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Hoibb

join:2012-02-01
Exeter, NH

Westell 7500 - interferes with server

Hello -

We are having a problem with a Westell 7500 DSL modem/router supplied by our ISP @ Fairpoint.net. Everytime we connect the Westell to the server, the server reboots... and reboots... and reboots. Here's the scanario.

We're in a food pantry with 5 PCs upstairs networked to a switch fed by the Westell. We just had an Intel dual processor P-III server with Windows 2003 R2 donated to us so we're trying to let it join the network. We ran commercial Cat5 from server to the switch, powered up the server, it lit up then rebooted. It kept repeating this but the period that it would stay up varied; sometimes 10 seconds and sometimes 10 minutes. Never the same and it doesn't matter if we log in to Windows or not. It will sometimes reboot at the POST, before or after.

I first elminated the network internally and externally by unplugging the Cat5 link from the Westell to the switch. The server stayed up. So then, let's go direct to the Westell from the server. And reboots started happening again. So it's just the server and the Westell, nothing else. I called Fairpoint's tech support - no help but they did offer to send a second 7500 on the premise that the first one might be defective. It arrived and I simply powered the replacement up (sans config), plugged in the Cat5 to the server and fired it up. Still reboots occurred in the same frequency and without pattern. We put the server on a UPS with voltage regulation - still reboots occurred.

I brought in an old wireless router from home. Put it and the server together with Cat5 (again, just the two devices, no network). Server stayed lit for a couple of hours with no reboot.

I had already taken the server out of the basement and set it up upstairs on the different circuit breaker trying to eliminate "dirty power". It stayed up for 2.5 hours - no reboot. I took the server home and let it run for 15 hours. Returned to the office and brought the Westell upstairs and joined it with the server. Reboots abounding. I set the server in place downstairs, turned on the Westell but DID NOT run the Cat5 over - just let the two sit together unjoined. Server is happy. Plugged in the Cat5 and down she went in about 45 seconds.

I then took the replacement Westell and disabled the wireless radio thinking that RFI must be getting in to the cabling/wiring hardware somehow. Reboots still occurred. So anytime I put the server and either Westell 7500 together the server barfs.

What does this sound like to you experts here? Would installation of Cat6 cable provide any isolation? Is there any kind of filter that could be placed on the Cat5 link that would suppress this kind of intereference? Everyone I've talked to says they can't recall this kind of behavior. I also wonder if there's a number for Westell's manufacturing or sales dept.

I'd really love to get some sort of clue.

H


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1
I would set the 7500 to bridge mode and use the "old wireless router from home" to make the internet connection

Hoibb

join:2012-02-01
Exeter, NH
Hi -

I assume you mean use the old wireless for the wireless connection. I guess I have to find out exactly what "bridge mode" is and how to invoke/enable it...

I believe there is something inherently wrong with the design of the 7500. Again, I disabled the wireless radio transmitter and it still bombs. Does bridge mode do something different or more thorough than disabling the wireless radio transmitter?

H


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1
said by Hoibb:

I assume you mean use the old wireless for the wireless connection

That's not what I suggested
said by Hoibb:

I guess I have to find out exactly what "bridge mode" is and how to invoke/enable it...

I could attempt to explain it to you
I could also attempt to explain how to invoke/enable it
said by Hoibb:

Does bridge mode do something different or more thorough than disabling the wireless radio transmitter?

Since you have a wireless router the server would physically connect to the wireless router

Hoibb

join:2012-02-01
Exeter, NH
WayJac - let me see if I can simplify this:

What is "bridge mode"? The Westell comes with NO documentation. The folks at Fairpoint have never heard of the term "bridge mode". I know. I just called them checked with their tech support.

You said above, "...the server would physically connect to the wireless router". I'm saying as soon as I physically connect the two devices, the server begins a continuous rebooting loop which means it's unreliable for doing anything.

There is something about that Westell design that brings about this condition, I'm sure of it because of my extensive testing. That's why I brought the inquiry here - to see if anyone else has had the problem and has a solution.

OK?

H


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1
said by Hoibb:

WayJac - let me see if I can simplify this: What is "bridge mode"?

The 7500 is a router and a dsl modem setting the 7500 to bridge mode disables the 7500 router
said by Hoibb:

The folks at Fairpoint have never heard of the term "bridge mode"

Ok....
said by Hoibb:

You said above, "...the server would physically connect to the wireless router". I'm saying as soon as I physically connect the two devices, the server begins a continuous rebooting loop which means it's unreliable for doing anything

Ok.. this is different than what you posted before
said by Hoibb:

I brought in an old wireless router from home. Put it and the server together with Cat5 (again, just the two devices, no network). Server stayed lit for a couple of hours with no reboot

Why not use a different adsl router

Hoibb

join:2012-02-01
Exeter, NH
I'll try again, please

To review: I said, "So it's just the server and the Westell, nothing else." Also: "I simply powered the replacement up (sans config), plugged in the Cat5 to the server and fired it up."

Physically, then, the connection series is: Server to Cat 5 to Westell and the simple act connecting the two devices causes one to fail.

Anyway, I still have very little information about bridge mode. I could experiment with it, if I (or my ISP) knew the steps involved.

H


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1
What I was trying to suggest was a setup like this:
server to cat 5 to wireless router to cat 5 to westell

Bridging the westell is one option there are other options that can be used

Hoibb

join:2012-02-01
Exeter, NH
Oh, OK. I know this:

server to cat5 to Cisco 16-port switch to cat5 to Westell also fails. But, hey - Just to be sure I'll try it your way and see what happens.

Thanks.

Hoib


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1
If you include the 16 port switch then, the connection series will be

server to cat 5 to 16 port switch to cat 5 to wireless router to cat 5 to westell

Since bridging the westell is not a option the westell should have a
static nat option that can be used for the wireless router

Hoibb

join:2012-02-01
Exeter, NH
Failure!

server to cat5 to 16 port switch to cat5 to wireless router to cat5 to westell results in reboots.

server to cat5 to 16 port switch to cat5 to old wireless router from home results in no reboots.

Server to Cat5 to Westell results in reboots.

Again, anytime the server and the westell are connected, whether directly or indirectly (via the router) results in rebooting the server.

This is absurd. We're going to try a Cat6 cable next. Then we're going to try a new NIC card off the PCI bus on the server.

H