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I have a case of clients on my LAN losing its MAC address. This seems to happen randomly to clients even though they had both an IP address and MAC addresses (when "arp") during the initial boot up.

After the MAC address is lost (incomplete), I am unable to ping or ssh to that client; nor does a reboot work.

Anyone have ideas?

Description of LAN (closed system, not connected to the internet). - ~100 clients all set to static IP address through /etc/network/interfaces - ~1 core switch - ~16 access switches (daisy chained) - Linksys router

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3 Answers 3

MAC address can not be lost. MAC address is hardware address on nic. If you got incomplete that means that no network connection with IP address. I have same problem when network cable was damaged. Maybe is port on switch in problem.

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Current mac address you can see with command ifconfig on host –  2707974 Mar 4 at 12:45

I think it is very unlikely that a MAC address is lost or incomplete. In the case of my home PC i somehow managed to overwrite the MAC persistently to 12:34:56:78:90:ab . So i have a problem now with wake on lan. In your case it seems that the problem can persist a reboot but not a shutdown/startup of a single pc. Have you checked if unplugging/replugging the network cable changes something?

What Kernel-Version are you using? Is there maybe a problem with your switch setup? I had problems with Flow-Control in the past.

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The behavior you describe sounds a lot like what can happen if two systems are set to the same IP statically.

Description of LAN (closed system, not connected to the internet). - ~100 clients all set to static IP address through /etc/network/interfaces - ~1 core switch - ~16 access switches (daisy chained) - Linksys router

You should double check and make sure none have a duplicate address, and also that the netmasks are all correct.

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