Can this be a hardware problem?

pts.
Tags:
Availability
Cabling
DHCP
DNS
Hardware
Hubs
Networking
Networking services
Performance management
Ping
Routers
Switches
Tech support
There's this PC which reliably connects to the internet via the network, but does not reliably connect to the network itself. IPCONFIG /RELEASE, then /RENEW and /ALL indicate that the setup is correct. The cable disconnected icon never appears, but I tried a different cable anyway. I found I could ping the server using its IP Address, but not its name. It seems like a software problem, but apparently the user gets under the desk and wiggles the cable, and then she can connect to the network. Does this make sense to anybody?

Answer Wiki

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Two troubleshooting methods:

1. Make sure Network Interface Card is seated properly.

2. If answer to 1 is yes, replace NIC.

This is assuming that you have router on network as DCHP server. It sounds like you’re getting IP and accessing the internet.

If you were not accessing the network, it would sound like firewall issues. This can especially be true if running software firewall on workstation and other IP’s on LAN are not listed as Trusted.

However, the wiggling of the wire points to a hardware issue. Being that you have replaced the Cat 5 cable, the next step is to investigate the NIC.

Discuss This Question: 14  Replies

 
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  • Dwiebesick
    You state that you can ping the server by IP but not by name indicates a name resolution problem. How is your network configured? What is your serve OS, what is your WINS, DNS, DHCP? What is providing your DHCP and what setting does it give to the clients? Does it give the server as the DNS and is your server setup as a forwarder? Can the user's computer always connect to the internet without munking with the network cables and does she only have to play with the cables to connect to the your network? A little more information and we can better assist you in your troubleshooting. Best to you dmw
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  • BillBald
    Thanks for your prompt replies. I will try to clarify the situation as much as I can. I have the one Win 2003 box as Domain Controller, running DHCP & DNS on the same box. The DNS setup seems OK, it works with the other computers. The puzzle for me is ? how can you have a hardware problem which stops connection to the server while allowing Internet connection? Is there a difference in the way TCP/IP is implemented between 2 Windows computers, as against a Windows computer and a router? Is the process of a WinXP computer querying a DNS Server less fault-tolerant? I know LAN bandwidths are much higher than ADSL, so is that relevant? In short, is there a rational explanation? Regards, Bill
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  • Bombhead71
    1 ensure there is no faulty ip settings in the hosts file 2 ipconfig /dnsflush 3 reboot pc4 4 ipconfig /all 6 can you ping dns servers ? 7 check dns / wins server setting are okay - compare to other pc 8 are you using vlans ? check with network team 9 swop network cable port your nic port to another pc next to it ands try web sites / lan then - 10 is your network address correct 135.12.13.45 / 24 as the other pcs / server you use the third octet 13 shout be the same
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  • Poppaman2
    Slight correction to what bombhead says: 2 ipconfig /dnsflush *** *** the shell command is (without the quotes): "ipconfig /flushdns" followed by "ipconfig /registerdns" *** Although wiggling the cable should have nothing to do with it, this certainly sounds like a corrupt local DNS cache issue. Also, make sure that the PC in question is pointing to your internal server for its' DNS info, not your service provider...
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  • Shawn187
    Is this a new computer to the network or did it once connect to the network and now it doesn't?
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  • NinjaBurn
    I had a similar problem with a Dell Precision about a year or two back. After replacing the network card (and the motherboard it was soldered to, thankyouDell...) I found the problem still existed. After a LOT of research I found the DNS service in the machine was actually corrupted. I could not find a clean way of repairing the DNS so I completely reinstalled the OS. I found after that it worked beautifully. Chances are it is either the DNS or WINS set up on the machine. Since the domain is designed not to allow access to unauthorized computers by default, your interal router may be set up to still feed IP's through DHCP regardless of if the machine is in the domain or not. Hense why you can hit the net: there is no name resolution via DNS or WINS occuring there. The cable wiggling may simply be causing Windows to reset its network connections, but that is a stretch of a guess at best.
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  • Plynch
    We have a similar situation, although it can happen on any PC in the network. The PC's are running XP. When this happens it can be fixed by going to the Netwoork Connections in the Cotrol Panel. Right-click on Local Area Connection and then select Repair. Try that next time instead of moving the wires. Not sure what it does but it seems to reestablish access to the DNS.
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  • TNGeorge
    The description reads like a combination of minor configuration errors. To get to the inter net without LAN functionality suggests that the Internet connection settings are using a defined PROXY. That and a bad connector will put the PC into automatic IP assignment, i.e. 192.168.x.x intermittent connections can then account for the strange behavior.
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  • Lirria
    OK - one more thing to try - give it a static ip, dns etc and see if the same problem exsists - if it does it's either the computer or the network card (best guess if it does it's most likely the OS). There could be an issue with the IP address in the DNS server - so trying a different one should give you more information. Lirria
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  • Snapper70
    Are you positive the computer name is unique? If not, then the computer probably can't join the domain; or access resources while it's "twin" is out there. If happening, that should be in the event log of the computer in question; or take it offline and see if you can ping it's name from elsewhere. If so, you have a conflict which will give bizarre results; yet may work some of the time (when the OTHER one is down or having problems...). Do you have a WINS server, or strictly DNS for name resolution? Do you have (have you checked) the HOSTS and LMHOSTS file, or are they unused/default? (windowssystem32etchosts).
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  • Snapper70
    Are you positive the computer name is unique? If not, then the computer probably can't join the domain; or access resources while it's "twin" is out there. If happening, that should be in the event log of the computer in question; or take it offline and see if you can ping it's name from elsewhere. If so, you have a conflict which will give bizarre results; yet may work some of the time (when the OTHER one is down or having problems...). Do you have a WINS server, or strictly DNS for name resolution? Do you have (have you checked) the HOSTS and LMHOSTS file, or are they unused/default? (windowssystem32etchosts).
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  • Lhgrubbs
    Try to keep the user way from the cables. (Just kidding - replace the connections/cables/computer) Since other computers in the same area, on the same hub, with the same network configuration are not having the problem, it is localized to this computer. Focus! LeRoy
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  • Mstry9
    We have seen similar situations on our network. Our solution was found on Microsoft's site, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q239924/, The problem relates to gigabit network cards only. If they lose connection for only a moment the Media Sense feature releases bindings to the network card and restors them when the connection is restored. Read the article for more info but this seems like it may just be you fix.
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  • Tcor99
    This could be several problems. It sounds like you may have a bad wall jack. Often times you will not get a 'disconnect' when one pair of the two conn for ethernet makes contact. Check the wall jack. Next, if the system was cloned,renamed, or removed from the network/readded, problems can arise in AD similar to what you have mentioned. Also do the usual such as check for client event logs, XP firewall, etc. If all else fails, replace the NIC.
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