Karl`s PC Help Forums

Intermittent connectivity problems
CrazieMom - 4-9-2008 at 19:25

Anyone here know about internet signals???

I've been having issues... Normal surfing, no problem, but when I'm gaming I get pauses and pop ups telling me that there's been an interuption in communication, and "It's taking 5 seconds to connect with your computer, call you ISP.." Stuff like that.. It's not constant. Maybe every 15-20 minutes and not all the time.. It's just a minor thing, but it's driving me crazy. I've had the calbe company out here a few times.. First guy was here a couple times.

First time, he checked the lines and adjusted things, reduced the noise levels. checked the splitters in the basement, moved the cable that goes to my computer to the first splitter.. Down there there's 1 splitter and then it connects to a 2nd splitter. The cable to my modem is now on the first one and he checked and said levels were better as far as the upstream and downstream values. All within their limits... Told me to call again if the problem persisted..

Which it did, and I did..

He came back and put his little machine on my lines in the house here. He was getting the beeps now and then meaning interuption in the signal. He then plugged the cable into his machine by-passing the modem and still got the beeps for interuptions.. So he went outside to check the lines out there.. He was getting the beeps and interuptions and said he was going to call to have someone come from "the plant" so they could trace it down the road and see if it was a failing amplifier or something. So I waited a couple days.. The guy from "the plant" came, hooked up across the street for 15 minutes, didn't get an error and told me he can't fix what's not broken and to call if it happens again... He was very condescending, I wanted to flick him right between the eyes... he seemed to be in a hurry to leave.

Ok, my cable is 4Mbps download and 512kps upload. I have that because I don't want to have problems doing anything on the internet I might want to do... It's the fastest my ISP offers....

Now. These are my signal values.. I went into the modem and got them..

Downstream Value - Frequency 561000000 Hz
Signal To Noise Ratio - 34.9 dB
Power Level -7.6 dBmV

Upstream Value - Channel ID 3
Frequency - 35280000 Hz
Power - 48.0 dBmV

They look ok from what I go from Google.. The downstream snr and power levels fluctuate but not a whole lot so that probably isn't an issue. I've been trying to catch a bad reading by refreshing the page but so far no luck... The logs don't show much.. Yes there are errors but they seem to coincide with the times the cable guys have unplugged the internet from the house to check the lines...

My question (finally)

Would a Bi-Directional RF Amplifier do me any good at all?

First cable guy said an amplifier might help me but that was before the other guy came and said there was nothing wrong.. I don't know anything about cable amplifiers. I'm assuming they adjust the upstream and downstream to optimum levels, but I don't want to spend the money buying one if it's not going to help the problem.. I think the cable company should put one in if it would help, but with the I can't fix what isn't broken attitude I don't think I'll be getting much help from them.


Daz - 5-9-2008 at 09:30

Not sure how US cable internet would differ, but I'm on UK cable internet (same sort of package, 4meg), and I'm pretty sure adding a Konig booster wouldn't help the internet side of things....

It does help the TV, which comes through the same cable, (over here at least) but if it's ok with you, I'll post this elsewhere as I know some peeps who are probably able to answer this for you...?

Also, what Modem are you using?


CrazieMom - 5-9-2008 at 12:11

Yes, the Cable TV comes through the same line here too. My modem is a Motorola SB5101. Just got it last friday. My old one was bad and I had to replace it.

Yes, post it wherever you want, any ideas would be appreciated..

Here's another strange thing..

I was at the game sight last night that gives the communication interuption boxes, kept a log on the times when I was cut off.
Started playing and got the boxes at:

8:18, 8:32, 8:47, 9:01, 9:15, 9:29, 9:43, 9:57, 10:21, 10:46, 11:11.. I quit after the last entry.

I just thought it was bizarre that the interuptions were every 14 minutes up until the end when they were a little farther apart. LOL I don't know if it means anything, but I found it amusing. I home school so I can't go there and see how often the I get cut off during the day.

I read in another post about a speed test and installed it.
Dan Elwells broadband speed test...

Most of the speed problems were to the east coast which is strange because that's closest to me.. I did a few tests last night and the readings varried, about half were good the rest were lacking, and of maybe 10 tests I did, it showed packet loss 2% only 1 time. In all the tests there were always several that were grayed out, sever time out or other error. No idea what that means either.

Also Googled to find ways to help my internet connection, found a page with different settings in internet options in IE and changed a few things since they weren't anything that would effect me and that didn't do any good either..

Just did the bb speed test again and got 4% packet loss to European server. Does that mean anything?


