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Limited or no connectivity: I feel like I've tried everything...

Last response: in Networking
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July 1, 2013 3:14:04 PM

Hi all,

I'm having issues connecting via ethernet (wireless works fine) to my BT HomeHub 2.0 via TPlink powerline adapters. I initially lost my ability to connect to ethernet after about 2/3rds through a HDD defragmentation process.

What I've tried: power cycling, the winsock fix (the program as well as the catalog reset/netsh winsock command or whatever it is), the IP config release/renew/flush DNS stuff, disk error checking, system restores, driver roll backs and re-installations. It's reached the point where I'm checking forums with solved answers, but none are working for my case.

Enclosed is my ipconfig /all result:

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

C:\Documents and Settings\Joe2>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : user-452dfe620c
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : home

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 2:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : NVIDIA nForce 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-1F-D0-3D-BE-8F
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . : 169.254.149.97
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.0.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

Ethernet adapter Wireless:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : home
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Belkin 802.11g Wireless Card
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-11-50-90-87-CD
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.64
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 01 July 2013 22:55:11
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 02 July 2013 22:55:11

C:\Documents and Settings\Joe2>

As you can see, I'm getting no default gateway, but i've tried the release/renew method every other forum solution I've found recommends, but it just stays blank.

I've checked all relevant services are running according to the lists other forums provide, and they are.

Thanks in advance.
July 1, 2013 3:29:16 PM

Go to your motherboard's support site & download & install the LAN drivers. Try the BT home hub site, might have a utility download to check some configurations or firmware upgrades.
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July 1, 2013 3:36:57 PM

Click on start, type in the search box device manager.
Click on device manager.
Click on network adapters, and then NVIDIA nForce 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Click on the advanced tab, speed and duplex settings.
Set it manually to 10mbps or 100Mbps.
Save the settings and exit.
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July 1, 2013 3:54:21 PM

Shaun o said:
Click on start, type in the search box device manager.
Click on device manager.
Click on network adapters, and then NVIDIA nForce 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Click on the advanced tab, speed and duplex settings.
Set it manually to 10mbps or 100Mbps.
Save the settings and exit.


Hi Shaun, I've tried that, however oddly I had two different boxes (appeared to be duplicates) of speed and duplex settings; I set them both to 100mbps full duplex, and still have my limited/no connectivity. Am I doing it correctly?

ur6beers away, I've just attempted that and once again to no avail, it's still stuck attempting to acquire an IP address.

Cheers; this one's a nightmare.
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July 1, 2013 4:23:41 PM

"(wireless works fine)" why the cable?
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July 1, 2013 4:28:44 PM

ur6beersaway said:
"(wireless works fine)" why the cable?


by works fine I mean connects to the internet; It frequently drops or disconnects for a few seconds every 10-20 minutes which is a nightmare when trying to play games or load video etc.
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July 1, 2013 4:40:23 PM

Yea, That is some power saving crap setting. Device manager>>right click on the adaptor>>properties>>uncheck "let this device turn off this computer" apply/save. In windows 8 it is a compatibility mode setting.
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July 1, 2013 5:03:32 PM

Capt Obvious here: By design if you can connect via Wifi, the Ethernet disables, and vice versa. Try disabling the Wifi device then power off, disconnect the Ethernet. Wait 5 minutes. Plug in Ethernet and make sure you see the 'port light' turn on (usually a green or yellow indicator where the Ethernet plugs into the PC) then power up. Again check for green or yello indicator, and let us know the results.
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July 1, 2013 5:29:12 PM

Tom Tancredi said:
Capt Obvious here: By design if you can connect via Wifi, the Ethernet disables, and vice versa. Try disabling the Wifi device then power off, disconnect the Ethernet. Wait 5 minutes. Plug in Ethernet and make sure you see the 'port light' turn on (usually a green or yellow indicator where the Ethernet plugs into the PC) then power up. Again check for green or yello indicator, and let us know the results.


No luck there either. In the past I've had both the wireless and ethernet simultaneously connected anyway so I doubt this is the issue, thanks anyway.
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July 1, 2013 6:06:38 PM

JFentem said:
In the past I've had both the wireless and ethernet simultaneously connected anyway so I doubt this is the issue, thanks anyway.


Okay well you just explained your previous "It frequently drops or disconnects for a few seconds every 10-20 minutes which is a nightmare when trying to play games or load video etc." which is why your trying to go ethernet over wireless.

You can NOT have both connections at the same time, the reason is Windows gets confused on who is 'talking' when it tries to communicate over the Internet. NO it won't increase your 'speed' connection by having two connections, whatever your service plan is (1Mb, 100Mb, etc.) is what you will get, nothing more.

