Question Intermittent Desktop Connection - WIreless Works Fine

speeed

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Greetings - Comcast just brought installed a new modem (or gateway, whatever they call it). My wife was home for the install, I was not. When I was checking things out my desktop, although hardwired to the modem, had no Internet connection. I can't remember specifically, but I remember the wiring choice the tech made was weird. I rewired the connections. Okay, so Windows tells me I have an Internet connection. I attempt Firefox, no connection. Chrome, no connection. Steam, no connection. The only program that will work is Thunderbird. My TP-Link wireless router works fine, and all of the devices on the router work, browsers included. I almost forgot, I did check and reseat the cables.

I tried a few fixes, some CMD stuff, no luck. I uninstalled Firefox, then it worked again. Then it stopped working. I reset the modem, then it worked again for about an hour. Last night I called Comcast. I spent about 45 minutes on the phone, and the rep basically said it was my computer, they can see the modem on their end and it is not indicating errors. He told me to contact the "website manufacturer" which was obviously read from a script. He also said I could have a technician come out for $40. No thanks. My other options was to bring the modem in for exchange, which after I fiddle with a little more I am going to do. Before the tech arrived I had a working Internet connection, when he left I did not.

I am very experienced with hardware, and some software, but I have limited experience with networks. I think there are ways to trace my DNS requests, yes? I am going to research that and give that a try to see if that is the problem. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 
The first thing I would do is ask my wife if she messed with my computer, lol.

After you get yelled at for asking that :D, I would download a linux live cd/usb and see if you have any issue under that live os. If you do, it potentially is a network or hardware issue and we can go from there. If you do not, then it is clearly a windows issue.
 

speeed

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Thanks Samir - that seems like good advice. I know almost nothing about Linux, but I can figure it out. It might be a few days before I can follow up, but I will. As for yelling at wife, well . . . if I don't come back it did not go over it well. I will just tell her you told me to do it!

Thanks!
 
You're welcome! The linux part is pretty easy as I don't know almost anything about linux myself. Just download a live CD iso like this one:
https://www.spi.dod.mil/docs/TENS-3.0.2_public.iso

Then write it to a cd and boot off the cd. This loads a live linux os into memory and doesn't touch your existing setup. :) I like the TENS build as it is designed to not at all interfere with the existing bootup--some of the other live cds may not do the same as they're usually also the install cds for the OS.

If you want to use a usb, use rufus to write the iso to the usb:

Once you have that live os loaded, you can run tests using the browser and the ping command there. You can also use packetlosstest.com to see if you've got any issues. If everything is fine in this live os, then the hardware and network are fine and we need to find out what changed on your windows install.
 

speeed

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Thanks for the help everyone, I sincerely appreciate the information. But - I solved the problem that led me to this forum as a step in figuring that out if that makes sense. Regardless, I have a Linux boot flash drive ready to go should I need it based on the responses here - thanks everyone!

I forgot to add, the tech who did the install was inept. I figured it out. I am upset at the quality of both the tech service and the subsequent customer service. No pun intended, but a total disconnect between what the tech service and the customer service.

As an enthusiast I have been building computers and solving my software and OS problems for 30 years and I have some good skills in that department but my network skills are a bit lacking, In my defense I did some Windows CMS Dos stuff which was fun, but of course it did not work.

I am going to post this reply in the Motherboard Forum as I was looking to boot into a bootable LInux USB flashdrive and my motherboard was giving me problems with that. With that in mind, I am going to call Xfinity tomorrow both the complain and to give me 4 days worth of credit for fixing the issue they caused.
 
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Glad you were able to resolve it. :) What exactly was the fix? I'm really curious since I have xfinity and if something goes after a tech visit, I'll know what to check. ;)

And in addition to service credits, I would ask for any service call refunds. Also, since they log their calls, you should be able to ask for service credits from the first time you called them about this issue. I could see them granting you a nice credit on your bill for all the trouble, especially since you had to fix it yourself and the techs didn't do their job.
 

speeed

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Glad you were able to resolve it. :) What exactly was the fix? I'm really curious since I have xfinity and if something goes after a tech visit, I'll know what to check. ;)

And in addition to service credits, I would ask for any service call refunds. Also, since they log their calls, you should be able to ask for service credits from the first time you called them about this issue. I could see them granting you a nice credit on your bill for all the trouble, especially since you had to fix it yourself and the techs didn't do their job.
I did not have to pay a tech, they came in "installed" the new modem.

The first problem was that my desktop had no internet connection. None, zero. The network icon even indicated as much. The modem has multiple ports on the back, which are unlabeled. With that in mind, one of the cables went into my computer and the other into my wireless router. With that setup wireless devices would work and with some rearrangement of cables into different ports on the back of the modem, for whatever reason, my computer would indicate it was connected but it would usually time out loading webpages. Thunderbird worked fine regardless.

There were a few times the computer would work, so that got me thinking. In an "aha!" moment where it seemed that my computer would work whenever the wifi was not being accessed. So, I unplugged my wireless router. Despite being unplugged, I still have a wireless signal. The tech setup the Xfinity equipment as a wireless router and also connected my TP-Link wireless router to the modem. This caused the problems on my desktop computer. The solution was to simply disconnect the wireless monitor. That might have been one of my first troubleshooting steps but I did not want to do too much as both my high school kids and my wife need to use The Internet for school and work. The connection seemed so finicky and although a small step, if our wireless went out that would be a huge problem.

So, the tech installed a new modem\router\gateway and set that up as wireless access point. He left my computer without access to The Internet and connected a router that was not even activated. In addition, connecting that hardware caused technical issues. I just don't understand how he could have left a customers computer without Internet access. Baffling . . . . .
 

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