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I have 2 AD servers conncted to a netgear fvx538. The servers have DNS and DHCP roles as usual, but are currently shutdown for power maintenance. Even so, I expect that if I connect a client laptop directly to the firewall, I will still be able to access its web interface and Internet. But this is not happening.

Is this suppose to be the case that I need the AD servers up? Or you think my firewall gone bonkers?

I power off and on the firewall but still not getting ping response from it. Multiple laptops connected this way are able to see each other so the switch an routers are working.

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Are you manually configuring the laptop's ip, netmask and gateway? – jscott Feb 18 '12 at 16:22
Are you getting an IP address? My guess is, no. – HostBits Feb 18 '12 at 22:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the AD servers are the only devices running DNS/DHCP on your network, and your laptop doesn't have a manually set IP/MASK/GATEWAY/DNS, then yes, this is totally expected.

I'm betting the other 'multiple laptops' are just remembering their DHCP assigned addresses from before the servers were powered off. However, when you plugged your laptop into the firewall, it tried to gain a new DHCP lease and failed as there are no DHCP servers available.

Give your laptop a manual IP address on the network, set the proper gateway and DNS (use your ISPs DNS, or public DNS like Google's and you should be good to go whether you are plugged into the firewall or any of the switch ports.

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Thanks, but to clarify, that means, even though the laptop adapter says its e.g. through "remembering", the gateway doesn't see it the same way? But mnually setting it to instead will allow the gateway to see it? Then why is it that the laptops can see each other under the "network neighbourhood"? – Jake Feb 20 '12 at 7:05
The gateway/firewall 'seeing' the device does not appear to be the issue. Without an online DHCP server, a device that is connected to the network (either to the switch or the firewall) after your DNS/DHCP servers are powered off has no way to determine its IP address. So unless the address info (including gateway) is manually set during the duration of the server downtime, the laptop will set an auto-configure address (169.254.x.x), which generally doesn't allow you to do much. – Skawt Feb 21 '12 at 17:47

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