I have a Linksys BEFSR41W connecting two PC's (Cat5 cable) which are sharing a Starhub Maxonline connection.
One PC is a P4 running Win98SE. The other is a newly-built Celeron (Gigabyte 81845GE-RZ with onboard NIC (Realtek)) running Ubuntu.
The Win98SE PC has no problem connecting to the router and internet, whether or not the Ubuntu PC is switched on or connected. When the Win98SE PC is switched off, the LED's on the Linksys router go off.
The Ubuntu PC cannot connect to the router or internet when the Win98SE PC is off. The activity/link LED for the Ubuntu PC connection on the Linksys router will blink furiously (even when the PC is off, but the mains power supply is on). The LED's will only go off if I switch off the mains or disconnect the Cat5 cable from the Ubuntu PC.
When the Win98SE PC is switched on and connected, both LED's will be on and the furious blinking will stop. The Ubuntu PC will then be able to connect to the router and the internet.
When the Ubuntu PC is connected directly to the Starhub cable modem, I am able to surf the internet.
I've narrowed it down to a hardware problem between the onboard Realtek NIC on the Gigabyte motherboard and the Linksys router. Somehow the Linksys router requires a second PC to be connected and switched on before it will work with the Realtek NIC. I can still surf the internet with the Ubuntu PC, but the Win98SE PC has to be on at the same time, or I have to connect the Ubuntu PC directly to the Starhub cable modem, bypassing the router. Not really a problem, but defeats the purpose of having a router.
I don't think it's a DHCP problem because I have tried setting the Ubuntu PC to both DHCP and a static IP, and the same problem occurs.
Any ideas for a workaround would be appreciated.
I have tried installing a second PCI bus NIC on the Ubuntu PC but somehow the PC will refuse to even boot up when the Cat5 cable is connected to this NIC. Disconnecting the Cat5 cable from the NIC will allow the PC to boot up. Could it be a grounding problem???
Thanks for any input.