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Thread: Internet Connection Help

  1. #1
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Internet Connection Help

    I'm turning to the resident experts on RZ for help because I've been having internet problems for about the last 6 weeks intermitently.

    I have Charter Communication's 3 mg HS cable modem. I've had it for almost 4 years without a bit of problem. Late May I started intermitently losing my internet connection. I've placed more trouble calls, and had their tech guys out here trying to figure this thing out, until they are probably sick of me.

    Below is the cable modem they have provided me. It's an Ambit, which they just replaced.



    Whenever the "ready" light on the far right flashes, then that means I've lost my signal. It has to be solid. I follow the steps to reboot it, and sometimes it comes back on, and sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes, when the light is solid, I still cannot get internet. And when I go into my Internet Connection -Status -and try to do a Repair - sometimes it can't renew my IP Address.

    Now over the last 4-5 weeks, here are some of the issues they have investigated that could be causing me trouble, and some of the solutions I/we have taken....

    bad modem - they replaced it. It checks out fine as far as signal (up stream and down stream)

    ethernet cable bad - we've replaced them all

    signal fluctuation - when I call their tech support they are able to check the modem, as long as it's online at the time, and look at signal strength. A lot of times the upstream and downstream are solid. And sometimes it drops out of range (fluctuates). That's when they send a tech out. But when he gets out here and checks stuff, the signal is fine on this end. They have been out numerous times and checked the lines from the pole into the house, as well as some of the splitters. They've used a meter to check the signal strength all along the way, and I've got a strong signal coming into the back of the modem. What fluctuation is there, which is normal, is still well within range and shouldn't be preventing me from geting internet. And the splitters check out OK too.

    hardware issue (ethernet card) - I have an Intel Pro 100 VE onboard ethernet card in the computer. The driver is up to date. It says it is working properly. But I have even tried putting a PCI network card in, disable the onboard, and I still have the problem.

    3rd party software interfering - I strongly doubt this because I'm an old fart who doesn't have much software on my computer to begin with, and I don't do any gaming. But to be safe I formatted the computer and re-loaded just the basics. Other then the XP OS - I have Microsoft Office 2003 and HP Imaging (I have an HP All-In-One printer/scanner).

    They thought that it might be my virus protection (Nortons); but it still did it when I disabled it. After this last format though, I decided not to install Nortons, and instead install Charter's Virus program (F-Security Suite).

    Windows Firewall is turned off. I disabled the Virus programs Firewall to see if that helped. It didn't.

    I've scanned for spyware. Nothing.

    I also have a Linksys WRT54G Wireless G 2.4 Ghz broadband router. But the problem can't be there because whenever I completely take the router off and re-connect directly to the modem and re-establish internet, the problem intermtently still is there.

    Yesterday (Saturday) they came back out in the morning because I lost internet Friday night. But sometime over the night the internet came back, and when he got here it was working fine. He did some signal strength checks and it was excellent.

    Then, about an hour after he left, it went out again for the rest of the day. I was able to get ahold of them and he came back out. He went back out and checked the signal from the pole into the house and it was fine. But no matter how much he tried to get the modem to reboot ("ready" light solid) it wouldn't do it. Even when he brough another cable modem in it wouldn't do it. He was perplexed because even without hooking it up to the computer via the ethernet cable, and just plugging in the power cord and coaxial cable, he couldn't get the "ready" light to go solid and it should.

    So the head technician is coming out AGAIN on Monday morning to check it out.

    I got up this morning and guess what?.... the internet is working fine. But I don't know how long it will last. I could lose it at any time again.

    So if any of you experts have any ideas and/or suggestions I would appreciate it.

    And if I don't get back with you right away it's because I lost internet again.
    Last edited by GAC; 07-08-2007 at 10:52 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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  3. #2
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Ok, I gotta be quick because no sooner did I post this thread then I lost internet.

    I rebooted the modem and was lucky enough to get it back right away.

    One further question to add...

    After I formatted the computer and put XP back in I went to Microsoft's website - downloaded IE7 and then had Microsoft run it's updates/security patches. I also turned their Windows automatic updates on.

    Is there a possiblilty that those patches could be causing a problem? They never have before. I have even turned the updates off and the problem is still there.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  4. #3
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    It could be the cable outside/going into the house that's bad. The more of that cable that's exposed to the elements, the more likely it is to be the cause of the trouble. I had to get outdoor cable replaced to fix signal problems a couple of times when I lived in Wisconsin.

    Like you, I had good service from my cable modem service here for about 4 years, except for modem problems that would crop up that were quickly cured by modem swaps. Last summer, I started having problems with outages that weren't cured by swaps. The technicians would visit and swear that the signal levels coming into the house were fine, but the daily, intermittent outages continued.

    Finally, I gave up on cable modem service and switched to DSL last fall. The DSL is just as fast and it has been 99.9% trouble free.
    /r/reds

  5. #4
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Sounds a lot like my never ending problem with Cincinnati Bell, signal loss for no reason at all, modem swaps, 5 times a tech out here..no help at all

    I'd switch to cable if they weren't so freaky with their "You can't have a cable modem with DirecTV" yeah..sure I can't...whatever.

    Good luck GAC..I know this post has been most unhelpful
    Go Gators!

