Thanks to everyone who has posted to date. I have a question below about possibly slow transfer speeds with the WD, but first, and for the benefit of others, this is how I got the wired network up and running:
- brought my router into the same room as all the other equipment (I did this just to be able to connect everything by wire; my router must be returned to another room in the house)
- connected laptop to router
- connected router to switch
- connected WD to switch
- disconnected my wifi connection on my laptop
- on the WD, cleared the login info for the network shares
I then followed various directions online for assigning a static IP address to my computer, namely, confirming ethernet information via ipconfig, then assigning a local number to my computer. I found this video particularly helpful: http://www.trainsignal.com/blog/windows-vista-ip-addressing
. It might be relevant to note my router's "wan connection status" is "dynamic" but that didn't appear to change anything. The laptop now has an internet connection, which can only be coming from the wired connection (wifi disabled).
I then went into WD Network Setup, chose "wired" as opposed to "wireless", and manually assigned an IP address for that device (I used the same numbers as for my laptop IP address, but changed the "local", i.e., the last two digits). At this point, the WD was no longer giving me errors about IP addresses and DNS servers - the "check connection" test comes up fine.
I then tried to access my files, but the only option WD would give me was the USB thumbdrive I had inserted (that is, it didn't give me the usual menu with options for local storage, network shares, etc). I finally removed the thumbdrive, and rebooted the WD and the problem was solved. This was annoying -- why would the WD block other file / network options simply because there was local storage attached via USB?!
I was finally able to stream two BluRay rips over the wired connection with no problems at all (each about 8gb in size). This is a huge leap forward after not being able to stream 1gb movies wirelessly.
I then disconnected everything from the router, and connected my laptop to the switch. Everything was working fine and I was still able to stream these same two movies.
But then I plugged the thumbdrive back into the WD to test transfer speeds across the "network" (this was while one of the 8gb BR rips was playing). I chose a 1gb file and drag and dropped it from my laptop to the thumbdrive connected to the WD. The normal window on my laptop came up confirming the file transfer, but it got hung on the "calculating" stage. Then the movie I was playing froze, then I got two "Open Window" Windows message stating that the WD was not available. The first ended by stating the specified network name is longer available. The second message was identical but ended with "The Server service is not started."
Eventually the movie started to play normally again but I was disappointed that this file transfer issue crashed the WD temporarily. I stopped the movie and low and behold the file had actually transferred to the thumbdrive. I then transferred it back o the laptop at speeds of about 10mb/sec. Should I not be expecting wired network speeds much higher than this, given that I have a gigabit setup? I would have thought this volume of data would be easily handled. Is the "weak link" the WD? My laptop has a gigabit ethernet card. I am using CAT6 cables but my switch is indicating that only the connection to my computer is a gigabit setup, whereas the one to the WD is 10/100 -- is that normal? Is the WD's ethernet 10/100 not 10/100/1000?
My thanks again for all the suggestions and advice. Getting the WD TV Live working has been a monumental PITA from day one (but it seems like perhaps I have a setup I can now live with (after giving up on streaming 1080). I would appreciate some thoughts on the transfer speeds.