WHS causing problem with internet connectivity RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've had my WHS HP X510 for 2 or 3 weeks now and had a couple of teething problems.

    Whilst trying to sort them out I decided to give the WHS a static IP address - because I have been reading that it is better. I was advised by a friend how to do this. I was advised to set the IP address on the WHS to a value outside of the DHCP range on my hub, which I did, then set the subnet mask as per what I saw using ipconfig. The default gateway was simply my BT Home hub's IP address and then in the preferred DNS server part I was advised to put the IP address of the router again. I was also advised to go to advanced and onto the WINS tab where I also input the ip address of the router. Don't know why! I really don't understand what I'm doing, you see :-(

    But having done that, I couldn't access the internet from the laptop!! neat advice, huh! So I reverted to DHCP and chose to go down the reserved ip address route using my router software. Anyway, I still had problems so I reset the BT Home Hub to factory settings and also set the WHS back to auto detect.

    Since then, at least I can get on the internet. But the problem is that my wife likes to reset the home hub once a day (she NEEDS to do this to reset our external IP address) and for some reason, we can't get the internet afterwards.

    It's a bit weird because certain sites will come up, and others take an absolute age to do so, but come up eventually. Others just come up with the usual "diognose problem" error message after a while.

    Now, I'm no quite sure how we are fixing this but it seems that a reboot of the WHS is essential, followed by a reboot of the hub, laptop and it also appears like we have to dissconnect from the internet (from within the router software) and then reconnect. This all takes a long time and I'm not quite sure which of all these processes are the effective ones.

    None of this happened before the WHS came along so what on earth is the WHS doing to my network.

    I did have a couple of errors stating something about DNS errors and that got me wondering. So I looked it up on the internet and saw that some people were advocating putting the ACTUAL DNS servers that they found in their router, into the WHS.

    So I'm confused, as usual, and seeking help from someone who knows what they are talking about....because I am asolutely clueless!

    Many thanks for listening.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:27 PM

All replies

  • I can't think of any reason why your wife would need to reset your broadband modem every day, so start there. Figure out why that seems to be required, and try to correct whatever situation it is that creates the requirement.

    As for sorting out your overall network connection issues:

    You will probably have the best success if you use a single source of advice. That could be a book about home networking, a friend, a computer technician that you've hired, etc. You will usually have very poor results if you listen to, and try to follow the advice of, everybody . Given what you say about your networking knowledge, choose someone local to you. Getting your network sorted out in an online forum will probably take days at best, and possibly weeks.

    Now, what I would do:

    Start by reading the manuals and help pages for all your devices. If you're going to "do it yourself" you need to understand basic networking concepts, and they should be laid out (probably in several places). Until you've done this, you probably won't really understand anything I'm about to write...

    Next, reset all devices to their basic state: the modem should be in "bridge" mode if possible, otherwise with ports 80, 443, and 4125 forwarded to your router. Your router should be configured to act as a DHCP server, and in the DHCP parameters it should be configured to issue it's own internal IP address (the "gateway" address) as DNS server. All other devices on your home network, including your server, should be configured to obtain their network configuration through DHCP. If your server can't configure your router to forward ports 80, 443, and 4125 from the router to the server, then you'll have to configure that manually. In that case, if your router supports it make a DHCP reservation for your server; this will allocate a specific IP address to your server from the DHCP server function. Then manually forward 80, 443, and 4125 from the router to your server.

    If all of that seems like way more than you even want to understand, you will probably be best off if you hire someone to do it for you, either a friend who you pay with dinner or a case of beer, or a technician that you pay with money.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, December 14, 2009 3:46 AM
  • Thanks, Ken, I will indeed source a networking book of some kind. It's not that I don't understand what you're saying, though. I've picked up quite a bit over the last few weeks. My wife needs to go onto sites that, if she has the same IP address within 24 hours, she gets automatically blocked by the site. So she likes to reset the router so that she can visit more frequently. It is the act of resetting the router which seems to screw internet connectivity up. But if the WHS isn't connected, then everything is ok!!

    I think my main questions are:

    1. Should I bother with a static IP address for my WHS and is it better than a reserved IP at the router?

    2. If I DO end up going with a static WHS IP address then:

    a) Is it best withing the WHS network settings to set the DNS manually as the default gateway i.e router address. OR, set the DNS as per the two values for DNS that I find in my router config pages? THis is the part which I find confusing and contradictary. I phoned up my ISP and they wouldn't tell me for some reason. It's the DNS part of this issue which I believe is causing the problems.

    b) Do I need to enter anything into the WINS part of the network tab on the WHS.

    I will try to get a good book but any advice in the interim would be greatly appreciated.
    Monday, December 14, 2009 8:20 AM
  • Lets say, if your wife resets the router by powering or plugging it off, it will reset the DHCP cache of the router as well.
    There is usually no need to do this, since routers should be able to reconnect automatically, after the ISP did the enforced disconnect all around 24 hours. In some routers you can configure also, at which time this should happen - in this case the router drops and reestablishes the connection by itself.

    It is not that important to have a fixed IP address or where it is reserved. The usual, supported scenario is to use DHCP.
    Benefit of a fixed IP adress is to have potentially less name resolution problems.
    If you perform the configuration on the server, it has to be done at each reinstallation. On a headless server a typo can make it impossible to connect again.
    If the IP address is reserved in the router, it will be the same for that machine, as long as you do not swap the machine or the router.
    On the DNS tab, the server should have unchecked the option to register this connections address in DNS, since the most routers are not fully fletched DNS servers and therefore the registration fails and only delays the startup process.

    DNS server should be the address of the router. Then the router decides, if the packets have to be redirected to the Internet or not. See also the FAQ How to Troubleshoot Network Connection Problems with Windows Home Server.

    It can be usefull sometimes for solving name resolution issues to enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP on all machines on the WINS tab. No need for a WINS server.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Monday, December 14, 2009 1:23 PM