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Linksys 802.11G router incompatible with USB to Ethernet adapter?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Zerosum, Sep 21, 2004.

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  1. Zerosum

    Zerosum Thread Starter

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    I am having problems getting my sister's WXP Pro Dell to see the her new Linksys WRT54G.

    Her home network was running fine with a Belkin 802.11b wireless router, but the wireless connection went down and could not be repaired (the laptop Orinoco PC card was not the problem) so we attached her laptop via Ethernet cable to the Belkin and everything worked fine. Dell has always been Ethernet cabled into the router. We then decided to go 802.11g and bought the Linksys WRT54g.

    However, after swapping the WRT54G in, the Dell cannot see the Linksys, tho the laptop can connect with no problem. In Network Properties the Local Area Connection 3 icon is X'd. All TCP/IP settings are set to automatically obtain etc. Router is set to dynamic IP. There is nothing wrong with the cables. Swapping the old Belkin router back in restores connectivity.

    It's a cheapie Dell that did not come with an Ethernet card so she bought a Belkin USB to Ethernet adaptor, that worked fine with the Belkin router. With the WRT54G, the Device Manager does not report any problem devices and the USB to Ethernet adapter is shown as working properly. Restarting the Dell after the WRT54G has been swapped in invariably brings up the Found new Hardware Wizard, tho she cannot figure out what has to be (re)installed. So I had her reinstall the Belkin USB to Ethernet adapter, even tho the Device Manager show's no problem. This does not help. Put the Belkin router back in the system and the Dell starts without the hardware wizard and everything functions OK. With the WRT54G neither the connection LED on the router nor the LED on the USB to Ethernet adapter shows a connection.

    Here's the question, is it possible that the WRT54G is not compatible with the USB to Ethernet adapter?
     
  2. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Not likely. But your story is confusing. Your sister's XP was originally connected via wireless? And that broke, so you connected your sister's XP box to the router via an ethernet cable. Then you bought the linksys. And want to connect your sister's XP box to the linksys. And you're doing this with a USB to Ethernet dongle. Is this correct?

    If not, how many computers are we talking about? What connects to what, what works, what doesn't?
     
  3. Zerosum

    Zerosum Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your reply.

    With the Belkin router the Dell was connected via Ethernet and the laptop via 802.11b. Because the Belkin router wireless function failed, she had to connect the laptop with an Ethernet cable (both computers via Ethernet) and this worked without any problems.

    But she would rather the laptop be connected via WiFi, so she bought the Linksys WRT54G and a WPC54G (PCMCIA card.) She attempted to first connect the Dell via Ethernet cable but encountered the above mentioned problems.

    As a control, she attempted to connect the Laptop via Ethernet and succeeded. She has yet to attempt a wireless connection for the laptop, because if she cannot connect the Dell what happens with WiFi is irrelevant.

    I had her check all the obvious things over the phone, but could find nothing wrong in the way she has connected and configured the system. I thought the problem might be with the USB to Ethernet adapter - that it might be incompatible with the Linksys.

    But if that is unlikely, I won't bother to install an Ethernet PCI card in her Dell and will look for the source of the problem somewhere else.
     
  4. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    The cable is the same as you were using, and you are plugging it into one of the LAN ports in the linksys right? (it has 4 of them, try a different port...) Make sure the cable isn't a cross over cable (shouldn't be if it worked on a different laptop).

    Is the USB -> Ethernet thing 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps? The Linksys should be able to autonegotiate, but maybe it's having problems doing so. Can you configure the linksys to lock that one port down to 100Meg full duplex? (ooo, maybe USB doesn't like full duplex, try half if you can set it and full doesn't work either).

    Edit: Or lock it down to 10 meg if the dongle can only do that.

    If you've got one lying around, try using a cross over cable if everything else fails.

