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Thread: New BEFSR41 v4.1 and only 3 computers able to access internet

  1. #1
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    New BEFSR41 v4.1 and only 3 computers able to access internet

    Previously had a home network consisting of 2 desktop computers running WinXP Pro SP2. Was using a "Network Everywhere" (a mass-market Cisco/Linksys product I believe) 4 port router to connect the 2 computers to the internet via a Westell modem provided by Verizon Online (our service provider).

    Obtained 2 new computers for Christmas (for the kids). The 2 new computers are IDENTICAL in hardware configuration and loaded software as they were ordered as such and were custom built. Both are running WinXP Pro SP2 also.

    So we now have 4 desktops running WinXP Pro SP2. Old comp A, old comp B, new comp C and new comp D (remember C and D are identical in hardware configuration).

    When the 2 new computers were connected to the Network Everywhere router, we were getting 4 green lights. Checked the status of the connections on the computers and saw this:
    old comp A IP 192.168.1.100
    old comp B IP 192.168.1.101
    new comp C IP 192.168.1.102
    new comp D IP 192.168.1.102
    ***note C and D were assigned the SAME IP addy by the router****

    With these IPs so assigned, we were able to simultaneously access the internet on comp A and comp B; however, only comp C OR comp D could have access along with the first two. If C was online and D tried to go online, C would get "dropped" from the internet and D would connect, and vice versa.

    So I decide the router is bad and we need a new one. Purchased a brand new Linksys BEFSR41 v4.1 cable/dsl router with 4 port switch today. Installed it w/o much fuss and still have the same problem with a slight difference.

    Now when checking on each computer to see the local area connection status, there are indeed 4 distinct IP addys:
    192.168.1.100 thru 192.168.1.103
    so that problem seems to have been resolved. However, we are still only able to connect 3 computers to the internet at any one time.

    When I check the status tab of the router and go to "local network" and open the DHCP client table, only 3 of the computers are showing to be connected (even though they appear to have been assigned contiguous IP addys by the router when check from the "computer" end of the connection).

    Keep in mind, it is not always the same of the 2 new computers doing this, they "toggle" between the two when accessing the internet or logging onto online games.

    I have tried several things. Multiple power downs and hard boots of the dsl modem, the new router and the computers including special care taken to power up in the sequence of modem first, then routher and finally the computers themselves. Decreasing the MTU to 1400 as well as 1396 on the computer that wouldn't connect to the internet. Forcing 10 half-duplex on "non-functioning" computer. And more I am unable to recall right now (been at it for several hours now). Currently all 4 computers are reset to "default" local area connection values (MTU 1500, full autonegotiation for speed/duplex, etc.).

    Settings showing on the router status page are as such:

    local DHCP server enabled
    router is set to 192.168.1.1 (default)
    subnet mask 255.255.255.0 (this shows on the router as well as all 4 computer local connections)
    DDNS disabled
    MAC clone disabled
    NAT enabled
    Dynamic Routing disabled
    VPN passthrough shows IPSec, PPPoE, and PPTP enabled (I'm clueless on these, I guess they are router default settings)
    There is no port forwarding, port triggering, or UPnP fowarding, and DMZ and QoS are disabled.
    Firmware version is 1.04.06

    computer IPs are 192.168.1.100 thru 192.168.1.103 (as seen from the "computer end" when viewing the properties of the local are connection) - and again, even though from the "computer end" there are 4 distinct IP addys, when I open the DHCP client table from the router status screen, I am only able to "see" 3 connected computers on the client table from the "router end"

    cat 5 cables are new and uncoiled/unkinked to both new computers

    I concede personal defeat on this issue, have been searching forums, buying the new router, and trying everything I know but am clueless at this point (I am not a network IT person by any stretch of the imagination as I am sure you are aware by now...lol).

    The only thing I can possible think of (which I really don't know how to go about fixing) is that one of the ports on the router automatically changes to an "uplink" port when all 4 ports are in use (I don't really know what this means, I have just read about it on forums). However, according to the product packaging I should be able to DIRECTLY connect 4 computers to and actively share an internet connection with this router w/o having to add on a switch or whatever into an uplink port on the BEFSR41 (wouldn't know how to add a damn switch and make it work anyhow, lol).

