Wired connection dropping but wireless works fine

Ahh, another mystery..  Here's the scoop:

1 month old PC running windows7.  brand new wireless router (belkin surf N).  brand new cat5 cabling.  Installed wireless router, connected pc via ethernet.  Purchased a gaming adapter to connect blu-ray to internet.  gaming adapter connects to router wirelessly, then blu-ray is hooked up via ethernet from gaming adapter.  So, all is well and everything is playing nicely.  PC and Blu-Ray both get ip's via the routers dhcp.  

About a week later, the computer (wired) lost connection to internet.  However, the wireless/blu-ray were still connected and working fine..  can stream netflix, etc.  

Looked in error log on PC, and it seems that it is randomly losing connectivity every few hours, then it fixes itself and gets back online.  It's giving an IP conflict error message, which I will relay the exact details of next time i'm able to connect to view it.  (not at that location right now, but will be later today)  For example, 3am today the computer was "offline".  Around 7:30a, it came back online.  A few minutes ago, it's off again.  

The devices listed are the only ones on the network..  Each seems to be properly getting a unique ip from DHCP.  

Initial thoughts with sporadic issues like this are to check cat5 cabling and/or nic card, but this is a brand new PC and cabling.  Doesn't mean it couldn't be bad, but much less likely.  

Those things aside, any suggestions on where to start?  Friday i went ahead and assigned a static ip to the computer and it connected and recevied the ip fine - but over the weekend, it randomly disconnected again.  It's very annoying because when you try to look at it, it'll be working fine - so running ipconfig, etc, is useless.  I need to see it when it's NOT working - but that's difficult at a remote location.  

Sorry to be vague, but this is one of those on again off again problems that driving me crazy.

thanks in advance..
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

jc8125Author Commented:
actually just found some articles online referring to a feature in Win7 that disables the network adapter (part of a power saver scheme) and some people have had trouble getting the pc to reconnect to router afterwards..  going to try disabling that in the morning and see if it corrects problem
If you can do it on your router/DHCP server, reserve (or exclude from DHCP if using manually configured IPs) a specific IP address for each device based on its MAC to eliminate any duplicate IP address problems.

Double check with Wireshark that there are no other devices acting as DHCP servers popping up on the network.
I would also try disable ip6 on the computer and check for new nic drivers or roll them back.

Protecting & Securing Your Critical Data

Considering 93 percent of companies file for bankruptcy within 12 months of a disaster that blocked access to their data for 10 days or more, planning for the worst is just smart business. Learn how Acronis Backup integrates security at every stage

The channels overlap in the 2.4GHz band, so instead of 11 channels there are really only 3 that don't interfere with each other. In north america, that's 1, 6 and 11. Channel 6 is the default used by most manufacturers, so that is also typically the most crowded channel because 90% of users just leave it on the default.

Ergo, if the Belkin is set to channel 6 (or on Auto Select, which doesn't change after bootup if an interfering station appears in the 2.4GHz band), try choosing either channel 1 or 11 instead.

If you install the free inSSIDer from metageek, you can 'see' if there are other nearby networks so you can choose a channel without competition.
jc8125Author Commented:
stopped by the house today and internet was off..  went ahead and turned off power saving options under nic card..  did notice that while working on it did pop up and tell me to plug in an ethernet cable..  which got me thinking, and i checked both ends again.. went ahead and replaced one of the cat5 cables because it was new, but i didn't like the feel of the end and one of the wires didn't appear to be making solid contact.  of course the internet is back on now, but we will have to wait and see what happens in a few hours.  

@ComputerTechie - already tried nic drivers, nothing more recent and nothing has been updated recently.  haven't disabled ip6 but will add that to the to-do list next go-round..  

really hoping it was simply the cable..  having a loose connection could certainly cause the intermittent problems i've been experiencing, and I suppose could lead to ip conflicts as well if the same pc kept connecting/reconnecting every few seconds.  

kicking myself for not isolating and replacing them all in the beginning, but the cable was new out of the box.  it's funny - been making my own cat5 for several years and always test my own before installing, but didn't think to check the belkin supplied cat5.

will keep everyone posted tomorrow.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
jc8125Author Commented:
Haven't had any issues in 2+ days since changing cable and disabling power saver on nic card - awarding some points for your effort
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Vista

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.