    In the end, a PCI card might be the right way to go even if you do get the USB dongle to work, but I'm an engineer, I want to know why it doesn't work now :)
     
  5. mtown_onsite

    mtown_onsite

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    Is the Belkin a 10base router? I've seen similar results when upgrading from a 10m system to a 100m. (if the cabling isn't exactly right, you can get cross-talk interference) This could be caused if the usb-eth adapter is crap. Or if the network cable isn't wired exactly right (is it a home-made eth cable?). If its not wired with the inner pair twisted, you'll get interference on a 100m setup.

    do you have a link light on both sides?

    Also, try hardcoding an ip/subnet on the correct range into the dell. See if you can see the network like that.
     
  6. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Good thought on the home made cable mtown.

    A hard coded address isn't going to help if the link lights are off...
     
  7. mtown_onsite

    mtown_onsite

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    I agree with 5mi113r... Try hardcoding it down a notch... Maybee al the way to 10-half-duplex. This could solve many of the above mentioned issues...
     
  8. mtown_onsite

    mtown_onsite

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    yeah... but I didn't see status on the link light when I posted that... ;-P

    It took me a bit to troubleshoot that cross-talk issue the first time I saw it. Many people make their own ethernet by just matching the ends up (this isn't correct, but usually works fine on a 10mb system). It wasn't obvious why when upgrading from a 10mb hub to a 100mb switch, nothing worked anymore.
     
  9. Zerosum

    Zerosum Thread Starter

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    Cables used with both routers are the same - Cat 5E patch cord purchased not hand wired, not crossover.

    I'm sure the cable from the USB to Ethernet adapter on the Dell to the WRT54G is plugged into the proper port. Laptop works on 2, Dell failed on all 4.

    Belkin 802.11b router (F5D6230-3) is 10/100 Ethernet.

    The USB to Ethernet adapter is a high quality Belkin thingie - a "USB 10/100 Ethernet Adapter"

    With the Dell there is no link light on either side.

    There, I've answered the easy questions.

    I'll try to configure to Linksys to lock down the port to 100 and then 10, as well as set the Dell to use the correct ip/subset; but I'll have to wait until this weekend when I'll have direct access to her computer.

    It'll probably be easier to just put in an Ethernet card,but I too am curious.

    In any case, I appreciate the advice and will let you know what happens.
     
  10. mtown_onsite

    mtown_onsite

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    You may want to config the usb adapter first. It should be easier to do... and the linksys *should* be able to autodetect...
    Goto network connections, goto properties for the usb adapter, click the configure button. Goto advanced tab. In the left window, you should have an option for "duplex mode" "link speed" "media state" or something similar (name varries depending on adapter). Select that. In the right hand window, set the drop down selector to 10mb half duplex.

    I would also vote for just putting in a $5 nic. But I'm also currious. :)
     
  11. Zerosum

    Zerosum Thread Starter

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    Thanks mtown. Will try that, maybe save me a trip.
     
  12. Zerosum

    Zerosum Thread Starter

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    Made the trip to my sister's, and the solution turned out to be disappointing simple: the Ethernet cable used to connect the Dell to the Belkin router, for some reason, does not work with the Linksys WRT54G. Swapping the Ethernet cables solved the problem. By this I mean exchanging the Ethernet cable used to successfully connect the laptop to the Belkin/Linksys, with the Ethernet cable that only worked between the Dell and the Belkin, resulted in both computers being able to connect to the router. Tho, of course, now we have the laptop connected via WiFi.

    The quirky Ethernet cable is a:

    AMP NETCONNECT CATEGORY 5e CABLE E138034 1500 24AWG (UL)
    CMG/MPG ETL VERIFIED TO CATEGORY 5e

    In any case, thanks for the help.
     
  13. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Hmm, since it was supposedly "verified" at one point, I'd have to conclude the cable had become damaged at some point... The fact that it's working now for a different system doesn't change that thought. A short or cracked conductor somewhere along the length could cause it to act up again in the future...

    If it is definitely not damaged, I have no further guesses as to why the cable works in one case but not the other.
     
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