Solved: Help! I am going crazy trying to make this work...

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Kate Flan

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Dec 31, 2005
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Hey there...new member on this site.

Last summer, I recieved a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop for my graduation, with an internal wireless network card. I have successfully been able to connect wirelessly hundreds of times away at school, both through their network, as well as via wireless hot spots in public places.

Now that I am back home for the holidays, I wanted to hook up something at my house so I wouldn't have to share the family computer every time I wanted to go online. We have a Dell desktop that's only a few years old, running Windows XP, and we have Comcast cable internet. Our modem is a Motorola SB4200 surfboard cable modem. Never had any problems getting online on the home computer.

I first bought a Belkin G Router, but, when I tried to configure it, got an error message- something along the lines of "can't connect computer to router". Called tech support on the phone, they had me reset the thing a few times, and told me ultimately that it was defective. I returned that and got a Linksys Wireless G Broadband router, model WRT54G. I have tried countless times to hook it up (my friends have given it a few go's, too) but nothing seems to work- I keep getting a similar error message "computer cannot connect to router"

The proper lights on the router all seem to be lit- the internet light even flickers at the same time the activity light on my modem does. My laptop picks up the signal perfectly, but, it's locked and you need a password (which I never got to establish, because the setup won't let me get that far) I know it should work, because I have read several testemonials online from customers that have the same equiptment I do. I have come to the conclusion that it's probably my error, perhaps I am hooking things together in the wrong order (I have tried various methods with and without the installation CD) or perhaps entering the settings incorrectly.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!:)
 

JohnWill

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When you install the router, can you get the family computer on-line with a cable to the router? That would be the first step.

I really doubt two routers were purchased defective, so I'd be suspecting installation issues.

Start the wireless configuration with no encryption enabled, add that as a separate step. When you get it running with no encryption, you're 90% of the way there.
 

Kate Flan

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Dec 31, 2005
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Here's the thing...I found an online article with very detailed instructions about hooking up a Linksys router. Following those steps, you are supposed to unplug both the router and modem, shut down your PC, connect the correct cables in a certain order, plug both devices back in, and, finally, restart the computer. Following that method, the internet doesn't seem to connect; I just get "cannot be displayed" messages. However, when I leave the computer on and connect the cables in the same manner, I can still visit web pages as I would normally. What's more, all the lights are on the router, and the internet light is blinking, indicating some activity. But, no matter what I do, any kind of wizard is unable to detect the router. What's more, I ran ipconfig/all in MSDOS and it is giving me a wacky ip address (not starting with 192 like the Linksys default is supposed to) and, also, no trace of a router shows up, just the cable modem. Thanks for the reply, any further thoughts? :confused:
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Welcome, Kate Flan.

Sounds to me like you could be connecting the modem to a LAN port (usually numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4) on the router.

Make sure the modem is connected to the "WAN" or "Internet" or "Connection to Modem" port.
 

Kate Flan

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Dec 31, 2005
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Yes, I am almost positive that I am doing it correctly. The ethernet cable goes from the modem to the router's "Internet" port, and then an additional cable goes from the router's "Port 2" (or whatever number 1-4 you choose) and into the LAN slot in the back of the PC tower.
 

TerryNet

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Well, since you are connecting cables correctly, this is extremely confusing! Let's try again.

When you do the ipconfig /all it shows "Dhcp Enabled .......: Yes", right? If so, continue ...

The router should need absolutely no setup to connect to your cable modem. If at any time you (or the setup wizard) did make any settings, please reset to factory settings (hold reset button until lights start flashing).

With everything off connect modem to router to computer, and turn on in that order. Go to the command window and do ipconfig /all again. If it doesn't show an IP of 192.168.n.x, as you expect, please copy it and post it here (after you get back online, of course). The Gateway address given should be your router's address, 192.168.n.1.

Type
ping 192.168.n.1 (where n is the actual number of the Linksys)
ping 192.168.100.1

Did you get responses back from both (the second is the SB4200 modem)? If so, you should be connected to the router and internet.
 

