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Experiencing Erratic Network Connections


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#1 CPSmurf

CPSmurf

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 02:57 PM

I have a wireless network that consists of a desktop (Dell Dimension 9100), laptop (Dell Inspiron 1150), and another desktop (Compaq Presario 6600) which is seldom used. I have a wireless router (D-Link DI-524) that is connected to the desktop. I connect my cell-phone/pocket PC (PPC 6700) to the desktop using Active Sync when I need to update my contacts. Also connected to the network is a digital music player (NETGEAR MP101). The printer (HP PSC 1310) is connected to the desktop. I connect to the internet through the router using a cable modem (Motorola SB5120). The desktop uses Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2, while the laptop and other desktop uses Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2. MacAfee Security Center is installed on all computers and both the desktop and laptop have management capability for the network.

I have named the desktop “Chris”, the laptop “Laptop”, and the router “Router”. I have created a workgroup called “Boswick”. My user account for the desktop is “Chris” and my last name and the user account for my laptop is “Christopher” and my last name.

Some notable (or not) startup programs on the desktop are ActiveSync, Media Center and Ultimate Bet Buddy. Startup programs on the laptop include Yahoo Messenger and NETGEAR Media Server.

Here is the process that I am using during startup: The digital music player is turned off. The telephone is not in its cradle. I turn on the desktop and wait for all programs to load. I exit out of Media Center and Ultimate Buddy. I tell Active Sync not to look for any devices. I turn on the desktop and wait for all programs to load. I exit out of Media Server.

I open up McAfee Security Center on both computers. On the desktop I see that the router is connected to the Internet. Both the desktop and laptop are visible and up-to-date. There are no other open connections – the other desktop shows offline, and there are two other connections offline also. Both of those connections have the same IP address, which I assume is the cell-phone cradle and the digital music player.

On the laptop I see that the router is connected to the Internet. The laptop is visible and up-to-date. The desktop, however, shows visible but information of last scan and last update is unknown. There is an open connection to a device that has the same IP address as the laptop. There is an offline connection to that has the same IP address has the two other connections above. I assume that this is for the digital music player as the cell-cradle is connected directly to the desktop.

When I click on My Computer on both computers I can see Files Stored on This Computer and each as a shared folder called “Shared Documents”. Each has several other folders listed that are not shared. The desktop shows the mobile device and scanner (printer). The laptop shows two network drives that I use when I am work. SIDENOTE: I generally do not have issues connecting to the network while at work. If the network drives do not show on boot, a reboot reveals the network drives.

When I click on My Network Places on both computers I can see Local Network and The Internet. The Local Network on the laptop shows D-Link Router and SharedDocs on Laptop (Laptop). The Internet shows Documents on Laptop (Laptop) and My Web Sites on MSN. The Local Network on the desktop shows c on Chris and SharedDocs on Chris. The Internet shows Documents on Laptop (Laptop) and My Web Sites on MSN.

When I click on View workgroup computers on the desktop I can see Desktop (Chris) and Laptop (Laptop) and can navigate to \\Laptop\Documents.

When I click on View workgroup computers on the laptop, I get varying results. Sometimes I will see only Laptop (Laptop). On rare occasions I will actually see Desktop (Chris) and will usually be able to transfer/access files and use the printer. Sometimes I get the error message “Boswick is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions. The network path was not found.”

At this point, I’ll go into Help and Support Center and fumble through all of the solutions. I’ve changed the name of the router from Boswick to Router to avoid any name issues there. I’ve changed the name of the laptop from Chrislaptop to avoid any name issues there. However, every time I run the troubleshooter, it states that it has detected that I might be using a computer name that already exists on the network.

Once I run the troubleshooter, I click on View workgroup computers and now I can see Desktop (Chris) but when I click on it, I get the same message as above except, \\Chris is not accessible. When I look at McAfee Security Center, the desktop is offline. Then, when I refresh the network, it is online again.

Now, to make matters more complicated, I have issues with the digital music player connecting with the network, too. However, I believe that once this issue is resolved then that will also clear up that connection issue. If not, I can tackle that in another post.

Any help will be appreciated.

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