CrazieMom - 5-9-2008 at 15:26

1st cable guy was just here. Was hooked up about 30 minutes and no errors.. They are less frequent during the day, I was hoping it would do it while he was connected...

They left a test modem just in case my new one is causing it, even though they were getting the error reading outside at the beginning of the week.. So frustrating, if you can't see it you can't fix it..

Whatever part wherever that's starting to go bad, it's going to have to get worse before they'll be able to track it down.. I just have to wait for it to fry... Looks like some nasty weather is on the way, maybe that will worsen the problem and make it easier to find..

Cable guy had another guy with him.. He has this gadget that he can be driving down the road and it will go off and he can track down a signal leak to a house without touching any cable lines.. Like a radiation detector.. I find that very cool.. LOL


CrazieMom - 6-9-2008 at 18:35

Ok, yesterday for testing purposes I went to the game site that gives me the boxes again. Stayed on it from about 3:30 to almost 11:00. Kids and I took turns just to keep it going to log times.. Still every 14 minutes as a rule..

Since the errors the cable guy originally got were tiny, I'm thinking maybe they don't have anything to do with my problem. THey may, but since there's nothing I can do about that and nothing the cable company is or can do about it I'm going to, for the sake of argument, assume the problem lies somewhere in my hardware...

It's bugging the crap out of me and I'm obsessing and Googling everything I can think of. Looked up duplex and half duplex in case my computer wasn't configured right but I don't think that it since I do get speeds I should even though there are slower times when there's a drain with more people on the internet with my provider..

I did a few test with the bb speed test and noticed that there wasn't packet loss every time and usually it was 2-4% when there was, but there have been higher numbers..

For example: 2 I did today, maybe 20 minutes apart showed high packet loss %. Did 2 others between these and had 1 with no loss and 1 with a 4% loss on the bottom section, forget what area that was..

Could packet loss caused by something I have cause the cumminication interuptions I'm getting rather than a problem with the cable lines themselves?

[bad img]http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k282/Crazie_Mom/packetloss01.jpg[/bad img]

[bad img]http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k282/Crazie_Mom/pacletloss02.jpg[/bad img]

The other computers are on and one is doing something online, which might effect the results, but nothign else on my computer was accessing anything on the internet, and last ngiht I got 1 test with 56% packet loss and both the other computers were off.

I have a Linksys router - befsr41 v.2 It's 6 or 7 years old, but seems to be working fine. I can't plug the modem directly into the computer, it doesn't work, been like that since I installed the router and since there was really no need for the computer to be hooked without the router to the internet I didn't bother trying to figure out how to make it work in case I couldn't get it back to using the router again.

Modem is Motorola SB 5101, seems to be workign fine.

Run Windows XP sp2. sp2 came installed on it, haven't put in sp3.

Also read about finding out what type NIC card in the computer but I have no idea.. Looking in control panel, Network connections I see.


1394 Connection - 1394 Net Adaptor

Local area connection - Marvel Yukon 88E8050 PCI-E ASF Gigabyte ethernet controller

No clue if one of those is it..

Also read somethign about TCP optimizer but forget what it said or what it did.

Signal values as of right now are:

Downstream Value
Frequency 561000000 Hz
Signal To Noise Ratio 34.5 dB
Power Level -7.9 dBmV


Upstream Value
Channel ID 3
Frequency 35280000 Hz
Power 47.8 dBmV


Daz - 7-9-2008 at 00:58

Just a couple of things to try... (Sorry, not had time to post this elsewhere yet, but will do...)

First, see if there is an updated Firmware for the Router. Linky thing (Double check that is your Router, as there are two listed for your model.)

Second, disconnect the Router and connect the Modem directly. (Then see if you've got the same errors.)

As you've had problems doing it this way before try this..

Turn off Modem.

Turn off Router.

Disable, and then enable LAN in XP. (Control Panel, Network) When it's been re-enabled, it *should* just have the red X through it, and say disconnected.

Turn off PC.

Turn on Modem. Wait a minute or two for it re-establish itself.

Turn on PC... It should then communicate with the Modem, if not, try a "Repair" in XP. If that still doesn't work, remove the power from the Modem again, wait a few minutes again, and reconnect the power....


CrazieMom - 7-9-2008 at 03:36

I figured out how to get the modem to work without the router earlier.. It wasn't set to obtain IP addy automatically.. I swear it was, but I checked and it wasn't... That's why the modem wouldn't work directly... SO I was able to check the router...

*sigh*... Looks like the errors in the cable lines aren't it...

