Anyone have any ideas (network card problem)?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Ok.

    Here's the problem, essentially:

    My HTPC machine (Running a fresh install of WinXP) continually loses it's ability to see the network.

    I will install the network card (Currently a Linksys card), everything will work fine. It will be able to see the other Win98 machines on the network, and will be able to use ICS (internet connection sharing) from the network to connect to the cable modem.

    However, after a short period of time (usually a day or so)- it will lose the network and be unable to connect to the net or see any other machine. The link lights on the card are still on, and the switch still shows it as being connected (the light is on).

    The only way I can get it to see the network again is to pull the card, restart without it, shut down, reinstall the card and start it again. It will reinstall the card, and work fine for another day or tow, and then it starts again. It won't work on a simple restart, or s shut down and restart- I have to restart it without the card and then reinstall the card!!

    I have a few pals who are IT folks, and have had one over- and he can't figure it out. It claims to be sending packets that are not being returned... and cannot get an IP address.

    I have tried swapping position on the switch, I have tried just pulling the cable and restarting (instead of pulling the card completely from the board), I have tried yelling at the machine, etc- nothing seems to help.

    The only thing that has me baffled is that this is the 3rd network card I've used: I had another Linksys (their budget "Network Anywhere" card) and has a SMC (I think that was the name). The SMC would never work at all- and the Linksys "Network Anywhere" showed the same problems as the current Linksys card.

    I have also tried 2 different OS, WINXP and WIN2000 and both seemed to have the problem.

    I thought it might be a PCI bus issue- but all other cards on the Bus work fine- and this one network card problem seems to happen in any slot I use. I have an Maudio card and a IO Magic video tuner card- and both work fine (along side a Radeon AGP, which is also working fine).

    The only other thing of note is: When the computer loses track of the network, it also exhibits another symptom. My OS loads the applicaton POWERSTRIP at startup, and anytime the network is acting up (i.e. it can't see the network)- Powerstrip takes like 2 minutes before it loads. I assume this is a side effect of the machine searching for an IP address and failing- but figured I'd throw it out.

    I thinkI've tried everything to pinpoint the problem: Switching cards, switching OS, switching switch position (btw, none of the other 8 machines on the network have had any problems).

    I'm beginning to wonder if it is:

    A) A bad cable? But I would assume that the link lights would show something (???). Seems odd also that I have reinstall the card and it works for the first day or so-- you'd think with a bad cable it would be far more random and not so patterned.

    B) Electricity? I'm beginning to wonder if I've got some sort of power problem as my Denon receiver has periodically lost digital audio lock from the HTPC, which I've never had a problem before with stand alone players. It's not the PC however- as shutting off the Denon and turning it back on cause it to lock right back in!

    I can force the denon to lose digital audio lock by flipping on and off the lights-- which makes me question the power. But again- seems too linear a problem to chalk up to the electricity-- why would the card stop working and not start working again until reinstall?

    Anyone have any thoughts on this??

    -Vince
     
  2. James Zubb

    James Zubb Stunt Coordinator

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    That is pretty wierd. Here is some stuff to try/investigate:
    • Have you tried running it on a different circuit to rule out a power problem?
    • Check if there are any BIOS updates for your motherboard.
    • Try switching cables.
    • Are you putting the system into suspend, standby or hibernate mode?
    • Go to the device properties and go to the "Power Management" tab and uncheck "Allow the computer to turn off this device" though that should only happen when going into hibernate.
    • Pull out all other cards to rule out conflicts.
     
  3. Roy C.

    Roy C. Second Unit

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    Vince,

    I have a couple of questions for you. How do you handle "getting an IP" for the HTPC? How do you have ICS configured? Have you thought about getting a Cable/DSL router to bypass that (DHCP, I'm assuming), since the router also handles DHCP scopes, leases and address assignments. Have you looked at the PC running ICS disconnecting from the network? What other protocols are you running? I'm assuming NetBUI and IP... Also, what speed network are you running 10 or 100Mbps? If it's 100Mbps cabling is definitely more of an issue that when running 10. Is it all auto-sensing or can you adjust the setting like duplexing and speed on all the PCs individually? I know, I ask a lot of questions but I'm just trying to bring up other options...

    The issue with conflicts that James brought up might be a viable one. Since PCI lets you "share" devices maybe something else is using a resource and not returning it to the OS as usable.

    How about trying an upper end NIC like a 3COM or Intel. I know some tend to be overpriced but, sometimes they do make a difference.

    Anyway, that's enough for now.

    Later,

    Roy C.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  5. James Zubb

    James Zubb Stunt Coordinator

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    Standby might have been causing it though I would think resetting would fix it. Were you actually powering down or just restarting windows?

    Link lights are not a definitive indication of network connectivity. They are a good first level check but that is it. They just indicate you have a link, doesn't mean it is a good link.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  7. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

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    You might try disabling the adapter in network properties and then re-enabling it when it locks up to see if it comes back online.

    Can you run 'ipconfig' from a command line when it's hung up and print the results here?

    I second the reccomendation to install an intel 10/100 in the box and be done with it. Would almost certainly be easier and faster than shooting trouble on the card you have. Sure it's not as much fun, but it you want it to work now.... I've never had much success with linksys and certainly not SMC (crap), and I've installed hundreds of NICs.

    brianca.
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    AFter pulling the card and putting it back in, once again it sees the internet. However, right now it refuses to actually acknowldge the greater network or any of the machines/printers on the network.

