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Cable modem internet traffic sporadically stops then restarts...

I need some suggestions as to how to track down an issue with my cable modem connection.
I have a Motorola sb5101 from Adelphia.  It usually goes into my wireless router and then out to the
remaining systems on my home network.  The misbehavior occurs with or without the wireless router.
I've also changed the router - no change in behavior.  The behavior occurs on multiple machines at home.
If I take my laptop in to a remote work location (different network), no problems.  So, it's something
at home.

The best way to describe this is that the internet goes away.  I cannot access any web sites (yahoo, this one,
codeproject, etc.).  The general error is "abc could not be contacted."  basically it times out.  Now, if I wait
a little while - usually about a minute - I can then access any of the sites.  In a few minutes, the process
repeats itself.  The one tool I use that is always bad (the last couple of months) is a pcAnywhere connection
I use to access a remote server.

Short of an outright solution, I am looking for ideas and tools to help track down this issue.

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charles_gilley
Asked:
charles_gilley
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1 Solution
 
kfullartonCommented:
Sounds like you've already tracked it down.  Have you tried a new cable modem?  Do you have neighbors that use adelphia and have this problem?
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charles_gilleyAuthor Commented:
Okay, this may be the easiest clerk of 500 points for you - how do I convince Adelphia the CM is bad?
According to their diagnostics, the CM is operating correctly, the RF is good, etc..  When I run their speed tests, I get
5Mbps down, 450Kbps up - good performance.

This smells like an issue in their network, somewhere between the input to the CM and off into their routers....
If you have any suggestions for network tools that would help me pinpoint this issue....
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Craig_200XCommented:
are you using any p2p software/torrent stuff? maxing your pipe could cause sites to be unavailable then available. do you have yahoo toolbar installed? this has in my experience cause unusual problems too... does your LINK drop? (power management in your NIC problem)
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charles_gilleyAuthor Commented:
No p2p at all, no yahoo toolbar either (just checked :)).  The link does not drop (unless the lightning is VERY close) when this happens - and it isn't like things slow down.  It just stops being able to find the site.  60 seconds later it is back.  This is for browser related tasks.

My pcAnywhere connection is totally hosed.  About 10% of the time I can actually connect to the server.  If I connect, the response is very sporadic - it might hang for several minutes and then update everything...
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bstrauss3Commented:
Grab a program called pingplotter (http://www.pingplotter.com/) ... it's a windows tool (free trial version) which runs a periodic traceroute and monitors each step.  When you hit one of the slowdowns, you'll see which part of the network is giving you problems.

If it's not the link between you and the CM or the CM and the CMTS (head end), then what you need to do is to get everyone else on that same part of the network to call in and complain.  One user != any response.  Lots of users = response.

-----Burton
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Craig_200XCommented:
lightning? --- as in from the sky?

do you have more than one machine? does it respond the same way? what vs OS is this?
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charles_gilleyAuthor Commented:
Craig - yes, lighting from the sky.... it's about the only time the cm goes off line.

This slowdown happens for all my machines on the network - Windows 2000, XP Home and XP Pro.  Burton, I'll go grab the pingplotter and see what it tells me.  Thanks,
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Bill_FleuryCommented:
I believe Comcast purchased Adelphia, and I know Comcast has changed their DNS servers recently, perhaps you have statically set an old set of DNS servers?  There are several sets on the Comcast network that are working intermittently.  You can narrow down if this is a DNS issue by checking when the service is out if you are still able to communicate by IP address.  You can either test using a ping, or better yet use the IP of the PC Anywhere server instead of the name.
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charles_gilleyAuthor Commented:
Bill - good suggestion; however, I am using the ip address of the machine.  Even so, what you allude to is what I am suspicious of.. some part of the Adelphia router infrastructure is confused.  It happened before - my machine could not connect, so I called support.  After 3 reboots (annoying) the tech realized I had a bogus IP address.  She then asked me, "Where did you get this IP address?"  I laughed, told her I was set to DHCP, so you tell me....

They finally tracked down an old DHCP server that was still connected to the network.

So... Burton, I have test results from pingplotter, and they do tell a story.  When I get a chance, I will post them here for comments.

Thanks Bill.
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Bill_FleuryCommented:
Ahh yes, good old infrastructure problems.  They're always fun since your hands are basically tied until the ISP gets their act together.  I wish you luck!
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charles_gilleyAuthor Commented:
Burton - replying back to you - Seems that it's normal to lose some packets (no surprise) but when I'm behind the cable modem, I have a sea of red.  When I check status from an alternate work location, much, much less red.  And, it appears that there are two network conjestion points, but Adelphia is the chronic bottleneck.  Time to go beat on the network guys.
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