    Please, any help, suggestions, links, or ideas would be most welcome at this point. And if you need any further info on the setup, please let me know...I can post anything you would like except for our direct IP address as assigned by our service provider (I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid!! hehe).

    Thank you in advance and a thousand thanks in advance from my kiddos who are tired of "waiting on dad".

    HPH3

    PS - so sorry for the long post...been a long day at this

  2. #2
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    Interesting. What happens to the one that's left out when the others are accessing the internet? Does it show disconnected? Just won't surf?

    Regardless whether or not you're getting IPs from the DHCP server, if the machines are configured correctly, you should be able to access the internet unless it's assigning conflicting IPs.

    What you may try doing is disabling your DHCP server on the router, and configuring each machine statically. To do this, simply go to the Network Connections icon in Control Panel, right-click on the LAN connection, and click on Internet Protocol in the box, then click properties. Set it up with the following info:

    IP Address: 192.168.1.x (obviously different for each machine)
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1

    DNS server: usually you can just put the router's IP in here, but if that doesn't work, use your ISP's DNS server (you can find that on the status page of your router where it shows your connection status).

    See if that works.
    Last edited by rpeAMP; 12-27-06 at 04:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Run this utility on computers C and D
    http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/Win...sockxpfix.html

    It'd wager it's something on the PC end...but your discarding of the Network Everywhere router is not in vain...they're horrible. Long story behind them...even though it has the Linksys name..it's not really supported by Linksys.
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  4. #4
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    ok, tried both suggestions above...and more info

    First I tried disabling the router's DHCP and assigning static IPs to all 4 computers. I tried using both serial IPs (i.e. 192.168.1.150 through 192.168.1.153) as well as "spaced" IPs on the computers (i.e. 192.168.1.120, 130, 140 and 150). Unfortunately, this did not fix the problem. Still only able to access the internet on 3 computers at a time.

    After re-enabling the router's DHCP, releasing the computers IPs and power cycling the router I confirmed that all was "working" as before the static IPs were tried.(the computers were each being assigned a different IP 192.168.1.100 through 192.168.1.103).

    Next I downloaded the winsock_xp_fix utility onto the 2 new computers and ran it on the computer which could not access the internet. Unfortunately, this did not remedy the problem either.

    Current status is this:

    all 4 computers are being assigned unique IPs on the network
    however, only 3 computers are stil able to access the internet at any one time

    Some more info which may help you provide further suggestions (many many thanks for the suggestions so far).

    When checking the router's status - local network page and opening the DHCP client table, I am still only seeing 3 computers assigned an IP by the router (it is ALWAYS both of the old computers A and B and one or the other of the new computers C or D).

    Interestingly at the moment, the DHCP client table currently shows the new computer D as having the assigned IP, but new computer C is the one with internet access (and not new comp D). So it appears that although all 4 computers are assigned a unique IP by the router (when checked from the computer end, not router DHCP client table end), only one of the new comps is allowed internet access (and it appears to be somewhat random between the two new comps).

    Couple of questions to ponder.

    First, and I know this is almost certainly not the case, but is there any way for an IP provider (Verizon DSL in central TX in this case) to "see" and/or "configure" past your router so that only 3 connections could be made to the DSL line? I seriously doubt this, their only concern should be how much bandwith you are paying for and allowed to use, not how you split it up once it reaches the premises.

    Second, as mentioned in my initial post, is it possible that although all 4 computers are assigned a unique IP addy, the router thinks that one of those four IP addys is actually an "uplink" to a switch or hub of some sort (by some sort of automatic internal router switch) and thus it is "awaiting" a signal from the "uplinked" hub or switch as to where to further the connection? (forgive me if this is not how it all works, again I am not a network technician by any stretch of the imagination). The reason this comes to mind is that I know there are some routers (I think the Network Everywhere had this option) that when a certain port was in use (i.e. an uplink port or whatever), that the port next to it was disabled (or something along those lines).

    And finally, would it be worth a shot to acquire an 8 port cable/dsl router and try that? Again, in my very simplistic mind, perhaps the router is doing something strange with one of the ports since they are all in use and is thus not allowing or sending the internet signal to the "fourth" computer. A router with more ports would not be at capacity and thus might not encounter this problem (again, please excuse me if this is impossible or just downright dumb, I am just getting a bit frustrated at this point).

