So frustrating .. <sigh>

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by T i m, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. T i m

    T i m Guest

    Hi All,

    <sigh> the following isn't strictly bb but you guys here know yer
    stuff so sorry if it's a bit ot (being a wireless problem)... ;-(

    So, I have a network at home, bb cable router and run a wireless ap
    for the odd laptop etc etc.

    Everything connects, everything works, all as should be.

    A mate wanting to do similar buys a WiFi ADSL router and muggins get's
    called round to 'help him' <yeah right> set it up.

    Ok, so we have the BT ADSL up pretty quickly (after we bypass the
    Belkin mains surge protector / line filter that was killing the signal
    and partly why he couldn't get it connected himself) and his hard
    wired PC and WiFi laptop. Both machines on the net, Windows updates
    etc etc..

    Then he says 'can I print from the laptop to the PC printer" ..

    Yes I reply .. no problems ..... ;-(

    Well some hours later and using my laptop as a third machine for tests
    I gave up.

    You could sometimes see the shares then they would go .. or be there
    but very slow etc etc .. and I finally left him with the laptop hard
    wired with my spare ethernet cable and PCMCIA ethernet card (now
    everything sees everything 100%).

    The shop he bought the first router (an Edimax) has kindly given him a
    Netgear DG834G to 'try out' and I decided to bring it home and check
    it out for him.

    Still similar problems of some machines seeing other and other
    machines not seeing something else (when all 3 can access the router
    diag port .. I can't test internet access as I don't have ADSL). The
    same machines with the same Wifi cards connecting to *my* AP, all see
    each other as good as gold. In all cases I get good DHCP and if I
    don't get the WEP / WPA keys right I get nowhere (so that must be ok)?

    Now I'm known for having the patience of a saint but I had to forget
    it all last night and have a game of Pariah on the net to vent my

    Could it be that most of my gear is 802.11b and this new router is b/g
    (I did set the router to b only but with no improvements)?

    I've checked with Netstumbler and there's nothing out there on the
    different chans I have tried so far (I do see other nets though). Even
    tried with / without Zero Net Config service, direct connects (rather
    than browsing) pings etc etc, no black and white outcome ... ;-(

    All the best ...

    Frustrated of London
    T i m, Jul 11, 2005
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  2. T i m

    Happy Hunter Guest

    Having seen from another post that you've been a Netware instructor, I doubt
    I can add anything that you've not tried.

    But (hey what the heck, I'll give it a try) something sort of similar
    happened to me a while ago. I was setting up a PC as a "server" not a real
    one, just a peer-to-peer job. On completing this, some of my machines
    couldn't see each other and some couldn't see the server .. all via
    Microsoft network browser. I decided that the Master Browser had probably
    got screwed up somewhere and decided to leave it alone. Next day, twas all
    back to normal again.

    So, I could have been right, and the Master Browser sorted itself out
    overnight, could have been co-incidence. As it happens the "server" is now
    on 24x7, so probably always is the "master browser", haven't seen the
    problem since. All XP operating system.

    Can you connect to the shares via a DOS prompt or explorer "map drive"
    (using either netbios/netbeui names or ip address) ?

    MTU Size ? Might be something worth checking (although grasping at straws).

    I do vaguely recall having problems on my work laptop not connecting to
    shared resources on wired machines, this was a few month ago though. I do
    remember thinking that when I'd moved it to a wired connection everything
    was OK. mmmm .. can't remember which AP I was using at the time they are all
    Netgear anyway.

    re-reading your post a few times would still make me think Master browser at
    this point. When you connected the machines to your AP, was your normal PCs
    switched on (ie the likely master browser was there and available) ? Tried
    your AP with just your friends machines, still OK ?
    Happy Hunter, Jul 11, 2005
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  3. T i m

    T i m Guest

    That was a while ago and this was a plea for help ;-)
    <phew> thanks ;-)

    I was setting up a PC as a "server" not a real
    <pah, spit> Give me RIP/SAP anyday (ok it has a high overhead but you
    always knew where you were!) ;-)

    I decided that the Master Browser had probably
    My neighbour (a real PC / Network guru) tells me the M/soft 'browse
    concept' (my words) can sometimes take a 'very long time' ;-)
    Understood. I have learnt to give this stuff time .. often moreso when
    it's wireless, but with these 'funnies' no reboot's or waiting seemed
    to make any difference .. ;-(
    To be honest I didn't try last night .. I was just working on the
    basis that this was going to have to work at my mates 'as-was' so I
    shouldn't have to need to do anything 'special' to make it work as
    expected? I worked on the basis that if the wireless machines found
    the AP, connected and authenticated (and could connect to the router
    diag port) then that should be sufficient? Funnily I often install
    NetBios / Beui / whatever as it *seems* to make browsing more
    predictable. Also I was balancing laptops on my knee and none of it
    was condusive to 'propper' tests ;-(
    That should have been 'default' (for both the router and PC) but worth
    a check (dangerous to assume eh) ;-)
    And that's the rub .. plug all this together using wires and it all
    behaves as expected with no changes?
    I would start with my desktop via a wired connection to the router and
    configure the minimum. I would then connect the laptops wirelessly and
    check they could connect to the net (can't do that in this case .. I
    don't have my own DSLAM / radius servers / whatever) ;-)

    I would then normally 'browse' the workgroup and check all the shares.

