dhcp problems at college

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by mattevil, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. mattevil macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2002
    little while back i asked if i could connect to the internet at my college(roanoke College). well im at college and it wont connect
    .i have no mac support at all and the instructions are for setting up "dhcp for wins resolution". i dont know what to do with the workgroup/comp description settings. if you need mor info ill post it. please help me have internet at college. if it helps i got an ip of a libraRY COMPUTER.
  2. ryanweb macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2001
    You don't need WINS resolution if you want to connect to the Internet. Just enter IP addresses for your gateway, DNS servers and your IP address.
  3. finchna macrumors regular

    May 30, 2002

    What Mac are you using? What system? Are you familiar with the Network settings controls for your Mac?

    If Roanoke is running a DHCP network you should be able to set your machine (TCP-IP control panel in OS9, Network Pref in OSX) to DHCP and connect. You don't need an IP, Gateway, DNS or anything else if that's truly what they're running. DNS IP addresses and/or domain names can be helpful but shouldn't be required. Best,

  4. mattevil thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2002
    more info

    i'm trying to connect with a dual 1 ghz(non ddr) with jaguar installed. for thw workgroup setting they want me to put down my dorm name.when i get the dynamic ip dhcp setting in the network preferences there is no place to put all these settings. i was never given an ip address. however after leaving my computer on i seam to have one now but it still won't coonnect.
    here is the only directions i could find
  5. finchna macrumors regular

    May 30, 2002
    Re: more info

    Try putting your dorm name in the DHCP client field (says optional). It sounds like the IT folks want to track machine a bit--though dorm name seems somewhat broad, but they may just be tracking subnets. That doesn't make a difference for connectivity--you do have an IP address now. Do you also see a subnet mask, router address, DNS server number and domain name in the Network Pref panel? Note that the fact that you have an IP address means that you are making it out to the campus network as their DHCP server can see your machine.

    I also see that they want a username--so they do want to track you more closely. Perhaps your "RCNnet username" is first initial, middle initial, lastname and that should go into short name of your description under the Accounts pref panel. Be sure that your "official" name is in the Name field above the "short name" field. All that is in an effort to replicate the Win Identification Tab (see the web page you posted).

    When you say it won't connect, what won't it connect to? website, email, anything? Are you having the same trouble for local university sites (www.roanoke.edu) and external sites (apple, nytimes, macrumors, etc.)?

    Using DHCP you aren't assigned a static IP address. Each time you turn on your computer you are automatically assigned an IP address from a server, it may change each time. If you leave your computer on all the time, the IP address will not change after the first assignment until reboot.

    Launch the terminal program (in Utilities) and try pinging the router address if you see one in the or ping www.apple.com (type in the terminal, after you see Welcome to Darwin and your username, etc. "ping www.apple.com" or your local university web server. Does it ping or does it fail?

    It looks like you can put in a search domain of "roanoke.edu" in the "Search Domain" field of the Network pref panel--that may be necessary so give it a try if the pinging doesn't work and try that again.

    All that typed above, on to practicalities...I checked the computing web site for Roanoke and it is a completely MS place--it is unlikely that you'll find any official support there. If you can get things working, that's great. However, at this URL


    there is mention of servers that allow you to share docs with professors, etc. that suggest that win xp is necessary for access. My level of Win experience just isn't sufficient to hazard a guess about whether or not OSX will get you into such servers--and this is your academic life--for the next 4 years. If Roanoke encourages such interaction of students and faculty, you may be at a disadvantage with a Mac--they're not thinking about Macs as they build, etc. There is no promise that a Mac will be able to do everything necessary for your best academic experience.

