After five years I finally discovered why my network goes down!

If you don’t want to read my ramblings, just head straight down to the bottom of this post.

update: feb-11th-2020 - bought some new USB-C hubs and my network hasn’t had one hiccup ever since.

Back many months ago I plugged all my My Clouds and my My EX2s back onto the network and coincidentally my new Telus Internet provider decided to go down at the same moment.

No internet

I swore at both WD and Telus. WD for always creating problems and Telus for going down in internet service and the worse part is that getting tech support from Telus takes an hour to get through as the Queue is horrendous no matter what time of day or event. Eventually the internet got restored and all my My Clouds started working as advertised by WD. I’ve had no problems with the My Clouds disappearing off the network at all.

Fast forward to Christmas as I managed to buy a brand new discontinued MacBook 12" with a French Keyboard at a great discount (almost a $1000 off the MSRP price) and I spent Christmas fighting with Apple new OS Cortina which decides to be like Microsoft in rejecting most of my 32 bit apps. I had to restore my old High Sierra backup OS to my new MacBook in order for all my apps to work.

I had my new MacBook on a second USB-C Dock that I knew that from time to time would lock the network of which I had thought it was just a defective dock.

BTW a lock network is a network that has no internet, no wifi and no local networking so no access to the local NAS. Yanking the ethernet cable off the USB-C dock would usually fix it.

One night this last Christmas I woke up at about 5AM for some strange reason and said “Siri, turn on the lights” and there was no response. The house was dark and I stumbled around in the dark looking for the light switch. I finally wandered into my living room to figure out why Siri didn’t respond to my request, to find that my whole internet is down.

Oh great I thought, Telus is down? I proceeded to reset all my routers, my switches and after all that, my internet was still out. I called Telus and at 5AM there was an hour wait time for tech support.

Out of frustration I even started to pull out the ethernet cables from my MacBook Docks… You should be able to guess where this is going by now… and the internet came back up… but I didn’t put the two together and you would think by now I should have known.

Oh about time I said… and proceeded to forget all about it until the next morning when it happened again and I reset all my routers, switches and you have to understand that all this reseting is not an easy process as plugs are behind bookshelves and I’m on my hands and knees swearing at Telus.

I must have pulled the ethernet cable from the USB-C dock eventually because my internet came back up.

At this time I am suspecting that it wasn’t Telus but something in my Network? hmmmmm I wonder what it is? man is this a head scratcher?

Fast forward to today…

I yanked my MacBook from the Dock and was using it “sans wires” when a message popped up that said that I got two MacBooks with the same name on the network and the OS then changed the name to MacBook (4445). Yes I did give my new MacBook a new name and this was my old MacBook that I was playing around with.

My whole local network including Wifi and the internet went down.


I pulled the ethernet cable out from the dock and the internet came back up. You can almost hear the hum of the network coming back up just like when the power comes back up when you have an outage, like the fridge would start humming and lights would go click, click, click, as each light came back on, except the network and wifi is almost like a conduit to your brain; some people get headaches from the 5ghz signal but I get this feeling like I’m somehow connected to the world.

The dock apparently holds the mac address of the MacBook and retains the IP even when the MacBook isn’t docked. Thus when the MacBook is removed from the dock and connects to the Network via Wifi with the same Mac address it causes a conflict and worse, it locks the whole network.

So now after five years of random outages, swearing, getting on my hands and knees - no not to pray to the gods but to pull out plugs and cables to troubleshoot, I have discovered the culprit and it isn’t just a USB-C dock but it is network conflict of IPs and network device names.

This was why when I attached a bunch of EX-2s that were re-initialized with a default WD name that the network went down. I was correct to blame WD for my problems back then.

Apparently a lot of devices like routers and switches all retains devices names, Mac Addresses and IPs for routing and because of this routing that routes to conflicting devices or devices that no longer answers, which is the cause of the network locking although this is just my guess.