  6. #5
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    "Then, about an hour after he left, it went out again for the rest of the day. I was able to get ahold of them and he came back out. He went back out and checked the signal from the pole into the house and it was fine. But no matter how much he tried to get the modem to reboot ("ready" light solid) it wouldn't do it. Even when he brough another cable modem in it wouldn't do it. He was perplexed because even without hooking it up to the computer via the ethernet cable, and just plugging in the power cord and coaxial cable, he couldn't get the "ready" light to go solid and it should. "


    This paragraph right here tells you all you need to know. It is not you or your equipment in any way.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  7. #6
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    Sounds a lot like my never ending problem with Cincinnati Bell, signal loss for no reason at all, modem swaps, 5 times a tech out here..no help at all

    I'd switch to cable if they weren't so freaky with their "You can't have a cable modem with DirecTV" yeah..sure I can't...whatever.

    Good luck GAC..I know this post has been most unhelpful
    Since when was that a rule? I have a cable modem and DirectTV. Cable companies, go figure.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  8. #7
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    It's not a rule, it's a big load of bunk from Insight
    Go Gators!

  9. #8
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    It's not a rule, it's a big load of bunk from Insight
    Fascists!
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  10. #9
    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Unassisted could be right.
    I had very similar problems for years with Time-Warner. They replaced the modem a couple of times, they replaced the wire (in my apartment) a few times, but things never seemed quite right.
    Finally, one guy crawled in the attic and found the cable was from 1985. He replaced it - and I have not had an outage since then.
    It sounds to me if your cable light keeps flicking, GAC, then the problem is not in your computer, but somewhere in the modem(s) or the cable.

  11. #10
    Member jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    It could be the cable outside/going into the house that's bad. The more of that cable that's exposed to the elements, the more likely it is to be the cause of the trouble. I had to get outdoor cable replaced to fix signal problems a couple of times when I lived in Wisconsin.
    This would be my guess also. A couple of summers ago I started having intermittent problems where I would lose connection during the day but at night I wouldn't have any problems. The technician found the problem outside. I'm not sure exactly what he replaced but it took care of the problem. It doesn't sound to me like the problem is with your hardware.

    Cabling could very well be the problem.

  12. #11
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRed View Post
    "Then, about an hour after he left, it went out again for the rest of the day. I was able to get ahold of them and he came back out. He went back out and checked the signal from the pole into the house and it was fine. But no matter how much he tried to get the modem to reboot ("ready" light solid) it wouldn't do it. Even when he brough another cable modem in it wouldn't do it. He was perplexed because even without hooking it up to the computer via the ethernet cable, and just plugging in the power cord and coaxial cable, he couldn't get the "ready" light to go solid and it should. "


    This paragraph right here tells you all you need to know. It is not you or your equipment in any way.
    That's what their tech said last night - it's not your computer or anything on there software-wise. The modem should sync and the ready light should go solid without even having it hooked to the computer via an ethernet cable.

    The internet has been out again all day. Just for the heck of it, and since they are coming back out again in the morning, I decided to take the computer back to it's "pristine" state by reformatting it and restoring it to the condition it was when I bought it home from the store. I've turned all updates off, and have not done any. and will not, until they come out and investigate this situation.

    I don't want to give them any excuses that it's something "3rd party" when there is none on here at the moment. I don't even have virus protection on there at the moment - so the only website I am visiting for right now is this one.

    I still believe it is a signal fluctuation somewhere outside of here they they are not finding.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  13. #12
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    This would be my guess also. A couple of summers ago I started having intermittent problems where I would lose connection during the day but at night I wouldn't have any problems. The technician found the problem outside. I'm not sure exactly what he replaced but it took care of the problem. It doesn't sound to me like the problem is with your hardware.

    Cabling could very well be the problem.
    That is what I am thinking also. Yet these guys, including their head technician, have been all over the cabling from the outside pool coming into the house and to this computer. They say, according to their meters, that the signal strength is fine. But somewhere, and I don't know where, I am intermitently dropping signal.

    I fought this thing for several hours today. Now all of a sudden I am back on again. For how long I don't know.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  14. #13
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Finally, I gave up on cable modem service and switched to DSL last fall. The DSL is just as fast and it has been 99.9% trouble free.
    This is the last straw. If they can't figure this thing out tommorrow, then I am going to investigate DSL.

    It is available here locally; but I don't know much about DSL.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  15. #14
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    A crazy thought. Maybe its the A/C power into the modem. Computer-based things do funny stuff when they don't have the correct power. Otherwise, I suspect the line. It doesn't really sound like a software issue to me.

    I'd be burning up their tech support too and making sure they're crediting the time it doesn't work.

  16. #15
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Connection Help

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    This is the last straw. If they can't figure this thing out tommorrow, then I am going to investigate DSL.

    It is available here locally; but I don't know much about DSL.
    Your phone company's web site is a good place to start gathering info. Mine is AT&T and their site was able to tell me what options were available at my location. Your home's physical distance from their equipment will determine the maximum speed of your connection and whether DSL is available. The farther you are, the slower the connection. If you're too far from it, they won't be able to get the DSL to you at all.

    I had to pay a $200 installation fee, since I needed to have AT&T's technician wire the DSL to accommodate my alarm system. They had an option to install-it-yourself for free. I still have analog phone service, which I prefer because the phones work when the power goes out. I believe the self-installation option converts your phone service to digital.
    /r/reds


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