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Networking gremlins

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Anonymous Bosch
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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Kraken wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:43 am
I rebooted 3x today, so tomorrow I'm going to try the factory reset on the router. Quick question: Is there any reason to do the hard reset with a paperclip rather than the software reset? The latter is a lot easier, but it feels like cheating.

If that doesn't work, I'll try cloning the MAC address. If that doesn't work, I'll go back to my Arris and return the Motorola, because I will have officially Tried Everything.
A 'soft reset' essentially just restarts the router. Whereas a 'hard reset' discards all of its current settings and brings it back to the factory default state, just like when you first bought it.

So firstly, be sure to save or back-up your configuration prior to resetting. Then go ahead with the hard reset, and restore the configurations from your back-up file.
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Kraken
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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Kraken »

The connection was still up when I got up this morning -- first time it didn't go down overnight. That only lasted a couple of hours, so I just did the hard reset and rebuilt the network. Fingers crossed that this will be my last post in this thread...at least about this issue.

I get a much slower speed test in the closet that I live in upstairs (60 down) than I got when sitting right next to the router (140), so I'll have to see about improving that when I move the internet out to the living room in a couple of weeks.

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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Daehawk »

Make sure you're on the 5ghz band its faster than the 2.4 one. I used to know my own but after power outtages and passwords I gave up and have no idea. I cant access my router's page wit ha browser any longer. Guess Im lucky it even works lol. As it does though Ill leave it be.
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Kraken
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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Kraken »

Had one hiccup this afternoon, but it restored itself after a minute, so it doesn't count as a real disconnect. My laptop was logged into a client's VPN at the time, which complicates matters. Still cautiously optimistic.

Also, while reconfiguring the router I came upon the instruction that, in order to clone the MAC address, the PC's MAC address has to match the modem's. So that answers that question, in case I need to try one last effort.

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Victoria Raverna
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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Victoria Raverna »

Are you using dual NAT or your router directly "dial" the ISP through the modem? Is the modem still acting as a router or it is just a modem?

Also why do you want to clone MAC address? Do you think the ISP has a MAC address list that it check in interval to disconnect unknown MAC address?

If you are using dual NAT and want to know where it fail, you can use tracert (or traceroute). Just do one trace while internet is okay to a server in internet like 8.8.8.8 and store the result. Then when you have problem with internet connection, do the same tracert to 8.8.8.8. See which point the trace fails. Is it between your router and modem, or between modem to the ISP or the problem is at the ISP side.

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Kraken
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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Kraken »

Victoria Raverna wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:30 pm
Are you using dual NAT or your router directly "dial" the ISP through the modem? Is the modem still acting as a router or it is just a modem?

Also why do you want to clone MAC address? Do you think the ISP has a MAC address list that it check in interval to disconnect unknown MAC address?

If you are using dual NAT and want to know where it fail, you can use tracert (or traceroute). Just do one trace while internet is okay to a server in internet like 8.8.8.8 and store the result. Then when you have problem with internet connection, do the same tracert to 8.8.8.8. See which point the trace fails. Is it between your router and modem, or between modem to the ISP or the problem is at the ISP side.
IDK what dual NAT is. It uses a dynamic IP address.

The modem is just a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. I gave my ISP its MAC address, they "provisioned" it with a config file, and it was activated. The ISP probably does prune unregistered MAC addresses.

The tech who tested it (tracert and pinging) said that the modem isn't giving my router an IP address quickly enough when asked. He thought it might be the modem firmware. When I try to reset my connection thru Windows, it tells me the DNS server isn't responding (which hints that it still sees the internet, but can't use it). My old Arris modem has no problems, apart from being old and costing $8.50 per month.

To me, networking is voodoo and all this troubleshooting is like reading entrails. IDK the difference between a MAC address and an IP address or which machine uses which address for what and when. This is all way over my pay grade; I have a degree in English, and none of this is English. What I do know is that I've followed every troubleshooting tip I could find, and I'm still getting disconnects. IDK what cloning a MAC address might do, but it's the last thing I haven't tried, so I'll try it tomorrow before deciding that the modem must be faulty.

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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Daehawk »

Could try FreeDNS
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Kraken
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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Kraken »

Welp, cloning the modem's MAC address will not be as straightforward as I had thought. The MAC address stickered on the bottom of the modem is 12 numerical digits. The MAC addresses associated with my computers are all alpha-numeric and don't even vaguely resemble the stickered number. So I still don't know what to clone. I think I'll just clone my current computer's MAC address and see what happens -- worst case, I'll just have to wipe the router again.

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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Victoria Raverna »

Kraken wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:26 pm
Welp, cloning the modem's MAC address will not be as straightforward as I had thought. The MAC address stickered on the bottom of the modem is 12 numerical digits. The MAC addresses associated with my computers are all alpha-numeric and don't even vaguely resemble the stickered number. So I still don't know what to clone. I think I'll just clone my current computer's MAC address and see what happens -- worst case, I'll just have to wipe the router again.
Having the same MAC address with more than one device in a local network is just going to cause problem.

If the router work fine with old modem but not the new one, then MAC address of the router is not likely to be the problem.

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Re: One PC hates the network (or vice versa)

Post by Kraken »

Thanks for the advice. I didn't do it because it seemed more likely to cause trouble than solve it.

