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My network is really screwed up Answered

I seem to be fighting a loosing battle with my network, things just never work like they're supposed to.

For example, sometimes I have to reinstall my network printer on both my laptop and my ibook to get it to print again, even when the server has been running fine sans problems for a week, it will randomly do this shit.

Another example is, right now I "was" just trying to copy some music over to an external firewire drive on my server that I have shared. I had the permissions on everyone set to full access yesturday but I noticed when I restarted my server, it did not detect my drive properly until I re-seated the firewire cable :S Thusly somehow it lost my share configuration for my music folder.

I set it up, but this time I left it on read only because I wasn't planning on adding any music earlier, itunes and everything was working fine when i mounted the volume. I went on there and changed the permissions back to full access just 20 minutes ago as I wanted to add some music to my drive, I right clicked in my mac os x explorer and made a new folder just to see if I could copy over now, it worked, aswell as deleting the folder.

So I drag the 60mb folder of mp3 files over, and it just sat there...and sat...and sat.... until eventually giving me an error -36, upon searching about, it means "-36 ioErr I/O error (bummers)".

That's straight from the horse's mouth, and that really tells me nothing, what exactly does "bummers" mean???

It's frustrating for me non stop, and it does this to me with other shares in mac os x, or they will randomly disconnect for no reason, sometimes after 15 minutes or sometimes after 3 days. I will note too, I can't connect to my server now, it just says missing alias in the mac os finder. Yet I can VNC into it no problem, wowa, but just upon checking my pc just now, it can't access any shares on it either, the cursour is just spinning, however I usually have no problems with my pc's accessing it, other than the printer thing.

I'm just so god damned frustrated with my set up, I've looked it up and down until I was exhausted, several times, and I know I must be missing somewhere along the way, but I just can't understand how it doesn't work like I want it to. Shares are set up, firewire is out of the question, permissions set up, mac os x can log into server, check. It's all good until I actually go to use it for something when I really need it.

I'll have to restart my server now to get it to work properly again...it was fine until I vnc'd into it to change the permissions, im gonna try restarting it now and just access it from it's own screen, perhaps vnc has something to do with it.

Oh and to clear up any questions before they're asked, this is how I have it configured, as quickly and detailed as I can explain it:

My network starts at my ADSL +2 4 port router/modem thingy (Speedtouch 546, it has it's own connection issues on the isp's side, but they don't seem impact LAN side data flow)

That then gets split off to:

*Port 1: iBook G4
*Port 2: 25 ft. cable to 8 port switch (I'll explain that a little further down)
*Port 3: 50 ft. cable to apple airport basestation in livingroom for wifi
*Port 4: My main AMD Pc

My ibook is configured for DHCP with manual address 192.168.1.64
The switch just makes the modem think I have like 5 computers hooked into one port lol...
My airport, for a long time I thought was perfectly fine as far as usuage with my thinkpad, however, I've been noticing the last few times it's powered on, the airport connects to the thinkpad, but assigns it a 169.xxx.xxx.xx address which does not exist on my network, but if I turn the wifi off and back on, it connects fine and assigns it a dynamic ip on my 192.168.1.xxx network.

Other than that, I have it in bridge mode so that it acts pretty much the same as if the laptop were wired via ethernet, vnc, filetransfers, and online games all work good albeit the wireless delay, still not bad in VNC however.

My AMD machine is set up for static ip at 192.168.1.66

Switch:

Port 2 of my modem goes to port 8 (uplink) of my switch.

*Port 1: My server (Configured for static ip at 192.168.1.65)
The rest are just my B&W g3 setup for static ip at 192.168.1.68 and an old P2 I believe is at .69 and a 1.5 amd athlon aswell setup on 192.168.1.71, all of those in no particular order except I made sure my server stays on port 1.

I did have everything setup so my server was on port 2 of my modem all by itself, but I needed the switch over by my server so I moved it, however, I was still having these problems before hand, even when my server was running on a completely different motherboard!

Also, maybe could someone tell me why my server won't boot unless I have a bootable disk in the drive (IE: my windows 2003 server install disk), just so it goes to "press any key to boot cd.......", of course I don't push any key, and it continues to boot into windows.

However, if I dare start my server without that disc in there, it simply goes to "Invalid System Disk error, insert correct/valid disk (can't remember it word for word), and push enter"

I've tried reinstalling windows server 03, and same deal, yet it's using the same hard disk for the OS that my previous motherboard used and booted from not a problem.

I really apologize for the long post... but I've quite literally burnt myself out and lost all motivation with continuing to expand my computer network and so I figured I would ask for help on here for one last resort, but I know many people probably won't read it due to the long post, but I have a lot of problems I don't have answers for and I need to explain myself somewhat thoroughly or else I won't find the proper solution for the problem, now will I?

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