Need help with Small Office Network...

December 7, 2012 at 08:17:43
Specs: Windows 7, Core i3

We have 5 PC's in our office. ALL running Win7 Home Premium. We want 4 to be Workstations/Clients and the 5th to be the Server. They are currently setup as so, as an ad hoc network. It works, for the most part. But it cause issues with losing network connection intermittently, which causes Quickbooks to boot people out of the program. Would we be better suited to upgrade the file serving machine to Win 7 Pro? The setup is as follows. 3 pc's on one side of the room, 2 on the opposing side. We have a Cisco Router on the 3rd wall, and it pipes the net connection to a switch on each computer wall like a big U. I just need a reliable Network Connection to share files from a centralized location. Help!!

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December 7, 2012 at 09:58:20

Your terminology might be a bit wrong here. You say it is an Ad Hoc network and then go onto say the the computers are connected via a router and a switch.

That is an infrastructure network.

An Ad Hoc network is were computers are connected directly to each other with no routers or switches involved.

Intermittent drop out in a wired network can often be traced to a faulty cables so that is where I would start looking, especially as it always one of the computers connected to a particular switch. I would look at the cable connecting that switch to the router.

Upgrading to Win & pro would make little difference, you would still have the peer to peer network that you have now and would do nothing for intermittent drop-outs.

You can not solve a hardware problem with software.


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December 7, 2012 at 10:15:23

It could also be a failing switch. Might just bypass the switch and connect to the router [1 server 3 clients] and see if the network remains stable.

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December 7, 2012 at 12:40:18

Thanks Stuart. Thats what I meant. Sorry, Thank you for the clarification. The internet connection out here is poor, and not always consistent. I just want to streamline the system and make it work more efficiently. What would your recommendation for the ideal setup be? Given the scenario I have given you and throwing the Win 7 Pro concept out the window.

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December 7, 2012 at 13:31:19

Is your Quickbooks hosted on that "server" machine? If it is than your problems have nothing to do with your Internet connection. I would try what wanderer suggested and take the switch out of the equation and plug all your devices into the router (given you have enough free ports) and see if the problem goes away. If it does you need a new switch.


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December 7, 2012 at 15:22:44


Thanks for the input. I will do that. Question, Given the current setup, instead of using the Router and 2 independent switches, would we be better served to just pick up a quality Netgear Gigabit switch like this one ( and just do cable runs from the switch to each machine? That way we are minimizing the number of pieces of equipment in the equation?

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December 8, 2012 at 15:40:02

Possibly. You probably wouldn't really notice an increase in speed unless your current switches aren't gigE. That said, you may if you are doing large file transfers over the network such as backups. I would probably still get a new gigE switch though.


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