    But it is able to use ICS- and I'm able to post this message (and before anyone asks, yes I checked the workgroup name and it is correct)...

    Under Ipconfig it now shows:

    Connection specific DNS suffix:

    IP Address: 192.168.0.5

    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

    Defaul Gateway: 192.168.0.1

    I'm wondering about some USB crap I have installed in this machine- maybe it's making everything go nuts? I'm thinking about pulling the little things and see if it works any better...

    UGH.

    -Vince

    PS; One thing of note- on the machine upstairs I'm downloading some files- and the lights on this network card are blinking... so it is certainly seeing traffic on the network-- just can't seem to talk to it for some reason.

    PPS; after I ran ipconfig, all of a sudden network neighborhood shows all the other machines on the network. I guess I'll start timing until it loses track (11:22pm now...)
     
  10. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  12. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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  13. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Gotcha-- I think I missed this as I'm used to win98 machines, and I don't think this is in the win98 device manager.

    Mine does not say stadard PC, mine is listed as ACPI.

    Although I checked resources on the devices, and I'm getting a variety of IRQ settings, though the majority of items are on IRQ 5 and IRQ 11 (Radeon shares IRQ 11 with the IO Magic input card and the Maudio shares IRQ 5 with the NIC).

    Do you think it would be better to reinstall XP and set it up for non ACPI use? I've noticed my panning in DVD playback is not as smooth as I had hoped... wondering if IRQ sharing is causing performance at a level that is less than what it could be.

    -V
     
  14. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    who knows Vince. I'm contemplating switching from Standard to ACPI and see how it goes.

    its definitely something you could try, but then you're going to have to shuffle around the cards to get them to be on their own IRQs anyways (if possible). The fact that your sound card is sharing with the NIC probably isn't good though. Try switching the IO Magic with the NIC if you don't have room to just try another slot altogether.

    reinstalling an OS can be a pain, but if you are in an easy situation to do it then go for it. If there is an option under the BIOS to disable ACPI, then that will prevent XP from using it. If not you need to hit F5 (I think) when th XP installer asks for SCSI drivers. (early during the blue portion of the process)...search the foruum for that accurate info.

    if you do go this route, then be sure to do a search here for "power options" to see how to get your box to shut off when you shutdown.
     
  15. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Just thought I would share my experiences here.

    I had a D-Link and Linksys NIC that I wanted to use in my Win2K box (which is now a WinXP box). I tried for weeks to get those two cards working but no dice. Even with the proper Win2K drivers they wouldn't work. (Well, sometimes they would work...)

    Basically I just gave up, and threw in some NIC that I had laying around my house...I don't even know what brand name it is, but it works fine.

    Once I upgraded to WinXP I tried installing the D-LInk and Linksys NIC's again, just to see if they would work. But I got the same problems.
     
  16. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

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    One more thing while you're trying things:
    If you're using DHCP, which it looks like you are, try this when it hangs:
    ipconfig /renew (it may be renew_all)
    This will force the adapter to get a new address from the server. If that works, you could just set the ip as static and be done with the DHCP all together.
    But that probably won't work because rebooting should do the same thing.
    How about running a ping -t www.dell.com of somewhere on the net and letting it run to see if it drops while in use.
    If you like, I'll send you an Intel NIC to try out. I have several of them gathering dust.
    brianca..
     
  17. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Well, fuck.
    As of last night at 8pm the HTPC was still seeing and working with the network. As of noon today, it has once again lost the network. Internet doesn't work, accessing other machines doesn't work.
    The Link lights are still on, and in fact show slight blinking because of network traffic happening elsewhere- but dammit if XP won't find an IP.
    This is getting annoying. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe it's an application that I'm running that it gumming up the works? All I run is Powerstrip, Power DVD XP, Dscaler.
    Anyway, Brian I'm tempted to take you up on your offer to try a different card (I really hope windows will let me- with 2000 once I had a network card installed, when I would try in install a different one it would refuse to see the drivers until I reinstalled the OS!!!!)
    Sent you a private message.
    -Vince
     
  18. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

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    I have the same problem with my Linksys 802.11 hardware.

    I never had a problem with a dropped network connection until I installed the Morpheus client a few days ago.

    Any chance you're a Morpheus user? I suspect a link between the install and my network problems.
     
  19. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Bill,

    I do have Morpheus running on other machines in the network-- but not on the HTPC itself which is having the problems.

    Really the HTPC only has Power DVD, DVD Genie, Winamp, Powerstip and Dscaler installed.

    -Vince
     
  20. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    In March I gave up and went back to win98- and all was well.

    The unit networked perfectly with win 98 for nearly 3 months. A couple days ago, in further attempts to resolve audio dropouts, I juggled the order of my PCI cards. In the process, the network card, which was in clot 6, went to slot 4. It stopped working.

    I quickly swapped it back to slot 6, and it worked for 2 days, and now is back to its old tricks. Loses the network after a day, and won't ever regain acess until I pull the card, restart, shut down, reinstall the card. And then it will work for 2 days and then...

    I'm still amazed that there seems to be no one on the planet earth who could offer a logical reason why this is happening. Certainly I've heard repeatedly to replace the MOBO, but no one seems to have a real physical, or system related reason why this happens the way it does.

    Depressing.

    -Vince
     

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