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Intermittent Loss of Network Connection

Discussion in 'Networking' started by azaraelishanti, Feb 13, 2012.

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  1. azaraelishanti

    azaraelishanti Thread Starter

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    So here's an interesting one.

    We have five web-enabled devices on our home network. We are running with a D-Link wireless DIR-651 with the 1.10 firmware update (so it claims anyway). The wireless is set up and playing nicely for a while. At random points, however, various devices will lose their connection.

    The connected devices are:

    Vista Home Edition PC A - Ethernet
    Vista Home Edition PC B - Ethernet
    MacBook Pro - Wireless
    PlayStation 3 - Ethernet
    iPhone 4 - Wireless

    Vista Home Edition A has never lost internet connection. It is consistently online, which allows me to know that it's not the ISP failing.

    However, various of the other devices (even the hardlined ones) keep having intermittent issues. I cannot even access the router through it's local IP address through these devices when they're having hiccups. There is no discernable relation between the devices and they do not usually turn off at the same time (i.e. I'm posting this on the MacBook Pro because I got super angry with Vista PC B when it lost its connection...again...)

    At first I thought it might be the router (seems obvious). Most people are saying that the router has problems on NewEgg, but firmware update 1.10 helps. The router seems to feel it's already running that firmware. Upon swapping to a non-wireless router, Vista PC B STILL is not getting an internet connection. Which leads me to believe it's the PC. But why are the other devices having similar problems?

    Why is Vista PC A always online?

    A lot of the problems seem to come on Vista PC B when gaming online, which makes me believe maybe it's a DirectX issue or something similar. I'm not sure if DirectX can be updated to a newer build, the Microsoft website is asinine in its information about that. I've been googling with no success.

    I have looked at the router settings, tried reserving IP addresses for each device, reset the router (many times), swapped cables/ethernet ports, changed wireless settings, ran virus scans on all devices and nothing is coming up wrong. Yet, almost daily, Vista PC B and/or the MacBook and/or the PS3 lose their connection. The PS3 even insists it's not connected to the router at all ("Does not appear to be connected...").

    Needless to say, I'm at my whit's end and I'd appreciate any and all help you guys can give. Thank you in advance, and sorry for being verbose, just didn't want to retread ground I'd already fussed over.
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Have you reset the router to factory defaults and reconfigured?

    Have you swapped cables and router LAN port between PC A and PC B to make sure the difference is the PCs and not the cables or router ports?

    Other then maybe those two things you seem to have covered pretty much everything else.
     
  3. azaraelishanti

    azaraelishanti Thread Starter

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    I have reset the router (much to the chagrin of the players on my Minecraft server until I reset the Port Forwarding...) to no avail. I have swapped ports in every conceivable way. I have a feeling I've checked the cables, but I will try it again.

    That unfortunately does not address the other weirdness, the Wireless signal dropping out. I will be able to check the cable swap in about an hour, but I won't know if it's working on not for a bit (maybe it's just on a lucky streak, etc). I'll post back if/when it drops out again with the other PC's cable.

    I've disabled all local firewalls on PC B, etc. Is there any other conceivable cause I should check?

    Thank you again for your response and I look forward to getting to the bottom of this.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Did I correctly understand that the wireless devices lose connection less than once daily? If so, those may not be worth your while to trouble shoot. Wireless interference would be my first suspect.

    For Vista ...

    (From a JohnWill post Sep. 14, 2010)

    Changes that may help to increase the compatibility of Vista & Windows 7 with older networking devices:



    Disable the IP Helper service:

    1. Hold the Windows key and type R, enter "services.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter
    2. Scroll down to the IP Helper service, right click on it and select Properties
    3. In the dropdown box that says "Automatic" or "Manual", set it to Disabled and then click on "Apply"
    4. Then click on "Stop" to stop the service from running in the current session
    5. Click OK to exit the dialog



    Disable IPv6:

    1. Hold the Windows key and type R, enter "ncpa.cpl" (without the quotes) and press Enter
    2. Right click on each network connection and select "Properties"
    3. Remove the checkmark from the box next to "Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)
    4. Click OK to exit the dialog

    NOTE: You should do this for each network connection.



    Disable the DHCP Broadcast Flag:

    Link: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/928233
    1. Hold the Windows key and type R, enter regedit and press Enter.
    2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{GUID}
    4. In this registry path, click the (GUID) subkey to be updated.
    5. If the key DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag does not exist, use the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value. In the New Value #1 box, type DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag, and then press ENTER. If the key exists, skip this step.
    6. Right-click DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag, and then click Modify.
    7. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
    8. Close Registry Editor.
    NOTE: You should do this for each and every GUID subkey.
    NOTE2: (GUID) is a mnemonic for the individual subkeys, the actual text "GUID" does not appear.
     
  5. azaraelishanti

    azaraelishanti Thread Starter

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    First and foremost, I swapped the cables with one that is definitely working correctly.

    And thank you very much for your suggestions, I did all of them. I modified all of the compatibility bits you mentioned. I actually thought it was working correctly for a time, but it started to sputter again. I have found that when the connection is flickering off and on, having Vista "diagnose" the problem from Network and Sharing Center and having it "Reset the Adapter" puts it back into steady-internet mode. However, between 10 and 20 minutes later it will start flickering again.

    A possibly helpful aside: It may be because I'm just in the mood to play the Tribes: Ascend Beta tonight, but every time it flickers I am in the middle of playing a match. I am fairly positive it has flickered when NOT playing Tribes: Ascend Beta, but I have "Reset the Adapter" four times now, went to play, all is well, and some 10-20 minutes in it drops me from the server and I find my connection flickering.

    I know in the past Windows Media Player, DirectX, and other seemingly unrelated items have led to well-documented Network problems. I don't know if this could be something similar.

    I am going to sit online for an hour or so and see if just regular browsing seems to trigger the flicker. I will keep you appraised.

    [EDIT: 13 minutes into a Netflix video, it's gone again]
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I think I overlooked what should have been step number one. :( Make sure you have the latest ethernet driver. It should be from the PC (or motherboard) manufacturer's web site. If you already have the latest, reinstall it anyhow in case the installed instance is corrupted.
     
  7. azaraelishanti

    azaraelishanti Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I downloaded the latest drivers from the Realtek website, but Windows says it is Up To Date. I uninstalled the driver and was going to reinstall using the downloaded drivers, but whenever I have it "Scan for Hardware Changes" it automatically installs the driver once found, not giving me the option. How can I manually select the driver?

    Also, viewing my Device Manager, there is a Network Adapter called "6TO4 Adapter" that appears to have driver problems. Microsoft's resolution to this error message is "Ignore it, it's working fine despite the exclamation mark". Nice. Could it possibly be causing issues?
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Right click on the adapter in Device Manager and select 'Update Driver' and you get the chance to take control of finding the desired driver.

    Disabling the 6to4 adapter may be a solution. There is an issue with Vista and some hardware where it comes up with an error in Device Manager. It's not a necessary component, so I just kill it.
    ------------------

    You can disable IPv6 in Windows Vista [or 7] by doing one of the following:

    In the Connections and Adapters folder, obtain properties on all of your connections and adapters and clear the check box next to the Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) component in the list under This connection uses the following items. This method disables IPv6 on your LAN interfaces and connections, but does not disable IPv6 on tunnel interfaces or the IPv6 loopback interface.

    Add the following registry value (DWORD type) set to 0xFF:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Parameters\DisabledComponents (DisabledComponents)

    This method disables IPv6 on all your LAN interfaces, connections, and tunnel interfaces but does not disable the IPv6 loopback interface. You must restart the computer for this registry value to take effect.
     
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