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Windows 7: A Windows 7 network share dropout problem

15 Oct 2009   #11
Sorb

Win7 x64
 
 

H2...that makes perfect sense. Updating the firmware was my own first thought, but to no avail. The Billion 7404VGO router has been in continuous use for I think 3 years - since they first came out - and most of that time it has spent in a hot cupboard, so perhaps it's due for a ceremonial burial. Any suggestions? I need the VoIP facility.

Oh...your explanation also tells my why my Logitech Squeezebox (it's 192.168.1.2) has trouble accessing the music on PC-1 unless I keep it doing so continuously from router boot.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Oct 2009   #12
Sorb

Win7 x64
 
 

H2...that makes perfect sense, and thanks for the competent, clearly-expressed diagnosis. It's a true pleasure to read the work of someone who can put together an unambiguous sentence or two.

My own first port of call was to flash the firmware but it made no difference. The Billion 7404VGO router has been in continuous operation since they first came out some 3 years sgo, most of that time grinding away in a hot unventilated cupboard. It's due for a respectful and ceremonial burial

Your explanation also accounts for the problems my Logitech Squeezebox has had in accessing the music on PC-1.

Any ideas on a router? I need the VoIP facility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #13
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sorb View Post
H2...that makes perfect sense, and thanks for the competent, clearly-expressed diagnosis. It's a true pleasure to read the work of someone who can put together an unambiguous sentence or two.

My own first port of call was to flash the firmware but it made no difference. The Billion 7404VGO router has been in continuous operation since they first came out some 3 years sgo, most of that time grinding away in a hot unventilated cupboard. It's due for a respectful and ceremonial burial

Your explanation also accounts for the problems my Logitech Squeezebox has had in accessing the music on PC-1.

Any ideas on a router? I need the VoIP facility.
Sorry mate, both about your router and about the fact that I've got no idea "what's good" currently

Re the squeezebox, the switching problem exhibited by the router is presumably going to affect all devices equally. For some reason, the switch circuitry (in the router) now fails to establish a new virtual circuit between two ports, should its ARP table entries be allowed to time out. It only takes minutes.

There's a possible workaround though. A "real" switch can have hard-coded (static) entries in its ARP table. Depending on the sophistication of the firmware, maybe that thing will let you enter static mappings for the PCs and the squeezebox. That may bypass the "no new VCs" problem, potentially, maybe (unlikely!).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Oct 2009   #14
Sorb

Win7 x64
 
 

I originally posted the problem on Whirlpool (Billion 7404VGO can't share after sleep - Billion - DSL Hardware - Whirlpool Broadband Forums) where one of the first suggestions was static IP entries. I first tried that via the router, and then (after reverting the router to auto) in each computer separately, but none of that worked. As you'll see if you follow the whirlpool exchange, I first thought the problem had to do with sleep/wake cycles. That furphy goes to show how superstitious one can get in continuing to believe a certain item is the trigger when it is nothing but a correlate of the true problem. Happens throughout life I guess .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #15
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sorb View Post
I originally posted the problem on Whirlpool (Billion 7404VGO can't share after sleep - Billion - DSL Hardware - Whirlpool Broadband Forums) where one of the first suggestions was static IP entries. I first tried that via the router, and then (after reverting the router to auto) in each computer separately, but none of that worked. As you'll see if you follow the whirlpool exchange, I first thought the problem had to do with sleep/wake cycles. That furphy goes to show how superstitious one can get in continuing to believe a certain item is the trigger when it is nothing but a correlate of the true problem. Happens throughout life I guess .
Not static IPs on the PCs but instead static ARP table entries on the router. More detail:

Conceptually, connectivity between two machines linked via the same switch is achieved on several different levels:

L1: Physical. Wires, plugs, NICs...
L2: Data Link. MAC addresses are here <---- your problem
L3: Network. IP addresses
L4: Transport. Ports as in TCP port 80.
...

Even though they are fully aware of each other's IP addresses, the NICs in your PCs must first work out each other's MAC addresses before they can send packets to one another. ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) is the mechanism they use to do that:

BROADCAST: "Will the machine out there whose IP is 192.168.1.3 please respond with your MAC address because I want to communicate with you."
RESPONSE: "That's me. My MAC address is aa-bb-cc-dd-ee-ff."

The requestor then caches the IP-to-MAC mapping in that ARP table you got from the "arp" command. The switch is meant to notice that exchange and think like this:

"I've just witnessed MAC-A on my second physical port talking to MAC-B on the 7th port. I'm now going to add those MAC addresses to my list of MAC-to-port mappings so that I can create a (temporary) link between the two ports when those machines are trying to communicate with one another."

It's the second part in the switch logic above which is not happening in your case. The switch "notices" the attempted communication from one port to another, but it doesn't bother to open up a link between them once the original mapping has timed out.

Enterprise-level ("managed") switches have the ability to let the administrator configure static MAC-to-port mappings: "MAC-A is always on port 2, MAC-B is always on port 7. These settings are not to time out." If your switch (router) is capable of something similar, it may serve as a workaround. Most consumer-grade switches are "unmanaged" though, so the functionality to add static MAC-to-port mappings is simply not there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #16
Sorb

Win7 x64
 
 

The facility I first accessed on the router is in the DHCP Server configuration under a heading "Fixed Host" where one can add a series of four-line entries, being: Name, IP Address, MAC Address, Maximum Lease Time. I did that for the four items on my network (three laptops and the squeezebox), associating the four sets of names, IP addresses and MAC addresses that I obtained from the DHCP table when the router was set to Auto. That didn't work, but maybe I didn't do it properly. I wasn't sure what to put for Maximum lease time.

Oh...I see..IP address isn't the same as Port.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #17
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sorb View Post
The facility I first accessed on the router is in the DHCP Server configuration under a heading "Fixed Host" where one can add a series of four-line entries, being: Name, IP Address, MAC Address, Maximum Lease Time. I did that for the four items on my network (three laptops and the squeezebox), associating the four sets of names, IP addresses and MAC addresses that I obtained from the DHCP table when the router was set to Auto. That didn't work.
Yeah, that's the "router" functionality, not the "switch". In those consumer "routers" the two are munged together into the same box.

If the PCs communicated with each other via wired NICs, you could save some money on the fix by buying just an el-cheapo switch which would uplink to a single port on the router. In other words, all wired NICs plug into a separate (working) switch. That switch is then uplinked to the router via a single cable. Internet access goes through the "router" while local LAN communication all happens via the new switch.

Nasty workaround though. If you were thinking of upgrading the router anyway, now's the time
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #18
Sorb

Win7 x64
 
 

I think I'll take the upgrade route . Having spent the best part of several days on this it's time to call it quits. Many thanks to you for your time and for the learning experience that this has been for me.

Over and out!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #19
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sorb View Post
I think I'll take the upgrade route . Having spent the best part of several days on this it's time to call it quits. Many thanks to you for your time and for the learning experience that this has been for me.

Over and out!
Ex3rcise is a dirty word here, hence the ****** in the initial version of your post

Good luck with your new router!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #20
Sorb

Win7 x64
 
 

Whaaaat! I didn't think I had put in those asterisks. I assumed something must have gone wrong and re-typed the word, but in doing so used a synonym without realising it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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