Network problem

CTripps

Active Member
Aug 22, 2011
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Vancouver, B.C.
Hi folks.. I feel I'm going around in circles, so I'm throwing this out here on the off chance that at least one of you has some computer networking knowledge that may help me out.

Here's the thing.. I have assembled a PC out of leftovers for my garage/shop. It's running Win XP (a valid copy we own, from a previous generation desktop). The garage is too far from the router (and house) to run a network cable otherwise I'd have already done so. Keeping the budget at or close to $0 is the goal here (had to throw $17 down for a used 15" LCD monitor for the Garage machine, but that I can live with).

Anyway, the house network is fine, running a nearly-new NetGear wireless router. Three desktops (2xVista, 1xWinXP), laptop (Win 7), smart phones (Android) etc. are all working fine. I have an older LinkSys wireless router that has been flashed to run DD-WRT firmware. It's connected to the garage PC to be a bridge. There is no physical connection between the two routers.

Here is where it gets confusing (for me).. From the network (ie off of my PC) I can see the garage hardware. Can't talk to it, they're all 'unknown devices'. From the other end, I can see shared folders etc on the main/wired network, but can only see them, not access them. Also, the remote appears to be thinking that the house network is "the internet" (not sure if that makes a difference).

So I've gone through everything I can.. online guides to bridging, tutorials, any link that looked promising. I haven't had any success yet, although just the fact that they can in fact see each other is something I am pleased with.

It's probably related to IPs and subnets and so on, but I can't make enough sense of it all... not my baliwick, so to speak. All I want is to be able to access the internet from the garage so I can check in here to search for info and so on. In the end the machine will move to the garage anyway so that I can read PDFs etc, but I'd like to be able to check in and check my email from it.

So, do any of you have any experience with this kind of setup that might be able to give me a lead to follow, or anything? As I said, I'm at the point where I feel I'm just going around in circles with a stop to bang my head against a wall each lap.
 

Dan

Staff
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May 25, 2008
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Thinking what we have here is a failure to communicate. Not knowing the layout or obstructions, would removing the second router and replacing it with DIY antennae work?

https://www.google.com/search?q=DIY...es+can&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&spell=1

Thinking direct/line of sight (if possible) would not only solve the "won't play well together" stuff. But would also allow for faster, stronger transference of wifi.

DIY would be fun and great conversation pieces. Have seen them made from cans, old satellite dishes, colanders and some strange stuff too. lol
 

Greg58

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May 1, 2011
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Newnan,Georgia U.S.A.
CT how far is the computer in the shop from the router? I have mine in my den, its the closest room to the shop. I'm trying to remember what I did to make the shop computer communicate but Ill have to think a few minutes. Mine are about 100 feet apart with low signal strength due to the metal door and everything in the shop but it works.
 
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CTripps

Active Member
Aug 22, 2011
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Thanks for the input.

Right now the two routers are in the same room, less than 6' from each other for set-up purposes. Once working and moved to the garage it will be around 50' away (straight line), on an angle that may intersect one interior wall, ceiling and the roof, possibly two interior walls. (Ground level at the garage is roof-peak level of the house).

In the garage I'll be able to put the antenna (bridge router) in the window or find another spot so it will have best signal. I may have to make a 'booster' for it once moved, we'll see.
 

Greg58

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2011
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I have a Linksys E1200 wireless router that works for my shop computer, I installed a wireless network card in the shop computer that has a six inch antenna. Mine works at 100 feet without a hub or booster.
I installed the software that came with the card and the computer found my router, I entered my password then the software did the rest like IP address from my service provider.
 
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CTripps

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Aug 22, 2011
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If I do I'll do my best to explain how I managed it. I'll go sift through that forum you linked to a bit later, there may be something useful there.

I figured it couldn't hurt to ask here, since of the 4 dozen or so regular posters here I have a vague idea of what maybe a half dozen of you folks do (or did) either as a job or other hobby.. For all I know we may have a networking genius hiding amongst us. ;)
 

Kioshk

Active Member
Oct 21, 2012
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Connecticut
Sounds like you have everything NEARLY right. Please give me the networking details on both your home PC and the machine in the garage. Open a command-window: (Start -> Run or WindowsKey+R), then enter 'cmd' (no quotes). Enter 'ipconfig /a' at the prompt, and grab the following info for your Ethernet card:

IP Address
Subnet Mask
Gateway

You MIGHT need to disable the DHCP server on the garage router. Also, make sure the garage machine is configured to use a DHCP server to assign its address...it could already be set manually if it wasn't configured by you. I'm assuming your home router is set to default as a DHCP server, and your other devices are clients.
 

CTripps

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Aug 22, 2011
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That's exactly what I've been thinking, Kioshk.. It's a little frustrating, so close and yet... and by the way, thanks for 'lending' a few brains cells to the problem.


