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Dropping Internet Connection
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Selahgal
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May 18, 2013 - 11:53 am
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Hey all! Not sure where to post this so this is where I landed!

The last few weeks our DSL internet connection has been dropping for no known reason. The icon in the sys tray says the connection is 'excellent' but nothing works ... browser won't load, can't fetch email, nothing. Have to reboot, then it works for awhile ... anywhere from about 30 minutes to a few hours ... then it stops again.

Using Win XP with our 2006 Dell computer.

So far have run Malware Bytes, Advanced System Care, Spybot, System Suite, CCleaner ... found a few bugs and 'fixed' those, too. Still the problem persists. Our laptop, which is part of our wi-fi network, works fine. Which makes me think it's some software or hardware going bad. Getting really tired of rebooting!

Any thoughts as do what else to try or do?

Thanks guys!!

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Jim Hillier
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May 18, 2013 - 6:32 pm
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Hi Selahgal - Here is fine. https://davescomputertips.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif
Not sure what you mean by... "The icon in the sys tray says the connection is 'excellent'". If this is a DSL connection as you said, then there should be no signal strength meter involved. It is not like wi-fi, the signal is being delivered via cable and should remain fairly constant and consistent. Or did you mean on the laptop?

Constant dropouts are a curse, so many possibilities makes it real difficult to diagnose. I assume you have tried power cycling the router... that is, switch it off, wait for 2 - 3 minutes and then switch it back on again?

Malware is generally the most likely suspect. Try running a scan through Malwarebytes again, also download and install SUPERAntiSpyware free edition (http://www.superantispyware.com/) and scan your machine with that as well.

Hardware:
Check the ethernet and telephone cable connections at the modem/router and the other end of the ethernet cable where it connects to the PC. Make sure all are firmly in place.

Do you have anything else connected via the telephone line, such as an alarm system? If so, disconnect everything else and see if that fixes it. Also, if you have multiple phone outlets, try isolating the modem/router. That is: disconnect all phones at the wall except for the one you use to connect to the internet... see if that fixes it. Also make sure that each telephone outlet is fitted with a filter. If you have a spare new filter at home, try replacing each filter with the new one, one at a time.

Software:
Do you have any 3rd party firewall installed? Try turning off/disabling all security software.

Download 'Complete Internet Repair' freeware here: http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/complete_internet_repair.html
It is portable; just extract the files and then double click on the extracted executable to run.

Finally:
That's all I can think of. If none of the above fixes it, you may need to contact both your internet service provider and your telephone service provider for assistance.

Cheers... Jim

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Selahgal
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May 19, 2013 - 9:26 am
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Hey Jim!

I have a 'Wireless Network Connection' icon in the system tray which blinks on and off and when I hover the curser over it, it displays the signal strength, status & speed.

Ok, will go through your recommendations. Hubby says he got the 'blue screen of death' four times this morning already and had to reboot as many times. Maybe time for a new computer!

Thanks as always for the help.

Cheers back at ya! https://davescomputertips.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif

Jim Hillier said

Hi Selahgal - Here is fine. https://davescomputertips.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif
Not sure what you mean by... "The icon in the sys tray says the connection is 'excellent'". If this is a DSL connection as you said, then there should be no signal strength meter involved. It is not like wi-fi, the signal is being delivered via cable and should remain fairly constant and consistent. Or did you mean on the laptop?
Constant dropouts are a curse, so many possibilities makes it real difficult to diagnose. I assume you have tried power cycling the router... that is, switch it off, wait for 2 - 3 minutes and then switch it back on again?
Malware is generally the most likely suspect. Try running a scan through Malwarebytes again, also download and install SUPERAntiSpyware free edition (http://www.superantispyware.com/) and scan your machine with that as well.
Hardware:
Check the ethernet and telephone cable connections at the modem/router and the other end of the ethernet cable where it connects to the PC. Make sure all are firmly in place.
Do you have anything else connected via the telephone line, such as an alarm system? If so, disconnect everything else and see if that fixes it. Also, if you have multiple phone outlets, try isolating the modem/router. That is: disconnect all phones at the wall except for the one you use to connect to the internet... see if that fixes it. Also make sure that each telephone outlet is fitted with a filter. If you have a spare new filter at home, try replacing each filter with the new one, one at a time.
Software:
Do you have any 3rd party firewall installed? Try turning off/disabling all security software.
Download 'Complete Internet Repair' freeware here: http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/complete_internet_repair.html
It is portable; just extract the files and then double click on the extracted executable to run.
Finally:
That's all I can think of. If none of the above fixes it, you may need to contact both your internet service provider and your telephone service provider for assistance.
Cheers... Jim

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Jim Hillier
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May 19, 2013 - 5:24 pm
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If the machine is continually BSODing you may need to boot into Safe Mode to work on it (start tapping the F8 key just before the OS loads).

