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A problem that NO ONE seems to be able to solve.... help??

Posted on 2002-06-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I hope the title doesn't turn anyone off to reading this. I think the person who can solve my problem should win... some huge award, as I have yet to find someone can help me... ^_^

Here we go,

About 6 months ago, I got windows XP, and built myself a new computer. Before that, I had been using DSL provided by Earthlink, and I continue to use it to this day. My problem started a few months after I got my computer, and it's kinda hard to describe. The best way to describe the problem is "getting disconected from the Internet every 10 seconds for 1 milisecond." I use a router, so I never actually 'connect' to Earthlink to get to the internet, I am always on, but it seems as though I get short lapses in my internet, causing me to
- be kicked off aim every 5 seconds,
- have to refresh a lot of webpages becuase they just don't load, or they load for a sec then IE gives me an error saying it couldn't find the server, or that the page could not be found, (the detect network settings page)
- get booted from all multiplayer games
- spend hours on the phone with the motherboard company, network card company, ISP, all to no avail. Generally it happens when I am on AIM, (aol instant messenger) and I can still see people online, but when I try to check their profiles, I get a "Please wait......" sign, and I eventually get a window from AIM that says I've been disconnected and it has to reconnect. Lately, it's been happening so often I can barely get one sentence in to somone before I get disconected. Likewise, when I am surfing the web, or downloading files, I often click on a link and get an error that the page doesn't exist, so I retry, and it works fine. Or when I'm downloading a file I'll get an error message that file "connection with server reset" and I have to try'n download the file again.



My computer specs are as follows,
---------------
AMD Athlon 1.2ghz on a Shuttle AK12 Motherboard
Netgear FA310TX, (I have also tried the 311)
D-Link DI-804 Router

As far as I know, neither AMD nor Shuttle has updates for their processor/motherboard, and Netgear has no updates for the FA310TX. I'm not sure about the D-Link router.

I think that's all you should need to know about the setup.
----------------

I never techincally LOSE connection to the point where I'd have to reconnect, (maybe I do and my router just reconnects for me automatically) but this problem is literally driving me insane. I have changed network cards, reformatted my computer, and tried different OSes. To make things even more complicated, I have 3 other computers in the house, and none of them have problems, or at most, they have problems VERY rarely with wierd disconections.

My friend said he thought it might be a problem with the way my motheboard is communicating with my network card under windows XP, but... I dunno.... I built the computer myself, it's the 7th one I have built, so I know I did everything, and made all the right settings. Perhaps there is something about Shuttle Ak12 motherboards and XP that I don't know.

Any help that anyone could give would really really help. I'm pretty much at the end of the line... I'm about ready to just throw this computer away and build a new one... I'm serious... This has been going on for like 6 months, and I can't take it anymore!


I realize this is lengthy, but I really want to give a good description of my problem. Thanks in advance for anyone who can help!

Brian
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Question by:LordTerrin
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19 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 7113163
I'll not pretend I have a solution here, but I would like to follow the discussion... so I post a few comments:

Have you run this machine with some other O/S and, if so, did it behave in the same way?

The other computers on your net, do they work OK doing the same things that do not work well with the XP box?

Since you seem to no newcomer to the field this may sound silly, but have you done a scan with an up-to-date antivirus program?

If you can get hold of a box with a protocol sniffer (e.g. Linux + tcpdump) you could try capturing transactions for a while, preferrably while doing something that gives problems, and see if there are any odd entries.

Are your computers on a "private" IP adressing scheme or do your ISP assign the addresses?

