Recently started having problems getting the router to work on 2 desktops - neither are wirelessly connected. The cable lights are on, the router lights are on, it shows on the computer that it is connected and even shows packets sent/received but I'm unable to access the internet. When I go to cmd and do ipconfig/all - one computer has a DHCP assigned whereas the other one is using a different address and is assigning it to several different applications. I have tried and tried to fix the problem, and tried power cycling both the modem and router but nothing seems to fix it. If you could give me some ideas on where to even start, I would be greatful. I'm not computer illiterate, but not savy either so if you need more info then please let me know.
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The devil is in the details they say... You didn't say how things were hooked up?
Also since you say you have a problem that just started on 2 desktops, are there other desktops connected that do not have a problem? It sounds like you are saying that you have Cable Modem Internet, and maybe even that you have another router connected to the actual cable modem box.
Cable Modem > Router > At least 2 desktops. How does that sound?
1.) If you in fact only have 2 desktops, and there are no other computers that are getting Internet access, then try isolating things a bit. Can you connect just one desktop to the cable modem directly, power cycle the cable modem, and get Internet access (after the cable modem "acquires" and gets all its lights) ?
If this fails, call Cable ISP support and have it troubleshot/fixed.
2.) Cable Modem passes DHCP from your ISP over the Cable modem to the 1st connected thing. Typically it only assigns 1 IP Address and it marries that assignment to the MAC address of 1st thing connected to it. This is why if you switch the 1st thing connected to cable modem you must power cycle it to clear that MAC address memory.
If #1 here worked ok, can you now connect the router to the cable modem with the power *not* connected? Power cycle the cable modem and wait for "acquired" lights. Connect power to router. Can you now go to the web page of the router and check "Status" and see if it has obtained a valid IP Address from the cable modem/cable company?
3.) If you were able to do #2, can you check IP settings, Gateway, DNS settings on the Desktop PC that you are using? These should be assigned by your router. This is also DHCP. This is a setting in your routers configuration page. The enabling and range of DHCP is usually (if somewhat) configurable.
I assume your router has about 4 switch-hub ports... you are plugging Desktop PCs into those ports. And this stage you should now have Internet on one Desktop PC?
4.) Next PC connect it and check the same things. If you are getting
169.254.x.x as an IP Address then DHCP is NOT working.