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Thread: Getting Cortex PC connected to the Internet ...

  1. #1
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Getting Cortex PC connected to the Internet ...

    we’re trying to get Cortex connected to the Internet, and find we can get most of the way there, but not make what we think is the last step ...

    so we’re hoping someone can point us to the way through !

    our set-up is :

    Cortex PC running Windows XP Pro SP2

    Solwise / RealTek USB WiFi (WPA) dongle plugged into the Cortex PC

    3 MiFi unit (creates a WiFi hub for connection to the Cortex PC, MacBooks, iPad, iPhones, etc, and uses 3G to connect to the Internet, going via a Poynting coupler wired to a Poynting external aerial)

    Windows tells us all’s fine hardware- & software-wise, and also signal-wise (WiFi signal strength 50% 5%, quality 95-100%), but also that the connection is not complete, because the Network did not assign a network address to the computer ...

    and when we ask for details, it says (where x stands for the actual numbers) :

    Physical Address xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx
    IP Address 169.254.xxx.xxx
    SubNet Mask 255.xxx.x.x
    Default Gateway -
    DNS Server -
    WINS Server -

    so ... we’ve dug into Windows & Googled, but not really got anywhere ...

    we wondered if ‘XP needed updating, perhaps in regard to WPA but, while MS offered downloads, the first we tried was only for SP1, and the second required verification that we were legitimate before it would be made available (Catch22 - we’d have to be connected before we could get the download that might enable us to be connected) ...

    the answer is probably very simple, if only we knew where to find it ...

    so, please ... anyone, any thoughts / experience / pointers ... ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 24th August 2013 at 07:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Morning Chris,

    Personally I would have gone with Windows 7 32bit, as XP is so old now and will go end of support next April. But lets try and get this sorted for you. First I would connect the 3MiFi to the Cortex PC with a USB cable. If the midi unit is the same as the one I had from 3 then it can use direct USB connection, this will take the WiFi issues out of the equation. Hopefully, you can then connect to the internet. Once connected download and install XP service pack 3 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389. After that use Windows Update app on the PC to download all updates and security patches. Somewhere during the initial update setup it asks if you want to use update to install recommended updates in the same way as critical, or something along those lines. Agree to this.

    Windows XP SP 2 did have a few wireless client updates along the way, but these should all be included in SP3.

    Hope that helps

    Paul

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Hi Paul -

    many thanks - my first reaction was to say ours doesn't have a USB connection, then I realised the power cord had multi-pin plugs on it, and was actually a USB cable !

    Next step isn't so easy, though - to get a 3G signal, we need the MiFi unit to be in a place that's far from the PC, well over the regular USB cable limit of 5m ... 'though this shouldn't be a problem, because we ran some active USB extensions between likely places while we were wiring the house only, now we come to try the one useful in this case, it seems not to work !

    Known enemies of things electrical include builders plumbers & joiners, and we've had a few of those, but finger's crossed this time it's just a loose connection ... we'll need to lift some covers to find out ! Added to the to-do list, but hope to do it soon ...

    Interesting, though - we'd concluded it wasn't a WiFi problem (Cortex PC showed good signal strength & quality, and the MiFi unit display showed two connections, the other being our MacBook, which was actively communicating with the Internet) ...

    We've of course been reading-up on IP addresses / DHCP / Subnet Masks / etc / etc, but still can't quite make-out in which direction our problem resides - looking from the MiFi unit, is it in the WAN direction, or in the LAN direction ?

    Chris

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    putting that last question another way - do IP addresses pass through the MiFi unit, in any way ... could we use Static IP addresses on the LAN side (*) and choose whatever we like for them ... ??

    (*) ditto Subnet mask, Default Gateway, and DNS Server Addresses ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 25th August 2013 at 04:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    In answer to your last question yes and then no. A machine is either given a static address or assigned it dynamically via DHCP. The important bit is the address (well to be more accurate the subnet which is made up of the address and subnet mask). The default gateway is where a PC should send an IP packet if it is not on the subnet to which the PC belongs, the default gateway is normally, but not always, n.n.n.1 the address belongs to a router which has the ability to send the packet onward.

    If you are connected to the same 3MiFi with your Mac then this is good news, I think by default the 3MiFi use the subnet 192.168.1.0 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and a default gateway of 192.168.1.1. If you enter the address of 192.168.1.1 into Safari on your Mac you should be presented by the 3 MiFI web page? If so then can you login to "change your settings", I don't want to change anything I want to see what your current settings are if you can get this far.

    For now trying to get DHCP working correctly from the 3MiFi is probably going to be easier than settings a static IP address (which must be unique) and finding the right DNS server entries.

    BTW the 169.254.xxx.xxx address the PC is showing means that it is set to use DHCP but can't get an IP address from one, so has given up and used a "reserved" address instead

    Paul

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Hi Paul -

    OK - have now done as you suggested, plugged it in directly via the USB cable (after asking me first, it loaded some software into the Cortex PC) and ... the settings are :

    Connection Mode = Auto
    Name = xxxxxxxxx=xxxxx-xxxx
    SSID Broadcast = Enabled
    802.11 Authentication = WPA-PSK
    WPA Encryption = AES+TKIP
    WPA Pre-Shared Key = xxxxxxxx
    Profile Name = 3 UK
    Connection Number = xxxx
    User Name = NONE
    APN = 3internet
    IP Address = Dynamic IP
    Connection = Auto
    Authentication = NONE
    Name = xxxxxxxxx=xxxxx-xxxx
    SSID Broadcast = Enabled
    Encryption Mode = WPA-PSK

    also, it’s now connected to the ‘net (tried Bing, but v.v.slow, so tried Google, and found the Idratek ‘site in a jiff) ...

    so, many thanks !

    now, to find out how to get Cortex connected back to base ...

    Chris

    PS: afterwards, tried again going via WiFi - had to relaunch, to see the WiFi networks, after which it got stuck again, failing to get proper IP addresses ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 26th August 2013 at 10:33 PM.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Chris,

    As mentioned earlier now you have internet access I'd upgrade the OS to service pack 3 and then run Windows Update to make sure it is as up to date as possible.

    Also, when it is connected via USB and working with the internet you can grab the IP address for reference. From Start > Run, type cmd followed by enter. In the dialogue box type ipconfig /all and note the various values such as IP, subnet, default gateway and DNS servers

    Paul

  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Paul - thanks, will do ...

    BTW, while doing all this, we minimise the Cortex window, and click its icon on the Start bar when we want it back ...

    nothing unusual in that, perhaps, except that more than once we've found the icon has disappeared - and we can't find a way to bring Cortex back without it ...

    clicking Cortex itself always brings the message that it's already running ...

    and so we are forced to Restart the PC & relaunch Cortex ...

    do you know of any way around this, please ?

    Chris

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Well the question is why is it doing what its doing in the first place? You can try and find Cortex via task manager (right click over task bar to get this). You can then try and end the Cortex.exe process which at least avoids the PC shut down.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    yep, that helps to a degree - but, if it's running, which it surely is (the house still works), then surely there must be a way to get the Cortex Window back on-screen without having to relaunch it ?

    wonder if we could connect a button to do this ... in some way ?

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