You may well be right about getting a new machine, it is getting a bit long in the tooth, 7 years is a pretty good lifespan.

Good luck!!
Cheers... Jim

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Selahgal
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May 20, 2013 - 10:42 am
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Not sure what BSODing is, but anyhow I dl'd that SUPERantivirus software, the trial pro version AND the free one for when the trial expires. Wink

I ran it on both the computer and laptop. Wow, that thing kicks butt! It found 31 things on the main computer including several with the word TROJAN in it! Even the laptop had like 16 things! I let the program fix it all and it's been almost 24 hours now without the computer losing connection! I hope this has fixed it. Thanks for the recommending that program. It's just AMAZING! Haven't run the Malware Bytes again YET. Want to see how it goes with just this for now.

Oh yeah, the hubby did do all the ON & OFF stuff with the modem, router, etc. Between the two of us, we normally manage to fix most problems, but this one had us stumped.

I also uninstalled System Suite which used to be a great program but now is a clunky BEAST which is difficult to use and takes up tons of space. Then I turned on my Windows Firewall to do that job.

Since I have your 'ear' we thought we'd buy a Dell again as they seem to be a pretty good computer overall. Do you have any preferences on Tablets? I've been drooling over those for awhile now.

Thanks again, Jim. You guys are THE BEST!

Jim Hillier said

If the machine is continually BSODing you may need to boot into Safe Mode to work on it (start tapping the F8 key just before the OS loads).
You may well be right about getting a new machine, it is getting a bit long in the tooth, 7 years is a pretty good lifespan.
Good luck!!
Cheers... Jim

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Jim Hillier
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May 20, 2013 - 11:05 am
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LOL. BSOD = Blue Screen Of Death. Not sure that "deathing" is a real word, we'll just call it poetic license. Smile

Glad to hear SAS worked well for you. Yes, it is a great little bug catcher.

What cleanup software are you using? And how often do you run it? CCleaner is very popular but I prefer and recommend a free program called PrivaZer. It's very powerful and effective, it also cleans many more areas and more deeply. You can find it here: http://privazer.com/. The reason I mention is because a real good cleanup can often revitalize an aging system... no offense. Wink

Dell are as good as any, better than many. My first XP machine was a Dell, I had no complaints at all. Unfortunately, tablets are not my forte... sorry. Although my wife and I do both own iPads. Were you thinking Android, iPad, or Windows 8?

Always happy to help out mate,
Cheers... Jim

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Selahgal
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May 21, 2013 - 10:12 am
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Well, I had been using System Suite for many years because it was an overall 'everything' program, easy to use, worked well ... but I updated it this year [I actually liked it enough to BUY IT several years ago] and they changed it A LOT. It became hard to use, confusing to navigate, wasn't solving the problems it's supposed to, etc., so I just deleted the whole thing a few days ago.

I mainly have been using CCleaner, Malware Bytes, Advanced System Care, Spybot, and a few others I use now and then for general 'cleaning' purposes, protection, bug zappers, etc., and run them about once a week or so or as needed. There's also an AVG that seems permanently attached to my Windows Security that keeps 'bugging me' to turn it on. I did turn on the Windows Security Firewall once I uninstalled System Suite since I didn't have another one. If there's a better one out there, I'd like to know about it. https://davescomputertips.com/wp-content/sp-resources/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif

As far as Tablets, I want it to read books, docs, etc., mostly, check emails, swing through Facebook and other social media, watch some vids/movies, listen to music ... that kind of thing, without being chained to my main computer. As far as operating system, I THINK Android is 'the thing' nowadays isn't it? I don't really want to spend more than a couple hundred bucks as it's a 'wish list for someday' fun thing, not a necessity of life. https://davescomputertips.com/wp-content/sp-resources/forum-smileys/sf-wink.gif Was thinking Kindle Fire HD or Google Nexus might be fine considerations.

Since you're such a smart guy, any idea why when my Firefox 20.0.1 tries to load a page, many times I have to STOP the process and refresh the page before it will load instead of just 'spin'? It's not a MAJOR annoyances, but an annoyance just the same. Once I refresh, it loads fine. Strange beasts, these computers! https://davescomputertips.com/wp-content/sp-resources/forum-smileys/sf-confused.gif

I will try the other program you suggest. Been hanging about here for years now and trust you guys. Hey, hubby, me and our computer are all 'aging systems'! HAHA!

Thanks again, Jim! https://davescomputertips.com/wp-content/sp-resources/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif

Marci

P.S. Hubby told me we had the BSOD on the computer this morning. Been getting THAT a lot lately too, but that's another problem for another thread, eh? Ach!

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Jim Hillier
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May 21, 2013 - 6:21 pm
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Good to hear are running regular maintenance Marci, just a bit concerned over your reference to AVG. AVG is an anti-virus program and should be turned ON all the time. Do you have any other anti-virus programs installed??

