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My Mac Mini from 2007 always stayed connected to my home network. No problems. (Wired, NOT wireless.)

All this week it becomes disconnected at random times. Nothing can re-connect it... until I remove the Ethernet cable... and reconnect it. (At the router.)

Happens randomly... every 2-10 hours of use.

How would you diagnose something like that? (I have a thousands of hours of PC experience. But know very little about the Mac.)

(OS 10.6 with all the latest updates applied)

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Is another computer on the network requesting the same IP address as the Mac Mini? – fideli Feb 3 '11 at 5:06
Have you repeated the experiment with a different port on the router, and a different cable? – user3463 Feb 3 '11 at 5:47
How would I check if "requesting same IP address"? I've tried various ports on the router. I'll try replacing the cable tomorrow. Thanks. – Sandy Feb 3 '11 at 6:57

How many computers are on your network? If you only have the Mac Mini and no other machines, then try another computer and see if the problem persists.
When the Mac disconnects, does it still appear in the arp table on the router?
When the Mac disconnects, does it retain its IP (ifconfig)?
If you bypass the router and plug the Mac directly into your ISP's device, does it lose connectivity there as well?
Does the Mac exhibit the same behavior over wireless?

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