I unplugged the router and went to the site and was there an hour with no disconnect. Hour, not long enough I know, but had things to do... Later, put router back and went. 3 interruptions in the hour I spent there, again had things to do couldn't stay longer. So the interruptions were longer than the usual 14 minutes, but the router was cooled off maybe.. Changed and took router out and went and played for several hours with no interruptions. Just logged out.. Saturday night would be a high volume time for the internet so without more thorough testing I can reasonably assume it's the router... Which stinks.. It works fine otherwise, just not for gaming.. It's old, maybe it's finally starting to go out...

Can't leave it out, kids about had my hide for playing several hours with modem only leaving them without internet that entire time... If looks could kill, I'd be a pile of ash...

It's going to have to last at least 3 more weeks because I can't get another one until then...

I like my Linksys, it's been a good router for a lot of years... Is that still a good brand? I wouldn't know if they've let their quality slide. Can't afford a high dollar one, any suggestions on a good reasonably priced router I could get at say Office Max or other office type store? I could order online but then I'd have to wait for it and the kids would have a fit, especially if this one burns out before then...

Would computer and modem specs be important in getting a new router? I did a lot of reading today and I think there was mention of some cards not liking some modems and routers. ??

Modem Motorola SB5101
Computer Gateway, pentium 4, 3.0 Ghz, 1 Gig Ram
I think the card is the Marvel Yukon listed above...

Now I feel stupid for dragging the cable guy out her so many times. Suppose I should take back the mental wedgie I was giving him..

Edit:

Whoops, missed the link for the firmware update, thanks, will go check that out


CrazieMom - 7-9-2008 at 03:53

A thought........

You know, I don't think I'll take back that wedgie...

It's party the cable guys fault he had to keep coming back here. It's his job to check things and when I told him the modem didn't work hooked to the computer, he hooked it up and didn't know why it wouldn't work either.. Shouldn't he, of all people, know to check the IP addy settings in network connections? If he'd known I'd have saved a week of Googling my brains out trying to figure out what the problem was and bugging you guys... LOL

I do wonder what the errors he was getting in the lines are though...


CrazieMom - 7-9-2008 at 04:55

Upgraded the firmware... 1:00 a.m. here. Will have to wait until tomorrow to check it out and see if it fixed what going on.

Thanks.


Daz - 7-9-2008 at 11:34

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazieMom
Upgraded the firmware... 1:00 a.m. here. Will have to wait until tomorrow to check it out and see if it fixed what going on.

Thanks.


Progress...! Although as always, it's seems it going to come a price. Sorry about that.

As for Linksys, still top quality IMHO. I never buy anything else,whether for myself, or for other people. My old version of your Router is still working at a mates house I believe, and I've got an older model which I've just acquired and that seems to be still working too.

I've had two WiFi units, both still working. (Admittedly my new one had a few issues, but they sorted them with a Firmware upgrade, eventually.)

The budget units work ok though if you're stuck for cash, just don't be surprised if you have similar issues, or if it overheats... (The cheaper made ones have been known to do this I believe.) And support isn't always great.


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 01:23

Alright...... firmware upgrade didn't help.. Actually seems to have made it worse. Tested at game site and interruptions went from 14 minutes at the start to every 8 minutes, then near the end up to 20 minutes apart...

Knew it was a waste of time to call for tech support, aggravated and didn't want to deal with broken English tech support...

I thought their live chat support would be better... I was wrong.
Yes, I could understand them since responses were typed, but since I'm having connection interruptions, even though it's only for a second or 2, it cut off the chat support leaving me sitting there not knowing if they were looking something up of if it was disconnected, screen showed the same connected as disconnected...

Took 4 tries, each time after the first, just throwing in my country, model and serial number first before they asked so I could get straight to the issue before getting cut off..

The last time the tech said I might need to lower the MTU in the router to 1400 or 1300 then silence.. I assume disconnected again and just gave up....

I don't know what the MTU is or how to change it's settings. Also don't want to waste money on a new router if this one just needs some setting changed.. Which I know is a long shot, but I don't have the money to buy a new router and the kids have a hissy if I put modem to my computer and they get no internet.

If I have to access the router via IE to change these setting I'm kind of screwed.. When the new modem was put in, it took over the IP I used for the router.. Used to go in and fiddle and assign ports to progs I was using.. It was the standard 192.168.100.1, but now when I put that in the addy bar I get the modem instead of the router...

Just want to make sure the router is failing. Would hate to buy a new one and find out it was the settings and the new router is doing the same thing as this one...


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 02:01

While Googling I ran across this.. A lot of it is over my head...

Could you read through this and see if it sounds anything like what's going on with mine?

http://forum.americasarmy.com/viewtopic.php?t=7519&highlight=linksys+router+firmware


scholar - 8-9-2008 at 04:13

Hello, Craziemom.

