LAN/Network Adaptor Issue
January 21, 2005 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Possible LAN/Network adaptor issue with my laptop..more inside

I'm a college student using my school's LAN to connect to the internet. For the past few months, my internet connection has been very sporadic -- all of a sudden, my chat clients will log me off and I won't be able to access any site. Sometimes the problem is solved my enabling and disabling the Network Adapter, but this doesn't always do it. Sometimes the internet will only work for a 30 seconds after I have just enabled the adapter, sometimes it will keep working for a whole day with no problems.

I don't really know much about network troubleshooting my question is this: Is there any way that I can figure out whether it is a hardware problem (ie my problem), or if it's issue with the connection in my room (my school's problem)?

When I ran WinXP's Net Diagnostics during a period when the internet wasn't working the DefaultIPGateway, DHCP Server and DNSServerSearchOrder tests all failed. But I don't know how to interpret that...
posted by puffin to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Do others in your dorm (who have a similar setup) have the same problem in their dorm rooms?

If not, do others in your dorm have the same problem in your dorm room?

If not, if you open a "cmd" window and type "ipconfig /renew", do you get your connection reestablished immediately?

Are you running any software firewall software?
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:25 AM on January 21, 2005

I'm using the XP built-in firewall. My whole building is singles, so I'm the only one in my room. No one else in my hallway is having the same problem. One time as an experient I took my computer to my neighbors room and tried plugging it in there and worked fine -- but I only stayed there for about 10 minutes, and as I mentioned before, sometimes my internet works in my own room for longer than that, so I can't really draw any conclusions from that. I'll ask some other people with laptops if they will try connecting in my room and see what happens, and will try the ipconfig/renew the next time it goes down.

I am leaning towards it being a problem with my room, because of my experience in my neighbor's room. Also, when my laptop was plugged into the router at home it worked fine. But most of the time at home I use wireless, so again, I can't draw any definite conclusions from that. The internet connection thingy at school in each room is fiberoptic cable, so we use media converters. So I suppose something could have gone wrong with my media converter, but all the appropriate lights are flashing.
posted by puffin at 11:41 AM on January 21, 2005

From what you've described so far, I'd suspect a problem with one of the following: operating system network driver problem, the software firewall, the Ethernet port in your laptop not being compatible with the network equipment your school uses (has this always been a problem, since you moved in?), the wiring from your laptop to the port in your room, the port in the room, the switch in the building network wiring closet that feeds your room, or the wiring in between the port and the switch.

Some of these items you can swap out and test. For example, you can swap cabling between the laptop and port. Or you can swap the entire laptop out with someone else's. You can put a small unmanaged switch in between your laptop and port, to see if there's an incompatability between the Ethernet port on your laptop and the equipment in the network closet.

I wouldn't suspect the DHCP server, as no one else in your dorm reports having this issue in their rooms.

I'd call your campus technical support and let them know you're having problems, and ask them to help you troubleshoot along the swap-and-see lines described above. Good luck.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:56 AM on January 21, 2005

« Older Web Presentation Interface   |   Popularly elected dictators and standards of... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.