A Pull-my-Hair-Out issue


So, yesterday evening, BOTH WDTV’s started failing to find my Media Share server.  Meaning, it would see every OTHER comptuer on my network that had shares, but not the one I wanted with my media on it.

I was pulling out my hair trying to figure out why that hostname wouldn’t show up in the Server list, but the DLNA parts of Win7 WOULD.   It’s the same box.

So, I started digging very deep.  I even downloaded Wireshark, and looked at packet captures to find that the protocol wasn’t working as I’d expect.   I also see lots and lots of TCP retransmits on the DLNA traffic. 

I wound up trying to Undo EVERYTHING I had done in the last two days;  DEINSTALLED my new Access Point/Router, undid several software changes, etc. etc…  Nothing.

As I was getting ready to physically disconnect some stuff, I noticed that when I bumped one of the four ethernet cables plugged into the back of my FiOS router, the Link LED went dark.   When I pushed it back, it’d re-light.  When I let go, it’d go dark again.  A bad connection.

This can happen if the plastic tab is broken or worn, or if the cable is bad.

So, out to the workbench where I made three new Cat5E jumpers.    Replaced the cable, same problem.

It appears as though the router has a physical problem on one of the jacks, so I just bypassed that port.  Voila-- all is working.

But here’s the weird part.  That cable has NOTHING to do with the signal path of one of the units.

Unit 1 — 8 port Switch – (Bad Cable) — FiOS Router.

Unit 2 Wireless – Linksys Router – FiOS Router.

BOTH units wouldn’t work, but after bypassing that bad port, BOTH work.

I guess that FiOS ActionTec router has an issue if one of the ports are bad, it can affect more than just that port.   I’ll be calling Verizon tomorrow to get a replacement…


Yipes.  If this had happened to anyone else here, Tony, we’d just assume the user was doing something wrong or that there was something wrong with the Live (and, I suspect, even including you).

What this illustrates more than anything is that networks can be tricky, and expecting things to be plug-and-play isn’t realistic.  Of course, your setup is more complicated than most, but not as complicated as some (you should see the witches brew I have here, and I don’t know 1/10 of what you do about networks – I’m just a simple programmer type).