I have nothing to contribute, except to cheer Daz on. (I don't have a router or a cable connection.) I think the work he does and the help he gives with PC problems are great. He also makes posts later than many of the UK people, which is good for Americans who post in our evening.

Yay, Daz! cheerieleader cheerieleader cheerieleader

This is Craziemom's URL with the link thingie. That is, the one she would like someone to read and review/explain. That might count as a contribution.;)


Daz - 8-9-2008 at 09:19

Ok, type your routers address in to your browser. (Usually 192.168.1.1, but not definitely, with the default user and pass being admin, unless it's been changed.

This Will bring up the router's management panel. Where you can change settings, port-forward, etc, etc.

In there, you will, somewhere, find an option to change MTU. On mine, it's on the first page, but on the older units the admin panel was different, so no idea where it'll be I'm afraid.

That link is pretty old, but I guess sounds similar. That said, there was never a solution anyway posted anyway really by the looks of it. Not a definite one anyway. Well, apart from replacing the router.

That said, some routers/models have been known to cause gaming issues, as, IIRC I remember my mate complaining about his DLink, because he couldn't play some game or other. He changed to Linksys IIRC.

The problem is clearly with the Router, as you have proved that. You could try resetting the router back to factory default, and see if that helps.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv3/ These guys do custom firmwares, whether you want to go down this route I don't know. It's not for the faint hearted, as if it goes belly up you've bricked your router.

It might solve your issue though, hence posting it. But do it as a very last resort. Assuming of course they have any firmware for your model listed.

Try googling for router problems and gaming, or something like that... See if that throws up any possibilities.


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 13:23

Thanks! Yes, the Modem uses 192.168.100.1 and the router is 192.168.1.1 Now I can get into the router..

I remember now! I upgraded the firmware for the router awhile back. I don't remember why, I'd called their tech line for something stupid and they told me to.. After that I had problems accessing the router like I'd used to..

After that upgrade, when I'd try and get into the router I'd have to put in the password 4 times and would get the red 401 authorization required screen, then hit refresh and I'd get into the router, but for every tab I click on I have to do the same thing, was a pain, but when I'd try to change anything and click apply I'd get the password box again and go through the same thing but refreshing when the 401 screen came didn't bring up the modem page again. The MTU is set at 1492 and I can't change it.. Tried to change to 1300, but like before I click apply and put in password several times to the red 401 page but can't get past that, have to go back and the setting hasn't changed...

That article was old, yes, but it's the same router. If their issue was caused by firmware as some of my problems are and they couldn't go back to original version of the firmware, I more than likely won't be able to either..

I don't know how I could get it back to factory defaults since I can't change anything in the router after that firmware update. So, looks like I'll be router shopping.

Maybe I'll give their tech support a call later and see if they've changed anything since that article and you can go back to a previous version of the firmware or instructions on how to set it back to factory defaults.

Woke up sick this morning and I'm really not in the mood to talk to one of those techs.


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 13:34

I just checked. I'd kept a copy of the firmware upgrade I did awhile back that cause the problems accessing the router and it's the same upgrade I put in day before yesterday.


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 14:09

Called Linksys tech support, actually got someone who I could understand.. Question after question wasting my time, then asking the problem and my telling them while they acted like they were going to be helpful just to wait until I was finished to then tell me I was out of warranty, and they couldn't help me unless I paid.. Argued with them for awhile about how it was their upgrade that screwed it up and I shouldn't have to pay 30.00 for them to tell my how to remove it.. So she spouted off other cheaper support plans I could buy.. Argued a little more finally asking if they could tell me without charging if hitting the reset button on the router would set it back to factory defaults... She said yes and then hung up on me. If you don't want to pay they do not want to talk to you.

They didn't move the tech support overseas because it's cheaper, they did it so people couldn't hunt them down and smack the techs.


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 15:55

YEAH!

JACKPOT!

Reset the router and it did restore to factory defaults.. Went and played for an hour and a half with router and no disconnects!!!

Don't need to buy a new router!

Thanks for the help!!

What a relief!!!


scholar - 8-9-2008 at 18:03

:danceman:danceman:danceman:danceman:danceman
Congratulations, CrazieMom!cheers::gossip)band_1:wav):wav)


Redwolf5150 - 8-9-2008 at 18:11

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazieMom
Called Linksys tech support, actually got someone who I could understand.. Question after question wasting my time, then asking the problem and my telling them while they acted like they were going to be helpful just to wait until I was finished to then tell me I was out of warranty, and they couldn't help me unless I paid.. Argued with them for awhile about how it was their upgrade that screwed it up and I shouldn't have to pay 30.00 for them to tell my how to remove it.. So she spouted off other cheaper support plans I could buy.. Argued a little more finally asking if they could tell me without charging if hitting the reset button on the router would set it back to factory defaults... She said yes and then hung up on me. If you don't want to pay they do not want to talk to you.

