No internet connection through a switch


New Member

I just installed Windows Vista x64 and immediately ran into network problems. My Network and Sharing center said my connection was connecting/disconnecting every few seconds and I was unable to reach the internet.

My network is something like this (ignore the periods, they're there because the field won't format blank spaces :P ) :

Cable modem ---> Linksys SD2005 Switch ---> Wireless router ---> Game systems
...................................|......................... (Netgear WGT624)
...................................+--->Vista 32 Bit PC
...................................+--->Windows XP SP2 PC
...................................+--->Vista x64 (mine)

I have 4 separate IPs from my ISP so I can RDP into anything not behind the router from work. The wireless is just nice for random devices. All 3 PCs have independent IPs assigned from the ISPs DNS. All systems work fine except the x64.

I thought it was my on-board NIC so I went and bought a PCI NIC. It did the same thing. At this point I think I might have 2 bad NICs so i went and got a third - same thing. I read around on some forums and tweaked my duplex settings which stopped the connect/disconnect, but then I got something like this in my Network and Sharing Center:

x64 ===>green===>Unidentified Network===> X ===> Internet

Changing the duplex settings around did not resolve this.

Next, I followed a Microsoft fix and changed a setting in my registry that did something about disabling a packet broadcast Vista does that some devices cannot respond to. Still no go.

After pulling what's left of my hair out I slept on it and plugged my x64 system into the router. Disco! It worked. However, because of the physical locations of each system this is messy and cannot remain in place. (Aside from that I want to resolve this issue because I think it is dumb :/ )

So my question is - why can't my Vista x64 system get an IP via DHCP from the ISPs DNS? Is there something I need to turn off/kill that I haven't hit yet? When it is getting it from the router it seems happy as a clam but through the switch is no-go. (gives that nasty 169.... (preferred) address). I used mostly XP before and it looks like Vista is trying to connect to some local network and self-assign its IP. How can I make it stop (without asking my ISP for a static IP, cause they prolly won't give it to me w/o mucho $$)?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


My Computer


New Member
Wait you have 4 IP's but they aren't static. How do you know what you're connecting to when you're at work? Just guess?

Personally if it were me, I'd stick all of the devices behind the router and use something like logmein to connect to my devices from work.

My Computer


New Member
The IP address usually doesn't change between reboots (usually), so there have only been a few occasions where I neglected to nab the IP off of my desktop (via a gadget) on my way out and arrived to work with a nasty suprise.
I could use 3rd party software to remote to my system but my primary concern at this point is the lack of ability to resolve a DNS through a switch, as this could be a nasty problem that comes back to haunt me. I guess I could just always make sure to be behind a router but where's the fun in that? :D

I'm building a Windows 7 Beta (x64) box to see if it does the same thing.

My Computer


New Member
From your posts you seem a capable person so i don't really think this will be the issue. Just in case however is this page set correctly:

I realise thats a screenie from xp but the same windows exists in Vista.

As for access from work would it not be easier to set the hardware up:

modem---router---switch---3 wired machines
wireless gaming machines

Stack the router and the switch on top of one another and just use DNS Hosting, E-mail Delivery, VPS Hosting and Other Services for one static address? It'd require some port forwarding messing around to begin with but once its set up it'd surely provide the most secure way of connecting to your machines from work.

Also, how secure is the RDP protocol? I myself use VNC alongside OpenVPN.

My Computer


New Member
Thanks for looking at my problem, Dave.

The DNS is set to automatically resolve along with the IP, so everything there is configured correctly.

I upgraded my box to Windows 7 (nice!) Beta and it is doing the same thing. I think there may actually be something going on with the switch that is blocking or not passing through my system's request to the ISP's DNS server for an address. Didn't have this problem with XP, and the 32 bit Vista is fine, but that's pretty much all I could figure out so far. When I get some more cash I'll have to purchase another switch and see if it does the same thing to me.

In the meantime I've set my router to forward RDP port calls to my system's assigned address. My wife has also agreed not to kill me for the ether cable stretched across the middle of my livingroom floor so my PC can get to the router, as long as I pick it up when guests come by, so I seem to have a viable workaround.
You know, I'm not certain how secure an RDP session is. That does raise an intersting point. Right now I use OpenVPN to get to my office from home (our office has a nice redhat server set up just for that purpose), mayhaps I should look into gettting something set up home-side as well, get some nice encryption going. In the meantime, I guess, the hackers can get their jollies off of the pictures of cats I mostly move back and forth. Don't ask.

I'll post some more after I try switching my switches, in case anyone else runs into this problem in the future.

My Computer


New Member
Another long shot suggestion here but how configurable is your switch? Is it possible to swap the OEM firmware for an open source alternative from the likes of OpenWrt or DD-WRT :: News?

As far as windows remote desktop goes as far as i understand it from win server 2003 and onwards (as long as you go with business edition OSes) you can run a server which requires FIPS (some us federal standard) to connect. FIPS is supported on the client side by XP Pro SP2 and higher.

I found it much easier tho to use COPSSH to set up an SSH server on my home machine and then tunnel in using PuTTY which can be run as a portable app. Then all my work to home data, and vice versa, goes through that which AFAIK is about as secure as anyone would need it to be. I'm not an expert tho, just an interested home user. There are a lot of easy to follow guides out there which I can link you to if you're interested.

My Computer