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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Sorry - I am not sure whether I have a windows problem, a hardware problem or a networking problem, so apologies if this is not the most appropriate board. But I have a mess!

    My set up is that my PC (running Windows XP SP3) is connected to a Netgear Wireless router using an ethernet cable (we have a wireless router because my wife's Vista laptop uses wireless). The router is connected by an ethernet cable to a cable modem provided by my ISP.

    Over the last couple of days, I started seeing, intermittently, a messsage telling me that a network cable was unplugged, although a physical check showed this not to be the case. At the same time, the activity light on the cable modem was not flashing, though the remaining lights (Power, Receive, Send and Online) were all on. But intermittently, the activity light would start up again, the message about a network cable being unplugged went away and my internet connection was restored.

    This morning though, it wouldn't connect at all. The current situation is that I am able to connect my wife's laptop direct to the cable modem via ethernet (which is how I'm able to be at the Lounge now), but I cannot get my desktop PC to do the same even with restarts of the modem and the PC. (Edited to add - using the same ethernet cable, so that appears not to be the issue.) The PC reports an IP address in the range 169.xxx.xxx.xxx which I understand is assigned by Windows when it can't get an IP address using DHCP. (That may make it sound as though I know what I am talking about on this point, but really I don't!)

    For better or for worse I have tried the following

    - system restore - but that didn't cure it. And then later this morning system restore said it was unable to restore.

    - last known good

    - I tried WinSock XP Fix from http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html because I had read elsewhere that it might solve the 169.xxx.xxx.xxx IP address problem. It was after I had tried it that Windows said it wasn't able to do a system restore.

    - I have in the last few days been trying Agnitum's Outpost firewall because it was so highly praised here in the Lounge. Uninstalling it and going back to the Windows XP firewall did not cure the intermittent problem though, so I reinstalled it. (But one of the reasons for trying WinSock XP Fix was their suggestion that incomplete uninstall of a firewall program could have caused the 169.xxx.xxx.xxx IP problem.)

    I don't really know how to proceed. A few months ago, I was getting the 169.xxx.xxx.xxx IP address issue but system restore cured it, but not this time.

    All help and suggestions will be gratefully received.

    Ian

  2. #2
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    I do think you have a "networking" problem rather than an XP one, Ian. I've gotta do some thinking for I don't get an answer just yet that pops out to me.

    But let me move you to the Networking Forum where others will see your question. If I'm wrong, it can be moved again.

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    [quote name='IanWilson' post='777283' date='28-May-2009 07:44']This morning though, it wouldn't connect at all. The current situation is that I am able to connect my wife's laptop direct to the cable modem via ethernet (which is how I'm able to be at the Lounge now), but I cannot get my desktop PC to do the same even with restarts of the modem and the PC.[/quote]

    You could have a hardware problem with the NIC.

    1.) If you plug your PC in can you ping the router?
    2.) If you use hibernation, sleep or standby check the power management settings for the NIC to make sure that you do not allow the PC to turn the NIC off. It seems like restoring power to the NIC has always been a problem with XP.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    [quote name='joeperez' post='777291' date='28-May-2009 14:33']You could have a hardware problem with the NIC.

    1.) If you plug your PC in can you ping the router?
    2.) If you use hibernation, sleep or standby check the power management settings for the NIC to make sure that you do not allow the PC to turn the NIC off. It seems like restoring power to the NIC has always been a problem with XP.

    Joe[/quote]
    I don't think I could ping anything as I was not getting a connection. I don't use anything like hibernation, sleep or standby.

    But now things have got worse and I am having trouble getting the PC to start up Windows properly at all. I am seeing a message that "Generic Host Process for Win 32 services encountered a problem and needed to close".

    I can get into safe mode, but I am not sure what to do there!

    Ian

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    [quote name='IanWilson' post='777296' date='28-May-2009 15:11']I don't think I could ping anything as I was not getting a connection. I don't use anything like hibernation, sleep or standby.

    But now things have got worse and I am having trouble getting the PC to start up Windows properly at all. I am seeing a message that "Generic Host Process for Win 32 services encountered a problem and needed to close".

    I can get into safe mode, but I am not sure what to do there!

    Ian[/quote]
    This is starting to sound like a hardware failure, and it is going to be very hard to pin down.

    The first thing to do is probably to take your hard drive to a different computer and run CHKDSK, to see if there is any data corruption on the disk. If this looks OK, then I would suspect CPU, memory or motherboard. The most common way to check this is to swap or remove hardware until the fault goes away.

  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    [quote name='StuartR' post='777298' date='28-May-2009 15:35']This is starting to sound like a hardware failure, and it is going to be very hard to pin down.

    The first thing to do is probably to take your hard drive to a different computer and run CHKDSK, to see if there is any data corruption on the disk. If this looks OK, then I would suspect CPU, memory or motherboard. The most common way to check this is to swap or remove hardware until the fault goes away.[/quote]
    It is starting to look like that isn't it?

    What I have discovered I can do perfectly well in Safe mode is copy stuff to an external USB-connected hard drive. So despite having regular backups to a networked hard drive, I am currently running ZipBackup, in safe mode, and doing another back up to the USB hard drive. (Just in case I can't get logged in to my account on the networked hard drive from another computer.)

    Can I run CHKDSK in safe mode without moving the hard drive to another machine? (Not easy to lay my hands on another suitable one right now.)

    Ian

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    [quote name='IanWilson' post='777299' date='28-May-2009 15:40']Can I run CHKDSK in safe mode without moving the hard drive to another machine? (Not easy to lay my hands on another suitable one right now.)[/quote]
    You can run chkdsk in your existing system, but if there is a CPU, memory or motherboard fault then it might show up as disk errors, this is why I suggested running it on a different system.

