Help me Computer Geeks, You're my only hope...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jin E, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    I've been having a lot of problems recently with my dial-up internet connection. Recently it's been misbehaving pretty bad. I am getting a absurd amount of dropped connections and hanging connections (The connection will hang and not download any more data... you could let it sit like this for hours and it won't hang up, it just won't respond). I can normally go about 10-15 minutes before it hang/disconnects before I have to dial up again. This is on a dedicated phone line I use only for internet (no call waiting). How do I find out if this is a problem with

    A- My computer

    B- My Phone Lines

    C- My ISP

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
  2. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    call your ISP and see what they say. to me it sounds like an ISP issue
     
  3. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    How long has this been happening? If less than a couple of weeks, call Mindspring/Earthlink and throw a fit.

    If it's been happening for awhile (month or more), you may have other issues. If it's an ISP issue then it's likely happening to others, and would get fixed eventually. After a good month you can pretty accurately guess that it's on your end. First, check the phone line. Hook a regular phone up to it and use it to make a few long calls. See if the quality is bad. If you can hear any sort of problems (static, pops, clicks, you name it), your modem will choke on 'em.

    What's your connect speed? If you're connecting at 40Kbps or above, it's probably not a line issue. When the lines get bad your bandwidth drops significantly. You might try downloading a utility to monitor your line speed. If it's all over the place then it could be the line.

    Hope this helps some. My bet is on Earthlink, though.
     
  4. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    it's likely not the ISP.. it's probably either your phone line or the modem, hell you can buy a new USR modem for 25$ at sam's club, it's wrth a shot...

    what kind of modem is it BTW? it may just be a junky modem to begin with. Also check with the manufacturor for a new code flash and drivers.. your ISP could have upgraded the software on their portmasters.
     
  6. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I don't know, but I've owned in excess of 12 different modems (used to run a BBS with 7 incoming phone lines, so that accounts for most of 'em) and I've never, ever had problems where the modem itself was at fault. Not once. Maybe I've been lucky, but modems seem to be hardy little things.
    I'm not saying you're wrong, Philip. It's entirely possible that I'm barking up the wrong tree. But I just can't see it being the modem. [​IMG]
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    lol nah, I've worked for enough ISP's and done enough tech support, and seen plenty of modems die.

    likely, the modems you ran your BBS on were decent quality, much better than most OEM's put in their machines.

    (BTW I still have a courrier V.everything external.. used it for a test modem on-site for a LONG time)
     
  8. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    My vote goes to the ISP, as I have noticed that happening to me too. I think that if the ISP doesn't detect any activity for 15 minutes, they'll cut it. My solution is to open up a second IE and run dual searches.

    Seems to work.

    Glenn
     
  10. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Try dropping your speed first. Either to 33.6 or by limiting the higher speeds from 48 down to a maximum of, say, 40. The command varies according to the modem, but on many of them the command starts with AT+MS= - check the modem manual. You enter this in the advanced settings for the modem in the form of that AT-command.
    If you get a connect at, say, 48 kbps, it may be too high to be stable. That is probably also what Sean is experiencing; it would probably do a lot of good there too to set the modem to a maximum speed of 40 or 42kbps.
    There is no way the modem can get a 115200 kbps connection, so presumably the driver cannot identify the speed and thus reports the speed of the connection between the modem and the computer rather than the speed from modem to modem. Perhaps you get a 33.6 kbps connect or some such; the slower purely analog connections are usually more stable and give better throughput than the digital ones.
    A high connection rate but slow throughput is a very clear indication that the modem connects at a rate higher than your phone lines can really support. A driver update can help a lot, and a limiting of the upper connect speed will almost certainly help.
    A stable 33.6 connect is much better than an unstable 45, so don't be greedy. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    There was not modem documentation included with my stuff. This is all the information I could find on the Modem.
    I did notice under system information that it uses drivers made by Rockwell, so I might try some init strings from Rockwell based modems...
    We will see tonight when I get home if it makes any difference. I can always get my old external USR Courier 14.4 modem out. That thing could get a stable connection from a pair of tin cans and a old string!
     
