I have 2 computers, with an NIC each. One is an AMD, and the other is a pentium 3 (for reference). Anyway, the Pentium 3 has a Linksys LNE100 Fast Ethernet Adapater (10/100). The AMD machine has a Netgear FA311 adapter. Both are PCI. I'm running WinXP 2509.
Now check this out; I'm not using a hub, but am using a crossover cable to directly connect each pc. If I set up networking with the MS networking wizard, everything sets up fine; I've run the wizard on both computers, same workgroup, but upon restarting etc they both say that there is a network cable unplugged. I thought this was the work of a bad ISA NIC, so I went out and bought a new PCI NIC. They both still say the cable is unplugged.
Both cards connect to a cable modem just fine, and it reports the link as being satisfactory (using a regular RJ45 cable). So it would seem its the brand new crossover cable I have? I don't think so, because the cards exhibit some odd behavior; the pentium 3 system (and only the p3 system) shows that the connection is working and there is no cables disconnected when the AMD system is turned off or restarted, BEFORE it boots into winxp. Right when the XP startup screen comes up, the p3 reports that the "network cable is unplugged"; also, if I turn the AMD system off, again, the P3 system reports a good connection, but if I remove the cable from the AMD's powered-down NIC port, the P3 reports that the connection is once again disconnected.
I cannot figure out why the above behavior would appear, and why only one system would show it. The AMD system shows the same error message every time, even while the P2 is off, "network cable unplugged". I tried switching the cards from each system, and the behavior follows the card. I have no other pcs or operating systems to test this on, so I was wondering if anyone thinks its windows XP's drivers for the NIC cards. Rememeber, both cards work hooked up to a cable modem (as in the network no long says that a cable is unplugged). This is really getting on my nerves, because I know to set up a simple peer to peer network shouldn't involve this much hardware trouble.
If anyone has any solutions or suggestions, i would be happy to try them and report back with their results. It seems each computer will connect to the cable modem, but not to themselves (with a crossover cable instead of a regular RJ45) and its driving me nuts!
I would still suspect the cable. The cardinal rule of network debugging is always to start with physical connections, then work your way up the stack. 95% of the time thats where the problem is. Have you tried a different one?
<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
I had the exact same problem even though I was using different NIC's - 3COM905b & a 3COM ISA card (forget model #) - on my two XP RC2 machines using my crossed-over cat5 cable.
Even after rebooting both machines repeatedly, I would always see the "cable unplugged" error prompt on the machine that I unplugged from my DSL modem. If I unplugged my cross-over cable & plugged back in the cat5 cable from my DSL modem > error gone! I tried my cross-over cable on 2 NT machines > no problem!
It seemed to "fix itself" after I gave up on it & just left it for a while. I made no changes or anything, it just started working (i.e., error prompt disappeared) on its own about 2/3's of the way through Seinfeld.
Can't remember which episode it was though........
If you loan a friend $20 & never see them again, it was worth it.
Thanks for the tip. I could go get another cable, but I just bought this one (package is still on a chair near my computer) and it seems doubtful that it would be defective. Anythings possible, but I've also heard of others having a similar problem, such as those at ntcompatible.com's message board. I think it may be a software thing, of course this is a hardware site so I'm going to get some nice hardware suggestions =)
As of right now though I'd like to investiage why the strange behavior happens (in XP the network is connected when the AMD turns off). Sounds weird, and maybe thats proof that the cable can work.
I do not have a hub or switch or router to test the connection on. I was trying to set up a quick, 2 computer network to do some multiplayer gaming on until I have enough to put up a full blown network for a lan party, but as of right now I'm just trying to work with a cost effective cross-over cable. The only thing I have to test the connection with is the computer's connection to a cable modem using RJ45 cables, and both of my comps connect to it just fine. It sounds like the crossover cable is the problem, but the connection does work (according to winxp) when one of the computers is turned off, and the other on. Very odd... I doubt upgrading to the new, final release of XP would help?
At work we had intermittent problems with one workstation. We tried and checked everything, changed the positioning of the cable, straightened it, took all power cables away from the network route, then replaced the cable and it fixed the problem.
Some time later we continued to use that cable again on our network on another machine with no problem.
AHhhhhhhhhhhhh!! Problem solved!! Well, I'm still having trouble with packet lossage, but this was the problem with the cable reportedly being disconnected. Someone at Ntcompatible.com suggested that I had my cards set to auto-detect speed (which I did, WinXP sets them up as such). Anyway, he said that perhaps since both cards 10/100, and since they come from different manufacturers, that they might be having trouble agreeing on a speed. Well, I set one of them to 10mbs and the other one I suppose "autodetected" that speed and the network works! They see eachother! Finally =D Thanks for all of those that helped in this problem, it was quite ambigous.