Regards
/RID
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 7113298
Give me a description of exactly how you connect to the internet? Please be detailed and tell me what harware is involved and how you have it connected together.
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Expert Comment

by:scraig84
ID: 7113379
I don't know what DSL modem you are using, but I would check to see if it has any kind of logs or interface statistics.  These may tell you if your connection is going up and down.  DSL is an awfully flaky technology - especially if you are sitting at the outer limits of the distance limitations.  Therefore I would suspect that first before looking at motherboard issues.  You may want to hook up another computer for a while to see if it has problems just to verify its not your box.  If you can find some hard info about your connection, you'll have a lot more to go to the ISP with and they might take you a bit more seriously.
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Assisted Solution

by:ecutech
ecutech earned 60 total points
ID: 7114767
I dont believe it is a motherboard issue.  Check the speed of your network card.  I would recomend taking it off auto sensing and clamp it down to the speed of your ethernet port.  If you have administrative access to the router, I would recomend doing the same in the router.  If they are set to auto sensing (duplex and/or speed, then every time that you send a new request to the router, then it has to negotiate the connection.  This can cause that so called drop.  Have you changed cables?  sometimes if one of the pins is not well clamped down, it can cause intermitten connectivity issues.  The best way to check your cables is with a tester, but if you dont have one, take a loot at the top of the connectors to see if you see the tips of each of the cooper strands.
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Author Comment

by:LordTerrin
ID: 7116528
The network card is set to 100TX full duplex already.  I have messed around with those settings and it doesn't seem to do much.  I upgraded my router firmware, my motherboard drivers, I got the VIA 4-in-1 drivers, and upgraded my bios too.  The problem is not occouring AS much, but it's definetly still here.
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Author Comment

by:LordTerrin
ID: 7116543
In response to Mike, this is how I connect.

From the wall jack, phone-like-cable goes into my DSL.  From there, one cable goes to my network card and the other into my router.  I put all of my information for earthlink into my router so I never connect manually.  It's really simple, and I'm not super sure what you're asking for in terms of "how I connect."  That is all the hardware involved.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 7118105
Is the DSL modem connected to both your NIC in the computer and to the router? What's the idea with this? Perhaps I'm being simple here, but I tend to visualize such connections going through the router. How do your other computers connect to the internet?
Do your ISP provide more than one IP address for your connection?

Regards
/RID
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:mikecr
mikecr earned 30 total points
ID: 7121489
Try using the ping command and doing this.
 
ping www.yahoo.com -t

Let this run for a while and see how many times it misses. If it doesn't miss at all then your speed and duplex should be fine, if it misses alot then you may have a mismatch and you may need to hard set it as per Ecutech, whom should have made a comment instead of an answer.
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Expert Comment

by:ecutech
ID: 7124893
Mikecr has the right concept, but in order to run a more accurate ping test, you should run the pings to the next hop, because if you run it to yahoo, there is going to be at least 5 more hops.  Try running an extended ping to your router, to see if it is the connection to your router.  After you have tested this, ping your routers default gateway (first hop after your router). After this, ping the next hop out, in order to see if it is not a connectivity issue that your ISP is having.  If you dont know the next hop after your ISP, go to http://www.logicalpackets.com/
hit the trace button and it should populate with your address.  Hit go and you will be able to see what the path is from Spokane,WA to your router. This site will become your most powerfull troubleshooting tool, so I would recomend bookmarking it.

Good luck,
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Firewall
ID: 7127718
"Generally it happens when I am on AIM", I very appreciate this sentence, Lordterrin, why you don't try empty your Internet temporary files, your History folder also your cookies folder.
Try it and let me know.

You can also, check this url :
About connectivity on AOL,

http://www.aol.com/aim/faq/connection.html#troubleshoot


And there you can check for applications and hardwares compabilities with XP:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/techinfo/planning/appcompat/default.asp


Firewall.

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Expert Comment

by:StealthFalconX
ID: 7136734
I don't know how helpful this would be, but if you can, try bypassing the router altogether.  Take the router off of your network and try directly connecting to Earthlink as you would normally, whether it be by dialing it up or whether its an "always on" connection.  I believe you have to dial up because Earthlink uses PPPoE if I'm not mistaken.  Also I think the software is WinPoet, so try taking the router out completey and dialing out.
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Author Comment

by:LordTerrin
ID: 7136847
i've already tried that before, but it didn't do anything.  I cut out my router about 3 months ago and tried using winpoet, but I still got the disconections.... thanks for the try.  

