Question Network Connection - Access Issues

THRobinson

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Hey guys, I have two Beelink GT1 Ultimates running CoreElec with KODI for media players in my house. Had these running start of 2019 so, quite a few years. And probably once a year I take the SD cards out, format, put the CoreElec img back on and quickly set them up and let them run. But not this time.

I have a cascading network setup, and everything is connected with Cat6 ethernet cable, nothing (except cell phones) is using WiFi. I will attach a quick sketch to help clear up the setup.

Basically, my TV setup works fine. Media scrapes, connections are good. I'm using HTPC1 and PC1, so I'm connected to the cascaded router next to the NAS (WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra).

Family TV is right next to where the modem and primary router are, with fibre optic coming into the modem and again, Cat6 everything else. Everything worked just fine, except this week when I reinstalled everything. I could connect to the NAS and a share folder on PC2 so they can access their video folder there. Been working for years. I connect, I scrape, I come back and half the scraping is a mess and now no longer connected to the NAS. I check and also booted from PC1. I reboot and now my network access works for PC1 again but not the NAS. I check the NAS and seems fine, so I reset the password and it's working again. For a day.

I did a lot of changes on the NAS, cleaning up file names and such so scraping works better. I have a great NAS setup and everything named etc... but sometimes it scrapes the wrong items so, did some changes. Anyways... formatted the SD card again and again, setting up I could connect, add the NAS/PC1 folders, access is fine, start scraping and an hour later an even bigger mess than before. PC1 access again was lost but came back after a reboot. NAS I can't get back at all.

So... rebooted both routers, NAS and HTPC2. No change. PC2 access is fine, but can't access the NAS. Deleted them off the NAS and re-added. On HTPC2 I added the NAS folders again, and soon as added, access gone.

My system uses a different name/password so I have full access, and the family has an account setup on the NAS as well with read-only access. Thought maybe an account issue? So formatted the SD card again, this time I stuck it into my HTPC1 player and setup from there using the family name/password. Like before, I could access the NAS/PC1 and add them, scraping now and so far everything looks just fine. So not a bad account on the NAS.

Kinda stumped.

Excluding the years I ran this off a PC, the Beelink has been running fine on this setup for 3.5yrs. Nothing has changed and I've done this yearly without issues. CoreElec is the same, they stopped updating it for this hardware over a year ago so, not different software either. Seems to let me have access long enough to add it to the system and usually start scraping for info then at some point drops. Kodi says still connected, and the connection to PC1's share folder seems intermittent. That said, I was able to connect to it just fine and play videos at the same time the NAS connection was dead and gave no access at all. So, it's not like I have all access with the network, or no access at all.

Speed issue?

The HTPC2 connects to the same router as PC2, but to get to the NAS has to go through the main router to the second router then to the NAS.

I will say, when it was working, the KODI library cleaning took way way longer than mine. Like 5min for mine at most versus 30min for it. Hard to know if because I clean mine often and they never clean theirs at all, or because of network speeds. But again, everything is ethernet connected, good fiber optic in, not sure of the router brand but it's from the internet company, and my router it cascades to is a TPLink TL-WR1043ND. Older but works fine (I think).

Any suggestions for someone not very skilled in networking?



 
This sounds more like some strange application level issue than a true network problem.

I will assume since this works fine in general the second "router" is running as a switch/ap and not a router. Having 2 actual routers in a network causes all kinds of issues.

I would see if simple ping commands work when you are having file issues. That would let you test just the network part and not stuff related to the file sharing.

The only network thing I can think of that might cause this is if you have some duplicate IP address. I would use the ARP -a command and see if the mac address changes on any IP.
 
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Ralston18

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"half the scraping is a mess "

"access is fine, start scraping and an hour later an even bigger mess than before "


Per above: "This sounds more like some strange application level issue than a true network problem. " [Ref @bill001g, Post #2.]


What, where, how, etc. are you scraping? What software/apps are you using? Any recent updates?

Have you tried using another known working SD card? Perhaps the card is corrupted in some manner - formats etc. but then has problems later as the card fills.

KODI Library Cleaning:

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=367883

Anything in the logs?
 

THRobinson

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@Ralston18 Another known SD card? No... not an SD card issue because same card in my system works fine as I mentioned.

Scraping wise, like I said I'm using KODI so scraping the library with the default scraper, which worked on my system, and until the format worked on the family system as well for the past few years. Though scraping software is irrelevant anyways because it's when I try to access the drive that has the issues. Even if scraped or not. I was just talking about the scraping to illustrate how I have access to the NAS and at random it drops, versus having issues connecting at all in the first place. Seems to connect just fine then eventually fizzle out.