TerryNet

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I was busily eating a snack and something popped into my head: you don't have the USB from the modem still connected, do you? If not, skip the rest of this.

If so, the modem is NOT going to give you a usable ethernet connection. Disconnect the USB, connect the ehternet from modem to computer, and get that working. When I do that, I have to go to a special website provided by my cable ISP to switch devices. You may have to call your ISP to learn how to do the switch. Then again, maybe you don't have to do anything special.
 

Kate Flan

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Dec 31, 2005
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Well well well, we may be on to something here. I did, in fact, have the USB cable connected this whole time. However, when I disconnected it, powered everything off, and started again from scratch, the internet wouldn't run, and wizards to install the Linksys router told me that I didn't meet the system requirements to create a home network.

As of now, the USB cable is back in place (in order for me to post on here) but perhaps we are on the right track...hmm...

In any case, the ipconfig/all is as follows:

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Kate_2>ipconfig/all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : flanagan
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : hsd1.ct.comcast.net.
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Motorola SurfBoard 4200 USB Cable Mo
dem
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-0B-06-1E-D0-E9
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 69.243.233.63
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.128
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 69.243.233.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 68.87.71.16
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 68.87.71.226
68.87.73.242
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, December 31, 2005 8:52:38
PM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, January 04, 2006 7:30:28
PM

C:\Documents and Settings\Kate_2>



Pinging the router yields 75% loss, while pinging the modem yields 0% loss. Pinging 69.143.233.63 also yields 0%loss.

One last shot in the dark...I was browsing around in the device manager when I noticed a yellow exclamation icon next to a thing called an ethernet controller...the device was enabled, but no drivers were installed. Googling "ethernet controller" informs me that it has something to do with an LAN. Is this at all relevant? Similarly, there is an SM Bus controller, enabled but lacking drivers. Inserting disks that came with my Dell don't help, I think I might have to install the dirvers from elsewhere if they are, in fact, important.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Good find--missing ethernet drivers--Kate Flan! Yes, you will not be able to use the computer (I assume we are talking about the desktop) with the router until you get drivers installed. Get the exact name of that controller (most likely Broadcom ...), go to the Dell support web site, find, download and install the drivers.

When you get the drivers installed, try again unplugging modem, disconnecting the USB, connect ethernet cable from modem to computer. Bring up your browser. One of three things will happen (maybe more, but I can only think of three):
1. You'll be connected to the internet;
2. You will be automatically connected to some site that says you have to "replace" a computer, or something like that; or
3. You'll just get "page cannot be displayed."

If (2), note the IP address of the site in case you ever need to use it again, and follow instructions.

If (3), call your ISP and ask them how to switch from the modem's USB connection to ethernet (which is probably the same procedure as completely replacing a modem). Hopefully they will give you the IP address of a special web site--remember it for future use.

Assuming you get the computer working with the ethernet connection, follow those now familiar procedures to connect modem-router-computer and breath a sigh of relief!

After that wireless will be a breeze, and we can help with (WPA) security on the wireless if you need any.

Happy New Year.
Terry
 

Squashman

Retired Trusted Advisor
Joined
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Messages
19,786
yes, you will need the drivers installed for your wired network card to setup the router. YOu don't need to use the Linksys setup disk. Any configuration changes you make can be done thru a web browser.

go to Dell's website and stick in your Service tag number and it will show you a list of drivers to download for your computer.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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P.S. Change that "Computer Illiterate"! When you can ipconfig and device manager and so on, you are at least "beginner."
 

Kate Flan

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
5
Yayyyyyyy! After much fishing around, I was able to find and install the correct driver from the Dell website. I successfully ran a wizard to connect the router, it worked, and my laptop is now able to go on the internet! Thanks for the most informative and speedy help...I will definetly tell my friends about this forum, and will use it myself in the future. This problem was bothering me for so long, and I was literally having dreams about how to configure my router lol. Thanks again, and happy new year! :) :) :)
 
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