They didn't move the tech support overseas because it's cheaper, they did it so people couldn't hunt them down and smack the techs.


And people wonder why Linksys is on my "do not buy" list now.

Well, that and they make crappy product, IMHO.

kewl_glasses


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 18:40

Sorry, it double posted


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 18:40

It's not a crappy product, it's old and still works, just their firmware upgrades suck, you'd think they'd fix those.. I'm on my third modem, got the first modem the same time I got the router so it's held up better than the modems.

Their tech support used to just irritate me because I couldn't understand them, but now I hate it.


Daz - 8-9-2008 at 20:13

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazieMom
It's not a crappy product, it's old and still works, just their firmware upgrades suck, you'd think they'd fix those.. I'm on my third modem, got the first modem the same time I got the router so it's held up better than the modems.

Their tech support used to just irritate me because I couldn't understand them, but now I hate it.


Linksys is a good make, it's Cisco, and you don't get any better networking gear than Cisco....

All brands have firmware issues. It's not restricted to Linksys.

But the custom firmwares are meant to be very good, if you wish to go down this route. (Not you per se Crazymum, in general I mean.)

Sadly, foreign call centres are becoming the norm now, which is a mighty huge PITA, AFAIAC, but again, it's hardly restricted to Linksys is it...!

Anyway...

Well done CrazyMum, glad you're sorted, and got there in the end...! waveysmiley


CrazieMom - 8-9-2008 at 20:59

Did try to access the router just to see if I could and I'm still getting the red 401 page after multiple passwrd tries, so looks like I still can't change anything in there like I used to, but as long my connection is stable I can live with it, let the progs use whatever ports they want to.


Daz - 8-9-2008 at 21:35

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazieMom
Did try to access the router just to see if I could and I'm still getting the red 401 page after multiple passwrd tries, so looks like I still can't change anything in there like I used to, but as long my connection is stable I can live with it, let the progs use whatever ports they want to.


Try leaving the user name blank, and use "admin" (without the quotes) as the password...


CrazieMom - 9-9-2008 at 00:43

Nope, no difference. several tries to the 410 page then refresh to get the router page, unable to apply any settings.

Now, that's going to bug me.. Maybe something to do with IE or some other setting in the computer rather than the firmware, since I was able to do it with the router before and it's at factory defaults again? Could be a coincidence that after that upgrade it started happening. Not like I was in there fiddling with things every other day. Hard to remember everything I do when I'm messing with things especially several months later...


Daz - 9-9-2008 at 02:00

Do a hard reset. Press the small Reset button on the back of the router with a pencil or some such, hold it in for 30 seconds. (Don't let go) Then, pull the mains power lead from the router, this time leave power out for a couple of minutes. While the power is out, press the reset again (30s again)

When the 2 minutes is up, plug the mains power back in, and this time, providing it's working properly, and the firmware flash was good, it will be reset, and the user and pass will be admin. (It should confirm the user/pass in the docs that came with the router)

One final thought, have you cleared your browser's cache...?

Good luck.


CrazieMom - 11-9-2008 at 11:32

Emptied the cache and follwed directions for the hard restart. No change. There has to be something else causing it, but I don't have a clue what it could be. I can't remember what else I might have been doing or if I installed or updated something else that might have effected that. So many things can cause issues with other completely unrelated things.

I never tried to access it from one of the other computers.. I think I'll do that and see if it's just mine..

Alrighty, it's my computer... Accessed it just fine on another computer, no problems at all. I do see that the MTU is set to 1500 now.. Since everything is working fine, I'll just leave it at that..

Still wondering what it could be in here that's giving me grief accessing the router... I'll probably never figure it out.. The list of possibilities is just endless... LOL


CrazieMom - 11-9-2008 at 11:34

OK, I'm an idiot, I can get into the router just fine with FF.. Don't know why I didn't try that before.. Must be something in IE.. Just one more reason to hate it..


Daz - 11-9-2008 at 12:24

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazieMom
OK, I'm an idiot, I can get into the router just fine with FF.. Don't know why I didn't try that before.. Must be something in IE.. Just one more reason to hate it..


Yay..! Weel done, so you're sorted now...?


CrazieMom - 11-9-2008 at 19:55

Yes, looks like everything is fixed and working now..

Thanks!!