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.
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
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…