A better way to explain would be you putting two cell phones one in each ear at the same time have two different conversations. The calls quickly 'drop' because they don't know who your talking you or what your talking about and you get confused about whom said what. Same thing as Windows suffers by you connecting BOTH at the same time.

That will resolve the main issue your trying to address here, so disable the Ethernet and see how your connectivity is then. If there is still a problem or insistive on Ethernet we can address it that way, but then you will still need to disable the Wireless in anycase (if you followed my steps it would be).
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July 2, 2013 4:30:16 AM

Tom Tancredi said:
JFentem said:
In the past I've had both the wireless and ethernet simultaneously connected anyway so I doubt this is the issue, thanks anyway.


Okay well you just explained your previous "It frequently drops or disconnects for a few seconds every 10-20 minutes which is a nightmare when trying to play games or load video etc." which is why your trying to go ethernet over wireless.

You can NOT have both connections at the same time, the reason is Windows gets confused on who is 'talking' when it tries to communicate over the Internet. NO it won't increase your 'speed' connection by having two connections, whatever your service plan is (1Mb, 100Mb, etc.) is what you will get, nothing more.

A better way to explain would be you putting two cell phones one in each ear at the same time have two different conversations. The calls quickly 'drop' because they don't know who your talking you or what your talking about and you get confused about whom said what. Same thing as Windows suffers by you connecting BOTH at the same time.

That will resolve the main issue your trying to address here, so disable the Ethernet and see how your connectivity is then. If there is still a problem or insistive on Ethernet we can address it that way, but then you will still need to disable the Wireless in anycase (if you followed my steps it would be).


I've still got the same issues, I've disabled Ethernet, wireless still occasionally drops and the connection speed changes all the time from 54Mbps to 12/18/24 etc. Regarding ethernet, I've tried manually assigning a gateway and still no luck.
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July 2, 2013 9:21:11 AM

Okay, this is common results and we can narrow down this solution. First don't worry about the "speed changes all the time from 54Mbps to 12/18/24 etc." unless your doing PC to PC transfers over the wireless, this won't affect your Internet speed (say CableTV of 10Mbps) on Gaming/Videos, etc.

Second put your eye behind the router and looked directy toward where your computer sits, what physically sits in between? The bathroom steel pipes? 3 solid thick wood walls? The entire Entertainment console? Each of these would put out a range of issues to the 'signal' being transmitted.

Third would be, how many other wireless signals do you see when you turn on your wifi? If there is like 10 or more neighbors with wifi all within range of your, then your probably oversaturarted wirelessly and need to change the CHANNEL it is on. Normally it may default to like 6 or 9, I would suggest using a tool like Xirrus Wifi Inspector (or one you choose usually associated with WarDriving) to see what every is on. If most people are on 6 & 9, you might want to shift to 7 or 11, and test it out (this is all done through the router config page).
Think of it as fine tuning a radio or shortwave signal to get it clear for the PC.

Lastly; The main problem that may not be realized is, your trying to 'keep' legacy products working when no longer supported. In the latest drivers pack from NVIDIA, XP was dropped for them. Microsoft already dropped pay for service for it, so you won't get any help there and the files to support it have been removed. Your wireless your using G which is over 10 years old and was replaced by N (802.11n) and now currently AC (802.11ac) which provide stronger signals, longer ranger, and allow more devices (MIMO) to work at the same time. If all this is failing and you won't have the support necessary (drivers, patches, etc.) to even 'reimage/refresh' a install of XP from the ground up, you may need to break down and get a new PC. Was just at Walmart, and a simple i3 Core with a ton of space and memory in a laptop form was like only $350, while a desktop with a AM6 (AMD newer low end cores) was $300.
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July 2, 2013 11:23:51 AM

I'm living in the country side so neighbour interference isn't an issue; there's no houses within hundreds of metres of here, and I can see the router clearly, there's 0 between the computer & router bar me sat in my chair.
And yes, this thing's outdated heavily, I've got a huge build planned for august in time for Rome II though so just trying to keep this thing alive until then.

The wireless is a bit useless here as we're so far from the exchange, and ethernet via powerline adapters is the only way to make the connection speeds tolerable, I just can't see why it's saying limited/no connectivity, would it even be possible for a defrag to cause that?
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July 2, 2013 11:37:42 AM

Defrag reorganizes files, but wouldn't resolve a wireless problem nor connectivity issues.

Wireless is limited to your building, and needs a external connection (TalkTalk) to make it to the Internet. So you would potentially be in the most ideal location for the signal unless the router is .. ahem.. dying (noted your outdated part) and may be the cause. Hence why I was trying to diagnosis the issue by eliminating one part (the poweline) then move onto the next.

