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Internet access performance degrades over time, cable modem must be repeatedly reset

Posted on 2003-10-29
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We have a small network hooked to comcast via a cable modem (RCA model DCM235).  Several days ago our internet connection performance degraded significantly to the point where web pages loaded very slowly on our PCs and laptops.  We began to get "This Page Cannot be Displayed" errors in the browsers, and email (Outlook accessing Comcast's POP and SMTP servers) failed giving 0x8004210B errors on SMTP and 0x8004210A on POP3.  Powercycling the cable modem restores the performance of the connection temporarily, but only if we leave the modem off for 5 minutes or more.  We run a wireless router (Netgear MR314) connected to the modem and a switch (SMC 1016DT) that a Windows2000 server and Windows2000 and XP machines are connected to.  Comcast support was of no help - they said "we can see your cable modem, so the problem isn't with our equipment, its with yours."  

What should I try to keep from having to reset the cable modem every hour?
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Question by:rjbrennanjr
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:tbird008
ID: 9645260
Hi rjbrennanjr,

You are talking about Cable router busy out.  One very command problem that has rised about 2 month ago is about the msblast virus and its replactes.  Check the router for a port that is busy all the time and unplung is to see if everyone can get back on and that will be your trouble computer.

But First try to make sure all security patches a deplyed into all machine in the network and scan for virus.

Tbird008
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Author Comment

by:rjbrennanjr
ID: 9646093
Tbird008,

We use McAffee's online virus software and scan our machines every night.  We've located no viruses.

We also update our machines automatically with Microsoft and just checked last week manually to make sure we had all the updates done.

Note that the performance problem is progressive - just after the cable modem is power cycled the network performance is excellent.  Over a couple of hours the performance degrades to the point that it is unusable and we have to power cycle the cable modem again.
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Expert Comment

by:tbird008
ID: 9646149
Hi rjbrennanjr,

Did you add new workstaions into the nework lately?  What are the operation system?  Make sure do not let the powermanagement bring down HD's and your LanCard should not be power off.  If you have XP make sure build in firewall is not turn on.

Let me know : )
Tbird008
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Author Comment

by:rjbrennanjr
ID: 9647067
Tbird008,

No changes to the network that we know of.  We've not changed the settings for the ethernet cards and don't have them set to power off.   The machines on the network are Windows2000 Professional, and WindowsXP Professional.  The one server we use for file and print services is a Windows2000 Server Professional.  We aren't using the XP firewall capability.  The one thing we can think of is we installed the most recent of Microsoft's patches around the time that we started experiencing this problem.  The problem is consistent across all the laptops and PC's on the network - i.e. it seems to be network related, not single box related.  We get the same behavior when we hook one box directly to the cable modem and bypass the network entirely.  One thought is to replace the cable modem and see what that does.  Will try that tomorrow.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:tbird008
ID: 9647139
Good point try with different modem and see if the problem goes away.  If it fail try to remove the newly installed patches since the problem began and see what cost this strange behavior.

Let me know how the modem test go!!

Tbird008
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Author Comment

by:rjbrennanjr
ID: 9657669
Tbird008,

I am embarrassed to admit we didn't do our troubleshooting as thoroughly as we thought, and one of your earlier suggestions was actually quite close to the mark.  One of our PC's had been set to download a large number of very large files (videos) in background and was consuming the bandwidth at the router.  We replaced the modem and there was no difference, then I looked at the router and one of the ports was solid busy all the time.  I went to that machine and found it running a background job to download files.  Lots of work for a simple answer.
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Accepted Solution

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tbird008 earned 1000 total points
ID: 9660089
Good that you found the problem,

I've come across quite a few case like yours, it even happend in my facility.  Download Video file can take days make sure they do it none office hours and have stop when office hour starts.

Have a nice Hollyween,
Tbird008
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