TiVo disconnects 1 computer from my network
June 19, 2006 9:14 PM   Subscribe

Similar to this previous question, my TiVo is disconnecting one of my computers from the network.

1) The series 2 TiVo connects via ethernet to my Linksys router, along with 3 other computers.
2) It's definitely the TiVo's fault as the problem goes away when I unlplug it.
3) Only 1 of the computers is affected. This really confuses me. I've tried changing that computer's IP address, and it still happens.
4) Most strangely, rebooting the *router* fixes everything, making the disconnected computer work just fine again (for 10 minutes). I don't have to reboot the computer. It just starts working immediately after I reboot the linksys router.

What the hell?
posted by scarabic to Technology (7 answers total)
What OS is the affected computer running?

If it's running Windows, are you using DHCP on your network? Can you make the TiVo use a static IP address? Is the TiVo's IP address always the same one, or does it get a DHCP lease like everyone else?
posted by evariste at 9:33 PM on June 19, 2006

My thinking here is, maybe the TiVo and the router are conspiring together in ways that are unfortunate for DHCP-dependent Windows PCs. The combination of DHCP, cheap consumer routers, and Windows has always been unreliable and weird in my experience, even though you'd think by now this would be a solved problem.

If the TiVo is using DHCP, it might behoove you to try this: change the DHCP range that the router can assign, limiting it to say, five IP addresses, to give room for the TiVo (assuming it uses DHCP) and maybe some wayward laptops belonging to friends. Assign your other computers that are always on the network static IP addresses. See if that solves the problem.
posted by evariste at 9:36 PM on June 19, 2006

I'd go the other way around.
Let everything stay DHCP - assign the Tivo a hard address (just make sure it's an address outside of the dhcp scope).

It cleared up many problems for me.
posted by zerokey at 10:21 PM on June 19, 2006

I also used DHCP for everything but the TiVo when I had one, as it seemed to exhaust the entire DHCP range at times with repeated lease requests. It seemed to help quite a bit.
posted by kcm at 10:35 PM on June 19, 2006

Response by poster: The disconnecting computer is Winders and has an assigned IP. The TiVo is DHCP for now. I need to leave the PC as assigned because it has port forwarding set up (I tried fiddling with that - wasn't the problem). Let me try setting up limits on the DHCP range that can be assigned. That's a great suggestion.
posted by scarabic at 11:55 PM on June 19, 2006

You can spend forever trying to guess a configuration that will work around crap like this, or you can spend an hour or two figuring out what's actually going on.

Install Ethereal on all your PC's, synchronize their clocks, and start a packet trace. When the PC that screws up does so, stop all the packet traces and start combing through looking for weirdness. Specifically, check what's going on with DHCP (the reference for what's supposed to go on is here).

There really is no substitute for seeing exactly what's going on on your network. Ethereal is your friend!
posted by flabdablet at 11:57 PM on June 19, 2006

I second evariste's suggestion. Assign static IPs to all the computers.
posted by k8t at 4:52 AM on June 20, 2006

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