SHCC WYSIWYG Article from February 2012

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the February 2012 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Network Problems 1

by Don VanSyckel

It's been an event filled day. I started off the day with a list of to-do'es. Some involved the computer so I turned it on. I have a file server in the basement but I didn't need it so I left it off. Well no email connection; no internet sites in the browser; no connection to my router. I should tell you a little about my home network. The cable modem with my router plugged into it is in the den. There is a network switch and file server in the basement. My PC and printer are plugged into a network switch upstairs in an extra bedroom that my wife calls the office. The router in the den and the switch in the office are each connected via network cables built in to the switch in the basement.

When I couldn't connect to the internet (from my PC in the office), I tried to connect to the router (in the den). No good. My next step would be to connect to the server (in the basement) but I hadn't turned it on. Over the past few months I've had to reboot the router, so I tried this. No good. Now what? I went and turned on the file server (in the basement). The file server is a Windows computer so I logged in and tried to contact the router. No good. So back upstairs to the office to contact the file server. No good again. Neither leg worked. Well the only piece that could cause this is the switch in the basement. Fortunately I had a new switch. It is a 10/100/1000 Netgear. The bad news is it's 5 ports and I need 6 so one connection is out until I can get an 8 port switch. So I tested from the file server to the router, which I thought was just a formality. To my surprise things still don't work. Breaks with more than one break are uncommon and a bit more challenging to troubleshoot.

Now what to do? Well actually I have a second file server in the basement for backup so I turned it on and the two servers could see each other via the switch and since the switch was new I figured all was OK in the basement. I headed for the den and rebooted the router again. Back to the basement, still no connection to the router. back to the den, what to try now? Occasionally a port will go bad so I moved the connection to the basement to a different port in the den. Back to the basement, this time success. Now I have something working

Now for the PC in the office, at least I know the file servers and router should be available. No connection. In earlier checking I had moved the network cables around in the office to see if they were all plugged in OK. The network plug in the wall that goes to the basement is behind my desk and difficult to reach so I couldn't check it. Desperation is now setting in because the clock is ticking and it's been over a couple hours of running up and down steps. I have one very long network cable left over from a special project a few years ago. As a test I strung this cable from the office to the basement. Success, that worked. Now everything was connected and working but I was way behind schedule and I'm still catching up. Tomorrow I have to figure out where the problem is with the wiring that routes through the wall. Hopefully it the cable on one of the ends. It'll be good to get back to normal. Also my wife is understand about the extra cable strung across the house, but only for about a day. Hopefully that will be the end of it.

End of Article

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