I remember reading in this forum that one post blames WD for taking down his network every time he plugs in his My Cloud. At that time I had scoffed and thought what a ridiculous claim. However today, I am a true believer that it is possible that WD can cause a lot of conflicts :stuck_out_tongue:

Especially with all idiotic programming in the routers today where kids who programs the routers says things like “oh if the internet goes down lets just reboot the router every 15 seconds until the internet comes back up” which is the cause of not being able to watch your movies streaming from your nas on your local internet when the internet goes down. This is why you put your local network on a switch that has one plug to your router so that you can continue to watch your movies from your nas.

Apparently Routers and switches has a lot of long term memory and luckily pulling the plug on these devices will clear your device names, mac address and ips from the routing table.

Also add the USB-C docks which apparently pulling the power from these tiny devices WILL NOT clear the Mac address as I cannot swap docks once I have used an existing identical dock. I had bought two USB-C docks in hope that I could use a computer monitor then move my MacBook over to my second dock that is connected to my Big Screen 4k TV. I cannot have a ethernet cable connected to both. Moving from dock to the other will lock my whole network. Five years ago I thought it was just a defective dock but now I know better.

Network Name Conflicts, Mac address conflicts, IP Clashes… these are all real and they will take down your network and yes your internet can go down when you plug in a WD product with the conflicting name or a name/mac and ip that has been retained by your router/switch.

Another mystery solved… after five years…

Does the USB-C dock have an option for passthru?

no passthru rac8006

raise you a nickel…

So the problem with my network is that my Mac is using both WIFI and ethernet cable when docked and the USB-C dock holds the memory of the mac address simulating the MacBook docked when I remove the MacBook from the dock. Thus I have two identical MacBooks on the network; one real and one fake emulated by the dock and we have a real conflict which locks the whole local network.

I kid you not and this lockdown stays almost in perpetuity even if you reset the modem/routers/switches wifi routers and I have even waited the hour to two hour wait time for Telus to tell me… “no the internet is not down and everyone around you is working just fine. YOU are the only one (meaning me) that is having problems.”

Last year I even argued with the Shaw Company because I told them that I had a Wifi Router (Apple Airport, two of them in fact so I can do a bridge from one Airport to the other) attached to their Shaw Modem (and the guy corrects me by telling me that is a router) and he says that I CANNOT have a router attached to another router and I said I had this wifi router attached to their router for four years and I had no problems up until now… of which their internet keeps going down every week for a few hours. (this is before I knew about my dock conflicts).

The conflict occurs not because two devices are trying to use the same ip but the conflict occurs because a single device, the same device, is trying to use its own Mac address and IP. This, perhaps is unique to the Mac realm because if you search for new MacBook names with names that have parenthesis MacBook (4444) and next time the MacBook is renamed to MacBook (4445) because MacBook (4444) is used already on the network… something is cloning the MacBook on the network.

In my case, the dock is one of the problems because it keeps the mac address and ip in memory and doesn’t release it until the network cable is unplugged from the tiny dock.

Other users are having the same problem perhaps because they are using the Wifi and ethernet cable simultaneously? no idea.

However every so often I have to power off all my routers, airport wifi (two of them), switches, just so the whole network is refreshed otherwise like now, half of my voice activated lights don’t turn on and off and some of my network IP cameras are also not working. Perhaps remnants from my mac address/ip conflict from earlier in the day? or perhaps it is just me that when agitated all my electronics in my house acts weird and again I kid you not.

What is the make and model of the USB C dock?

The USB-C hubs/docks are so ubiquitous on Amazon that probably every dock is using the same or similar chipset but here is mine.

A few things to note.

  1. this could be just an Apple Problem because cloning of the Macs has been reported quite often on the internet.
  2. swapping docks even if the other dock is disconnected doesn’t work. I.e. once you stick a MacBook on a selected dock, it is paired forever. Swapping the MacBook to the other dock results in not having the USB Ethernet active.
  3. having both docks on the network with different MacBooks works most of the time except when not. Once in awhile, whether I remove one MacBook from the one dock or I’m jiggling the cable while removing a USB 3.0 SSD drive, suddenly the whole network goes down.

