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Suddenly Can't See Server


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#1 philphil

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:57 AM

Greetings -
I am working with a small business that has 3 networked computers, all running Windows XP. #1 is used as the server, running a POS application that stores orders, prints receipts, etc. #2 is a client, physically located near the server, that runs the same application. #3 is located 30 feet away, and primarily runs a standalone application used for purchasing (it also runs thye main POS application).
Computers are physically connected by a hub approximately 50 feet from #1 (server); the hub is several years old but appears to be functional.

#2 and #3 lost their connection to the server somehow. I managed to restore the connection for #3; I wish I knew how I acomplished this. #3 is now able to run the server-based POS software.

#2 is still a problem. I can ping #3, but CANNOT ping #1 (server). I have re-seated cables, swapped hub ports, and attempted to rebuild the IP configuration on #2. I don't think it is a physical connectivity issue.
The shared printer attached to #2 is also not printing (even a test page from #2); this is a tractor-feed parallel printer attached via a USB port using a conversion cable. The cable has been replaced with no change. The parallel port on #2 is used by a separate receipt printer.

All problems surfaced at the same time, and no one knows how. Additionally, the (parallel) receipt printers on both #1 and #2 were not working; this has been resolved on #1, and #2 at least prints a test page.

Can you suggest some steps to restore network connectivity to the server for #2? I don't mind getting my hands dirty, but please make any reply as detailed as possible. It is quite possible that my rebuild of the IP connection is not correct. However, since I can ping from #2 to #3, it seems that it is somewhat networked, but it cannot see #1 (server). I have not made any significant changes to #1. I'm hoping that this will also help #2's printer problem, but that doesn't make sense. The connection to the server is more critical.

Thank you very much for any guidance you are able to provide.

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#2 Rimmer

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 03:31 AM

Is it the same POS application running on all the machines?

Open a command prompt (start>run "cmd") and type ipconfig /all do this on all three machines.
Compare the results. Check the workgroup on all machines is the same.

Try a long ping -
Using the IP address you got above click Start>Run and type cmd to open a command window.

At the prompt type ping -l 1024 -w 10 <ip address> where obviously <ip address> is replaced by the addresses you found above and "-l" is minus lower case L.

post back a summary of the results.
:thumbsup:

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#3 philphil

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 10:22 PM

Is it the same POS application running on all the machines?

Open a command prompt (start>run "cmd") and type ipconfig /all do this on all three machines.
Compare the results. Check the workgroup on all machines is the same.

Try a long ping -
Using the IP address you got above click Start>Run and type cmd to open a command window.

At the prompt type ping -l 1024 -w 10 <ip address> where obviously <ip address> is replaced by the addresses you found above and "-l" is minus lower case L.

post back a summary of the results.
:thumbsup:


Thanks very much, Rimmer.
First, to answer your questions:
Yes, the same POS system is running on all three machines. The software and data seem to be located on the server, the other 2 are running as clients.
I have pinged all 3 machines in both directions to each of the others.
Machine #2 is the problem; it will not run the server software.
Machine #3 is running the software handily now (again, I don't know WHY it's working, but I tried everything on #2 that I did to #3 and #2 is still kaput).

Here's the ping results (it didn't matter whether long or regular pings):
ping server -> #3: "destination host unreachable" consistently
ping server -> #2: "destination host unreachable" consistently
ping #2 -> server: "destination host unreachable" consistently
ping #2 -> #3: success consistently
ping #3 -> #2: success consistently
ping #3 -> server: varying degrees of success; mostly 0% loss, but at times 25%, ,75%, or 100% loss

IPCONFIG's looked pretty similar on all 3. Summary (had to take notes; some terminologies may be wrong):
WIN IP CONFIG
Each had a valid and different host name.
Primary Dns = all blanks
Node Type = HYBRID
IP routing enabled= NO
WIN proxy = NO

ETHERNET ADAPTER LAN
DHCP = NO
Default Gateway = all blanks

Workgroup name is MSHOME on all machines.

On the server, there is a Bridge defined. I believe this is unrelated, but I tried pinging it anyway:
ping #2 -> bridge: "host unreachable"
ping #3 -> bridge: times out
ping #1 -> bridge: OK
The bridge is the only one that has a dynamic IP address assigned; others are hard-coded. I also clicked "REPAIR" on the bridge - this churned for a minute and then came back "Could not renew IP address". Again, I don't really believe the bridge is a problem (and I barely understand what it is), I'm just trying to dump as much of my memory as possible.

CABLING
ethernet cabling from each machine to a Linksys EFAH08W hub. cabling travels maybe 100 feet at most from both server and machine 2, through a wall biscuit, walls, and ceiling ending up at the hub. machine 3 travels 30 feet to the hub. I have reseated all connections, and swapped hub ports. No change. I don't think it's cabling, but there's something inconsistent with every scenario I can think of, so who knows.

