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Old 08-27-2008, 07:27 AM   #1
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More computer problems

I have a 1yr old Dell PC with Vista installed,it used to be my daughters , as the old house computer needed upgrading i've decided to use her computer as the main computer and buy her a new laptop.When her PC was upstairs and connected to WiFi connectivity was not reliable and i attributed this to the wireless modem reception but now that i have her PC downstairs and wired to the modem via ethernet there is no connection to the internet at all.I've spent hours on the phone with the service provider and according to their online diagnostics can find no problem so they said it was probably a hardware problem in the computer,so another couple of hours with Dell's hardware then software tech depts also came up with no problems that they could diagnose I have 2 other computers that work just fine with the modem,one laptop (Wifi) and one PC(Ethernet)
Anyone else have unexplainable connection to the internet problems? if so how did you fix it?
Thanks
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:43 AM   #2
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I am confused when you say connected to the Modem as I assume you would need a router between your Service Provider MODEM and your Computers; either Ethernet or Wireless connected. If the other computers work AND you have the configuration of the 3d (non-working) computer correct, I would suspect the NETWORK CARD inside of the non-working computer. Can you pull it and replace it with the one out of the working computer and connect? That should tell you (if it connects) the NW card is bad and if it does not connect your software configuration would IMO be suspect. BTW a new network card should be about $10 (if you do not want to go through the testing process I mentioned). I think your assessment of the prior spotty wireless connection can be ascribed to "distance from the router" horizontally and probably more so vertically.

In my case when I have problems of this nature, and after exhausting my limited ability to trouble shoot, I usually resort to starting from square one and reformat the Hard Drive and reinstall the operating system - may be a good idea as kids seem to put a lot of stuff on computers but almost never take the stuff they no longer use off the things. Can really lead to a lot of frustration.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:02 AM   #3
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FWIW...

Can you see the other computers on your home network? If you can, this would eliminate the network card. Might be having issues getting an IP address. The answer to all Windoze problems: reboot...
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ipconfig
Old 08-27-2008, 09:29 AM   #4
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ipconfig

open up an admin cmd window and try typing

"ipconfig /release"

followed then by

"ipconfig /renew"

check that the default gateway, IPv4 address, and optionally the dns suffix look correct. For instance, if you are using an out-of-the-box unconfigured linksys router at home the default gateway is probably 192.168.1.1, and your IP address will be some where around 192.168.1.100 with the last octet (the "100") being slightly higher based on the # of IP addresses already allocated on your home network.

BTW it's probably not the 1 year old laptop with the problem, I'd guess its the router itself; those things overheat from time to time - try turning it off along with the cable/dsl modem and turn it back on. Also follow the manual to login to the router and check its settings - maybe one of your neighbors logged into your unsecure wireless network and re-configured it...
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:44 AM   #5
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It'd be helpful if you described exactly what you did and what you hooked to what.

When you connect this computer to "the modem", whats plugged into what. When you plug in one of the other computers that works, whats plugged into what. Are you using the same cables. What are the error messages, if any.

Your worst case scenario is that you've got a bad ethernet port in the computer. A ~$20 usb network adapter available from any store that sells computer/electronics stuff will take care of that.

But if its 12 months old, chances are its still under warranty. We should make sure its not a configuration issue first.

One good first step is to go to start/control panel/network connections and then click on the local area connection and see the status. Make sure its enabled. Its been a little while since I used XP, but I think you can right click on that network connection icon and choose 'repair'. Another option to try is to delete that network connection and then recreate it with 'add/make a new connection' or whatever XP calls it.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:39 AM   #6
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Two things:

1) Vista has well documented issues with Wifi connectivity. My brand new laptop would often lose the Wifi connection out of the blue. Trying to manually reconnect to the wifi network and sometimes even restarting the computer did not always solve the problem. The Wifi network was working fine for all my other wireless devices so I knew that the problem was with Vista. Then I found this fix on the internet:

I've fixed the internet connection problem

Never had another problem again with spotty Wifi connectivity.