Apple no longer just works. There are so many idiosyncrasies with Apple that it blows my mind that Apple is a much more evil corporation than Microsoft. For example the code that slows down your iPhone when the battery gets old. Or in the early days, Trim was disable on 3rd party SSD if you replace you Mac Mini hard drive with an SSD. You had to disable the core protection of the OS before you can add Trim. Lastly with Cortina OS it is a nightmare now as I upgraded to find most of my apps disabled.

I say all this because the freezing of my network has been going on for five years and while I have had fairly good luck in tracking down problems, this one really gets my goat especially at 5AM when I had to figure out why my system has a ghost in it.

Oh the extra trim app that I mentioned, apparently it gets cloned over to all my MacBooks when using the migration assistant resulting in a 5 minute boot up time. I finally tracked it down when I saw this odd trim app Cindori Trim Enabler when searching for Paragon NTFS for deletion from my Mac. My mac now boots up in I think 30 seconds. Although Cindori is not necessarily an Apple Problem, the need for a 3rd Party app that enables Trim is.

I’m curious. If you scan the network to see what devices are connected. Then remove the mac pc and rescan. The ip and mac address sill shows up? Becasue if the dock keeps the address then when you connect the mac PC back it should issue a dhcp request for an IP address. Which would mean that the dock handles dhcp requests. What could be happening is that the dock is causing the router to think that the network is connected even when the mac PC is removed. Just a thought.

see. . . .keep it simple. Use Windows :slight_smile:

Of course, the roving WIN10 updates are a perpetual hazard to the computing ecosystem - - - but apple is definitely past peak.

yeah no :stuck_out_tongue:

I am too old for curiosity.

One thing to note though… when the whole network is locked… no internet no nothing… it is like this silence in the world… then I unplug the ethernet cable and suddenly the whole network comes awake…

The internet screen that was locked on the screen suddenly pops with information… my NAS wakes up for some reason… gurgles in fact… the WD my clouds starts whirrrrrrrrrling… humming …

Windows doesn’t have what I need. It did at one time but there are so much trouble with 3rd party software writers and Microsoft windows in that in order for certain software to run you needed certain hardware and then all of sudden the software is no longer supported.

I need logic pro x, garage band and free pages and numbers; all written by Apple.

I just bought another MacBook 12" on sale for $1200. Why you ask? logic pro x that connects to my casio px-s3000 keyboard. Wonderful size on both. It is what I had wanted since 1977. All the software I need is written by Apple so when the OS updates, so does all the software.

Despite Cortina forcing me to 64bit apps, what I am going to do is keep one MacBook with high sierra just to run adobe photoshop cs6. The rest of my notebooks can be upgraded to cortina to run logic pro x and garage band.

You will never get to the bottom of a problem if you ignore the facts. If the dock has the mac address then why isn’t there a conflict with duplicate macs when you connect the mac PC to the dock? I still think that when you disconnect the dock. The router does not know that the mac PC is disconnected from the router.

I do get to the bottom of a problem… I pull the ethernet cord from the dock and the lights come back on, the refrigerator buzzes, music comes back on… :stuck_out_tongue:

bingo… that is exactly what happens, the router does not know that the mac pc is disconnected from the router. When my MacBook reconnects via wifi of which I don’t know why it would even disconnect in the first place as wifi is always on… but suddenly I get this message that there is a duplicate mac on the network… and my now wireless mac that I just removed from the dock… is now renamed to MacBook (4446) from a previous name of MacBook (4445). My other MacBook is called MacBook French and it doesn’t have a naming problem yet because it has been sitting in the dock forever.

Rac8006, it is what it is… when the network goes down… I now go check on my MacBooks and simply remove the ethernet cable from the docks and suddenly all is right with the world.

When I plug in all my Ex2 with identical names and my network goes down, I plug them in one by one and rename the EX2 name before plugging in the next one.