    I don't know what your finances are like, but you might want to purchase a Win laptop that has wireless access--lightweight but good enough to run XP or 2000--truly portable so you can take it with you to classes in your backpack. It looks like Roanoke is creating a wireless net around the campus. It's spotty right now, but it looks like the library is covered as are what might be classroom or lab buildings. We run wireless where I work (for both Mac and Win--using Airports) and for folks who have laptops it's changed the way we work. Having such access in a library seems like a plus. The laptop would complement your Mac desktop and allow you to work anywhere. If your Mac has an airport card in it you could connect the Win laptop to it for filesharing, etc. Anyway, the concern is that Roanoke is Wincentric and you should not jeopardize your academic experience by remaining true to Apple--and running both platforms, using a win laptop, might get you the best of all worlds and allow you to not compromize your university experience. That you have a tower and not a Powerbook makes this much easier for me to write...


  6. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    I would pick up a copy of VPC5 w/ XP before I bought a complete PC.

    The use will be for minimal connectivity, not production, so the decreased performance will not hinder your work.

    If you're not comfortable/familiar with Terminal, try Network Utility, also in your Applications/Utilities folder. It's a GUI front end to very handy tools like ping, lookup, traceroute, whois, and more.:)

    Jaguar will let you browse Windows (SMB/CIFS) networks, so the XP requirement might be a bunch of bull. I'm not aware of any networking protocol in XP that is incompatible with other systems.
  7. finchna macrumors regular

    May 30, 2002
    Hmmm...well, I suppose I am thinking about production. Being in the classroom or library with wireless seems to be beyond minimal connectivity and the laptop and desktop complement each other. There a plenty of situations away from a dorm room where production comes into play, thus the truly portable laptop. Best,

  8. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    True enough.

    It does depend on budget though. After all, there's always the campus computer labs.;)

    What I'm surprised at is that they are recommending/requiring XP already. Most institutions I know of, including mine, are keeping Win2K as the standard for some time to come. We've rolled XP in my lab, just because of foreign language needs, but we are only a small department on campus and provide our own tech support.
  9. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000


    Dec 9, 2001
    State of Denial
    if its really dchp

    Here's some things to check:

    1. While not necessary, crating a new location in Network Prefs (as opposed to "Automatic") is generally a good idea. In that location, go to the Show pull-down menu, and select "Network Port Configurations" (BTW, I'm assuming this is in Jaguar. If its not, the instructions should be similar, if not exact). If this is not a mobile computer, and it's not connected via Airport, or other 802.11b, uncheck everything except "Built-In Ethernet" and drag that to the top of the list.

    2. Next, make sure that the settings for it are correct. You shouldn't actually need to enter anything on the TCP/IP tab, but make sure that DCHP, or DCHP with Manual IP Address is selected. It may be necessary on this page to enter roanoke.edu in the search domain though.

    3. Make sure to hit apply. I cant tell u how many times I've seen this mistake made.

    The other thing to try would be DCHP with Manual IP address. To get the IP address you need, talk to the system admin.

    That should get you online, but it might not get you connected to the school's intranet. for that, you'll use "connect to server" or cmnd-K in the Finder
  10. peterjhill macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    From: Peter John Hill <peterjhill@mac.com>
    Date: Sat Aug 31, 2002 3:22:08 PM US/Eastern
    To: helpdesk@roanoke.edu, dalton@roanoke.edu, gring@roanoke.edu
    Subject: Question from Web FAQ

    I can't believe that you network is really so Microsoft dominated. I have heard from one of your students that they were not able to connect their new Macintosh to your network. How hard is for you to support different platforms? Do you really expect to be a world class University? Do you expect anyone to take your network seriously? I am just curious. If the story is true, I would have to recommend that anyone interested in college avoid your school, for any major. If you are denying your students the basic right to coexist happily on your computer network, what does that have to say about your academic departments?

    Support Macintosh clients is not very difficult. They support DHCP, DNS, IPv4, IPv6, PPTP, AFS, SMB, CUPS, LPD, HTTP, POP, IMAP, SSL, SSH, Kerberos, SSL, Telnet, Active Directory. What is so difficult? Are you not able to find skilled Engineers who are able to design, operate, and maintain your network?