Edit: This fix can also be applied to Vista computers experiencing spotty internet connectivity via an Ethernet connection.


2) My wife's Vista desktop, which is connected to the router via Ethernet, was able to reliably connect to the internet for the first 4 months after we bought it (after I applied the above fix first). Then, one day, it just stopped connecting. I could never figure out what changed. All other devices could still connect to the internet except that one. Then I found out that our old router was not Vista compatible. I still don't understand how it worked for a few months if it wasn't compatible... But what I know is that I bought a brand new vista-compatible router and everything now works like a charm. Again, you will find that the problem is well documented if you research it on the internet.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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Seemed there were some folks that disabling IPV6 helped and others that it didnt. My guess is that the router they had didnt handle the IPv6 packets that vista occasionally spits out very well. Most either ignore them or handle them. But since nobody is really using IPv6, I can see where some equipment would have trouble with it, and its not particularly useful. I dont think turning off the QOS packet interface made a difference, or the link level stuff.

I missed that the pc has vista on it...

Right click on the network icon in the system tray (lower right corner) and click 'diagnose and repair'.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:54 AM   #8
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Is your setup like this?

Desktop -> Wireless router/gateway -> Cable Modem -> Internet

Slouch gave the best advice for diagnosing the problem.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:05 PM   #9
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The set up i'm using is Dell PC with Vista connected via ethernet cable to a
Speedstream 6520 wireless modem,not sure if its also called a router,its a black box with 6 green lights on the front and a small antenna at the back.Thanks for some of your ideas i'll give them a try but what you suggest is a daunting prospect as my computer skills till now have been limited to the on button or the shut down icon
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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Are you using the same ethernet cable when using the pc that doesnt work as when you're using the pc that does work?
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Are you using the same ethernet cable when using the pc that doesnt work as when you're using the pc that does work?
No the old PC doesnt have an ethernet port so i use a blue cable with a phone type jack from the modem to a USB connection on the other end and the old computer works just fine,but when using the new computer i have tried 3 different ethernet cables.I'll try some of the solutions suggested but if that doesnt work has any one had any experience with something like "Best Buys" Geek squad?
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:06 PM   #12
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This seems to likely be a problem with how the speedstream or your pc is configured. While you could pay someone like Geek Squad a bunch of money to figure it out, its something that your ISP should be able to walk you through over the phone for free. In fact, they should have a guide on their web site describing how to do this.

Your PC needs to have its ethernet port enabled, and it needs to be configured to work the right way. Thats not rocket science, but its not easy for a non technical person either. Then the speedstream needs to be properly setup to work.

It sounds like your other arrangements used either a wireless connection or a USB connection, but not the ethernet port on the computer or the ethernet port on the speedstream. My guess is the ethernet port on one of those is disabled or not configured properly.

Try your ISP again. If it helps, without a connection to your PC working, theres nothing they could do on their end to determine that 'everything is okay'. All they can do is open a connection into your modem and maybe check and configure the ethernet portion on that end.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:57 AM   #13
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Found the problemOn the new PC's quick launch bar is a tiny blue and white wand that represents something called PC-cillin internet security,clicking on this wand brings up a small menu bar with several security settings one of which was "Halt all internet traffic"and yes there was a check mark right beside it unchecking the option solved the problem.I'm not sure why many trips to my providers tech support or the same with Dell tech support couldnt have asked me to check this option as it sure would have saved a lot of wasted time.:confused:
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:50 AM   #14
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Wow. Good example of how security apps can cause more trouble than they prevent.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:01 AM   #15
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I'm not sure why many trips to my providers tech support or the same with Dell tech support couldnt have asked me to check this option as it sure would have saved a lot of wasted time.:confused:
Probably because none of them knew it was installed on your machine.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:44 AM   #16
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Dell probably preinstalled that on his machine.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Wow. Good example of how security apps can cause more trouble than they prevent.
As far as the security app is concerned, it wasn't any trouble at all...
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