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Crazy NIC Problems...

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » Networking, Modems and Connectivity » Crazy NIC Problems... « Previous Next »

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Jason Dove
Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2001 - 4:11 pm:   

I have a LinkSys Cable/DSL Router w/8 port switch in my basement. Gimme a cold air return, and I can fish cat5 with the best of em :-). I got lazy and decided to try using a router upstairs in my room, so I plugged the cable I would normally use into the router's uplink, and made a new cable to plug into my dice tho, I guess I need a switch. The problem starts here...after removing the second router, I could no longer get an ip from the LinkSys. After testing the cable running through the...cold air return, hehe...I figure out the problem has to be in my computer, cause it tests perfectly. So, I go through my daily routine of reformatting (yes, daily...I run into lots of problems) and installing 98. Didn't work. Linux. Didn't work. XP. Didn't work. I even tried a second NIC in all of the os's; nothing. Third NIC, nothing. lol, this is getting tiring. Aw, what the hey, might as well give the USB NIC a shot. OMG IT WORKS! Then why don't any of the PCI ones work (they DO in other computers)?!? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Oh yeah, sorry for my long-windedness...congrats if you made it this far in the post ;-)...

jason dove
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2001 - 3:23 pm:   

My guess would be that the problem had little, if anything, to do with the NIC(s). It was probably just coincidence that it began to work again with the USB NIC. Hooking a router to the DHCP end of a router/switch is kind of a no-no. I don't think it would do physical harm, but it seems to me that things would get mighty confusing for the cable/dsl router/switch. It really only expects to "see" NICs, switches, or hubs. Disconnecting the extra router, rebooting the cable/dsl router and then connecting the switch and then rebooting the workstation(s) should have fixed the problem without using a different NIC.

The other possibility that stikes me is that when you daisy chain a switch or hub to another switch, there must be a crossover somewhere in the circuit. Many swithches and hubs have a special uplink jack that does the crossover for you, no crossover cable needed. Many have a dip switch on the side that allows you to choose between crossover or standard CAT5 cable as you please. It can get fairly confusing, especially if you can't remember which cable is a crossover (and the other end is 50' down a cold air return).
Using the wrong cable can have unpredictable results, up to and including locking up an entire 100 workstation/20 server LAN (voice of experience). 10/100 UTP Ethernet has become pretty user-friendly and inexpensive these days, but it can still throw you a curve now and again.
Posted on Saturday, November 3, 2001 - 2:50 pm:   

Use only straight cabling in pipes/walls/other hard-to-reach places.

Use cross-over patch cables at the central switch/hub/patch-panel rack. This way all you need throughout the rest of the building will be straight patch cables.

IF you need to place a switch or HUB decentral, think of the cross-over port as uplink port and all things start to make sense.
Marcus Dutton
Posted on Sunday, February 3, 2002 - 11:53 am:   

Han anybody heard of a mac address on a nic just up and chaning itself to make part of the mac address to four zeros in some part of the mac adress? Just wondering.
Posted on Sunday, February 3, 2002 - 12:13 pm:   

shouldn't be changing itself, it's unique to the nic card from the manufacturer.

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