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home network

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 10:38 pm

2004-8-9
10:38 pm

So, on saturday I decided to spend some time to figure out my network trouble at home. I finally figured out that the real symptom was my ADSL router rebooting. At some points the lights lock up, it keeps at it for about a minute, and then it reboots itself. No clue why, but at least I finally have something I can measure to see how my network is doing: the uptime of my router.

Armed with that piece of information, I unplugged everything from the network. I only used my laptop over wireless. Sure enough, ADSL router works fine for over an hour. I add one hub and one machine. Things keep working for more than an hour. And so I go on until I connect the small QBIC box that since a short time acts like the home server. And things fall apart.

To cut a long story short, this machine has an on-board network adapter that doesn’t work, and with two different PCI NIC’s it messes up the network badly enough to make the router crash.

I should also say that my appartment isn’t grounded anywhere – which is typical in Spain. I had started thinking about adding a ground cable myself.

I was considering giving up, and move the home server back to the crappy AMD that overheats as soon as it runs 100% busy for a minute and starts beeping like crazy, and can only take 32 GB disks. I even got so far as tracking down and installing the latest (unstable beta) BIOS for it, which made it not halt on big drives, but it just reboots as soon as it loads the kernel.

Luckily at that point I remembered I still have some USB network adapters lying around. I hoped the USB adapter given the lower signals it works with would not cause problems on the network wrt. ground issues. And yes, using that my routers is a lot more stable. It still reboots sometimes, but it’s more in the six hour range than the ten minutes. Enough to be bearable until I either add grounding myself or get someone to do it.

Only one drawback left in the meantime – even though the network adapter claims it can do 100Mbit, I cannot get it above 5 mbit of actual throughput…

Now let’s hope I’m clear of network/harddisk/server issues for some time…

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