    Also of note, I have power cycled and cold booted everything in every possible sequence I can think of as well as reset the router, etc. all to no avail.

    Thank again in advance for any suggestions you all may have.

    HPH3

    edit: rpeAMP - the computer that is unable to access the internet shows as "connected" and has an IP assigned by the router...in other words everything looks fine except that it is unable to access the internet.
    Last edited by hph3; 12-27-06 at 03:54 PM. Reason: forgot to answer rpeAMP's question

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    ok, tried both suggestions above...and more info

    duplicate post
    Last edited by hph3; 12-27-06 at 03:53 PM. Reason: sorry, double posted

  6. #6
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    I missed this on your original post...you mention the Westell modem Verizon provided. Which model is it? Do you know if it's running bridged mode, or as a router/gateway?

    What IP address does the WAN interface of your Linksys get?
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  7. #7
    Conspiracy Fool knightmare's Avatar
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    clone the mac address-- don't disable, it's a longshot but u have to go thru each step till something works for you....
    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."

    Bruce Lee

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    more info and update ... still not working however

    to YOSC:

    The modem is a Westell Netspeed, model 890-210015-14, Rev: E (I believe this means revision E?). As far as I know it is simply a "bridge" and does not have router/DHCP function embedded within the modem. The back of the modem has "plug-ins" for power, the telephone line (DSL signal in), and a USB and ethernet port (if I remember correctly, you an use either the USB OR the ethernet port to connect the modem to your computer). There is only one ethernet port on the back of the modem - you can either plug into a computer or a router, but not multiple devices at once directly from the modem.

    As far as configuration info on the modem, I am afraid I am at a loss there. Again if i recall correctly, the modem came with a setup disk which we ran on initial installation of the modem approx. 2 years ago. The problem is that was on a different computer which we no longer possess (not to mention when we did run it the damn thing installed all kinds of other bullcrap without asking my permission - hate when that happens - so if I did have it, I would be loathe to run it anyhow).

    Regarding the WAN address of the Linksys, it shows in the status page as 71.115.X.X with the gateway also being 71.115.X.X (with both sets of X's being distinct of course).

    to Knight:

    I am afraid I may not be technical enough to make a foray into MAC cloning. I think I understand the principal (forward the router's MAC address directly to the computer which can not connect to the internet to fool it into thinking it is receiving a "pure" [i.e. unrouted] signal from the modem?); however, if something were to go awry and I was unable to easily reset everything to the way it is now I would be at a loss. And that would be bad. For the moment, I only have to listen to the family gripe because only 3 people can be on at once - imagine the ruckus if ALL 4 computers were down...lol. The real problem lies in the fact that we live in a small town of sorts, and the computer "technical support" (actual on-site help) is suspect to say the least.

    Now for more info which leads me to believe the problem lies within one or both of the new computers which were added to the network (as has already been mentioned by YOSC).

    I don't know why I just recently thought of switching all the ethernet cables around in their ports on the router, but I did. Originally the old computers A and B were connected to the router in ports #2 and #3 with the new computers C and D connected to ports #1 and #4.

    If I move the cables from the old comps A and B to the "outer ports" (#1 and #4) and likewise move the cables from the new comps C and D to the "inner ports" (#2 and #3), nothing changes - we are still able to simultaneously connect to the internet on old comps A and B and EITHER new comp C OR new comp D (but not new C and D at the same time). **note: a full power cycle was carried out during/after moving the cables and it was confirmed that all 4 computers were assigned "new" IP addys during this process**

    So it appears to me that it is not "port dependent" on which computer will not have internet access, but merely which of the two NEW computers will not have internet access. This in turn suggests that some sort of "signal" is being sent to the router by one/both of the new computers which is not in place on the old computers.

    Again, the new comps are hardware configured IDENTICALLY and have (had I should say, the kids have added game to them now -but the problem was present before any changes were made to the harddrives) identical software setups. They were custom built by Puget Computers in WA state to spec.

    On a side note, old comps A and B were originally IDENTICAL also, custom built to spec. When they were plugged in upon arrival, the net popped up no problem on both of them leading me to believe that the identical hardware configuration has nothing to do with it.