@bill001g Cascading network setup has worked fine for 5yrs. Ran PC based system as media centers for about a decade, about 5yrs ago we got the fiber optic cable in and the modem/router switched to the front of the house from the back, so had to setup the cascading network.

ARP -a command... that unix? Sadly the CoreElec is just enough OS to make KODI work, there's no command prompts or OS to run anything else from. I don't think Kodi let's you setup a static IP either. else I could pick one not in use. I think... no idea. I usually stumble my way through networking, and make notes so if I have to do it again I can look at my notes next time. :D

I think where I'm stumped is that it's worked for years and nothing changed. Same hardware, same location, NAS wasn't changed, OS version hasn't changed in over a year, and works on my system just fine. I made certain to buy the exact same Beelink make/model to keep this setup stuff easier. Plus the fact that one mapped connection works and the other doesn't means it's not a full connection loss either.

???
 

Ralston18

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This: "Nothing has changed " ,"nothing changed"......

By design and default, things have changed: There were updates (or perhaps should have been), disk drive space consumed, etc...

Overall the setup may have reached some threshold condition that is now creating problems.

Beeline adapters:

This model?

https://www.newegg.com/p/1J8-0068-00044

Add the adapters to your diagram and also add some lines showing power and all other connections between devices. No harm in annotating each device with its IP address be the address IP DHCP or IP Static.

Take a look at the power sources (outlets to start with) serving all network devices. Could be some intermittent power losses involved: outlet and/or circuit. Are you using any power strips, surge protectors, extension cords, etc. anywhere?

As for "arp -a" that works via the Command Prompt (also the Powershell Prompt) in Windows. Will defer to @bill001g for further comment as deemed necessary.
 

THRobinson

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By design and default, things have changed: There were updates (or perhaps should have been), disk drive space consumed, etc...
Well, not really. CoreElec hasn't updated for s912 based Android boxes in over a year. I used the same CoreELEC-Amlogic.arm-9.2.8-Generic.img image file that was still on my PC from the last update. Because it's not updated, KODI can't update either. Only change is maybe the scraper, which isn't a factor because as mentioned I wiped it out again, was able to add the connections then the connections died right afterwards, didn't even get close to scraping. Drive space isn't a factor either... else it should flake out on my HTPC1 as well.

Yes that Beelink is the same as what I have. Older now, but I can stream a 20GB 4k 10bit 20mb/s bitrate movie and has 0 stutter or buffering so, not upgrading for the sakes of something newer. Can't play the movie faster than it plays now. :D

I was thinking (at 6am) about wires and plugs... I did check the ethernet at the back of the Beelink but didn't check anything else so will give that a try tonight when family in bed and I can get work done. :D

arp -a... I can see the IP for the HTPC2 and doesn't conflict with any others, type is dynamic.
 

THRobinson

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So, after 12h the HTPC2 SD card in my HTPC1 box is fine, using the family accounts and such. So not a NAS account access issue.

Put the SD card back into the HTPC2 and started up, and connection to PC2 is fine, NAS has no access.

I remember seeing a setting, had to hunt for it... "Wait for network before staring Kodi" and default is 10sec. I enabled that, left it at 10sec and rebooted and it connected. However, it connected before when adding the NAS and dropped after I walked away so, left HTPC2 running and will check it later.

Everything from the wall to HTPC2 was unplugged and plugged back in again.
 

Ralston18

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Windows has changed unless you have managed to prevent all updates. Then again if that was done, then some other application expecting to see that update may be failing in part or in whole.

Again, the problems seem to be very much related to the scraping. However, if the connections die independently of the scraper then there is indeed something else astray.

This scraper?

https://kodi.wiki/view/Scrapers#:~:text=Scrapers are used to contact,installation from the official repository.

There is a rather extensive troubleshooting section:

https://kodi.wiki/view/Troubleshooting

However, I noted that you fixed file naming problems so it appears that you have been using KODI troubleshooting suggestions - correct?

And I noticed that there is a Debug Log - anything to be found in the log?

= = = =

HTPC2 is being used to do the scraping - correct?

In any case, I would also take a look in the applicable computer(s) logs for any error codes, warnings, or even informational events associated with the scraping and related problems.

I.e., look in Reliability History and Event Viewer for events just before, at the start of, during, or at the end of any scraping related activities.

