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"Did not assign a network address"


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I am using Windows XP Pro on my PC which is connected to a BT Voyager 2000 Router/ADSL modem. 2 other computers are connected by cable and 2 wirelessly (one PC and one Powerbook)

Often when I boot up my PC there is no error message and everything is fine. But sometimes I log on to windows and find one of two error messages.

First is that "a network cable is unplugged" even though it is not. If I wait for 5 minutes it it disappears and I am connected.

The other message I get is that I am not connected to the network and I get "The problem occurred because the network did not assign a network address to the computer." If I click on repair and then wait 2 mins, it repairs fine and I am connected.

Both of these errors show an icon in the notification area. Does anybody know what might be wrong?

The first error is leading me to believe I have a dodgy network card as its not detecting the cable.

The second would lead me to believe the network or router is set up wrong as it has difficulty assigning me an internal network address.

What do you think?


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This could be a number of reasons..

Ensure portfast is not enabled on the switches

you can statically set the port speeds.

you can use group policy to force the computer wait for the network connection.

Is the Voyager handing out the addresses?

If so.. how many devices does it go through to get to the computers..

Is this happening on any other computers on the network or just these 2

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  • 2 weeks later...

The only advice I could give you with those informations would be to follow OSI Model checks...I mean start to check hardware / cable and then, climb up every step until you find the problem.

For what I can tell, it could be a cable problem, an interface problem, a switch / hub problem, etc...if it isn't, it can be a speed / duplex problem (autonegociation isn't always your best friend :)).

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