    This leaves me with the following possibilities (again, to my simplistic mind):

    The new computers are configured somehow that only one may connect to the internet at a time (implying that a signal of some sort is being sent to the router by those computers telling it that one is already "up" and the other may not be at the moment).

    The DSL modem and/or our ISP (Verizon DSL) are somehow sensing or somehow hardware limiting the number of connections that can be made to the DSL feed on our end (I really don't think this is likely).

    Sooooooo....please offer any further suggestions you may have, I would greatly appreciate any further input at this point.

    I am going to call Verizon Online and check with them regarding a "limited" number of "users" on our end. Then I will call Puget Computers to check on the new comp configs/settings to see if they have any suggestions (I know they only assemble the components, but they have been EXTREMELY helpful and courteous in the past with our two "old" computers which lead us to order the two new ones from them also).

    Please, I am open to all help and suggestions. In spite of my contacting Verizon and Puget, if you have any ideas at all please let me know. (If I really must try MAC cloning I will eventually relent, but I will need VERY specific information on how to go about it and what MAC from which specific device to clone to which specific machine, etc. AS WELL AS how to reset it all to "normal" if it is unsuccessful).

    Thank you all again in advance.

    HPH3
    Last edited by hph3; 12-28-06 at 11:31 AM. Reason: fixed spelling errors

  9. #9
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    Little more info I forgot to post above

    I forgot to mention during my "cable swapping" section above, I did disconnect one of the old comps from the router and try to "force" the two new comps to connect along with one of the old comps to the internet simultaneously (by just having one old comp and both new comps plugged into the router). **again, power cycled* No dice. Only one of the new comps and the plugged in old comp has net access.

    I then re-connected the second old comp and bingo, net access on it as well - back to the same setup with both old comps and only one new comp online at a time.

    Thus, the theory of "only 3 devices" allowed by the modem and/or ISP hardware is highly unlikely leading me to believe it is a problem with the new computers configuration somewhow.

    HPH3

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    May have found the problem...advice/help please

    I may have discovered, by poking around, what the problem is. When I click on the network icon in the far right hand part of the toolbar at the bottom of screen, it brings up the local area connection status screen. From there I clicked on the support tab and then clicked the button marked "details" which brought up another screen showing the "network connection details". (I have done this before when checking out the router DHCP assigned IP addy for the computer, etc.)

    However, this time I wrote down the physical address of each computer on the network. When comparing these numbers, I think I have possibly located the problem with regards to new comps C and D not being able to access the internet simultaneously.

    Information gleaned:

    old comp A - IP addy is 192.168.1.100 - physical address is xx.xx.xx.xx.etc (unique)

    old comp B - IP addy is 192.168.1.102 - physical address is xx.xx.xx.etc (again, unique)

    new comp C - IP addy is 192.168.1.101 - physical address is 04 4B 80 80 80 03

    new comp D - IP addy is 192.168.1.103 - physcial address is 04 4B 80 80 80 03

    ***NOTE: even though "unique" IP addys are being assigned to each new comp, the physical address shown for the network connection details IS IDENTICAL***

    This is a bad thing, I believe.

    Little further info, all the other info as far as gateway, DNS, DHCP server, subnet mask, etc is essentially the same. I say essentially because following power cycles of the router and computers the DNS server will sometimes change (this is not specific to either the old or the new computers). The only difference along these lines is sometimes a computer will show a DNS server of 192.168.1.1 and sometimes it will show "dual" DNS server number of 68.238.96.12 and 68.238.112.12 (which are the "static" DNS numbers shown on the router status page for the router itself). Either way, whether a computer has the 192.168... DNS or the 68.238... address, they "behave" the same (i.e. being able to access the internet).

    The situation (regardless of which DNS number shows on the local area network connection detailed status page) remains the same where both old comps are able to connect and one or the other of the new comps can connect simultaneously to the internet.

    The new computers having IDENTICAL physical addresses for the network connections is not a good thing, correct?

    And if this is possibly the problem, how would I go about (and is it safe to do so) "forcing" one of the new computers to change the pysical address of it's network connection (changing the physical address of the network card, I suppose)?

    Thanks again in advance for the help.

    HPH3
    Last edited by hph3; 12-28-06 at 01:34 PM. Reason: typos again :(

  11. #11
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    That's really odd. I'm very foggy today..on some brutal cold meds for this sinus infection.

