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Intermittent modem disconnections

NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
I have a broadband modem from my cable company connected to a Netgear wireless router. This setup has worked flawlessly for me for the last couple of years until the last week or so. Now, I get disconnected from the internet every 2-5 hours. Doing a hard reset of the modem and/or router (I've done them individually and in concert), or resetting the network adapter doesn't fix the problem. When I do any of those things, the computer cannot 'see' the existing network. Instead, it just says it's connected to an 'Unidentified Network', but the adapter itself isn't sending/receiving packets. If I reset the computer, it usually fixes it, but didn't this morning.

The wireless router's setup is incredibly basic. No port forwarding enabled or anything. I've run scans with MSE and Malwarebytes, but nothing popped up. The problems seem to coincide with me installing Windows Updates, so I've restored my system.

It's a Windows 7 PC, if that makes a difference.

If this problem pops up again, what should I do? The kid at my cable company's tech support line tried telling me it was a power surge issue, but I've never had a power surge issue before in this house and with this equipment, so I'm not buying it. To me, the symptoms make me believe the Netgear has an issue, given everything is funneled through it, and when the problem occurs, it's no longer visible to the computer.

Nightslyr on

Posts

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Yeah to me it sounds like a router issue. Do you have an old router laying around to verify?

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    Yeah to me it sounds like a router issue. Do you have an old router laying around to verify?

    Unfortunately no. Just this Netgear.

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Seems like a stretch but could you see if your router needs a firmware upgrade?

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    Seems like a stretch but could you see if your router needs a firmware upgrade?

    I actually updated it a couple days ago, but the problems persisted.

    I hope I don't have to buy a new one. I just spent a fair amount of money on a new HDTV because my old one died, so I'm a bit strapped for cash at the moment.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Sounds like a router issue to me.

    Though cable modems have been known to do this kind of shit. You're saying rebooting the computer is what fixes it?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Sounds like a router issue to me.

    Though cable modems have been known to do this kind of shit. You're saying rebooting the computer is what fixes it?
    .

    Usually, although resetting the PC this morning did not fix it. A second reset, after a system restore to a time before this issue started popping up, did fix it, though.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I'm wondering if disabling the network adapter in windows, and then re-enabling it would do it as well.

    I'm also betting you're using DHCP, and setting static IPs would fix this issue.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    No go for the first. Disabling/enabling the adapter through Windows just leads to the 'Unidentified Network' issue.

    No clue re: the second. I'm a networking virgin, so I'm not sure what to play with. I just generally plug shit in according to the instructions, and generally it works out of the box.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Your router generally has an IP address that's static.

    So what you do is, plug everything in, make note of that static IP and do the following:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/19249/how-to-assign-a-static-ip-address-in-xp-vista-or-windows-7/

    Your gateway is the router's IP address (usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1). That's pretty much all you need to do.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Okay, first, I'm in a wheelchair, so plugging things in/out isn't really in the cards. I do have aides/family that can help, but it's still a PITA to have people who either don't know anything about tech stuff at all, or are here for more family-oriented stuff to help out. Not impossible, but a last ditch effort kinda thing, especially since they just helped me remove a dead HDTV and install a new one in my room. I don't want to spring another "Let's fuck around with gadgets and cords" project on them so soon.

    Second, even if I could plug/unplug things, how would I be able to tell which one has the static IP?

    Third, the article wasn't really clear to me. Like I said, I'm a networking virgin, so all of the important stuff, like actually setting the static IP addresses and DNS kinda flew over my head. I mean, if I'm not using Google DNS, what should I manually put in for my DNS? And, should I tweak stuff in the router's config or in the PC adapter's config? Terminology like 'C class network' doesn't mean anything to me.

    I'm really, really not trying to be difficult here. It's just that the combination of having limited physical ability to mess with the components plus not knowing anything about networking in general (I've tried, but I find it to be painfully boring) has limited my options a bit. I really do appreciate the help you've offered so far. It's just that it's above my understanding and capability.

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Of course, after writing that whiny response, I see that the router itself does have the option for a static IP. The values were pre-populated, but I think they may be legit. I recognize the range of the gateway IP (65.blah.blah), so maybe it was able to scan the ISP/network for the real values?

