Network shares innaccessable randomly

By sethbest
Nov 10, 2011
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  1. I have a wired network setup in my home, that works perfectly, except when my dad visits. Essentially I have a modem/wireless router that plugs into a few systems on one side of the house, then I ran a cable under my house to come up in my bedroom on the other side of the house, where I use a coupler to plug in a cable to the other side of this room where it connects with a router which I disabled its DCHP server so it will just act as a hub.

    So this system works fine normally, I have several computers with multiple operating systems, a few game systems, and a few media players plugged in wired, and they share files over the network without a hitch.

    Then my dad visits and I have to plug in another cable which runs out to the camper in my back yard we keep for company. To plug this cable in first I used a old hub, but then I started getting the errors I will describe next, so I removed the hub and ran a long cable from the 2nd router to a 2nd coupler to reach the ethernet cable that runs outside, but the problems still persist.

    Specifically what happens is network shares seem to work fine, and all computers can be seen, but at some point none of the computers can access the windows network. I usually get an error along the lines of "there are no available networks" or if the computer or system was already connected to another system on the network if I try to open anything or navigate up or down a directory I get "invalid computer name" (the errors vary based on OS but these are the general ones).

    From the computer in room 1 I can often see only devices connected my first router (the modem/wireless router), and occasionally this happens in the 2nd room too, where it will only see devices plugged into the same router, but more often than not when this happens no other devices can be seen. When this happens internet still works, EXCEPT for the entirety of this problem my main system (in room 1) will randomly not be able to find a website server, but after a refresh or two it will work.

    Oddly enough though these problems persist even when the laptop my dad plugs his end of the cable into is off, but the problems stop if I unplug his cable. I made sure his wifi was off so there weren't any feedback loops, but the problem still persists. I can usually get things working again (usually only temporarily) by resetting a router, but this only makes it so that routers plugged into that device can see each-other.

    The IP range of my initial router acting as the DCHP server should have plenty more IP's to assign, so that can't be it, and the fact that the internet still works for the most part while windows networks are down is perplexing.

    For specificity's sake the operating systems of the computers on my network are- windows 7, windows xp, linux, windows server 2008, and a mac OS on my dad's laptop (yeah I know I have a weird setup).

    Any help that can be provided is appreciated. At the moment I am stuck resetting routers throughout the day if I need to share files, it is rather infuriating.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,122   +982

    Your description certainly IS interesting.
    This begs that the cable itself is bad or too long. The longest cable between two connections (eg: a hub to a device) is 100 meters (aka a football field).

    Try disconnecting the connection to the secondary router, moving the cable to your primary router, coil the cable on the floor and connect it to the laptop which is in the same room - - if the cable is ok, then all devices on the primary router should have Internet service.

    You might also try installing Network Magic (the trial period will be sufficient to watch the activity) on a system close to the primary router and use it to monitor devices connecting to your network
  3. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    I waited a few days to make sure it was fixed before re-posting, but it appears I got everything working. Seems like your one of the only two people who post on my questions, thanks Joe. I installed network magic and messed around with it for a while, but what fixed the problem was I cleared my router device history.

    For some reason my dads laptop was listed twice as two different IP addresses. All I could figure is that even when off the router still assigned it to the plug, so it would only work when it wasn't plugged in at all. Clearing the history it found the present devices and so far everything has worked.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,122   +982

    Good to hear of your progress :)

    btw: it is good practice to reboot a router once in a while.
    Also be sure you have configured it:
    • disallow remote configuration on port 8080
    • change the admin login password
    • save those settings
    • also save a router configuration backup to your pc

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