Monday, May 02, 2005

Out of the office today

This morning I did a now rare service call, back at the country club where I helped install a wifi hotspot. Last Thursday our contact there called in and let us know that members were having major problems getting online using the hotspot. So, I setup a site visit for this morning.

Since everything was working just peachy just a few weeks ago, I had figured that what probably was happening was that users' PCs were infected with malware that was hosing the Windows networking components. It turns out I was wrong.

I got onsite with my Dell D600 which has a Netgear Wireless-G card and my Apple iBook with its Airport Extreme 802.11g card. The iBook got online without any problems. The Dell, on the other hand, had problems pulling an IP via DHCP even after associating with the SMC access point. The customer's Dell, with a Linksys Wireless-G card, experienced similar difficulties. So did the laptops of a couple of members who were a couple of rooms over.

The Windows machines kept giving reporting an error contacting the DHCP server.

I verified the configurations of the SMC WAP and our SMC8013 gateway/modem. I rebooted all our equipment, and even factory-defaulted the gateway, then reconfigured it. No dice. For some reason, Windows boxen associating with this WAP or the second WAP we have onsite are having difficulty pulling -- and retaining -- IP addresses. Throughout the three hours I was onsite, my iBook's connection never bobbled.

I'm therefore pretty sure something is hosed up with the SMC8013 gateway. I called in to tech support and requested a high-priority dispatch to get the modem replaced. That was supposed to be done this afternoon after I left. I haven't heard back from the customer so I'll follow up tomorrow.

No comments: