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IP address conflicts

October 30, 2015

This post is for me, so that I remember what happened last time! (If it helps you, that’s a bonus.)

Last night we had a short (2 second) power outage. My computer was turned off at the time, whereas the others were all on and protected by UPSs. This morning, my PC couldn’t connect to anything on the network — no internet, no network drives, no Outlook. One of the messages I saw was about an IP address conflict. The network connector cable was flashing orange on my PC. I rebooted and restarted several times, but to no avail. I checked the other PCs, laptop, and tablet and they all had connection so it wasn’t a problem at the server, the network hub, or the router. Perhaps it wasn’t related to the power outage at all and was a dodgy network card? Or the new phone I got two days ago?

My laptop is connected via WiFi so I was able to do my normal early morning tasks on it while I waited for the guys at PC Guru to start work.

When I called PC Guru, they checked several things, but there was still an issue. My Guru said he could see that there was an unnamed device on the network, but he couldn’t see if the IP address was conflicting with the one on my PC. And then I remembered that there’s an IP address on our Foxtel IQ2 box, and that the box would have reset itself after the power outage! I checked Foxtel’s network settings, and sure enough, their box had picked up a new IP address — the one for my PC! (remember, my PC wasn’t on at the time of the power outage).

It’s all sorted now, and PC Guru have now named the Foxtel connection on the DHCP (??) list.

I guess as households get more and more devices connected to their systems, it will become harder to identify them all, and so the potential for IP address conflicts will increase. It would help if each device had a name in real words that could be easily recognised by real people, instead of just a MAC address and an IP address.