A customer had problems connecting 2 PCs to the office network. The last time I was there (about 3 months ago), all the PCs worked well on the network.
I take a look at the XP PC and vista laptop, and I notice that they are on a different workgroup to the rest on the office. There is an Office workgroup, and an msoffice workgroup… so I make them all msoffice.
The vista laptop still has problems though… sometimes it can see the internet, but cannot see any network shared drives… other times its the other way around…
I look at the TCP/IP settings, and I see its using a fixed IP address. I’m trying to think of a reason why a PC would be changed from DHCP to fixed IP addresses… but all I can come up with, is someone changed it due to their limited network knowledge, while attempting to fix another problem.
Anyway, once back to dhcp, its all running normally again.
But a few days later, I’m called back, as another vista laptop is now acting up.
I take a look, but it has DHCP enabled.
The owner says he sometimes gets a message about a duplicate IP address.
OK, looks like I’ll need to check all PCs, looking for which ones have been switched over to fixed IP addresses.
It turns out just 1 PC (the main file server) needed to go back to DHCP. 30 minutes later, everything is working smoothly again.
The only potential problem, is a network printer that was installed a while back. The printer tech did all the work… and I was never involved… if the printer uses a fixed IP address, then its a potential “timebomb”.
Next time I’m called out, I’ll take a look at the settings, and if needed, I’ll setup the network router to allocate a fixed IP address to the printer.