Another thing you can do is to set everything up, open either Task Manager, Resource Monitor, or even Process Explorer to observe what any given computer is doing, starts doing, stops doing, during the scraping process. Use all three but only one at a time.

Time consuming yet you may catch something unexpected that happens.

Again, update your diagram with device and IP addresses.

arp -a should show more devices than just the DHCP IP address for HTPC2.

On HTPC2 run "ipconfig /all" and post the results. You should be able to copy and paste the results without any need to retype it all.

Router 1 is ISP provided correct? Take a close look at the router for make and model information. Or check your ISP's website - the information may be listed there. Is the modem, also ISP provided? Make and model?

And Router 2 (TL-WR1043ND) should have its DHCP IP function disabled unless you have changed it. Use the router's admin name and password to access Router2 via a browser and look for some listing of connected devices.


May well be a problem with the scraper app but that problem could be a result of some network conflict or issue.

Need to see the bigger picture I think.
 

THRobinson

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Windows? What does Windows matter? NAS isn't Windows, CoreElec isn't, nor is Kodi.

As for running ipconfig on HTPC2, again... No command window, no accessible OS. Barebones minimum Unix/Linux (whatever) just enough to run Kodi. If there's a way to run commands, I don't know how.

Scraping is not a factor. As mentioned previously, it cut out during scraping the first two times, the third I didn't even get as far as scraping.

Modem/Router 1 are both ISP provided. Router 2 is the TPLink.

I can update the diagram later but I think you're misunderstanding the setup for the most part and missing a few details mentioned in previous posts. The Beelinks are basically just Kodi. I can't open a console and check/test anything.

That said, I have an old laptop that I can either plug into the router directly with another cable or unplug the HTPC2 and use the same port/cable to test with in case those are the issue.
 

Ralston18

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HTPC1 and HTPC2 are the Beelinks - correct?

And each Beelink is using an Ethernet cable to connect to their respective routers - correct?

With no apparent admin interface to either device via the Beelink's default IP address or some assigned/configured IP address - correct?

What are the Beelink's respective IP addresses? Should be discoverable via the Main Router - the router managing and providing IP addresses to network devices.

Beelink - this product?

Beelink GT1 Ultimate

https://www.newegg.com/p/1J8-0068-00044

According to the Overview the Beelink can be wired or wireless. Where and how is the actual choice of network configuration determined? Autodetect: e.g., if an Ethernet cable is plugged in then wired. If no Ethernet cable then wireless.....?

As stated, only your cell phones are using wireless therefore that means the Beelinks are wired.

How are the Beelinks even configured to obtain a DHCP IP address from the network Router? Private networks use three ranges of IP addresses and each network device needs to have the applicable Router/Gateway IP address and subnet mask to obtain an IP address applicable to the network range.

Plus also be configurable to use a Static IP address. Which requires access to the device to do so. You rebooted the Beelinks which, most likely was a factory reset, putting each Beelink back to factory settings. Including some default IP. Duplicating the IP addresses as a result.

[Noted that you also rebooted the routers. Also likely a factory reset. What/how were the routers rebooted?]

I found the following very old link that suggests that the Beelinks use 192.168.1.5:5555 as a default/reset IP address and port.

https://forum.bee-link.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=559

If a device has a DHCP IP address then other devices must be provided that DHCP IP address. I.e., if a file is to be sent from the NAS to a Beeline how does the NAS know which Beeline? If the device's IP address changes (as it will in a DHCP IP configuration) then the sender will be trying to send the file to the wrong device.

KODI should not care (I hope) about the hardware environment other than it can run on its' host device and send the scraped files to the target network device.

If KODI scrapes are failing it may be because KODI is trying to send scrape results to IP "X " and X cannot be found. Or two "X's are found. And KODI is unable to handle the error.

(Which would be a scraping factor barring some more specific errors or other explanation via KODI.)

And with a modem and two routers it is even more likely that there are some network configuration issues.

Key is to obtain a full picture/understanding of the existing network and the respective configurations of all network devices.
 

THRobinson

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Still need the IP addresses, been kinda busy.

Beelink. Yes those are the devices, but no, don't read the description. CoreElec is on SD card and bypasses the Android OS completely. Yes, it can be WiFi or Ethernet, in Kodi it autodetects the ethernet and works from that. If I want WiFi, Kodi has a way to turn it on and put in the password. I can reboot back into Android, but would be for testing only since whatever changes I make there don't affect when I reboot back off the SD card.