Also, I've been out of the country and am going out again on urgent matters... sorry.  I will be reading the posts of all who reply, and thank you so much for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:StealthFalconX
ID: 7136862
Hmmm, I read a previous posting of yours just now and you said you updated drivers on your computer and you are still having troubles.  However, you said you have 3 other computers that connect with no apparent problems...Try swapping out the NIC in the current computer with the NIC in a working computer, along with the cabling.  If you still have problems, at least you isolated the NIC from being the cause of the problems...Also, what is the OS on the other 3 computers in your house?  Are all XP?
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Author Comment

by:LordTerrin
ID: 7136875
Ahhh... Good question.  I have tried swapping out the NIC, but I still have the problem.  My other computers are all using 98, (one was using 2000 for a while with no problems though,) and they run with no problems.  Maybe the problem is in XP.  Two of the computers are using a certain type of cable, and the other two are using a different type, but since mine is the only one experiencing problems, I doubt that the problem lies in the cable.  While it could be XP, I duel booted XP/2000 for a while and still had the problems with both OSs - (when I booted in 2k, I still got the wierd disconnects).

Like I said... it's like a problem no one can solve :)

Thanks for all your input guys!  I'm gonna try'n increase how much this question is worth....
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Expert Comment

by:StealthFalconX
ID: 7136923
Well XP and 2k are very similar, as with NT versions, whereas 98 and 95 and ME are different...I don't know if you want to go as drastic as possibly reformatting to check, but it couldn't hurt if nothing else seems to fix the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:StealthFalconX
ID: 7136926
Oh, by the way, I really hate to do this, and I just started using EE like 2 hours ago, but I really REALLY need help to my question, so I'll post the link here as well as tell you what it's about, since my topic area where I posted seems to be dead quiet for a few days now. I haven't really read the rules regarding this, but I really hope I don't get kicked off of EE :*(

The Link Is -
http://www.experts-exchange.com/networkgen/Q_20320546.html

The Issue Is -

    I have just graduated from high school and I plan to go on to a networking career.  I already have started somewhat regarding this, as I am 17 and I have A+ certification and I will be attempting to obtain CCNA by the end of next month.  My problem is this -
    I live in Las Vegas and I am not sure of the institution of my choice is a good choice.  I am thinking of attending ITT Technical Institute and getting an associates degree in Networking.  However, I need to know whether how this school is looked upon by IT employers.  I do not want to go to this school if employers consider it subpar because it would put me at a disadvantage.  If you know ANYTHING regarding this school and how employers look upon it, please respond, it is very important.  Thank you....Also, if you have any recommendations for a school nearby Las Vegas, make them as well.  Thanks a lot!
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Accepted Solution

by:
StealthFalconX earned 160 total points
ID: 7136930
Just wondering, although of course I'm sure you already tried this, but when you swapped out NICs or whatever you did, did you actually try changing what slot you put your NIC into?  I'm assuming we are dealing with a PCI port...Possibly one of the ports are bad and have trouble negotiating between the NIC and the motherboard....Lemme know if you tried that, because if you swapped out the NIC and put it in exactly the same spot as the other NIC, that may be a viable option...BTW, I'm still thinking on your problem...   :-P  I'm sure it's something I can figure out eventually... :-D
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Expert Comment

by:CleanupPing
ID: 9155572
LordTerrin:
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1
EXPERTS:
Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.
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Author Comment

by:LordTerrin
ID: 9161493
Well, to tell you the truth, there were plenty of posts here that helped me finally solve the problem... a lot of it was thru someone who emailed me actually, but thanks guys so much.. I hope you enjoy your points.  I'm glad I finally got it working.
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