  12. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  14. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Jin, I had the same problem years ago on my Compaq computer. It would stop communicating after a while, but not hang up. It turned out to be something in mIRC that caused this, in other words one of the Internet programs massed it up.

    What programs are you normally running when this is happening? If it's anything else than a webbrowser, try uninstalling it and see if you still have the problem.

    /mike
     
  15. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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  16. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Phillip, it may be (probably is) a winmodem, but not an LT Winmodem. LT is the Lucent based winmodems and those are actually quite passable once you get the latest software for them. My Gateway-laptop has a Lucent based winmodem and after upgrading it I get stable 48-50+ connects with great throughput virtually every time.
    The Rockwell modems however really and truly do stink. 90% of the problems with modems came from the people with Rockwell (or as they are called nowadays, Conexant).
    To set the modem to stay at 33.6 analog (or lower), give it the following command:
    AT+MS=V34
    In some cases, I've also seen it help to add a simple ATZ command instead. That will return the modem to the default mode in case the drivers add some weird init strings that actually hinder more than they help...
    More info on the Connexant modems here:
    http://808hi.com/56k/rockhcf.htm
    You need to check if yours is a HSF or HCF; there are several variants on those Connexant winmodems. Follow the links and instructions on the above page to figure that out and to find the very latest drivers.
     
  17. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    I had the SAME exact problem with my ISP a few months ago.
    A new Modem fixed my problem. It was a winmodem that I had for around two years. All of a sudden, in August, I started getting dropped connections and null connections. Sometimes I could go for an hour, but usually 5-10 minutes and I was having to re-connect. [​IMG]
    A new internal US Rrobotics "hard-modem" fixed all of my issues. I have no idea why, but that fixed it. Maybe you could try re-installing your old modem and see what happens. Either way, do NOT discount the fact that it could be your modem. Go ahead and spend the $45 to get a "real" modem too. It is worth it!
    More than likely you are not going to get anywhere with Earthlink tech support. It is "never their fault" unless they are doing system upgrades.
    C. Ryan
     
  18. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I would agree that a real modem is usually a better idea than a winmodem.

    One thing to keep in mind with winmodems however is that the driver is essentially the modem! It is entirely possible to have huge disturbances in the modem based on problems with Windows itself, for example. That's why driver upgrades are important if you get problems.
     
  19. Ken Bartke

    Ken Bartke Auditioning

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    There are a few things you can do before you throw any money at this issue.
    1. Deinstall the modem, reboot, and reinstall the modem with new drivers.
    2. Upgrade or reinstall IE. If you go to add/remove programs and select IE you have the option to uninstall or fix. Use the Fix option. Upgrade to IE 5.5 or 6.0 if you are not at that version yet.
    3. Download and install Netmedic. This utility is hated by ISP's because it pinpoints where the Internet connection problems really are. If it is your modem this utility will let you know. download it here http://www.vitalsigns.com/products/nm/
    4. Clean up your registry. Use a utility like system mechanic (get it here--> http://www.iolo.com/sm/)which comes with a 30 day full trial and run all the system utilities. You can also boot to a dos prompt and run regscan /repair /opt from the C:windowssystem directory. This will repair your registry and optimize it which is like a defrag on your hard drive.
    5. Make sure your Windows/temp directory is empty
    6. Clear out your Internet Cache.
    After you've done all this and you still want to spend money......
    Ken
     
  20. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    Jason Merrick
    I think your motherboard could possibly be at fault as well. I had this problem with a self-built system. I tried 3 different modems (onboard, Compaq 56k PCI, USB External Conexant Modem) two different operating systems with 3 different fresh format/installs.

    First it would take forever to finish the handshake and actually connect. Then I would be okay sometime for an hour or so, other times it would start downloading the first page and freeze up within 10 seconds. I almost always had to disconnect and reconnect several times during a sitting. Also, disconnecting took an exceedingly long time, about 45-75 seconds just for the computer to hang up.

    Now with my new Dell Inspiron laptop, using the same phone line and ISP, I have none of these problems.

    That to me indicates it was some sort of motherboard problem.
     

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