|"I have the same problem as described below in some old posts on this site (from 2005),"|
Copy the url of those posts and paste them in this topic.
For my limited experience with a 5 computer network with Win 98SE / 2000 / XP on them, that I helped out with, if the computers are connected via network cables, problems that can cause other computers on the network to disappear are usually directly related to there being
- an end connectors on the cables connection problem. Make sure all end connectors latch into the ports they plug into, and that the cable sheath has not been pulled out of the end connector. If the plastic lever that makes the end connector latch in the port is fatigued or broken, such that it cannot latch in a port, or if the cable sheath is no longer in the end connector (or never was in it due to sloppy workmanship), the end connector can be replaced easily with a new end connector if you have the crimping tool to install that properly.
If the end connector is fine, will latch into most ports but not a few others, the other ports are damaged - the plastic lip the connector end conncetor latches to has been broken off. If it's in a network card in a slot, replace the network card.
- mis-wired cables.
I have seen that some cheap pre made network cables DO NOT have the wires connected to the end connectors properly - the same thing could happen with custom made cables. The wires inside the cable are matched pairs - each pair is twisted around one another, which greatly reduces the electric and electronic emissions they can pick up from their surroundings. The insulation colors of the wires indicates which wires are in each twisted pair - e.g. solid red, red with a white stripe; green, green with a white stripe, etc.
Since the end connectors are clear plastic, you can see which wires are at what position at each connector. The pairs of wires are supposed to be beside one another, e.g. solid color 1, color 1 with a stripe; solid color 2, color 2 with a stripe, etc. Mis-wired cables do NOT have all the pairs of wires properly beside each other, and in that case, they will work anyway if all the wires are connected on both ends, BUT those cables are more likely to pick up electric and electronic emissions (interference) from their surroundings, the longer the cable the worse the problem is. In that case, both end connectors should be replaced and have the wires installed properly.