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Old 22nd September 2009   #1
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Troubleshooting a Bad Internet Connection


For the past few months I've been plagued with sporadic dropped connections (XP/SP2 on Comcast cable, no routers or any fancy connections). I'll go a week with all OK, then get a dozen drops over two days, then three good days, then 3 drops per day for 2 days and then.... Comcast swears the cable/splitters are good, we replaced the Comcast modem twice, replaced the modem>NIC cable, and ran AV/Malware programs several times. In all cases, a simple reset of the modem and a PC restart solves the problem (until the next time).

Is there any way to "prove" that it's a Comcast problem (modem to head end) and not my PC? I can monitor the modem's signal strength; Transmit typically 45-48 dBmV, Receive typically 0.5-1.0 dBmV, altho I've experienced -1.0 or -0.8 at times. Device manager indicates my NIC card is OK, even if the connection is partially down (the crash usually occurs in steps; #1 the connection goes down but the cable icon says it's connected; #2 a PC restart..with no modem reset..then results in the "cable unplugged" balloon). If I try to repair the connection thru the network icon, I get a message to contact my ISP so as to get a network address. My email client, Eudora, leaves messages with the flavor that my ISP hasn't got an IP address for me, or that I can't communicate with my ISP's server. This seems it's maybe a protocol problem, that the handshake between me and Comcast keeps getting cut off (that's why I've been watching signal strength).

If I could just pin this on Comcast, I could make a fuss. They say it's my NIC (it's very inconvenient for me to swap NIC cards, so I'd rather avoid that route if I can). I really doubt it's the NIC, Device Manager has never indicated a problem with NIC (and I guess I'd expect the problem to not be so sporadic if it was NIC)

Any ideas/insights would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 29th September 2009   #2
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Hi chrisw, Have you tried updating the drivers? Neil.

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Old 29th September 2009   #3
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Neil...yep, did that too...didn't help. Thnx, Chris

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Old 29th September 2009   #4
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Quote:
Is there any way to "prove" that it's a Comcast problem (modem to head end) and not my PC?
Yes.
Do tracert to various Web sites and copy+paste the results into Notepad and save.

For example, open a command prompt and do:
Code:
tracert www.yahoo.com
The first several hops will be your ISP network. Times above 150 indicate latency and is their problem.

Here's a traceroute I just performed:
Code:
Hop		Hostname			IP		Time 1		Time 2
1		192.168.1.1			192.168.1.1	1.113		1.437
2		10.2.200.1			10.2.200.1	10.712		14.879
3		ip72-219-248-53.dc.dc.cox.net	72.219.248.53	15.283		15.459
4		ip68-100-0-177.dc.dc.cox.net	68.100.0.177	15.086		17.237
5		ashbbbrj01-ae0.0.r2.as.cox.net	68.1.0.220	18.171		18.334
6		ae-6.pat2.dcp.yahoo.com		216.115.102.178	18.947		x
7		as-0.pat2.da3.yahoo.com		216.115.101.155	62.904		63.003
8		as-2.pat1.dax.yahoo.com		216.115.96.60	62.698		x
9		te-8-1.bas-c2.mud.yahoo.com	68.142.193.7	52.821		52.496
10		b1.www.vip.mud.yahoo.com	209.191.93.53	52.058		52.124


Last edited by TonyT; 29th September 2009 at 15:24.
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