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DHCP client (server?) problems

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Software » Internet Related » DHCP client (server?) problems « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 6:12 am:   

I am running into a recurring problem: very often when I connect DHCP cablemodem clients to the internet, (a very busy DHCP server, btw)- I cannot get an IP from it. I can take one computer, put it on the same connection, and get an IP immediately. Then I take that one off, put the other one on, and ipconfig/release and /renew, reboot, reboot the modem, check network settings for the fifteenth time, etc etc and still get nothing but zeros. The error message I get is that the DHCP server is unavailable, or that it timed out. Then, I can try the other computer again: even ipconfig/release all, then /renew, and it gets an IP immediately again. Can someone tell me if there is a hidden DHCP or network setting somewhere, maybe in the registry, whatever, that I do not know about?? This has happened with all desktop Windows OS's, although the scenario I just described happens regularly with both machines having the same OS at the same time. It *seems* as if it happens more often with Windows XP, although that may be just because more people own XP now. Somebody please help?
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 9:12 pm:   

a few questions.... have you plugged in the cable with the pcs on? have you rebooted after that and tried to see if it picks an ip addy there? or are these pcs plugged in and then turned on and not getting an ip address? have you changed any of the default configs for tcp/ip on any of the pcs?

on your dhcp server.... do you have to add the host name to it? and how are the pcs connected exactly. through a hub? what type hub? any routers in there?

btw, i am moving this week, and have a new email. i won't be on much in the near future, but will try to check in as i can. until i get a connection back. most likely, it won't be dsl since it's kind of out in the boonies. but 56k. *ugh* this post should let you email me at the new one in the link.
Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 10:48 am:   

see email :)
Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 8:20 pm:   

got it and reaponded, here's a copy:

well. i use a router, not a dhcp server per se`. i have 4 machines here. and hook the modem to the router, then configure the router to use the assigned id and password to get to the internet. and the router is set up as a dchp. plug into the router with my 4 machines, get an ip from the router, and away i go. the router keeps a host table to assign ip addresses to each pc. therefore. it "leases" ip addresses to each pc for a 24 hour period which then it renews the lease. this was the easiest way to do it for me. the linksys can go up to 253 ip addresses even though it's a 4 port router/switch. if i were to use hubs, i can go more than 4. i do have once in awhile when i can't get a connection outside. i then reboot the pc. sometimes i have to reset the router if it goes haywire and reconfigure it. i'd say you have a problem with the dhcp server itself. either that, or it's so busy with other things, it doesn't have the oomph to go more. what you can do, is set up another network. i would go the router route. set up a second network using the pcs in groups as will be the first. connect those to a dhcp server if you really have to have one on each network and use a static address on each group's routers. then on the outside line to the internet, use a router to access and set it for dhcp. therefore, you'd need 3 routers, 2 dhcp servers and the networked pcs for a 2 group network. this will not only keep the traffic down for net access when you are not going there. but be easier to administrate. windows machines create a lot of background noise and that could also be part of the problem. they always have to talk and that takes away bandwidth. um, if you could use the tools say, the network monitor, you might be able to trace the issue down, you can also use something like sniffer pro or the other mentioned program to monitor network traffic to see where the pc is asking for the ip and the dhcp is either responding, or not. also, it can take about 10 to 15 minutes sometimes to get recognized on a network such as you have for local access to resources. even if you did have an ip assigned. i haven't seen how your network is set up. the actual physical layout. it would help to see how many machines you have, the connection itself to dhcp, the operating systems of each pc in numbers totaled. without seeing it in person, i can only guess at the problem, and to solve it, it would require me to sit in front of a pc there. but from what you describe, it's definitely a configuration issue or too much traffic for the dhcp to respond in time. you can try to extend the timeout, that may work.....may not. good luck.
Posted on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 11:51 am:   

I work for the ISP - the network I am talking about is huge - in order for me to go to our network guys and say: "hey I think something is wrong with the DHCP server" I need to exhaust all other possibilities first. The scenario I gave refers to customer's connections in their homes, and this one in particular is not networked at all - just his box off the cablemodem (which should be no problem ordinarily) - could there be 3rd party software such as gaming software, or terminal client software, or citrix client software, that interferes with network settings? This particular customer has gaming software installed. A friend did suggest setting up a DHCP server on a laptop in the field, with a crossover cable, just to make sure that the handshake was occurring properly from the customer's end....this I will try, but it's mostly when all else has been tried, and I need to prove it is the server. But then why can I get online with other machines just fine? I do not think it is the server anymore. UGH.
Posted on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 5:21 pm:   

I have been looking into your problem. I hope the links below will help. Also to what I can gather Win will be out for awhile, so to help you along try They have many experts to help you out.