Either Kindle Fire or Nexus would be a very good choice, sounds like you know what you are doing there, probably more so than I.

As far as Firefox "twiddling" instead of loading straight away: these sorts of issues are often caused by an add-on, knowing exactly which one is the difficult part. Do you have many add-ons installed?

The best way to diagnose this is to go into Firefox and disable all your add-ons. Now run FF like that for a little while. If the issue has gone away, go back and re-enable each add-on one at a time, checking to see if the issue has returned after each one. When the issue returns, that will be the add-on which is causing the problem. Go back and disable that one again, re-enable all the others and you should be good to go.

Cheers... Jim

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Selahgal
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May 21, 2013 - 10:11 pm
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I had AVG turned off because I had System Suite on and System Suite was supposed to be 'doing it all' including realtime Firewall. It seems the SUPERAntiSpyware program has a 'realtime' protection as well. Not sure if the 'free' version of that program does tho.

Great idea about the 'twiddling' of Firefox and how to try and fix it. I do have a fair amount of add-ons SO that'll be my next FIXER UPPER project!

Thanks again!

Marci

Jim Hillier said

Good to hear are running regular maintenance Marci, just a bit concerned over your reference to AVG. AVG is an anti-virus program and should be turned ON all the time. Do you have any other anti-virus programs installed??
Either Kindle Fire or Nexus would be a very good choice, sounds like you know what you are doing there, probably more so than I.
As far as Firefox "twiddling" instead of loading straight away: these sorts of issues are often caused by an add-on, knowing exactly which one is the difficult part. Do you have many add-ons installed?
The best way to diagnose this is to go into Firefox and disable all your add-ons. Now run FF like that for a little while. If the issue has gone away, go back and re-enable each add-on one at a time, checking to see if the issue has returned after each one. When the issue returns, that will be the add-on which is causing the problem. Go back and disable that one again, re-enable all the others and you should be good to go.
Cheers... Jim

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Selahgal
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May 30, 2013 - 9:47 pm
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Me again!

Well, I twiddled with the add-ons and RE-enabled only the ones I can't live without, which is about 5 or 6 of them. Firefox is still 'hanging' but NOT on ALL websites which is odd in itself.

The computer is still 'dropping' the internet connection on a regular and frequent basis, then about a minute or so later, it re-connects on it's own. It seems to be disconnecting about every 15-20 minutes or so. Fun. Fun.

Just now I noticed our Netgear Wireless N 300 Router suddenly turned all it's lights YELLOW and then it disconnected. Never noticed THAT before.

Tried uploading a pix but it wouldn't work.

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Jim Hillier
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May 30, 2013 - 10:27 pm
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Hello Me again Smile

Hmm, well it is starting to sound likely that the router may be faulty, or there is interference from something.

When a browser intermittently hangs, that can often be indicative of a weak signal, or interference. The lights on the router changing color is not good!

Have you ever tried connecting the laptop via cable direct to the router? If you do that and the same issues persist, you can be pretty certain that it is not a system/software/settings problem and most likely down to hardware... filters, or router, or maybe telephone line. When you pick up the telephone can you hear any static on the line? Your telephone service provider may be able to check the line for you.

You could also try changing your DNS settings to go through OpenDNS, here's how: http://use.opendns.com/#winxp

If the problem then goes away, it is an issue with your ISP.

Cheers... Jim

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Selahgal
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June 4, 2013 - 12:30 pm
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Hey Jim! Just an update. Apparently it WAS the router so we bought a new one but hubby couldn't get it running [aka 'validated'] so we called our ISP Provider and they sent out someone on Sunday [amazing, eh?]. She got us hooked up again and all seems to be working ok now. Something is still sucking the RAM for no reason but I guess I can live with that until we get a new computer some day!

Thanks again!

Jim Hillier said

Hello Me again https://davescomputertips.com/wp-content/sp-resources/forum-smileys/sf-smile.gif
Hmm, well it is starting to sound likely that the router may be faulty, or there is interference from something.
When a browser intermittently hangs, that can often be indicative of a weak signal, or interference. The lights on the router changing color is not good!
Have you ever tried connecting the laptop via cable direct to the router? If you do that and the same issues persist, you can be pretty certain that it is not a system/software/settings problem and most likely down to hardware... filters, or router, or maybe telephone line. When you pick up the telephone can you hear any static on the line? Your telephone service provider may be able to check the line for you.
You could also try changing your DNS settings to go through OpenDNS, here's how: http://use.opendns.com/#winxp
If the problem then goes away, it is an issue with your ISP.
Cheers... Jim

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Jim Hillier
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June 4, 2013 - 5:11 pm
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Good news and bad news then. Bad news that the router broke, good news that you finally found out what was causing the issue.

Glad to hear everything is okay now Marci. Good job!! Smile

Cheers... Jim

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