to work properly with the router.

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Dead Hub?

It sounds like the simplest explanation.

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Uplink?

Seems that the point of failure is the link between the AirPort and the hub... Dumb question, and one I'm sure you've covered; does your dumb hub have a switchable uplink port? If so, is it in the right position?

I've had problems before where I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the problem was, and it turned out to be stupid simple. Reminds me of something a buddy and I went through a while back; we were setting up a client at a remote location, a new office. We had configured the router at the office, and everything was working fine. The buddy (who will not be named here) was to take the router to said remote location the next day, plug it in & it would just work. That night, he was nervous about it, so he plugged it in at home to try it out. Didn't work. Couldn't get a connection to the home office at all. Tried everything, and finally called me about an hour into it.

After an hour on the phone with him & still no success we decided it's time to do a hard reset and start from scratch. So he picks up the router to do the paper clip thing, and I hear over the phone, "Oh crap!" Then, "Dave, promise you won't hate me." He didn't have a cable plugged into the WAN port. I had assumed that all the physical connections were there and he was getting a link light on the router. That's one of the first things I would've checked if I had been there, but he's a sharp guy (much sharper than me), and surely he had checked that... Wink

Live and learn. Hope it all works out for you Doug. Keep us posted.

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Fixed, but not sure why...

Well, I was forced to reboot due to an unrelated issue. When the system came back up, it saw the AirPort's DHCP server. This is very frustrating as previous steps to resolve the IP issue on the computer-side included changing AppleTalk and TCP/IP prtocols to and from the Ethernet port (via Location Manager) as well as full reboot.

Now the fool thing is working.

Dr. Webster wrote:

2. Use a program like MacStumbler to see what channels the wireless networks in your area are on. The safest channels are 1, 7 and 11. The other channels overlap those three a little bit, so interference is possible. If you find another network using the same channel as yours, you should definitely switch yours to another channel.

This was helpful in that I was able to see the other networks (including an unencrypted one that my Newton may be able to connect to...). It also showed me that my network (on Channel 1) does not overlap with anyone else in the area. I am keeping these tools installed on my laptop to diagnose future issues. Thanks!

Dr. Webster wrote:

When you power cycle things, you should power them all off at the same time, and power them back on from upstream to downstream. That is, power on the DSL modem, wait a couple minutes, then power on the AirPort, then power on the hub/switch. That way, when the AirPort comes online, the DSL modem will be ready and waiting to assign it its IP address.

madmax_2069 wrote:
i had that problem with my dsl modem and my linksys wireless b router. i would have to power cycle them and press the reset button on the router.

This is part of my usual M.O.

Eudimorphodon wrote:
Dead Hub? It sounds like the simplest explanation.

Given the recent demise of my best printer whiuch was plugged into it and shares an AC power strip, I did wonder about this, but it seems to work now. Maybe dying?

madmax_2069's description of the DSL loosing connection is similar to what I sometimes experience with my network. Every once in awhile, the AirPort gets confused and tries to negotiate the PPoE and sends a messge to all wirelss OS X Macs (never the Classic OS ones) that it is trying to do so. The end reult is that computers can talk to each other, but not see the internet until the AirPort is restarted (from the admin utility). This problem happens about once a fortnight or two.

davintosh wrote:
Seems that the point of failure is the link between the AirPort and the hub... Dumb question, and one I'm sure you've covered; does your dumb hub have a switchable uplink port?

No.

So now, things are behaving, but the mystery of what happened is still there. There is no rhyme or reason that I can find but I will definetely dig deeper the next time it happens.

Thanks to all for the help.

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Low Flying Alien Spacecraft...

... is my usual reply to the it-was-working-fine-but-then-it-wasn't-and-now-it-is-again situation. And it makes sense; the little green guys fly down, hover around for a while then return from whence they came.

The troubles with our equipment are normally caused by interference generated by leaky flux capacitors in the cloaking subsystem. Some of their tech guys are just too lazy to replace the flippin things.

Or maybe it's your dog's fault.

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crinkling sound...

[crinkling sound of tin foil as I reach for my trusty hat tucked neatly on the shelf nest to my collection of magic nose goblins]

As I sit here in my overstuffed chair under my velvet painting of Barry White (the one that cries), listening to Hillary Duff on the Hi-Fi, and wearing my wife's kimono as I sipped a glass of nicely chilled Whole milk (with about 3oz of pure vanilla extract mixed in), a thought occurred to me:

Its just as screwed up as I am.

[/crinkling sound of tin foil as return said tin foil hat back to shelf between travel intinerary for a trip to Sarnia and a copy of my Manifesto Magnifico]

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Re: Fixed, but not sure why...

doug-doug the mighty wrote:
madmax_2069's description of the DSL loosing connection is similar to what I sometimes experience with my network. Every once in awhile, the AirPort gets confused and tries to negotiate the PPoE and sends a messge to all wirelss OS X Macs (never the Classic OS ones) that it is trying to do so. The end reult is that computers can talk to each other, but not see the internet until the AirPort is restarted (from the admin utility). This problem happens about once a fortnight or two.

when this happens again take the mac's that wont connect to the net and check to see what the ip of them are. if its some crazy number not related to when the IP usualy is try changing the ip's manualy back to what they orignaly was and see if they will connect.

just a thought , cause if the router side of my connection was going weird this usualy corected the problem. untill the modem would fail

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no crazy IPs...

When this happens, the IP's of my Macs are all normal (172.16.1.x) which is assigned from the DHCP server on the AirPort. Macs are able to talk to each other, but the AirPort stops recognizing that the connection between the DSL and the internet is still good and the AirPort starts trying to negotiate the PPoE. When this scenario occurs, the best known fix is to restart the AirPort and all is well. The hub and the DSL are unaffected by the nusance.

With my modem in bridge mode as it is, I have not had any problems for the past several months or so that it has been hooked up.

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humm weird, i wonder why it o

humm weird, i wonder why it only affects the OS X machines and not the OS 9.x machines

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Not really...

The behavior is somewhat expected when you consider the following:
* Messages displayed to wireless OS X Mac about the Airport attempting to negotiate PPoE and not to the Classic OS Macs is due in part to the AirPort being an AirPort Extreme
* Loss of the internet connection to wired Macs (regardelss of OS has something to do with the hub and the AirPort not playing nice at that moment; Classic and OS X Macs running wirelessly can still see the internet as the AirPort-DSL link is still good.
* I have never had BOTH problems occur at the same time.

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heh never say never, cause al

heh never say never, cause almost everytime i say something never happened it usualy does.

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