I am at my wit's end here!
I have four machines.
One machine (hereafter "4") is connected by ethernet. It is 192.168.11.4 on the local network.
One machine ("3") is a laptop that connects wirelessly. It is 192.168.11.3 on the local network.
One machine is designated a server ("2") and also connects wirelessly. Its IP address is 192.168.11.2.
The fourth is a Wii that is designated 192.168.11.5, but it's not important here.
All three computers have fresh, fully updated Fedora 12 x86_64 installs.
All machines connect to a Buffalo AirStation WHR-G54S (192.168.11.1) that then connects to a cable modem and thus to the outside world. The router is configured to match the IP addresses to each machines' MAC address (instead of dynamically assigning IPs), and to only allow those particular MAC addresses to connect to the network. The wireless network does not broadcast publicly, and is secured by AES (WPA-PSK).
I have completely disabled Fedora's firewall and SELinux on all three machines.
I have an NSF server set up on 2. The share is set to only allow 3 and 4 to connect to it. 3 and 4 are configured to automount the share upon booting.
The problem is that, for some reason, 2 drops off the face of the network as far as 3 and 4 are concerned. Not only does automounting the NSF share on boot not work on either machine, but neither machine can even talk to 2. 3 and 4 can find each other, but cannot connect in any way with 2. Not by NSF, not by SSH, not by ping, nothing. It is completely invisible. 3 and 4 are totally unable to find a route to 2. I may as well mash my head on the keyboard and tell them to get to whatever I type. Again, 3 and 4 have no issues finding each other on the network, but cannot locate 2 in any way.
ping both 3 and 4 from 2 without any issue whatsoever (well, sort of. The first ping will take about 1800-2000 ms to resolve, and then after that there is no significant delay). And once I ping 3 from 2, 3 is now able to see and connect to 2 however I would like. Same goes for 4. But once I do this and then reboot either 3 or 4, they are once again unable to see 2 on the network at all until I attempt to contact them from 2.
Every once in a million test reboots, 3 or 4 will be able to find a route to 2 and automount the share. But this is rare and I can't figure out anything I would be doing differently.
So basically, I'm hoping somebody can help me figure out what the hell is going on in 2's head that it wants to sit there and hide until I tell it to reveal itself to the other machines.
Is there some sort of configuration file or option that I could have somehow trigged (or perhaps something that's missing) on 2 but not 3 or 4 that would cause this?
The best I can figure is that having 2 connect wirelessly may be the cause of the problem, but it's not exactly convenient for me to move 2 to where the router is (or to move the router to where 2 is) in order to connect it by ethernet (2 doubles as a home theater PC). Or to run a really long ethernet cable across my entire apartment!