Franken-Network Bites Back!

What a nightmare!

My last 36 hours have been riddled with network problems at home. Originally the issue was just that the Wifi dropped out, reset the modem and it was ok. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long!

After another Wifi drop out it got worse, my PC suddenly was now stuck stating “Unidentified Network, No Network Access”. So I went to my laptop to do some research, same issue… DAMN! Nothing on the network could access our server and grand scheme the network was looking in pretty bad shape.

What the hell is wrong?!

Was the constant thought going through my head in the fault finding process where I went through the obvious

  • Reboot the Router
  • Reboot my PC
  • Check connectivity via cable
  • Use another machine to check connectivity
  • Minimising possible points of faliure

as well as the not-so obvious

  • Reset the IP Stack
  • Investigate networking issues online – which got pretty obscure at times

I even went to the extreme of factory resetting my router (kicking myself now, I’ll explain in a moment) to try to resolve the issue.

After all of this I still didn’t have a resolution for my problem, so what next?

I tried hard wiring my laptop directly into the router by 1 short cable, no joy. I rebooted my laptop into the ol’ faithful Ubuntu and SUCCESS!

But why?

Now I need to figure out why it’s working in Linux but not Windows, particularly as my wife’s laptop was working fine on wired connection. It just wasn’t making sense, now what I thought was a hardware issue is now pointing to software.

After a stack more research, including asking a bunch of techie mates what they thought was the go and it was starting to look like a reinstall of windows as I had already tried most of the stuff they were suggesting.

Lucky for me I knew there was a spare modem/router at work that’s available for just such occasions so I borrowed that for the night and have installed that into the network replacing my own modem/router. Surprise, Surprise… plugged it into my laptop via a single cable (booted into Windows) and it worked, again I’m left thinking;

But why?

I ran a long cable down the hallway to my PC, that worked too… Phew, it’s not my PC that’s playing up. So now we’re back to hardware in the network somewhere. Now I’m seriously thinking my near new Modem is stuffed, great… Warranty!

Out of curiostiy, I plugged everything back into my Modem including the long cable that was still plugged into my pc at the other end and voila! We’re online… then it dawned on me there’s another switch in the network between the modem and my pc.

How could I be so stupid?

A quick reboot of the 8 port switch and there it is, back to normal! After checking the modem logs it appears that the switch had basically stalled and was hammering the modem causing addressing issues and was without a doubt the cause of my issues.

Other than providing my friends with (another) cause to laugh at my technical incompetence, I guess the reason for this post is to remind everyone that it’s really important to check everything before assuming the worst and oh say… Factory resetting your router?

And remember: If in doubt…


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