As your saying the wireless won't work in the most ideal location (no wireless interference, no walls/object visually between Router and PC, no major powerlines running over your house ro cause EMP interference, etc.) and drops physical connections (wired to powerline, then powerline wired to router) would then tell me the Router is failing.

You may not be able to wait for August, though I don't see a need for a
'huge build' for the network part, unless your PC is also fading fast too?
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July 2, 2013 11:45:55 AM

Well i'm on a 2.6Ghz AMD dual core, and a 9500GT GPU, gigabyte M61 motherboard so an upgrade is definitely needed to play games. Actual physical connections via powerline don't drop, they stay up 100%, the problem is that the connection just says limited or no connectivity and can't seem to acquire to request an IP address from the router.

Plenty of other devices are able to connect no problem to the router, e.g. iPhone, xbox, and two other laptops, so I imagine it's an issue with the PC settings/system.

Tom Tancredi said:
Defrag reorganizes files, but wouldn't resolve a wireless problem nor connectivity issues.

Wireless is limited to your building, and needs a external connection (TalkTalk) to make it to the Internet. So you would potentially be in the most ideal location for the signal unless the router is .. ahem.. dying (noted your outdated part) and may be the cause. Hence why I was trying to diagnosis the issue by eliminating one part (the poweline) then move onto the next.

As your saying the wireless won't work in the most ideal location (no wireless interference, no walls/object visually between Router and PC, no major powerlines running over your house ro cause EMP interference, etc.) and drops physical connections (wired to powerline, then powerline wired to router) would then tell me the Router is failing.

You may not be able to wait for August, though I don't see a need for a
'huge build' for the network part, unless your PC is also fading fast too?


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July 2, 2013 1:52:43 PM

Try the BT home hub site, might have a utility download to check some configurations or firmware upgrades. Log on to your router as administrator. You can authorize the PC.
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July 2, 2013 3:10:11 PM

will have a go in the morning, let you know how it goes, thanks.
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Best solution

July 2, 2013 4:20:45 PM

Okay Okay, we need a fresh start on this so lets take a step back here:
1) Your attributing issues to networking to defrag, these two are not connected EXCEPT in one way: The Software is stored on the HardDrive, and if the HardDrive has bad sectors / damaged / worn out or corrupted files, then ANYTHING asking for the software from that 'bad' area of files would not work.
A) Do a CMD (open DOS Windows) type chkdsk /f (will require a reboot), not if there were any bad sectors or other issues. If your HardDrive is failing just in generals this might help force that to show itself.
B) Do a CMD (open DOS Windows) type scannow /sfc . Wait to complete then reboot. Now did the issues resolve themselves? If not then your HD and the software on them are intact and is NOT the issue, so it was a coincidence during the Defrag the issue occurred and you can remove it from your mental list.
>> Well i'm on a 2.6Ghz AMD dual core, and a 9500GT GPU, gigabyte M61 motherboard so an upgrade is definitely needed to play games.
Agreed, here in the US a i3Core laptop or even desktop with much more memory and ram could be had for $300USD. Also as noted, if the system is so old and XP is no longer supported by anyone (not even drivers are updated and fixed anymore) then the hardware/software may finally just be at life end before you were ready.
>> Plenty of other devices are able to connect no problem to the router, e.g. iPhone, xbox, and two other laptops, so I imagine it's an issue with the PC settings/system.
1) You first said "wireless works fine" but then changed later to "It frequently drops or disconnects for a few seconds"; these are two different ways it is 'working' which can be any number of issues as a hardware problem (Router that both Wired and Wireless connect to) or the computer (hardware/software) and can be anything realistically. I am trying to get through some of the basic culprists by doing basic diagnostics and see the results.
2) Well you failed to mention there were other devices ( iPhone, xbox, and two other laptops) all without issue through the same router. Are these all wireless I am guessing but only this PC is dropping connectivity then?
3) Having multiple devices, by design of 802.11 b/g , take 'turns' to connect to the router, the more devices (you have many) the more 'gap' between the turns of a specific device. Further if those other devices (someone watching youtub on the laptop, someone checking their Myspace on iPhone, someone gaming with Clan buddies on Xbox, etc.) all going when this computer is going , you are going to suffer lag, 'drops' and 'disconnects' more frequently on older systems like this. Including the fact you had BOTH wired AND wireless at the sametime on this PC going, YES you should expect that. You can only pick one communication method, and in this case is may not matter with so many devices on a older router.
>> Actual physical connections via powerline don't drop, they stay up 100%, the problem is that the connection just says limited or no connectivity and can't seem to acquire to request an IP address from the router.
Well that was part of the test to validate that issue, as that one end of the powerline could be faulty but the other end (connected to the router) is fine. So with the wireless turned off, and totally being on Ethernet, when the 'Internet goes down' for the PC, to see if you can still get / not get to the Router Config Page. Since we can't even do that at the moment I wanted to see if there was a successful way to do it for the wireless and what happens.
If (1A&B) didn't result in a fix, there is the likelihood XP Registry is corrupted (since you did a bunch of 'fixes') that would require XP to be reinstalled CLEAN with all drivers, patches, software you installed since you first set it up, and so on. Problem with that is, they aren't available anymore, especially from NVIDIA, they were removed when Microsoft stopped supporting XP.
Potentially then (as other devices are working correct) it could be the motherboard itself is fading, since both the built in NIC and WiFI would be using the same circuits (I/O) ports and could be failing in general because of the old age, wear and tear and so on.
If the other devices are working fine, I would take one of the laptops, plug in the powerline to it, turn off wireless, does it work fine? Get IP and gateway, etc.? This either proves / disproves that the powerline is working instead of 'guessing' (since we haven't had a working device check this yet). This would be my other diagnostic test too, just to make sure (level 1) that I KNOW what does work and what isn't working (just that single PC).
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July 3, 2013 6:57:43 AM