I’ve been buying up, well actually I bought two, brand new discontinued French MacBooks 12" 512GB SSD from Bestbuy for $1150 each and have been cloning my original MacBook so unbeknownst to me I had some MacBook naming clashes. Of course I renamed the new MacBooks to MacBook-French which for some reason gets a completely different name on the network when connecting from my Oculus Quest to my MacBook but it works. The interesting part, or at least it was interesting to me, was that there were two MacBook-French on the network, yes I know I should know better, but yes I forgot to rename my 2nd MacBook-French to another name after cloning and the result of having two MacBook-French was that I was unable to connect with the error being that my password and username was invalid. It finally dawned on me to rename one of my MacBook-French to something else.

Of course, in hindsight it is blatantly obvious but when connecting in my Oculus Quest it had some other name of MacBook-6123523 and not being able to sign-on was a mystery.

After renaming one of the MacBook-french to some other name, I was able to sign on to my other MacBook-French without any problems.

Also, I bought some new USB-C hubs from Amazon and they are working on my network without the old glitch, however I did renamed one of my MacBook-French to another name so that might have been resolved already.

Yes I know that the deadlock of my local network could have stemmed from cloned MacBook names in the first place, but trust me they all had unique names of MacBook [4444] or some auto numbering every time they clashed but it is might be possible that the old MacBook name is always retained on the network.

Anyways, my whole network is now stable with all MacBooks having true different names.

Brand new USB-C hubs that has a USB-headphone out which I found useful for logic pro X output back to my aux-in on my piano keyboard speakers (midi out from the piano keyboard and audio in) ; there was an annoying hum when using the standard headphone jack on my MacBook.

There are too many last words on this subject but here are my last words anyways.

Last words.

One of the reasons that I wanted 2 or 3 MacBooks is that the battery on my originall MacBook 12" was going bad, or at least that is the status of what Mac OS was telling me (bring in your MacBook to get a new battery or else we will slow down your MacBook so it feels like you have a virus). Anyways I finally took it in to get the battery replaced for a whooping $250 but it is just to satiate my OCD of needing my MacBook to be perfect.

So while they were replacing my battery they noticed that my wifi was broken and needed the whole motherboard to be replaced (luckily at no additional cost).

This adds another component to my network going down due to network conflicts.

In addition I also found that after two identical named devices will continue to clash even if you renamed one of the devices and leaving the other device with the clashing name. You need to rename BOTH devices in order for the network to resolve itself (even after countless reboots of the router/switches/devices).

I had thought all my troubles were over until I kept losing my network connection to my MacBook from my Oculus Quest using Skybox. No matter what username or password I would input, it would be rejected as invalid. It had been working for more than an hour before I was locked out of my MacBook. No changes anywhere but the network just decides that it had enough and locks me out.

Finally I decided to rename my MacBook-French to just MacBook-Main and suddenly I was able to see all my MacBooks (2 of them MacBook-Main and MacBook-Piano) when previously I could only see one. I was then able to sign into my MacBook without any problems.

In hindsight I had a lot of problems when I plugged in a bunch of my re-initialized EX2s that all had the same reinitialized name even though I started changing them one by one, it took a good two days before my whole network settled down. On my network I have smart lutron lights, wifi cameras, smart plugs, harmony hub for controlling my entertainment center, ring doorbell and when conflicts begin, I have problems turning on and off my lights, cannot see who is at the door and I cannot turn on/off my TV.

Symtoms includes

  • disappearing devices even though you were just using it
  • locked network where everything on the network is unable to communicate
  • invalid username and password, I really don’t understand how it can reject your credentials?
  • cannot see the other conflicting devices
  • booting up a device would cause all kinds of conflicts in the network, even though you are sue that you have no conflicts because you rename “ONE” of the devices to resolve a naming conflict. (You need to rename both conflicting devices to resolve a conflict).

I doubt that this post would help anyone since I know that if your My Cloud disappears off the network, it has to be the poor quality of the build of the My Clouds and not the network fault since you never had any problems with the network until you plugged in a “My Cloud”.