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Can a single PC crash a part of a network? if yes, how so?

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  • Can a single PC crash a part of a network? if yes, how so?

    Hello,
    had this problem at one of my costumer this morning, i was not there so i am not able to track back all the infos.
    Looks like this morning, suddenly, every computer connected to a single switch lost network connection.
    The others that were connected to another switch worked just fine.
    Looks like one of the pc's was flooding the network with packets or something, it crashed, and as soon as it was forced to shut down everything went back to normal...
    Now this pc is up again and everything is working fine.

    We had the same problem on another switch in another floor a couple of days ago.
    The two "guilty" computers are the same make and model so they have the same NIC.
    Both the pcs are running XP SP2, they were doing nothing at the time it happened and they are virus free.

    Any suggestion? I don't know where to bang my head!

  • #2
    Re: Can a single PC crash a part of a network? if yes, how so?

    Yes it can. From time to time appears problem that damaged NIC overloads network with packets and there is depending also on type of switch if it has some intelligence to resolve this problem or not.
    For example lastly I had problem, that when buffer overflows in embedded system connected to switch, our switch stopped communication for other computers connected to it... i had to restart switch to communicate again. But it was some poor type.
    But reason for packet flood can be also bug in network drivers of types: TDI, Protocol, Miniport, or kind of attack.
    Should be fine try to sniff what is on network in time of problem.

    Joe

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    • #3
      Re: Can a single PC crash a part of a network? if yes, how so?

      I suspect an ARP flood or Broadcast storm caused by a faulty NIC on the suspect computer. Next time it happens run Wireshark (or the network sniffer of your choice) from a computer connected to the same switch to try and analyze and pinpoint the problem. BTW, what kinds of costumes? LOL.

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      • #4
        Re: Can a single PC crash a part of a network? if yes, how so?

        There could also be a possibility that the problem computer obtained the same ip address of the default gateway. It's seems unlikely, but it could happen.
        MCITP:SA, MCSA 2003, MCP, CCNA, A+, Net+, Security+

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