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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Dell XPS8500 loses network connect

    I bought a new Dell computer (XPS 8500, 4 gigs ram, Win 8) earlier this year. I use it as a cloud computer (through LogMeIn Pro) because my new and legacy programs both work well and work together (unlike any single of my Vista laptops or older Win7 desktop) on it, especially for when I travel.

    I have the computer on a good, new UPS. (I suspected the old UPS may have caused my network failure problem, "blinking out," as it was failing. I hope the new one isn't failing.)

    Every 10 days to 3 weeks the computer loses its network connect until I get back to physically reboot it. (the computer seems to work fine, except I can't figure out how to get detailed network diagnostics in Win 8. I thought it might have something to do with Cox.net or their router, but my other network dependent devices remain connected (at least 3 out of 4 times). Also, merely rebooting the router doesn't re-establish the connect (with or without a computer network reset), although, a couple of times I was able to access the web and email while sitting in front of the computer -- just not remotely. Other times, no network connect was made on the computer despite der blinkinlights on the router implying that something was happening.

    About 60% of the time it goes offline, the computer shows as "offline" on LogMeIn, the rest of the time, it shows as "online" but refuses to connect before time-out.

    I switched from a wifi connect to a wired ethernet connect, thinking that may be a problem. (My wired-to-the-router office monitoring system is still working, reporting temperature, alarm component status, etc.)

    I most recently thought the problem might be my I.E. 10, which was set to "update automatically." [I suspect that Microsoft and other programs shut down key networking components upon update, before reboot.] I changed I.E. 10 to "ask" before downloading (like, I believe, all the rest of my settings -- but then again, I thought I.E. 10 was set to ask).

    I don't think the problem is in my ESET 6.0.316.0. (but I imagine it could be, somehow.)

    I think I have all my critical current files available through Gooodsync and/or LiveDrive -- just have lost optimal operation of a skech, calculate, and transfer to proprietary software program and "full service" pop email (Thunderbird) which erases mail from the server upon download. [I closed out Thunderbird so it didn't download any critical emails and erase them from my webpage server -- so it's not the problem, and hasn't captured any emails that I can't recover from the server.]

    I'm beginning to think I should put my computer on a timer, shutting it off 1 minute per week, with computer settings to "return to previous state" upon getting power back. That strategy has worked for older problematic non-attended XP computers at work (a non-profit working on a shoestring), computers not upgradeable because of $7,500 proprietary software per each of the 30 machines. [I certify I understand the risks of lost data in unsaved files!]

    Maybe something along the lines of packet sniffer (and excellent reference manual) might give me a hint?

    I'm sure there's a lot of irrelevant info in this post (sorry!), but I'm a bit lost regarding my next step and out of my league on technical aspects (not to mention having ADHD,... [Squirrel!!!]).

    I suspect that Cox.net, Microsoft, other software all conspire against me, "automatically" making changes to "improve security" without asking or informing me, some within my control, some of it not. (Ok, so I'm mildly paranoid in addition to having ADHD.)

    I guess my security is good. I cannot get in with Goodsync, LogMeIn, and my iCloud and LiveDrive can't either -- not having updated since I walked out the door (400 miles away), yesterday.

    Any suggestions for how to troubleshoot this when I get back in front of my computer?

    Thanks for any step-by-step diagnoses, suspicions, recommendations, or outright fixes you all may have.

  2. #2
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    Have you checked the power savings settings? Control Panel | System Settings | Power Options | Change Plan settings | Change advanced power settings.

    Also, use Device Manager to check the power settings for the NIC. Do not allow the PC to turn the NIC off to save power.

    Joe

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    Partenope (2013-09-22)

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks. I think that I'm good on those. I had to change the NIC to "do not allow sleep" (or whatever the exact setting was). I guess that was through device manager, though I'll double check all.

    I think the only energy saver I have is the "blank screen after 10 minutes." (Moot point for power saving, since I turn the monitors off when I leave.)

    Since the computer will go a few weeks without the problem, I suspected that something unusual (or at least infrequent) was going on. (Though, the I.E. 10 settings DID sneak past me.)

    (And! I finally figured out how to thank with the 'Thanks!' button. That may speak to how much [or little] I notice the little details. And, 18,905 posts! Way to go, Joe!)

  5. #4
    New Lounger
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    Just another thought. Might I have an Apple iTunes 11.1.0.126 update in process that needs rebooting? Should that block internet connections?

  6. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I suppose if your PC has to reboot for any reason, it might not be reconnecting automatically. If an update causes the need for a reboot that could be affecting your connectivity. I occasionally loose my connectivity for some unknown reason and generally have to reboot the PC. The router usually does not need a reboot during these times. In my case it's not a big deal as I am not regularly connecting remotely. I do not know whether it's a PC issue or a router issue that causes the lost connectivity. There are times the T/Ser finds a problem, but more often than not a reboot is necessary.

    I have never used LogMeln so I do not know if this could be an issue. I have used Team Viewer, but only when I knew both PVs were booted and ready to connect.

    If your router setup is similar to mine, you might have to live with these occasional network loses. I realize it's easy for me to say, but often these are caused by glitches between the network and OS, and not by a particular subset of either. I also know this does not offer much help, but only sympathy to your predicament. Good luck in finding the issue. If you do please post back.

    Perhaps part of your solution would be to not let anything update without you manually activating the update. If you have any of your apps set to automatically update, change them all to manual updates and see if this helps.
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  8. #6
    Silver Lounger
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    Medico and Part, hello.

    I also, randomly, 1/month, loose the LAN. I then do not reboot, I got to the device in System -> Disable -> Enable and I am back on. Would this also be your solution ? Jean.

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    Partenope (2013-09-23)

  10. #7
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by handcuff36 View Post
    Medico and Part, hello.

    I also, randomly, 1/month, loose the LAN. I then do not reboot, I got to the device in System -> Disable -> Enable and I am back on. Would this also be your solution ? Jean.
    Jean & Medico, It's always good to know that I'm not the Lone Ranger and that others have had similar experiences.

    Jean, this sounds like a workable solution. I think I did that manually once (but had done a few things, so wasn't sure which task had been the solution). I imagine that I can figure out how to do this in task scheduler. I think I'll try it when I get back to the computer.

    I imagined that "lease" lengths might be the problem, but they seemed beyond my knowledge and therefor, what I'd try first. I suppose I have a combination of laziness, lack of time (and willingness to do detailed/systematic thinking. I should have tried one solution at a time, tested it, and logged what I had done so that I would remember in the future and/or discover if the order of multiple tasks made a difference.)

    Perhaps someone with extensive network knowledge will have something better or more specific, or has some better insights, but Jean's thoughts are the best so far (here, elsewhere, or in my head).

  11. #8
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    Do you have up-to-date drivers for the NIC?

    Since it seems you regularly access the PC why not just re-boot it remotely when you are finished with a session?

    Joe

  12. #9
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    I'm pretty sure I do, checked for updates 5 or so weeks ago.

    I imagined that the problem "crops up" since "the last time I was on." That might not be the problem (especially if the issue is lease timing out or similar).

    More to the point, twice when I rebooted, some thing popped up requiring a response after I had lost a connection, but before it finished rebooting. So, twice burned, thrice shy (to modefile [modify + defile] an old saying).

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