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Modem continuously rebooting

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by rottencujo, Jul 21, 2008.

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  1. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    I originally had an Arris Modem (compliments of our ISP) that has since been replaced with a Motorola Router within the two days and a Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router. My issue is this: when we originally had broadband hooked up there were major issues from this start with this ISP. The first Arris modem would continually reboot. A tech came to the house and replaced the modem. Things went fine for a day, then the next day the rebooting started again. Another tech came out and replaced the wiring "from the green box" down the road to the house. All was fine again for about a week. The it started again. Another tech came out and replaced the wiring under the house to the modem. It was fine for a few days---then, you guessed it, it started again. Then, to our ISP's surprise, they noticed a major "outtage" in our area. Once that was fixed, all was well for a couple of months. This past Friday evening it started again. The modem started rebooting itself. I waited until Saturday but nothing changed. I called tech support and they stated that while we were on the phone he saw the system reboot itself. He stated it is his experience that when this happens it's a faulty modem. I went out and replaced that 2nd Arris modem with a Motorola. Only had 1 glitch Saturday evening, and then on Sunday every 5 - 10 minutes the modem would reboot. A tech guy came out today and ran a diagnostics from my computer and said that everything looks fine. He said that a report was run from the main company that showed that for the last week there has been no system issues for my address, but yet there apparently are issues somewhere. Now a tech guys is go come out and look @ the main line. AND while I have been sitting here the modem has rebooted itself once.
    OS: Windows XP
    Set up: the cable runs to the Motorola modem, then from the modem to the router, from the router to the CPU, and from the router to 3 separate Xbox 360s. We all go on XBox live.
    Another tidbit of information: the problems seem to be worse at night than any other time of day. And about 9 - 9:30 at night the system seems to work better than late afternoons/early evenings.

    Thank you for any insight you can provide me with.
     
  2. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Are you on cable or DSL?
     
  3. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    I am "assuming" since I have a cable modem, I am on cable.
     
  4. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    There are two things that imemdiately come to my mind. #1-A cable connection is "user driven" that is to say that all subscribers in an area are connected to the same line. At certain times during "peak" operations the ISP will "drop out" a certain number of subscibers for a few minutes because of "overload" on the system, after 5 or so minutes, bring them back on, and "drop out" another group. This generally happens during times of peak useage. I had a friend in the Detroit area, and another in the Baltimore area both of whom used Comcast as their ISP and this type of "drop out" happened to them on numerous ocassions during times of peak useage. Both later switched to DSL to solve their problem.

    #2-Another possibility is that you are getting a voltage drop that may not be evident by dimming lights or anything like that in your home, but is enough to cause the modem or router to reset. I diagnose that problem quite often in this area by connecting one of my UPS units to their modem and/or router setting the low voltage limit to 97v and the upper voltage limit to 138v. If the voltage drops out of this range, i.e. below 97v the UPS will automatically intervene and keep the modem and/or router running, but it saves me a log of the number of times it intervenes. At 97v down to about 90v you would not even see a change in a lightbulb, but the UPS can sense the drop an intervene. 97v or less (and possibly higher) is definitely enough of a power drop to cause a modem and/or router to reset.
     
  5. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Attached is a pic of an old intervention log. As you can see the UPS intervened 38 times for a duration of 3 minutes and 7 seconds. The average outage was only 4.9 seconds, and although appliances in that home, etc. did not notice the "dop out" the UPS intervened, and prevented the machine from restarting.
     

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  6. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    Thank you for the very helpful information. Because I am not tech savvy, will you explain what a UPS unit is and how I may purchase one? DSL is not an option in my area, and the phone/cable folks have a monopoly on telephone/internet service around here; and the tech folks that employ are doing the best they can with minimal education in this field. Needless to say if there is something I can do to minimize the drops we are receiving, I am all for it.
     