    My desktop kept seeing my wifes PC that was no longer connected.

    One laptop could see the desktop and the other couldn't

    One laptop could see the other laptop ..

    Does sound like browsing doesn't it?

    I'll try to get everything set up on a desk and do some more thorough
    (logged) tests .. or just get my mate to run some cables ;-)

    All the best and thanks very much for your time ..

    T i m
    T i m, Jul 11, 2005
  4. T i m

    Happy Hunter Guest

    I'd say that's probably normal ! Would be especially normal if different
    machines are the last one or first one on .. ie the Master browser function
    switches machine. Of course, wireless is definately slower than wired.
    In your case yes. If you've only got the one AP and it's the hub as well
    (and the DHCP server), then yes I'd agree, if connected to AP and can
    connect to router diag port (via something like I.E and so proving the
    network connectivity) then all should be OK. Pinging each machine from a dos
    prompt will prove that they are seeing each other at a basic network
    connectivity level.

    Had lot's of funnies on my nephews PC connecting wirelessly, but this was
    down to a combination of problems. It would connect wirelessly to it's
    nearest AP, but then got stuck "aquiring network address", ie it didn't get
    it's IP address from the DHCP server which was a separate device. It then
    defaulted to the microsoft default "private network address" 169.x.x.x.
    Also had lots of "not connecting problems".

    Basically summed up as ... PC on the limit of the receiving of the wireless
    signal (so intermittent results) AND me using a netgear cable router as an
    AP (from the days when I had cable broadband .. sigh ... on ISDN at the
    moment awaiting adsl). The netgear cable router was p1ssed at being used as
    an AP (must have been insulted) and every so often (well, err quite often)
    refused to forward DHCP requests onto the DHCP server (which is my ISDN
    router), so connected ok to the AP, but no IP address. Fixed by moving one
    of my APs closer to my nephews PC and swapping in a "proper" AP and moving
    the netgear cable router to another point on the network (so it now irrates
    my sisters laptop but it's at a point in the house where it can be switched
    on and off easily, when ADSL arrives, I'll retire this old cable router.)

    When I was a nipper, we only had the dos prompt. Can be useful to bypass the
    microsoft browsing function and the good old dos prompt sometimes gives
    better error messages or better clues as to what is going wrong.
    That's normal I'd say and usually followed by "crap didn't mean to click
    that PC" .. and it then takes ages to come back and say "can't find it".
    Yes. Might be worth a browse around the MS Knowledge base to see if anything
    pops up. I'd did skip by something saying how to stop a specific machine
    becoming the master browser when you've got mixed operating systems (I think
    win 98x was a problem for some reason or other).

    I've got a mix or wired/wireless on my network and it's ok, but being
    honest, my machines "connect at logon" to any shared resources they need to
    access, so I don't that often use the "browsing" function as it's so slow
    and wrong half the time.
    good luck !
    Happy Hunter, Jul 12, 2005
  5. T i m

    T i m Guest

    I worked on the basis that if the wireless machines found
    Well, *my* std system is (currently) Q-Tec (g) WiFi cable router
    (giving DHCP etc) but actually getting WiFi access via a Netgear AP
    (b). When testing my mates Netgear WiFi router (g) I just disconnected
    from my network and re-connected to his (same machines, workgroup, I/P
    - DHCP scope etc etc).

    Pinging each machine from a dos
    I did try the "run, \\machinename " command and that normally give
    the connection a poke if one is needed but apart from another
    frustrating wait, nothing ;-(
    On my Netgear AP you can set if it or another device handles the DHCP
    ... (it can also be a DHCP client but I have it set to 'static' outside
    my normal DHCP scope.

    It then
    I think I have seen that when the encryptionn isn't correct (proven by
    turning it off for a while)? It makes the wireless connection but
    can't pass data?
    I has a similat 'funny' with my little D-Link cable router that fist
    started showing 'problems' when I got a new Acer laptop. Long story
    short it seemed to have issues re DHCP and some of the newer NIC's /
    chipsets. If my neighbour turned on his DHCP server (Linux box /
    Smoothwall) it would pickup i/p stuff every time? When the Acer got
    DHCP from his server it was always the *upper* address from the scope
    rather than the lower / first available (and that was probably what
    was throwing the Dlink box?
    (me too) ;-)

    Can be useful to bypass the
    Indeed ;-)
    I'm tempted to just try some 802.11g units for the PC's and there may
    be a wireless isssue as well?
    I have a regular remote (wireless) client and that has no probs at
    all, once I had found a good combination of device / ant / spec etc
    I think 'luck' is a good word where wireless ( being 'unbound media')
    is involved! ;-(

    All the best ..

    T i m
    T i m, Jul 13, 2005
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