Scraping... ignore it. Again, it drops connection even if I don't scrape so not a factor. Just interesting that it connects enough that scraping works, then drops.

Now, what's interesting, and I'm wondering if I might have had this set up before, which explains why I knew about the option... the option to wait for network connection before booting into Kodi. I let it sit turned on for 8h and tried and still connected, rebooted and still connected. It's been on 24h and family is watching something on it now.

So, seems that having it wait 10sec at bootup for network connection fixes it. Though, even if it fixes the issue, the question I guess is why do I need that option enabled? My main HTPC1 doesn't need that extra option enabled. It's not WiFi waiting for a signal, it's a 6' ethernet cable direct into the router. And without the delay it still says connected and when the mapped drives were failing connection I tested with the YouTube app and the video played. So it was connected.

IP wise...

Interface: 192.168.1.6 --- 0x6 (PC1)
Internet Address Physical Address Type
192.168.1.1 cc-be-59-89-6b-15 dynamic
192.168.1.16 70-85-c2-28-c0-d0 dynamic (PC2)
192.168.1.32 30-fd-38-96-5d-4a dynamic
192.168.1.36 00-00-c0-14-cb-6d dynamic (NAS)
192.168.1.38 52-34-64-96-80-06 dynamic (HTPC1)
192.168.1.41 c4-98-5c-eb-b3-20 dynamic
192.168.1.78 52-a2-f8-d3-11-7c dynamic
192.168.1.255 ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff static
224.0.0.2 01-00-5e-00-00-02 static
224.0.0.22 01-00-5e-00-00-16 static
224.0.0.251 01-00-5e-00-00-fb static
224.0.0.252 01-00-5e-00-00-fc static
239.255.255.250 01-00-5e-7f-ff-fa static
255.255.255.255 ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff static
 
Last edited:

Ralston18

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Connection drops:

"So, seems that having it wait 10sec at bootup for network connection fixes it "

ARP may be the root of it all.

Which IP/MAC is HTPC2? Is HTPC2 listed at all?

MAC's can be used to identify manufacturer's via the first three octets. However, checking 52-34-64-96-80-06 did not identify a manufacturer (Beelink ?). There are no other MACs starting with 52-34-64..... Unfortunately manufacturer's do not always follow the guidelines and even reuse MACs anyway. There are online websites to help identify manufacturers by device MAC.

Maybe "192.168.1.78 52-a2-f8-d3-11-7c dynamic " being HTPC2?

I believe that the Beelinks, NAS, and ROUTER2 should have Static IP addresses assigned via the Main router (ROUTER1). Those assigned Static IP addresses being outside of the DHCP IP address range allowed to the main router. And the static IP addresses reserved by applicable MAC for each static device.

(Plus the MODEM and ROUTER2 both having any DHCP functions disabled as I understand the network connections).

If the NAS and Beelinks' respective IP addresses continually change (DHCP) then the other network devices need time to find them again and update ARP tables accordingly.

FYI:

https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/how-address-resolution-protocol-arp-works/

https://www.ipxo.com/blog/address-resolution-protocol/

There are other similar explanations and tutorials available.

Overall, it can take time for network communications to re-establish themselves once disrupted for whatever reason(s). Especially if some of or all of the network devices all end up with different IP addresses as a result. And if changes occur during that update time then it can all start all over again......

Specifically what does Kodi do or not do if some specific device is not found or not immediately found because the target's IP address changed?

Because "time" seems to be a factor and I have no way to work with Kodi etc. to test I will need to defer to others regarding the specifics of how ARP is working (or not working) in the current environment.

Lots of "moving parts" here.
 

palladin9479

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Ok this is confusing because things like "Modems" and Routers are way to generic. Is this a fiber optic connection that goes into the "Modem" and ethernet on the other side? If so then it's not a modem but an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) , there is no modulation or demodulation taking place.

The ONT ethernet is connecting to the WAN port on Router 1? In this case router 1 is acting as the gateway for the subnet and should be configured for DHCP and DNS. The connection between Router 1 and Router 2 should be over the built in LAN switch, the WAN port on router 2 should not be connected. DHCP and DNS services on "Router 2" should be disabled.

That should simplify the entire configuration, you want a single subnet that Router 1 manages with Router 2 being a switch and another WLAN access point (if you want dual wifi networks). Unless you are doing multiple VLAN routing with something like OSPF or BGP there is no reason to have both routers doing actual routing.
 

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