    I'm going to go test out my PS3 to see if it works.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    By plug in I meant get everything in the final connected state.

    Basically: Don't touch anything in the router, it'll probably have static IP and that already set. What you want to do is set a static IP on the device (computer/ps3 in this instance).

    Basically how it works is:

    Cable modem acts as a modem. It gets an IP Address from the ISP's DHCP server. Assigns it to your device, in this case your dlink router. Once the router gets the IP address, it assigns a LAN IP address (something something class C network). You've seen them: 10.X.X.X or 192.168.x.x. These ones are for NATed network. Personal use, can be used anywhere, routers use them to give you an intranet (LAN). So your router is a gateway for these class C. Usually sets itself up as 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. Easy to tell, go into a command prompt and type ipconfig and see what the gateway address it spits out is. That's going to be the same. But it'll also tell you what range you should keep your internal network components.

    So in this case, let's say it uses 192.168.0.1. Okay, go into the windows network adapter, change IPv4, for an IP address put : 192.168.0.225 (Valid choices are 2-254 (since 1 was taken by the router) -- I picked 225 because it's usually well above the range of DHCP and this can cause issues). Subnet is whatever windows gave you, probably 255.255.255.0 (this tells us what octets are in our network range, the 0 indicates that 1-254 are valid choices on our class C network). If it was 255.255.0.0 the valid octets would be 192.168.X.X (giving us 192.168.0-254.0-254 as valid network address, you can see why larger corporations chose the 10.X.X.X scheme)

    So now you've got your IP, subnet, and gateway (should be your router's internal static IP -- like I said, probably 192.168.0.1). DNS? Well that's up to you. Most routers act as DHCP forwarders. Your ISP could give you a few to chose from as well. Personally? I always take google's. So I plop in 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 into the DNS spot. Easier to remember than some ISP's 65.197.1.25 or whatever.

    Bam you're done, hit okay, and do your internets. Not sure if you know (I don't know what your level is) but DNS is basically how things translate IPaddress into website names. So google.com translates into whatever via DHCP. So it doesn't really so much matter what you put there as long as it's a valid DNS Server. And you may not trust your ISP to not be dumb there. I've seen some DNS servers hijack 404 pages and all that, it's stupid. That's why I stick with google.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Nightslyr
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Also, congratulations, that's a crash course on being a network admin.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    I thought the issue was solved since there were no disconnects for ~24-36 hours after I gave my desktop a static IP address, but I had a disconnect earlier tonight. I wonder if it has something to do with the address the router gets/uses from my ISP through DHCP? I guess I'll know for sure tomorrow night, as the lease is up then.

    Still, one disconnect in a timeframe that used to give me five or so is a step in the right direction.

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Hey, is there a way to check PC network adapter logs? I've had to restart my desktop 4 times already this morning. The router's logs don't show any errors, so I'm wondering if it's on the PC's end. I have a Realtek, if that matters.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Not that I know of, I don't think.

    There could be an issue with your router not being able to renew its DHCP lease, I've seen that happen. What's supposed to happen is before your DHCP lease expires, the computer (the router in this case) is supposed to try and renew it.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Not that I know of, I don't think.

    There could be an issue with your router not being able to renew its DHCP lease, I've seen that happen. What's supposed to happen is before your DHCP lease expires, the computer (the router in this case) is supposed to try and renew it.

    Don't think that's it, though, because the lease isn't supposed to expire until tonight, like ~7:00 PM EDT. I've also manually renewed it, and it worked fine.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    So it's still happening then, even after the static IP?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Yup.

    I'm about 99% sure it's the PC's network adapter. It just died on me again, but I'm still able to connect with my iPad and wifi enabled TV. Plus, it fixes itself after a PC restart.

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    What should I look for in a new adapter? Do I need to figure out what I have for a motherboard and/or CPU?

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I imagine you have a free pci slot? (the white long ones)

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    I imagine you have a free pci slot? (the white long ones)

    Dunno. Won't be able to check until the weekend. I can't get at the tower myself, and my day aide is fairly useless when it comes to anything remotely technical/electronic.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Ah yeah I forgot, sorry about that.

    PCI network cards are a dime a dozen, though, I'm sure you have one slot.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166004

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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