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    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    [quote name='StuartR' post='777306' date='28-May-2009 16:08']You can run chkdsk in your existing system, but if there is a CPU, memory or motherboard fault then it might show up as disk errors, this is why I suggested running it on a different system.[/quote]
    Well I suppose I can try it in the existing system first and see what happens. It will do it in safe mode, will it?

    Ian

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    [quote name='IanWilson' post='777311' date='28-May-2009 16:32']Well I suppose I can try it in the existing system first and see what happens. It will do it in safe mode, will it?[/quote]
    Yes, it will.

  10. #10
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    [quote name='StuartR' post='777325' date='28-May-2009 17:36']Yes, it will.[/quote]
    OK - in safe mode, I right clicked drive C:, chose Properties, Tools, and Error checking. I didn't select the options for Automatically fix file system errors or for Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. It completed the check and didn't report anything. Is that OK, or should I have selected either or both of those options?

    Ian

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    [quote name='IanWilson' post='777328' date='28-May-2009 13:04'][/quote]
    I am far from a networking expert too, Ian, but I have a couple of suggestions/questions. You should open a CMD prompt window and do the CHKDSK from there, using the /F parameter. If it's the boot drive you'll have to re-boot the machine to let it run. I never run CHKDSK from Windows Explorer and I tried one just now on a secondary drive and it doesn't tell you anything. If you do it from the command prompt, reboot and then check the Event Viewer you should be able to see if it found or fixed anything.

    Secondly, if your router is like most, its IP address should be 192.168.1.1 and (again) from a command prompt it would be interesting to see what response you get if you PING 192.168.1.1 from a command prompt. The reason I ask is that I'm wondering if the whole problem is caused by a DHCP setting getting lost or corrupt in the Windows networking setup.

    It may be true that you have a hardware problem, but these two points have been on my mind all day.

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    This might be a hardware problem (duff network cable or wonky socket on your PC or cable modem spring to mind) but a quick G**gle brings up lots of people with malware problems. Have you tried a Malwarebytes scan Ian?

    You haven't said, but I seem to remember that you are using Virgin as an ISP, if so, how old is your modem? I found that getting a replacement from technical support solved a lot of my dropped connection problems.

    HTH
    John (Unreconstructed Jacobite)

  13. #13
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    [quote name='jonWallace' post='777358' date='28-May-2009 20:58']This might be a hardware problem (duff network cable or wonky socket on your PC or cable modem spring to mind) but a quick G**gle brings up lots of people with malware problems. Have you tried a Malwarebytes scan Ian?

    You haven't said, but I seem to remember that you are using Virgin as an ISP, if so, how old is your modem? I found that getting a replacement from technical support solved a lot of my dropped connection problems.

    HTH[/quote]
    Yes I did a Malwarebytes scan and it came up with no problems detected.

    You're right that I have Virgin as an ISP, and the modem is quite a few years old now. At the moment the modem is working (so here I am on the Lounge, via my wife's laptop). I tried resetting the router to its factory state in the hope of reinstalling it afresh. The power light is flashing alternately green and yellow which the manual says means the router firmware is corrupted. I have downloaded the firmware frolm teh netgear site and tried to use TFTP to upload it to the router, but it fails (times out).

    Meanwhile my PC isn't too happy, though it works nicely enough in safe mode! I am wondering how likely it is that both the router and the PC would develop problems at the same time, and suppose it is not very likely. So I wonder whether a problem with the router could have messed up the PC, or vice versa.

    Ian

    Edited to add - but suddenly now, although the router is not connected to anything (my wife's laptop is connected directly to the cable modem at the moment) the laptop is reporting that it is receiving excellent wireless signal strength from the router. Now I'm even more confused!

  14. #14
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    [quote name='IanWilson' post='777380' date='28-May-2009 23:36']Edited to add - but suddenly now, although the router is not connected to anything (my wife's laptop is connected directly to the cable modem at the moment) the laptop is reporting that it is receiving excellent wireless signal strength from the router. Now I'm even more confused![/quote]
    That didn't last long. This morning the router doesn't want to play, again. But I have dug out my old non-wireless router, and that seems to work fine. (I'm using it to connect my wife's laptop through right now.)

    On the theory that two hardware failures at the same time are a bit unlikely, I wonder whether there is no hardware problem with my desktop PC, but something has got corrupted as a result of the router's problems. If that is the case, I think I might wipe it clean and reinstall Windows. I do have a backup of all my data, so it would be more tedious than disastrous to have to do that. If it still doesn't work, I'll know I have a hardware problem.

    Or does anyone have any better ideas?

    Ian

    PS - and thanks for all the help and suggestions so far.

  15. #15
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    [quote name='IanWilson' post='777413' date='29-May-2009 08:58']That didn't last long. This morning the router doesn't want to play, again. But I have dug out my old non-wireless router, and that seems to work fine. (I'm using it to connect my wife's laptop through right now.)

    On the theory that two hardware failures at the same time are a bit unlikely, I wonder whether there is no hardware problem with my desktop PC, but something has got corrupted as a result of the router's problems. If that is the case, I think I might wipe it clean and reinstall Windows. I do have a backup of all my data, so it would be more tedious than disastrous to have to do that. If it still doesn't work, I'll know I have a hardware problem.

    Or does anyone have any better ideas?

    Ian

    PS - and thanks for all the help and suggestions so far.[/quote]
    I have reinstalled Windows and I am up and running again. No doubt there will be issues to sort out as I reinstall software and so on, but I will ask for help in the appropriate forums here on the Lounge as needed.

    Thanks again to all for taking the time to suggest remedies.

    Ian

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