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Settings Lost After Power-Down

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have a Linksys BEFSR41 router that connects a Comcast cable modem to two workstations.  When I initially powered up the modem / router / workstations, I was unable to get the router to function until I ran the router setup software provided by Linksys.  I've had three power outages since the initial setup, and two of those outages lasted over 1 hour.  With the two extended outages, I had to run the Linksys setup software again to return to functionality.  I have no idea what setup software is doing.  And I'm not sure why I lose the setting with an extended power outage.  Some relevant details:
- Either workstation can see the internet when the Linksys router is excluded from the configuration.
 - It appears that both the Linksys router and Comcast modem are running DHCP.  (Running IPCONFIG /all on one of the workstations when the Linksys is included and excluded from the connection shows this.)
- It is only necessary to run the Linksys setup software on one of the workstations.  Once I run it on one, both workstations have connectivity.

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Question by:jdana
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by:Grizzly072000
Grizzly072000 earned 200 total points
ID: 22629791
This router uses flash memory and is not supposed to lose its settings after being turned off.
You should not have two DHCP servers on your network. It might work for a while, but you'll experience problems when leases are renewed (Like after a shutoff).
Lastly, you should get yourself a UPS. It will protect your equipment against power surges & give you a little autonomy for under $100.00
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by:MrJemson
ID: 22630379
As Grizzly said, there is no reason the Linksys should drop its settings unless you have an issue with the Flash memory of the unit.

Is the unit still covered by warranty? If it is, I would RMA it, for a replacement.
The UPS is still a good idea also.
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by:Grizzly072000
ID: 22630414
The key is: What does the OP really mean by loosing its settings. As previously said, when the power goes back on, both DHCP servers will allocate addresses, so it will probably not work.

Let's have the cable modem make & model, please.
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by:MrJemson
MrJemson earned 200 total points
ID: 22630505
BEFSR41 is an ethernet router, so I imagine the Comcast modem provides DHCP to the Linksys, and the Linksys on to the rest of the network.

Ie. Comcast Modem -> Linksys Router -> PCs

Whether or not the is double NAT'ing I can't be sure, but even if it is, (Though this is generally frowned upon) it should still work fine.

The reason the Comcast was allocating addresses was because he took the Linksys out of the equation during his testing and had the PC plugged directly into it.

I'd still RMA the Linksys, or remove it totally if there are enough Ethernet Ports in the Comcast and it is NAT'ing.
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by:Grizzly072000
ID: 22630619
I'm not sure we are talking about 2-NAT'ing here. One thing I know, though is that the OP said: "I have no idea what setup software is doing", when I do.
So I'd like more info to stop shooting in the dark
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by:Pugglewuggle
Pugglewuggle earned 1400 total points
ID: 22630773
I don't think there's anything wrong with your device - the majority of home grade devices I've dealt with from Linksys have problems with the settings being lost after a power outtage at times. And this has been hundreds of devices. If I were you I'd do what I outline in the rest of this message and you should be fine - no need to RMA in my opinion.
Also, try to avoid using the setup software - it is nothing but trouble. Just go to http://192.168.1.1 and setup the router from there when you first plug it in. The default username is blank and the password is "admin".
Also, upgrade the firmware to the latest version: here is a link to it:
http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_CASupport_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1166859876500&packedargs=sku%3D1122062340941&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=7650040941B03&displaypage=download
One other thing - once you get your router configured, go to the Administration section. There is an option to backup the config. You can save it to a file on your PC. I recommend doing this so if the settings ever do get lost again you can just restore them in about 2 minutes.
Just so you know - a few years ago I had a BEFSX41 - this is the BEFSR41's big brother with a VPN feature. I had the same issue.
Also, do use a UPS for your network equipment and computers when you can. An APC Back-UPS 350 is a very good little UPS unit that can be had at WalMart for about $40. Very much worth the money. :) It will save you from power outages - everything on it keeps running for a few minutes with the power off so you have time to save files and shutdown. If all you have on it is your network stuff, it will last a whole day or more!
Cheers! I hope this helps!
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by:Jay_Gridley
Jay_Gridley earned 200 total points
ID: 22632371
One addition to Pugglewuggle's excellent advice.

