Lost Dialup, Lost LAN

From: Mat Brown (matbrown_at_mindspring.com)
Date: 06/21/04

Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 13:04:44 GMT

     I have been working on a small office LAN, it is set up as a workgroup,
not a domain, all of them running Windows XP, all with static IPs. Each
computer dials into the internet separately. The first thing that happened
was one of the computers started having problems with the dialup connection.
It would dialup and connect, but there would be no internet there, I could
not even ping a remote IP. At this point the LAN was still working, so I
tried setting up Internet Connection Sharing on one of the other computers
on the LAN. When I was not able to access the internet that way, I
discovered that I could not even ping the other computers on the LAN. At
this point I realized that the network also had IPX/SPX enabled, and when I
removed it, the computer could not see the rest of the network. It was after
this point that I realized that, while the computer could ping loopback and
its own IP, when I did, the display was corrupted. It did not show the IP
address at all, it showed:
     "Pinging ? with 32 bytes of data:"
Then at the bottom, it showed:
     "Ping statistics for 0?:"
     I began suspecting that the TCP/IP had been corrupted. I tried the
"netsh int ip reset", but that didn't fix anything. By this time I am ready
to consider a reformat/reinstall, when I discover that the computer I had
set up the ICS on is now not able to access the internet either. It dials up
and connects to the internet just fine, but there was no internet out there,
just like the other one. I quickly checked, and I could still ping other
computers on the LAN, but I got the same garbage in the ping output. Since I
had fed this computer's IP address to the other one in attempting to get ICS
working, I began to suspect that there might be a virus of some kind
involved, moving across the network. The last time the computer had
successfully been connected to the internet, it had updated McAfee VirusScan
to that morning's DAT file, so I ran a full scan of the hard drive. Nothing.
     So, I am at a loss. It looks like TCP/IP corruption, and so a
reformat/reinstall would do it. But if I've got something crawling around
the network, it will just come back. I can't find anything there, but if
there isn't something, why did the same corruption spread to another
computer on the network? And, is there an easier way to fix it without
having to wipe the drive? Has anyone out there seen this before? What is
going on?
     Thank you for any and all help!