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Thread: Network connection comes and goes

  1. #1
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    Network connection comes and goes

    On my desktop at home (XP pro, SP 2), I've developed a strange problem in the past couple of weeks.

    My network connection to other machines on the same wired LAN comes and goes seemingly randomly. My internet connection stays working all the time, though. Other machines on the same LAN don't have this problem.

    Usually it takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes after I turn on another machine on the LAN before my desktop recognizes it's out there, and then it only can access it for a few minutes before losing it again. It's really annoying to be copying files from my laptop and get 75% done and have it lose connection

    But it always comes back on its own later. It's just totally random as far as I can see. There have been no software/hardware changes on this machine other than Windows updates.

    What do I need to check to figure this problem out? I've googled it and seen lots of people talking about needing to set a master browser on the network, but I can't really find what I need to check to see if that's my problem.

  2. #2
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    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    First two things I would try would be:

    -Different cables
    -Different ports on the switch

    The master browser on the network thing is not anything I've run into ever, having had multiple pcs on my network since 2000 came out. Often with a mix of OSes.

  3. #3

    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    this sounds like some kinda software issue, if the internet connection is never lost then the hardware level must be working.

    id check the logs in the control panel to see if some file/drive sharing related service is crashing and restarting.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    Tried swapping cables/ports with another machine that is not having problems. The problem stayed on the same machine, so the software angle seems likely.

    I'll look for some logs tonight when I get home and see if they show anything.

  5. #5
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    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    Ok, I looked at the logs and the only problem I can see was a warning related to Multiplicity trying to make a TCP/IP connection too many times and failing. Multiplicity is a program that lets you control 2 computers from one keyboard/mouse and it's failing because the network isn't finding the other machine.

    I killed that program and rebooted - still same problem.

    I'm looking in the Event Viewer - are there logs somewhere else to look at?

  6. #6
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    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    Can you ping the other machines on the network during those "brownouts"?

  7. #7
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    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    Quote Originally Posted by Yaxa View Post
    Can you ping the other machines on the network during those "brownouts"?
    No

    The internet connection still works fine, but as far as the computer is concerned it's the only machine on the LAN.

    Forgot to mention - I can see the other computers listed in WORKGROUP, I just can't access them. So the machine knows they are out there, just not how to connect?

    It's just strange that it's such an intermittent problem.

  8. #8
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    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    When you ping the other machines are you using the IP address or hostname/fqdn?

    Can you ping the flaky machine from the good machine during the brownouts?

    Can you ping the router during the brownouts?
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  9. #9
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    Re: Network connection comes and goes

    Run a netstat on the flaky machine with the following parameters before the problem occurs. This will refresh every 5 seconds and should show the connections drop out.

    netstat 5 -an |find "IP_Address_of_good_PC"

    Do any ports stay open during the brownouts? If so what are they?
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