    In case you are not aware, the current Macintosh Operating System, is based on BSD Unix. It is extremely powerful and network friendly. It runs Microsoft Office brilliantly. Mathematica, CodeWarrior, and many other excellent academic software programs are fully cross platform compatible. A Macintosh can navigate windows servers just fine, as well as use windows printers.

    How hard would it be, at a minimum, to provide simple IP connectivity to your campus network. Here is what you say, "Roanoke College does not connect Macintosh machines to the network." That is outrageous and there is no excuse, whatsoever, that can support this decision.

    Peter Hill
    Network Engineer
  11. sparkleytone macrumors 68020


    Oct 28, 2001
    Greensboro, NC
    errrm, i guarantee they'll just laugh at your grammar and not pay attention to anything else. these are windows "network" people who think they are gods and know everything there is to know about networking. that is, as long as it involves proprietary protocols and logging on to an NT domain (blech).
  12. peterjhill macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Anyone else want to join me in this? Tell everyone you know who is trying to decide which college to go to about this very stupid policy. Start threads on other web sites. Anyone want to start a thread on slashdot?

    This is an outrageous policy. There is no reason why they can not provide you an ip address. If you go into

    Applications -> Utilities -> Directory Access
    Make sure that the settings are unlocked (bottom left corner) and then click on SMB and then click on the "Configure..." button. You will be able to set your Workgroup and WINS Server settings. You want to set your workgroup to the name of your dorm.

    In your: System Preferences -> Sharing, set your Computer name to your username.

    you should be able to click on
    Finder -> Go Menu -> Connect to server
    then type in
    \\svnt02\<your username>$ if your username is phill, then you would type in

    You also want to connect to:

    If your basic network is not working, you want to see if they are giving you an IP address and that DHCP is giving you enough information to get on the network:

    This is how you can check:
    Go to
    Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.app

    Then type in

    ifconfig -a
    Your output should look like this:
    inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
    ether 00:03:93:80:24:26
    media: autoselect status: active

    There will be alot more output than this, but you want to see if you en0 has an address after inet.

    Then you want to type this:
    less /etc/resolv.conf
    You should see something like:
    [titan:~] phill% less /etc/resolv.conf
    domain stargate.net
    search net.cmu.edu sw.cmu.net gw.cmu.net cmu.net cmu.edu

    (hit q to exit from less)
    You want to see that there is something after the nameserver command.

    Next you want to do a
    [titan:~] phill% netstat -rn

    look at the first line for "destination" default
    Routing tables

    Destination Gateway Flags Refs Use Netif Expire
    default UGSc 29 7 en1

    Then try to ping the address
    [titan:~] phill% ping
    PING ( 56 data bytes
    64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=2.481 ms
    64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=2.414 ms

    (press ctrl-c to make the ping stop)

    If it pings, that that part works. Let me know what works and doesn't work, then we can go from there.
  13. peterjhill macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Re: if its really dchp

    this guy is the president of the university. If we could get enough complaints to him, with a CC to dalton@roanoke.edu who is the head of the IT department, then I guarenteed you that it will be at least discussed. I certainly agree with you, that had I just emailed the help desk and the IT guy, that the message would be disregarded, but if we can get the message in front of the head of the school, it might be different. It would be good to also email the provost.

    I work in the Network Group of the Yahoo! most wired campus, I know that they have no excuse that is worth a crap.
  14. peterjhill macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2002
    Seattle, WA

    So if you want to statically configure your DNS, set add the following to your network config:

    DNS Servers:

    Search Domains:

    DHCP Client ID:
    You should probably set this to your userid (login name), but I am not sure
  15. mattevil thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2002
    problem solved

    i met a fellow mac user the other day on campus with a powerbook he showed me how to hook my computer up and even said his powerbook could hook up to the wireless network thanks for your guys help

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