  7. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    Pls disregard my previous question since I have been "googling" around and found out the answer. Okay, is there a way I can actually pinpoint the problem without going out and getting a UPS system? It would be nice to know if my ISP is the issue or if it's my drop in incoming voltage.
    Also, if I go the route of getting a UPS system, can you recommend one that is good quality but not way expensive? This is for home use and is not business related.

    Thank you once again for your insight.
     
  8. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Of course I can't guarantee that a voltage drop is your particular problem. If you know someone who has a UPS you may be able to borrow it for a couple of days and see if it intervenes on any voltage drops. Also, a local computer shop may have a UPS that they would rent you for a couple of days to see if a voltage drop is the problem.

    I use APC UPSs on all my personal machines, any every custom machine I build is delivered with an APC UPS. A UPS offers the best voltage protection you can use on a computer.

    This is the one I normally use for new builds; http://www.officemax.com/omax/catalog/sku.jsp?skuId=21180918&category_Id=295

    There are numerous other manufacturers such as Belkin, Tripp Lite, etc. I can't speak as to how well they work since I have only used APC for about the past 10 years. Maybe someone else who uses another brand will respond to this thread, and be able to recommend something for you. If no one responds, just start a new thread asking for UPS recommendations.

    If you should decide to purchase a UPS if you have a store such as Office Max or something like that near you I would go look at what they have to offer. You would need one with at least 4 back up receptacles for the tower, monitor, modem, and router. I just use a surge protector outlet for peripherals such as printers, scanners, etc.
     
  9. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    Thank you so much for all of your insight. In less than 1 day, I had numerous questions answered without nearly the pain of dealing with my ISP. Their best advice to me through all of this was: #1: unplug the modem and router, wait 15 seconds, then plug it all back up or #2: try a different outlet. Beyond that they NEVER mentioned anything about a possible voltage flux that could be doing it or a backlog in the server. THANK YOU!!!!
    What I will do is go buy a multimeter and get some good readings. Then if it pans out I am having some low fluctuation's then I will follow your advice and get a USP. I will post my findings within a few days.
     
  10. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    You won't be able to catch a minor flucuation in voltage unless you leave the multimeter plugged into your source outlet continuosly and are watching it when the voltage drop occurs. But good luck.

    Also, if you are using a modem and a router be sure to do the reset properly. Power down the modem, router, and any devices connected to the router. Wait about 30 seconds and power on the modem. Give the modem about 45 seconds to stabilize, then power on the router, giving it about 45 seconds to stabilize. After the modem and router are stabiled, restart the items connected to your router.

    Cable service is generally faster than DSL, however that is not true at all times. This short video may give you a little insight of cable vs DSL.

    http://video.about.com/compnetworking/Cable-Versus-DSL.htm
     
  11. dannyn

    dannyn

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    Late response, but I would not use any other UPS other than APC. Period.
     
  12. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    Update: As I previously stated, the tech came out and said everything looked fine. He said he was going to send the "wire guys" out and that I probably would not know they came since the "green box" is located between our house and the neighbor's. Surprisingly, as of yesterday I have had minimal drops (about 3 all day long). I called the customer service department and asked if the "wire guys" game out and the rep stated that a guy came out and adjusted the signal. Can anyone explain what exactly they did? I wasn't aware that you can "adjust" a signal from this mysterious "green box".
     
  13. dannyn

    dannyn

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    Well, in that green box is a signal booster. I had to get one put in at my house beacuse i am so far away from the pole that the signal would not reach. I do not know why that would make the modem restart but i am glad your problem is fixed.
     
  14. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    Thank you for that information dannyn; it makes sense now. My thoughts are that if we are just barely outside the range of the signal it makes the signal weak and the signal drops which cycles the modem.
     
  15. rottencujo

    rottencujo Thread Starter

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    Update---I finally had to switch to DSL. As expected, my ISP had a tech specl come out and he stated everything was fine and the modem kept rebooting over and over again. I have been on DSL for two days now and all is well.
     
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