I have tried reducing LAN speed to 10 Mbps; no change.

I tried running MS Network diagnostics. Big surprise: everything is fine.

PLEASE NOTE: I am basically a hacker, and I know only enough to be dangerous. Much of my terminology may be garbled. I have managed to restore printer functionality to receipt printers attached parallel to machine #2 and to the server (of course, #2 only prints a test page, as it won't connect to the software on the server to print a receipt). Invoice printer attached via parallel - USB conversion cable to machine #2 still not working, not even a test page (new converter cable did not help).

Again, thank you so much for your time and assistance.
PS: is that "Rimmer" like on "Red Dwarf"? Just wondering, as I love that show.
- phil

#4 philphil

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 10:43 PM


Is it the same POS application running on all the machines?

Open a command prompt (start>run "cmd") and type ipconfig /all do this on all three machines.
Compare the results. Check the workgroup on all machines is the same.

Try a long ping -
Using the IP address you got above click Start>Run and type cmd to open a command window.

At the prompt type ping -l 1024 -w 10 <ip address> where obviously <ip address> is replaced by the addresses you found above and "-l" is minus lower case L.

post back a summary of the results.
:thumbsup:


Thanks very much, Rimmer.
First, to answer your questions:
Yes, the same POS system is running on all three machines. The software and data seem to be located on the server, the other 2 are running as clients.
I have pinged all 3 machines in both directions to each of the others.
Machine #2 is the problem; it will not run the server software.
Machine #3 is running the software handily now (again, I don't know WHY it's working, but I tried everything on #2 that I did to #3 and #2 is still kaput).

Here's the ping results (it didn't matter whether long or regular pings):
ping server -> #3: "destination host unreachable" consistently
ping server -> #2: "destination host unreachable" consistently
ping #2 -> server: "destination host unreachable" consistently
ping #2 -> #3: success consistently
ping #3 -> #2: success consistently
ping #3 -> server: varying degrees of success; mostly 0% loss, but at times 25%, ,75%, or 100% loss

IPCONFIG's looked pretty similar on all 3. Summary (had to take notes; some terminologies may be wrong):
WIN IP CONFIG
Each had a valid and different host name.
Primary Dns = all blanks
Node Type = HYBRID
IP routing enabled= NO
WIN proxy = NO

ETHERNET ADAPTER LAN
DHCP = NO
Default Gateway = all blanks

Workgroup name is MSHOME on all machines.

On the server, there is a Bridge defined. I believe this is unrelated, but I tried pinging it anyway:
ping #2 -> bridge: "host unreachable"
ping #3 -> bridge: times out
ping #1 -> bridge: OK
The bridge is the only one that has a dynamic IP address assigned; others are hard-coded. I also clicked "REPAIR" on the bridge - this churned for a minute and then came back "Could not renew IP address". Again, I don't really believe the bridge is a problem (and I barely understand what it is), I'm just trying to dump as much of my memory as possible.

CABLING
ethernet cabling from each machine to a Linksys EFAH08W hub. cabling travels maybe 100 feet at most from both server and machine 2, through a wall biscuit, walls, and ceiling ending up at the hub. machine 3 travels 30 feet to the hub. I have reseated all connections, and swapped hub ports. No change. I don't think it's cabling, but there's something inconsistent with every scenario I can think of, so who knows.

I have tried reducing LAN speed to 10 Mbps; no change.

I tried running MS Network diagnostics. Big surprise: everything is fine.

PLEASE NOTE: I am basically a hacker, and I know only enough to be dangerous. Much of my terminology may be garbled. I have managed to restore printer functionality to receipt printers attached parallel to machine #2 and to the server (of course, #2 only prints a test page, as it won't connect to the software on the server to print a receipt). Invoice printer attached via parallel - USB conversion cable to machine #2 still not working, not even a test page (new converter cable did not help).

Again, thank you so much for your time and assistance.
PS: is that "Rimmer" like on "Red Dwarf"? Just wondering, as I love that show.
- phil


Hello! And thank you again. As it turned out, the crunch was on and I needed to resolve the network problem today. So, I plunked down $35 for an incident with Microsoft tech support, who were surprisingly helpful. I still have printer problems, but that's tomorrow's agenda.
The network issue turned out to be that somehow someone had reconfigured the LAN so that the server was on its own network and the 2 clients were on their own network. Weird. This convoluted situation explained the inconsistent ping results.
Anyway, I won't close this until I resolve the 2 printer problems; if you have any thoughts on these please let me know.
- phil

#5 Rimmer

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:35 AM

Please use the Add Reply not the "Reply button, unless you need to quote a specific post.

Can you give any more detail on

someone had reconfigured the LAN so that the server was on its own network

- subnet mask changed? IP completely different? It might help someone else if you can.

Have you uninstalled and reinstalled the printer? Tried it on another machine?


Yes, I normally only work on chicken soup vending machines. :thumbsup:

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.




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