Automatic Windows 98/Me TCP/IP Addressing Without a DHCP Server

DHCP Discover Packet Secs Field Contains Incorrect Value

DHCP Service in ICS Does Not Assign IP Address to LAN Adapter

How to Configure a Default Gateway for Multihomed Computer with LAN and Internet Access
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 2:01 pm:   

thank you Cecil - I have had a running thread on experts-exchange already:

If you can comment on their suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. I have not read your links yet, but will do so - thanks for your help!
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 2:29 pm:   

Cecil, re the links you suggested: The first one I was aware of...(see thread on experts-exchange that I referred to in previous post)- this Windows behavior can be annoying, but it doesn't change my problem. As for your second link, do you know if this behavior has been documented in anything other than Windows 98? (Many of the problem machines I encounter have Windows XP) -the third link refers to Internet Connection Sharing, which doesn't really apply to my problem unfortunately....and the fourth is referring to multi-homed computers, which is rarely the case with my customers - almost all of them have only one NIC, and we usually install it for them. Thank you!
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 5:08 pm:   

Can't really say about win xp. I'm looking around for help like you are on this one. Sorry I can't be more helpful. I'll just keep looking, someone somewhere has had the same problem.
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 8:41 pm:   

Just finished reading your thread. It does seem that you are getting some ideas, that is when their not bickering. I would suggest raising your points to as high as you can. Some of these techs won't answer a question till the points are high enough.
I find it funny your having an ip problem and so am I. I'm on a cable modem and at different times and with or with my brower open I lose the ip address, All 4 green leds are lit and no activity led. Must reboot to get it back. Have been talking with road runner tech, but no answer yet. Will be calling some specialist tech for road runner tomorrow.
Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 8:24 am:   

Cecil that sounds like there *might* be issues going on in the line to your home. You could ask them if they could check your line for signal noise or power adjusts...maybe it is interfering with your computer's ability to communicate (to renew it's lease.) At least this is what I try to do, first determine there isn't something going wrong in the plant first. At least if they check that and find nothing wrong, you will know it is a computer issue somewhere.
If you are getting great line speed tests most of the time, but just lose the IP sometimes, then it probably is a computer problem somewhere, but it never hurts to check.

win wrote these words via email:
are there restrictions? it very well may be the computer. not the server, if the tcp binding got corrupted. sometimes to fix it, you HAVE to reinstall the client pc just to see if it is it. all you can do is go down the list, and see if it works, all else is reinstall, or on your end. too much time taken to fix it, time is money. if the client set up a game that messed with his settings, or a bad shutdown happened, it could be toast. this is something i would have to sit in front of and see what it's doing. you can manually set the ip, subnet, gateway, but if it still doesn't work, then *sigh*, i went through this a few times and it was the corrupt network settings on the client pc, not the network, or dhcp.
if he wants to save his setup, and go back if it doesn't work, or save data, i use norton's ghost to back up the whole hard drive to another hard drive. then try to reinstall just to see if it works on a fresh setup, if so, then he can reinstall the rest of the stuff he has, and any data can be brought back such as important files, docs, etc.
And my answer:
Yeah, that is where I usually end up: telling the customer that they need to back up their hard drive, and then start uninstalling software until they figure out the culprit. Because I cannot be held responsible for advising them, I have to let them know that this is my opinion only, and that it is up to them to determine what might be wrong with their configuration. They do not like to hear it, but I have no choice since everything else works perfectly, and I can prove that at least one computer (usually mine) hooks up and gets an IP just fine, (and gets great speed as well.) Maybe I am just trying too hard to fix their problems, but it is frustrating since it should be such an easy process. I appreciate your comments, thank you! P.S. Ghost is the best piece of software ever invented, as far as I am concerned :)

So, I guess I am pretty much where I was when I started, although as usual I learned a lot from people. If anyone has any new ideas, as always I am glad to hear them. Thank you!
Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 9:18 pm:   

Today has been a bad day trying to stay online, went offline 7 or 8 times. My son is upset because he can't play his online games or even stay in a chat room for more than a few minutes. I know the problem is not my computer and the cable company agrees with me. When I contact this specialist tech tomorrow, I will mention your suggestion. I will post the results as soon as the problem is solved. It may be of some help to others.
As far as your problem goes, I hope you find the answer and post it here for all us. And of course if I come up with anything I'll post it for sure.
Posted on Wednesday, November 6, 2002 - 8:05 am:   

Well... it's been 2 days since I talked with this tech from Road Runner. He was stumped also. He checked my line for noise and such everything was okay. He suggested getting another cable modem or that my usb ports weren't working right. He also suggested changeing from usb to a nic.
Since I prefer to rule out possibilities, I decided to go with another cable modem first. I exchanged the sb4100 modem with a new sb4200 modem. The new modem has both usb and nic hookups. I have been running on the new modem (still usb) for a little over 2 days with no problem.
Thank you for the help guys.
Posted on Wednesday, November 6, 2002 - 9:13 am:   

You mentioned that most of the time it's winxp having the problem. Well... I found this article at microsoft. With winxp being fairly new maybe it can help.;en-us;Q314067
Posted on Wednesday, November 6, 2002 - 9:16 am:   

You'll have to manually type the link. Don't know why its not posting the whole address as a link.
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 5:35 pm:   

I have a tracking cookie stuck in my temp matter what I do,it just won't delete!!How do I get rid of this thing????????

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