Connection stayed up all night and has been *almost* solid all day. One hiccup that lasted about 2 minutes, then reconnected without rebooting. Hiccups happen; I could overlook that if it's infrequent.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Kraken »

I finally gave up and notified Amazon that I'm returning the modem. Hated to do it; it was THIS CLOSE to being stable. On a good day, could go 24 hours without a dropout. But my old Arris is totally reliable and I'm not willing to trade down, especially not at a cost of $80, so I am done struggling with the Motorola. I might try another, different model new modem another day.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Freyland »

Have to admit I was hoping you would solve the problem, as I have similar issues.
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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Kraken »

Even though I'm not a tech guy, I hate to admit defeat on a tech problem when I have the hivemind in my corner. The collective intelligence of OO, even amplified by my own brainpower, couldn't solve this one. I am seriously reconsidering paying next year's membership dues.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Smoove_B »

It's definitely a weird problem. The only thing I ever had that was even remotely close to this was if I tried playing the original Red Orchestra online, when I would do a server search/refresh it would crash the modem. As I recall, the game was asking for too many records at once and the modem couldn't handle either the request or the amount of information coming back through the internets. I think it was possibly some type of defensive setting that prevented a distributed denial of service attack? I wasn't the only one with the problem and I had no way to adjust or fix the issue because there was no way to fix how the game was asking for server names.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Daehawk »

I miss the original Red Orchestra. I never really had fun with the newer stuff.
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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Kraken »

Dammit, here I am again.

Last night I was watching TV, and just as my story ended it froze up. The internet was down.

This morning it was still down. Indicator lights on the modem are all green. Router has an amber light indicating no internet. When I plug my laptop directly into the modem with a LAN cable, I have internet. So it looks like the modem's fine, and the problem is between the router and the modem. (This router has never had this problem with this modem before).

I spent the morning trying various things and none of them succeeded (for example, I tried plugging my TV's LAN cable directly into the modem; it did not like that. I also tried using a different cable.). When I log into my router and check its status, it shows all zeroes for IP address etc. It looks like it's not communicating with the modem (not getting an IP address).*

I'm out of ideas. Needless to say, I've power-cycled both the modem and the router multiple times. Everything was working fine until last night, and then suddenly it wasn't, and I can't get them talking again.

*Actually, scratch that. The status does show an IP address, and says "Internet status: Poor network.”

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Kraken
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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Kraken »

I spent half an hour on the phone with tech support today. He verified that the modem is working fine, and apparently passing out an IP address, but I don't think the router is getting it. He walked me thru a bunch of troubleshooting steps (many of which I'd already tried) with no change. He looked up my router's documentation, didn't find any clues there. Said it was a nice router.

I did a factory reset and reestablished my network with the same name and passwords. No dice. Tried switching the LAN cable again. Nope. At one point I was semi-randomly plugging things in and out. The amber light turned green and I was online...for about 10 minutes. Then back to the damned amber light.

I have the tech guy's direct number and will try calling him again tomorrow. I have a hunch I'm going to need a new router. We did have an electrical storm last night and it's possible that fried the router, although the lights never flickered and I had no indication of any power problems. I'd go ahead and buy a router if I were confident that it would work. Under the circumstances -- stores closed, Amazon delivery slow, returns undoubtedly difficult if that becomes necessary -- I don't want to just blindly buy new hardware and hope for the best.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Kraken »

HAH! I figured it out. Mostly. We have a workaround, anyway.

The problem is caused by cabling my smart TV to my router. Never mind that it's been cabled that way since Day One. If I turn off WiFi on the TV's connections menu, it complains that it has no ethernet connection, and the settings menu doesn't give me any options to configure that (i.e., to join the network wirelessly) -- the TV just knows that it isn't connected to the network. If I cable directly from the TV to the modem, same thing -- no ethernet connection. If I turn on WiFi while the TV is cabled, it breaks the connection between the router and the modem. If I unplug the cable and reboot the router, it connects fine.

Our ISP just upgraded us to 155 MBps down, and speed test shows that I'm actually getting over 125, so there's plenty of bandwidth to allow the TV to connect wirelessly, as it wants to do. I'm just going to leave that cable unplugged.

My inner scientist/technician wants to know why the configuration that I've been using for three months suddenly stopped working two nights ago. I'll spend some time googling that. I also just thought of another experiment -- plugging the ethernet cable into a different port on the router (maybe it's only router port 1 that went bad, or maybe it's the TV's ethernet port, or maybe it's that specific cable). But for now I'm content that I got my network working again without buying a new router (which might or might not have fixed it anyway), and because I've already spent hours dealing with this over two days, I'm not going to fiddle with it anymore. It's most likely a TV config setting that I can't find or can't access.

My inner tech also can't resist mentioning that the ISP's tech called me back to ask what I'd done. When I explained, he praised my troubleshooting skills. He wanted the info for his own bag of tricks. I may not have exactly FIXED the problem, but I identified and worked around it.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by malchior »

A couple of obvious things jump out to me:

The tv or your wireless router got an update. These changes introduced or caused a new behavior that may have caused a Layer 2 loop which are crashing everything. An alternative is that a potential update to the wifi router introduced a protective behavior to stop loops that gets reset by router reboots.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Kraken »

IDK what loops are, but an unexpected firmware update would sure explain a lot.

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Re: Networking gremlins

Post by Kraken »

Kraken wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:56 pm
I finally gave up and notified Amazon that I'm returning the modem. Hated to do it; it was THIS CLOSE to being stable. On a good day, could go 24 hours without a dropout. But my old Arris is totally reliable and I'm not willing to trade down, especially not at a cost of $80, so I am done struggling with the Motorola. I might try another, different model new modem another day.
Relax, I'm not having a new problem. Just thought I'd mention that my ISP posted this on Facebook tonight:

"We have discovered an issue with Motorola MG series modem/router units. The MG series is not currently working reliably with our system. Customers who want to purchase their own modems should not purchase these units until we have a resolution in place."

The modem that gave me so much trouble was a Motorola MB. Close enough.

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