Okay so I've done the disk checks and it's intact, and the issues still remain.
1). the wireless connects but drops every so often, that's always been the case so I've always used ethernet.
2). I don't own the other pieces of equipment connecting, but no-one else is complaining or has mentioned any issues so I imagine they're fine.
3). I think the powerline is fine as I've tried a single long ethernet cable from router to PC and I've still got the same result, as for the motherboard the yellow/green light that goes on when a cable is inserted is lighting up and flashing so the physical connectivity between the router & PC seems fine
4). I've reinstalled the drivers for the motherboard (and nForce) using the disk the manufacturer shipped with the PC, so the drivers should be fine. I've done a registry clean with Registry Mechanic and it's reporting no issues.

Hope I've cleared it up a bit more, cheers.
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July 3, 2013 9:40:37 AM

JFentem said:
Okay so I've done the disk checks and it's intact, and the issues still remain.
1). the wireless connects but drops every so often, that's always been the case so I've always used ethernet.
2). I don't own the other pieces of equipment connecting, but no-one else is complaining or has mentioned any issues so I imagine they're fine.
3). I think the powerline is fine as I've tried a single long ethernet cable from router to PC and I've still got the same result, as for the motherboard the yellow/green light that goes on when a cable is inserted is lighting up and flashing so the physical connectivity between the router & PC seems fine
4). I've reinstalled the drivers for the motherboard (and nForce) using the disk the manufacturer shipped with the PC, so the drivers should be fine. I've done a registry clean with Registry Mechanic and it's reporting no issues.

Hope I've cleared it up a bit more, cheers.


The first command was to confirm the disk was intact. The second command was to confirm the Windows files are intact. We have now eliminated the HD as a source of the problem.

(1+2) This still indicates a potential (wirelessly) that there is too much demand for your older machine to stay stably online wirelessly. Still says there is a problem with your PC (too old).

(3) That was the otherway to confirm, but most people don't have a long enough cable nor want to actually move the desktop to confirm it this way, so I didn't suggest it. Good job. - We confrirm issue isn't router nor powerline.

(4) That is a MISSTEP. When the drivers were originally released for that hardware, all the patches, service packs, other systems changes didn't exist, so it isn't going to match up with the registry / files you have on the PC at present.

If you can only get hold of the original disks as a source of the drivers (not supported by NVIDIA anymore for XP) then your S.O.L. unless you want to do a full system wipe and start again with no patches, fixes, security protection, etc. Basically, you have confirmed your system is beyond End Of Life (EOL) and no longer supportable (fixes, repairs, diagnosis, etc.) and needs to be replaced.

The ONLY alternative to dumping this system would be to TRY with a legal copy of Windows 7 to 'upgrade' and switch to that for this hardware. Again though, even if you buy a legal copy (only Windows 8 is sold via Business Stores) via say Ebay.UK for $179USD, your already HALF spending for a new PC ($300USD) and is more a waste then gain, as your still stuck with the old hardware, its limitations, slower speed, etc.
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July 3, 2013 9:44:52 AM

Well there's about 1 grand in the kitty going on the next haswell build so I guess I'll wait it out; I can survive on wireless/XP until then, thanks for all the help :) 
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