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Old 14th January 2008   #1
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Diagnostic tool: is modem or cable internet connection bad?


I have noticed every once in a while, my Motorola Surfboard 5100 modem losing the internet light, and I don't have internet connection any more. Today it was particularly annoying because I have VOIP, and my phone call got cut right in half. I turned it off, powered on again after a few minutes and it was working. I am sure that its not the router, b/c the modem internet light itself was blinking. But how do I know if my cable company's line went down, or if I have a mediocre cable modem? I'm sure if I called my company, they would assure me that they have had no outages in teh area, that its not them (and be glad to ping me, when I obviously know I'm online anyways). Is there a diagnostic tool that I can use to determine what caused an outage that has already happened?

I suppose I can just buy a new modem, and look at how many outages take place with the new one, but I'd rather see if I can diagnose it with my current setup.

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Old 15th January 2008   #2
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Should contact your ISP and or look on their web site....I went through a period for several months where my connection would drop....Happened to mention it to a co-worker who lives five miles away. She was having the same problem.

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Old 15th January 2008   #3
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OK I can do that, I was just hoping to avoid calling my ISP. I know from previous calls before, that no ISP will ever say that something is their fault, so I was thinking that this wouldn't help me out. I recall calling AOL (back in the day) and being told that the reason why I'm being bounced off line was that I didn't have a v92 modem. Never happened with any other ISP but they said it wasn't them, it was the modem. Oh well.

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Old 18th January 2008   #4
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hi psaulm119, I have a Motorola Surfboard 5100 Cable Modem, but I cant work out when you say the Internet Light, are you referring to the amber PC Activity Light the one that is flashing when you are on line.
I have had this Modem for over 3 years without one hiccup, I was told that it is important not to turn them off have it connected on the wall to a separate power point and when you retire for the night only use the Standby button on the top of the Modem, that is if your's is the same model as mine otherwise including the Router never turn them off.
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Old 18th January 2008   #5
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Hawk, I leave mine on all the time, as with my router, because I have VOIP and I need the internet connection to be on for my phone. It came highly regarded--in fact, the cable guy who hooked up the connection and installed better cable to my house said he wouldn't have come out if he would have known that I had a Surfboard 5100--he said (this was 3-4 years ago) that they were as good as they come, so I am thinking that its perhaps a cable problem and not a modem problem, but I might just have a lemon. Oh well.

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Old 18th January 2008   #6
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Something just came to my mind, but then that depends on your setup. Your Cable, how does it get into your Home.
We have the cable running along the Telegraph lines and a runoff to the House with a Box outside on the House and before I used cable internet I only had it for phone connection and my phone did all sort of strange things and I had to call support out to fix it, guess what Ants had made it their new home I now keep an eye on it from time to time, if you can check the cabling along the way to your Modem.
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Old 19th January 2008   #7
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Hello Paul,
Since it is intermittent have you checked cables, connections, etc? Does a power cable happen to run adjacent to the connection cables?

I expect it will have either ethernet or USB connection to the computer, try the other? If you look at the internet connection LED when it happens and it is still connected, I would investigate the USB or ethernet on the computer (drivers?).

You should have been supplied with a manual for the modem, there should be troubleshooting information there (we could check at the Motorola website). You should also find that the modem has a reset "button", use it if you are losing patients.

The modem should have an information "page" using the address line in a browser. Mine is http://10.0.0.138. There mine has connection information.

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Old 19th January 2008   #8
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OK Mattman, do you want me to post the log? I was able to get into mine. Unfortunately, they only keep 2-3 days worth of logs, but I saved mine.

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Old 19th January 2008   #9
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Originally Posted by psaulm119 View Post
OK Mattman, do you want me to post the log?
Not for me, I doubt I could decipher any information from it. I have only used connection logs early when I was troubleshooting dial-up modem problems. I did not put a lot of effort into researching what they meant, I think they would basically tell me that the connection was lost. How and why the connection was lost, I doubt would have been spelled out. It may, though, say which side the disconnection came from (your side [the PC] or the cable company's side).

You could try posting the log/s in the Internet and Networking Forum (the Networking Forum I would suggest). Put a link back to this thread for the people to see the background. Could you segregate the dropped connection section from the log/s?

Something that comes to mind, not that it may be applicable, is moisture getting into the connections somewhere (which will be on "their" side, but not if it is somewhere on your property).

Rule out your computer? Can you connect a different computer to the line and test it for a while?

I am sure I have seen your posts in the Vista forum. Let us know what OS it is. Vista drivers are still quite "young" so check around for updated versions (Motorola?).

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Old 19th January 2008   #10
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Yeah I did post in the Vista forum, but that was before I saw the light, and repatriated myself to XP. FWIW its a much smoother ride than Vista, and I don't recall really missing any of Vista's "cool features."

I'll go ahead and finish this thread in the networking forum. Hopefully a mod can close this thread (with a link to the new one) so we get anyone who cares to participate on the same page (literally).

When the modem is down, I can't log online with my laptop or desktop, nor does VOIP phone work, so its not the computer.

Thanks mattman. I'll post the log there.

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Old 19th January 2008   #11
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