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Help me fix my home network - please!
May 15, 2011 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Home Networking Help. For some strange reason my home network has stopped working properly. I have lost all connections between computers, can't print anymore, and some computers are having trouble getting IP addresses. I've been banging my head against the wall for a while on this and would appreciate some help.

Here's my setup.

Router: Linksys Wrt160nl
Computers:
1 - Mac Mini running snow leopard
2 - Macbook running snow leopard
3 - iPad
4 - Macbook running tiger
5 - Samsung Wireless printer

So I used to be able to see my server (1) from my laptop without any issues. Then one day I couldn't see the shared drive, couldn't see the iTunes share, and now I can't connect the iPad to the network at all (getting the 169.254.x.x ip address error), so I can't control the server with the remote app anymore either. It happened at around the same time that the printer was connected to the network as well.

I'm using DHCP, but would consider moving over to a static IP, but am unsure of whether the setting on the 160nl is for Internet IP or internal.

I've tried rebooting all the computers, flushing DNS, rebooting the router, all to no effect. Any help would be extremely welcome.

Expertise Level: I used to be pretty knowledgeable back in the Win 95 days, but it's been a while
posted by sauril to Technology (20 answers total)
 
If you are getting a 169.... address you aren't seeing a DHCP server. Try rebooting your router.
posted by gergtreble at 3:06 PM on May 15, 2011


Already done gergtreble.
posted by sauril at 3:12 PM on May 15, 2011


First round of diagnostics: check what IP the DHCP server is giving to each machine. Are they all on the same subnet? Can you ping all other IPs on the subnet from any of the machines? Are there firewall rules on the router?
posted by devilsbrigade at 3:19 PM on May 15, 2011


- IP's are all in the 192.168.1.* range, except for the iPad which is getting the non-address 169.etc
- Sometimes DNS is dropping and I have to renew lease to get it back
- I can't ping any of the other ip's
- there are no firewall rules on the router except any that may have come in the factory default.
posted by sauril at 3:23 PM on May 15, 2011


- the new macbook and the mini can both connect to the internet as well.
posted by sauril at 3:25 PM on May 15, 2011


Can you set the iPad up with a static IP. Say 192.168.1.234. Does that get it connectivity?
posted by gergtreble at 3:26 PM on May 15, 2011


no - tried that too.
posted by sauril at 3:29 PM on May 15, 2011


Not being able to ping between (1) and (2) or (1) and (4) is worrying, outside of the ipad problems. Can you run ifconfig -a on, say, (1) and (2) & paste in the output from each?
posted by devilsbrigade at 3:31 PM on May 15, 2011


I've seen routers die like this. Do you have on old router you can try just to take the WRT160NL out of the equation?
posted by gergtreble at 3:33 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here it is for (2)

lo0: flags=8049 mtu 16384
inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128
inet6 fe80::1%lo0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
inet 127.0.0.1 netmask 0xff000000
gif0: flags=8010 mtu 1280
stf0: flags=0<> mtu 1280
en0: flags=8863 mtu 1500
ether 10:9a:dd:5e:5e:f6
media: autoselect
status: inactive
en1: flags=8863 mtu 1500
ether 10:93:e9:5d:7e:a7
inet6 fe80::1293:e9ff:fe5d:7ea7%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x5
inet 192.168.1.105 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.1.255
media: autoselect
status: active
fw0: flags=8863 mtu 4078
lladdr 70:cd:60:ff:fe:46:88:4c
media: autoselect
status: inactive

posted by sauril at 3:34 PM on May 15, 2011


and for (1)
Last login: Thu May 12 20:54:32 on console
mini:~ home$ ifconfig -a
lo0: flags=8049 mtu 16384
inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128
inet6 fe80::1%lo0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
inet 127.0.0.1 netmask 0xff000000
gif0: flags=8010 mtu 1280
stf0: flags=0<> mtu 1280
en0: flags=8863 mtu 1500
ether c4:2c:03:0c:e6:0c
media: autoselect
status: inactive
en1: flags=8863 mtu 1500
ether 60:33:4b:07:42:9d
inet6 fe80::6233:4bff:fe07:429d%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x5
inet 192.168.1.100 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.1.255
media: autoselect
status: active
fw0: flags=8863 mtu 4078
lladdr e8:06:88:ff:fe:dd:24:d2
media: autoselect
status: inactive
mini:~ home$

posted by sauril at 3:37 PM on May 15, 2011


How are the devices connected to you router? Are they all wireless or are some hardwired?
posted by gergtreble at 3:38 PM on May 15, 2011


@gergtreble unfortunately I bought this one to replace my old busted one...
posted by sauril at 3:38 PM on May 15, 2011


they are all connected wirelessly - I've tried connecting the laptop with ethernet, but i still get the same issues
posted by sauril at 3:40 PM on May 15, 2011


IMO, if its everything at once, it's obviously you're router going bad.

Try factory resetting it, if you don't have any fancy settings on it. If that doesn't work, do a firmware upgrade. If that doesn't work, try loading a custom firmware on it like Tomato Torrent or DD-WRT. If that doesn't work, buy a new router.
posted by empath at 3:43 PM on May 15, 2011


alright, factory reset and firmware upgrade it is.

Back in a few (hopefully)
posted by sauril at 3:46 PM on May 15, 2011


Something's pretty messed up if (1) and (2) can't ping each other by IP with this configuration. If the router has any routing tables you can get at, I'd make sure that the local subnet is still being treated locally, but that's a stretch. Doing a factory reset is a good idea.
posted by devilsbrigade at 3:46 PM on May 15, 2011


So I reset, upgraded firmware and things seem to be back to normal.

Thanks everyone for all your help. I thought that rebooting the router would be good enough, since the only things that I changed were the SSID and security, but I guess not.

Thanks to all who helped, it was very much appreciated.
posted by sauril at 4:05 PM on May 15, 2011


the only things that I changed were the SSID and security

Did you perhaps attempt to engage the security-by-obscurity thrusters by turning off SSID broadcasting?

Don't turn off SSID broadcasting.

posted by flabdablet at 9:43 PM on May 15, 2011


SSID broadcasting was on. And as a followup to my followup, I'm off router shopping, as the problem has reared it's ugly head again.

I'm leaning towards the airport due to the amount of Apple stuff already in my house and the fact that 2 Linksys routers have died within a year.
posted by sauril at 7:28 AM on May 16, 2011


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