In my memory the Linksys routers usually have "username admin, password admin"  as username and password and the "username blank, password admin" for the Access Points.
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Author Comment

by:jdana
ID: 22633770
 
Grizzly>> "You should not have two DHCP servers on your network. It might work for a while, but you'll experience problems when leases are renewed (Like after a shutoff)."  
   
Avoiding the "double-DHCP" configuration seems like good advice.  I would think the prudent way to avoid "double-DHCP" would be to turn it off on the modem and assign a static IP to the "WAN side" of the Linksys router.  Agreed?    
   
MrJemson & Pugglewuggle>> Sounds like the router settings reside in flash memory or perhaps another variety of EEPROM that eventually loses its data when lacking a power source.  Here's the rub: The cable modem and Linksys router actually belong to some elderly friends who deliberately power down their entire office when they travel.  I omitted this fact in the original posting because the question was sufficiently complicated without it.  Despite my encouragement to do otherwise, they are going to continue to power down the office when they travel (which is often).  Additionally, they are not willing to manually set up the router after they return from their travels.  What I need is a router that holds onto its settings for an extended period of time.  Suggestions?  
   
Pugglewuggle>> "Also, try to avoid using the setup software - it is nothing but trouble. Just go to http://192.168.1.1 and setup the router from there when you first plug it in. The default username is blank and the password is "admin".  
   
I agree completely.  I'm not sure what to set up, however.  DHCP on both devices should take care of itself.  (Perhaps I simply have to activate it on the router?)  NAT (on the router) should take care of itself.  Maybe the "Internet Connection" (static or dynamic) type on the WAN side needs work?  In your experience, what settings need configuration on a Linksys router that is just out of the box?  
   
Pugglewuggle>> "One other thing - once you get your router configured, go to the Administration section. There is an option to backup the config. You can save it to a file on your PC. I recommend doing this so if the settings ever do get lost again you can just restore them in about 2 minutes."    
   
Very cool.  Do you need the setup software to run it from the PC, or is it a stand-alone executable?  
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Pugglewuggle earned 1400 total points
ID: 22635137
Hi jdana,
Having DHCP on the modem and on the router is okay - this is a standard configuration. The DHCP on the modem gives the router the address it needs to get on the internet. The DHCP on the router gives the PCs on the network their addresses.
In this situation it is perfectly fine. The two are completely separate.
As far as the elderly friends go - just about EVERY older customer I deal with does this and I don't know why! It drives me crazy! If there's any way that you can explain to them and convince them that this equipment was designed to run 24x7 for years and not have a problem that's your best bet. Tell them that turning it off will reset the settings and break their internet. Once I get them convinced of that I magically stop getting service calls.
To strengthen your argument, tell them it uses less power than a nightlight (about 6 watts to be exact) and is perfectly safe to leave on - the clock on their microwave is just about as likely to cause them problems.
I don't thing it has anything to do with the router not being able to hold stuff in memory... I've unlpugged them and had them in storage for like 2 years and when I plugged it back in it had the settings just like I left it. I think it's related more to a quick spike in power or a massive rapid fluctuation (like plugging and unplugging).
As far as the setup on the device - if it doesn't have a static IP or use PPPoE then it should be just fine with the default settings! The only thing you might change is the administrator password on the Administration tab. The web setup is very easy to use and avoids all complications of the crappy setup CD.
Config backup - this is done on the administration page of the web setup too. There's a little link you click that says backup configuration. Just click it and save it to your computer. It downloads like a regular file off the web. It actually is a little .cfg file that's about 2KB. Then, if you ever lose the settings, just go to the Administration page and upload it! Very easy indeed. I attached a screenshot so you can see what I mean.
Cheers!

Untitled.jpg
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Author Closing Comment

by:jdana
ID: 31502606
Pugglewuggle,

Wow, what a response.  I've incorporated both your responses into my personal network notes.  I posted another question on alternative router firmware.  I'd be interested in your take on it if you have a minute.

J
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