Help me make my network work!
November 25, 2010 7:44 PM   Subscribe

Help please. I consider myself pretty capable when it comes to computers and the internet and networks, but I can't fix this. I have two Windows 7 laptops and one Mac laptop with an older Airport Extreme and a brand new Arris WBM760A modem that won't play nice.

I had a hell of a time getting the two Windows laptops to work with my Airport network last year, but I made it work eventually. Now we've moved and have a new ISP and new modem and nothing I've tried works. All three laptops will connect to the internet through ethernet to the new modem, but the second I plug the modem's ethernet into the Airport, nothing. All three computers see the Airport just fine. There's just no internet. I've tried google. Windows asks me for an 8 digit pin for the modem to set up a network, but there are no 8 digit numbers anywhere on the modem. I don't have a users manual but I found one online, which has no mention of pin numbers. I've tried just about every setting on my computer and on Airport Utility and nothing works. Should I just give up and buy a cheapo router that's more Windows compatible, or is there some magical solution I'm missing. I'm going crazy here.
posted by evilbeck to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
The first Google hit says about the PIN thing, "on the same window at the bottom you will find " I dont want to configure, i want to connect""

This is your modem doing this - not the Airport router.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:50 PM on November 25, 2010

Response by poster: That doesn't work on Windows 7, only Vista. I already tried every google variation of these model numbers, trust me. I do think it's the modem, but I'm not sure. The Airport has been a pain in my ass every single time I've tried to connect something new over the last 4 or 5 years I've had it so I'm kind of predisposed to blame it. One thing: I tried to completely reset the Airport to factory settings tonight and then plugged in the ethernet and my computer couldn't find any Airport devices. As soon as I unplugged the ethernet it appeared again. Does that add more info?
posted by evilbeck at 7:54 PM on November 25, 2010

Ok, to clarify, you can connect to the router, and you can connect to the internet when you're plugged in with ethernet? The problem is in the connection between the router and the modem then, probably. Can you ping the modem from the router?
posted by zug at 8:01 PM on November 25, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, I can connect to the router and connect to the internet through ethernet. The issue is definitely between the modem and router. I have no idea how to ping the modem from the router. I've been a Mac user for the last 7 years, and this Windows laptop is more than a bit confusing to me.
posted by evilbeck at 8:10 PM on November 25, 2010

I'm at a disadvantage in helping you because i've never used an airport express card and i'm sure, like everything else apple does, it's intentionally different from everything else to 'distinguish' itself.

That said, open a command prompt and type "ipconfig /all"

One of the lines will be default gateway: x.x.x.x

Type x.x.x.x into your web browser and you *should* get the router's webpage. From there, you should be able to see if the router is making a connection with the modem (play around in the options, try running the setup, etc)

Memail me if you want to chat live.
posted by zug at 8:15 PM on November 25, 2010

This sounds like your modem IS a router and you don't need the airport at all.
posted by empath at 10:07 PM on November 25, 2010

I think you need to take it a step at a time.

First, you want to make sure that you can connect from one of your laptops to the internet via Airport. Because you know your Mac better that Windows, use only that for your troubleshooting.

Connect your mac to your Airport network, and then open Network Utility. Click on the traceroute tab, and try to connect to or even better You will realize where the link is failing.

If it is the connection between your modem, and your base station that is the bad link, power them both down. Wait a few minutes, and then turn on the modem first, wait till all the right lights are on,(maybe a couple of minutes) and then turn on the base station. It is quite possible that the modem is not giving out an IP address to the base station. Hopefully, the powercycling would have done a DHCP release at the modem.

If as empath says, the modem itself is a router, you could try connecting it to your base station's lan port instead of the wan port, and turning off DHCP at the base station. To test this, you can connect your Mac directly to the modem, and open the network system preferences panel. If the IP address is "192.168.something" or one of the other , your modem is acting as a router.

If it is not acting as a router, and the powercycling did not work, you could connect the airport base station to your modem, and then call your ISP, and ask them to do a DHCP release or an IP address release.
posted by hariya at 11:57 PM on November 25, 2010

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