So here's what it gave me from my machine (1st screenshot attached):

IPv4 Address 192.168.1.102
Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Gateway 192.168.1.1

And the Garage one (2nd pic attached):

IP Address 192.168.1.7
Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Gateway 192.168.1.1
 

Attachments

Kioshk

Active Member
Oct 21, 2012
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Connecticut
OK, I _THINK_ your problem is that the garage machine's network card has a static IP address. Notice that its configuration has DHCP disabled. Go in to that Ethernet card's settings and make sure it's configured ONLY by DHCP. This way its DNS will be configured automatically to use your provider's servers (DNS is the thing that converts 'google.com' into '74.125.226.66' so you can find it). In fact, try this command on your garage machine before and after you enable DHCP:

ping google.com

As for your being able to actually see the home-network machines; I'm pretty sure this is because NETBIOS discovery is enabled (a Windows default). You can see the other machines' names and shares, but can't access them without setting up your credentials properly. That's a different kettle-of-fish though...or ball-of-wax ;)

In any case, without the DNS settings assigned properly, you won't be able to access the internet from the garage using URLs.

On THAT note, if you haven't corrected the DHCP setting by the time you've read this far, try navigating here on your garage machine:

http://74.125.226.66

I'll wager that Google will pop-up; your subnet and gateway are fine (only coincidentally), it's the DNS that's faulty.
 
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Kioshk

Active Member
Oct 21, 2012
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Connecticut
All I know is, when defragging doesn't work, defenestration usually does.
I missed this one: BRAVO!
(My tenuous French comprehension pays off)

Talk about double-entendre! Actually, I think it might be almost a treble-entendre.
 
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CTripps

Active Member
Aug 22, 2011
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Vancouver, B.C.
Okay.. changed the network card settings, still no luck..

I'm wondering more about the settings on the 'bridge' router now.. there has to something I have either (a) overlooked or (b) don't understand enough about. There are a number of settings that don't provide much info or help/explanation.. For instance should it be a gateway (not as I understand it, that's for the first router), 'BGP', RIP2 Router or OSPF Router?

I'm also wondering if the shared spaces it can see are leftovers from when it was hardwired to the network to get it's fill of updates.
 

Kioshk

Active Member
Oct 21, 2012
1,152
7
38
Connecticut
Curious: after you reset the garage card to accept DHCP, did you recheck the card's IP address using 'ipconfig /a'? What was its new IP address? You should also try pinging your gateway from the garage: 'ping 192.168.1.1'. You should also have access to the home-router's admin interface @ 'http://192.168.1.1'. I'm confident you're NEARLY there. If the new auto-assigned IP address of the garage is a loop-back (something like 169.x.x.x), that means it couldn't communicate with your home-router's DHCP server @ 192.168.1.1 . If so, the bridge-configuration of the garage-router may be blocking DHCP traffic, or may itself be serving DHCP (not likely, but could cause issues). You can manually assign a free IP address in the 192.168.1.1/24 subnet, and make sure to set the DNS IP addresses to whatever your home machines are based on their ipconfig info.
Looks like your home-router's acting as your DNS proxy, but you can use any viable DNS server provided your card can get through the gateway (that it KNOWS how to reach it that is). You can use Google's DNS servers @ 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 as a last resort. They're fast and free.



 

CTripps

Active Member
Aug 22, 2011
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Curious: after you reset the garage card to accept DHCP, did you recheck the card's IP address using 'ipconfig /a'? What was its new IP address?
Yes, but I don't remember what it was and I've been tinkering since then.. I have tried assigning the bridge the address 192.168.1.6, it likes it so that's where it is. The machine has now been assigned IP 192.168.1.201, clear of our other equipment.

You should also try pinging your gateway from the garage: 'ping 192.168.1.1'. You should also have access to the home-router's admin interface @ 'http://192.168.1.1'.
When I try garage -> main I get 'Request timed out.'
When I try main -> garage I get 'Reply from 192.168.1.102: Destination host unreachable.'

I can only access the main router from the wired network at the moment, I enabled remote management and for a few minutes and tried looking around from the remote but got nowhere.

I've also tried setting the bridge to "Connection type 'Static IP'" (other options: Disable, Automatic - DHCP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Heartbeat Signal) and copying the internet connection info from the main to the bridge with no apparent change. The bridge can also be switched between DHCP Server and DHCP Forwarder, I currently have it as a Forwarder (it has to be one or the other), using the main router's IP in the Server section.

*Edit.. while poking and prodding things, I hit the wrong thing it seems (Clone MAC Address to 'on' from 'off') and now the thing won't let me into the setup, so I'm going to have to do a reset on it I to get back in, I suspect.
 
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