    OK..those are public IPs..so indeed your modem is in bridged mode.

    Next...with Verizon, you have a username and a password. You want your Linksys to use that in the setup section, WAN connection type set to PPPoE. You do not want to have your XP machine initial the PPPoE dial up session..which if you ran the Verizon CD on each machine..it may have setup.

    Now that I read your last post...about the MAC being the same...wow..no wonder DHCP was confused. MACs are like the VIN on your car...each one is unique. You are correct...it's a bad thing. Any switch (which the 4x ports on a router are) will go nuts.

    In my career of networking...I've not seen this situation before...2x devices with identicle MACs.

    By chance...do you have a PCI network card kicking around you can stick into one of the machines?
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    Unfortunately no,...

    I don't have another network card floating around which I could sub into one of the new computers.

    What I will do now is contact Puget Computers and see if they can help me out (I have held off until now because my experience with any company's technical assistance dept. (not just Puget) has been frustrating unless you can tell them EXACTLY what is wrong - i.e. they have you run through many many steps you have already performed to try to "discover" the problem [and I understand why, users are a bit dense at times...lol]).

    As always, if you think of anything else at all to try to ameliorate the problem with the identical MACs, please let me know.

    I will contact Puget and discuss the identical network card/connection MACs with them and let you know what I find out.

    HPH3

  13. #13
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Puget Computers....Puget Sound area?

    Anyways....well, with routers, you can have a feature known as "MAC Spoofing"....and I know it's possible on PCs. A quick check with Google..."Mac Spoofing Software"..yields quite a few hits.

    I'm hesitant in recommending any as I've never use them...but if you check out a few links, forums, you may settle on a free easy to use one.
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  14. #14
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Adding to that...you can check the NICs on the two bothersome PCs...any NIC will (should) have a white/black stamp on it with its MAC. Can refer to that, and compare with what your network connections properties gives it. (also start==>run==>IPCONFIG /ALL)
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  15. #15
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    FIXED...waahoooo!!!

    to YOSC: I'm not sure if Puget Custom Computers is technically in the Puget Sound area, but they are located in Kent, WA. And I must say, they are freakin' awesome!!! Called em up, and they said my problem does, though rarely, occur. And the solution was quick and clean w/o any utility downloads or other tools needed. The fix can be readily configured in Win XP.

    Again, we are running Win XP Pro SP2 on all comps (not sure if all editions and service packs of Win XP would have this capability).

    Fix went like this (in case you run into this problem in your line of work):

    1) On the new comp that could not connect to the internet (though the tech service rep said it wouldn't matter which of the "identical network MAC address" computers I changed, as long as it was one of them)

    2) goto control panel

    3) open system

    4) click hardware tab

    5) click device manager

    6) expand network adapters (by clicking on the "plus sign" as I'm sure you know)

    7) right click the NIC/Network adapter (if more than one is present, select the one which is currently handling your LAN connection)

    8) select properties

    9) click advanced tab

    10) select Network Address from the menu list on the left

    11) you will see that the radio button next to "not present" is already selected by default

    12) click the radio button next to "Value:"

    13) finally, in the window under "Value:", he had me type in the MAC address (without any dashes, the numbers/letters only) that was identical between the two computers WITH ONE BIG DIFFERENCE - change the MAC by increasing the last number by 1. For instance, if the shared/identical MAC was 055H60606001 you would change it to 055H60606002.

    He said I might need to powercycle the comp, but I was too excited at the possibility of being DONE with this (lol) that I immediately opened a web browser before restarting and....viola!!! IT WORKED!!

    All is well now, I have confirmed that all 4 comps can simultaneously connect to the internet. The only difference between the two new comps is the last digit of the MAC address for the network adapters.

    YOSC, thanks a ton for the suggestions. Hope this information is useful to you and others in some way (I didn't just want to "run off" without posting my fix like I see so many people do on technical help forums). Happy Holidays to all!!

    PS - Hope you get to feeling better YOSC, just getting over a vicious cold myself, so I recently felt your pain.

    HPH3

  16. #16
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hph3 View Post
    YOSC, thanks a ton for the suggestions.
    Hey, don't forget to congratulate yourself....you methodically went into this, found the problem, and the solution.

    Ain't they fun?
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