Network bridge problems

SimonInd

Standard Member
I've got a new potential HTPC in the house and have been playing with it without connecting to my wireless net. Last night I put a network cable between it and my existing HTPC so that I could share files between the two and everything seemed fine - I can even stream DigiTV to the new PC over this connection. Anyway, I then tried to bridge the wired LAN connection with the wireless one on the HTPC and suddenly I lost my internet connection on this machine, and TCP/IP as far as I could tell - I could no longer ping the router.

Am I trying to do the impossible or have I missed one important step to get this to work? The wireless modem/router is a Netgear 834G and I'm running XP Home on all the machines.

Cheers

Simon
 

KraGorn

Novice Member
I don't understand what you're trying to achieve with the bridge when you have a router, why do you need to bridge the wired and wireless lans?

I have little experience with bridges and all bad.
 

SimonInd

Standard Member
The wireless router is on a different floor ( by the phone socket ) and all of the existing PCs have wireless network cards to connect to it. To save buying another wireless network card for the new PC I thought I'd connect it to an existing PC in the same room using a cable. This will give me internet and LAN access during the all important 6 months it will take to configure a new HTPC :D
 

severnsource

Novice Member
Have you set the network properties for the bridge correctly?

I recently set up a 3 way bridge on my server. It took a while to work out that, once you have bridged the components, the network bridge appears to you to be the same as a network card, so you have to ensure that all the TCP/IP, etc. settings are correct.

Bill
 

SimonInd

Standard Member
Have you set the network properties for the bridge correctly?

Not sure, I just left them as their defaults last night. Currently the PC that I want to bridge network connections gets its IP address dynamically from the router - typically 192.nnn.nnn.nnn. The wired LAN between this PC and the new one has different IP addresses: 168.nnn.nnn.nnn. Is this likely to be the cause of the problem? I'm not really that familiar with networking...

Cheers

Simon
 

severnsource

Novice Member
SimonInd said:
Have you set the network properties for the bridge correctly?

Not sure, I just left them as their defaults last night. Currently the PC that I want to bridge network connections gets its IP address dynamically from the router - typically 192.nnn.nnn.nnn. The wired LAN between this PC and the new one has different IP addresses: 168.nnn.nnn.nnn. Is this likely to be the cause of the problem? I'm not really that familiar with networking...

Cheers

Simon
Yes, that will definitely make the computers not talk to each other. All the computers need to be in the same range of network addresses; for small private networks the address will often be something like 192.168.0.xxx with a netmask of 255.255.255.0.

Are you sure that the other address range does not start 169? If windows tries to start up a network with no dhcp server it seems to use private addresses in the 169 range.

If you want to use the DHCP server, what I would do is to check that the network bridge on the bridged machine is set to the default automatic values, open a command window on this machine and type ipconfig /all. This will show you the settings of the network adapters on that machine, if these are consistent with the settings on your original network then you're bridged machine should be working O.K.

Do the same on your new HTPC. I would hope that if you had started the bridging machine before you started the new machine the DHCP server should be able to route requests through the bridge machine.

That's just suggested something else to me. Did you start the new PC before you started the bridged machine? If you did that the new PC would not have been able to see the DHCP server and would have started the network with its own IP address which would not have been related to the ones on your network.

Bill
 

SimonInd

Standard Member
Thanks for getting back to me Bill, if I understand correctly I should do the following:

With the new PC turned off, bring up the existing (bridge) PC and check that the Wireless Net, Network Bridge and Wired Network Adapter have the same settings using ipconfig /all

If this isn't the case then I guess I can remove the bridge, disable/re-enable the wired network adapter and re-bridge to reset the settings back to their defaults to acheive this? Presumably the bridge needs to be in place before the new machine connects?

Once this PC looks good, and hopefully everything like internet access is fine, bring up the new HTPC and if all is well it should get an ip address assigned by the central wireless router? ipconfig /all on this machine should confirm this?

From memory, the new machine was indeed up and running when I enabled the wired LAN card on the bridge PC and the IP addresses may well be 169.nnn.nnn.nnn

Thanks again for your help, I'll try it tonight.

Simon
 

Higgers

Active Member
SimonInd said:
Thanks for getting back to me Bill, if I understand correctly I should do the following:

With the new PC turned off, bring up the existing (bridge) PC and check that the Wireless Net, Network Bridge and Wired Network Adapter have the same settings using ipconfig /all

If this isn't the case then I guess I can remove the bridge, disable/re-enable the wired network adapter and re-bridge to reset the settings back to their defaults to acheive this? Presumably the bridge needs to be in place before the new machine connects?

Once this PC looks good, and hopefully everything like internet access is fine, bring up the new HTPC and if all is well it should get an ip address assigned by the central wireless router? ipconfig /all on this machine should confirm this?

From memory, the new machine was indeed up and running when I enabled the wired LAN card on the bridge PC and the IP addresses may well be 169.nnn.nnn.nnn

Thanks again for your help, I'll try it tonight.

Simon

Did you get the bridge working? I didn't think it was possible to bridge a wired and wireless network due to some technical point about wireless ethernet frame format or something.
 

SimonInd

Standard Member
Well, I spent some time over the weekend fiddling and trying nearly every combination of bringing one machine up while the other is on/off etc. and I'm throwing in the towel. Maybe there is a Wireless/Wired problem - as soon as I try to bridge the wireless connection with anything else it loses TCP/IP. I think I'll probably get a cheap wireless card for the new machine and leave the wired connection between them, without bridging the two. This should give me internet access over WiFi on each machine and 100 Mbit/s over the wire for streaming video between the two machines...

Oh well

Simon
 

Higgers

Active Member
You may be able to get internet access on your new HTPC via your old HTPC by turning on internet connection sharing on your old PC. This would mean that your old HTPC is effectively acting as the router for your new HTPC. It's been years since I've used ICS but I think you turn it on for a specific NIC, your wired NIC in this case. At this point windows decides to set the IP address of that NIC to 192.168.0.1 but you can change the address and it will still work. Theoretically you should be able to set the default gateway of your new HTPC to be the IP address of your old HTPC and all packets bound for the internet sent from your new HTPC should be sent to the old HTPC and from there to your Netgear router.

I've no idea if this will work but it's got to be worth a go. If you can only enable ICS for modems then it's not going to work.
 

SimonInd

Standard Member
I've got a feeling you can only share an internet connection if it's via a modem - ie. the PC connects directly to the 'net. As I'm connecting via a wireless LAN I don't think this option is available but I'll check.

I've ordered a 802.11g PCI card for 16 quid so whatever happens I'll have 'net access on this PC soon - perhaps I should have done this in the first place...

Simon
 

SimonInd

Standard Member
Just as a postscript I installed the wireless card last night and have both wired and wireless networks running on both PCs without any problems. I've now got video streamed over the wired LAN and internet access over the wireless one - hurrah!

Looks like the bridging was the problem after all.

Simon
 

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