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2 VERY annoying problems with XP Pro.

Last response: in Windows XP
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April 30, 2006 2:06:44 AM

Problem 1: I live too far away from town to use anything but dial up. I have XP Pro on 3 seperate systems around the house now and all 3 of them connect individually to the net 1 at a time, no networking or internet sharing.

Whenever I disconnect or get disconnected from the internet, and try to reconnect, I will log in fine, but no applications can use the internet. The programs will try, act like the net's there, but eventually just time out. I've tried this dozens of times, dozens of ways. I've turned my firewalls off, logging out and back on my accounts, even tried to run repairs on my network to reset the IP. there's NO reason why my programs can't access the the internet as they did before the connection was lost. The only way I can access the net again is to completely reboot the system. I've only had this problem with XP, it never occured when 2000 was installed on the same systems. Any ideas?



Problem 2: I've been having a hell of a time keeping my windows appearance on the 'classic' mode (right click on desktop, properties, Appearance tab, Windows and buttons dropdown menu).

Every time I restart, regularly or from freezing, the appearance is changed back to default Windows XP windows. The whole theme doesn't reset, just the appearance.

I've been messing with this for 6-7 hours now. I've set it to the classic in just about every place I've found the option to do so (4-5 places), and it never sticks past a reboot. How do I force it to just use the classic windows Appearance?


Add these 2 together and you can guess why it's annoying. I'm not fond of rebooting to begin with, but this is just tedious.

More about : annoying problems pro

April 30, 2006 3:01:35 AM

Problem 1: The only thing that comes to mind is that your ISP doesn't like your random IPs. You say each comp connects via it's own modem? Perhaps manually assigning the same IP to all 3 might help.

If the problem just started I would say a virus or other malware might be the culprit aside from the virus scanner I assume you are running, you might try Spybot and Adaware, both free.

Your ISP shouldn't care how many computers you are running... contacting them might help. They may have a special modem string or something.

Problem 2: Could be a corrupted registry, or something more malicious. I take it this behaviour is on only one of your 3 comps? Given that you are malware-free (see above) then perhaps a registry repair program, or reformat and re-install would be my next steps.
April 30, 2006 4:40:42 AM

Quote:
Problem 1: The only thing that comes to mind is that your ISP doesn't like your random IPs. You say each comp connects via it's own modem? Perhaps manually assigning the same IP to all 3 might help.

If the problem just started I would say a virus or other malware might be the culprit aside from the virus scanner I assume you are running, you might try Spybot and Adaware, both free.

Your ISP shouldn't care how many computers you are running... contacting them might help. They may have a special modem string or something.


This problem didn't jsut start, and I have fairly clean macines. Each connects 1 at a time, not more than 1 at once because I have only 1 account with the ISP. Like I said, this problem didn't and doesn't occure with Windows 2000, same modem from 2000 to XP. Can reconnect 500 times with the 2k machine and never have a hickup.

Quote:

Problem 2: Could be a corrupted registry, or something more malicious. I take it this behaviour is on only one of your 3 comps? Given that you are malware-free (see above) then perhaps a registry repair program, or reformat and re-install would be my next steps.


Damn well better not be the registry or anything corrupted at all, everything else saves fine, loads fine. I just installed this system off a factory XP Pro disk that I've used a dozen times before without this problem. First thing I put on here after that is firewall and virus detection before even thinking about connecting to the net. I'm very paranoid about that crap.

How does registry repair work exactly? Not sure I wanna install for the 4th time in 3 days, I think the windows people are getting irritated from me reactivating this system.
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April 30, 2006 7:00:10 AM

A utility such as Registry Mechanic can sometimes find this sort of thing:

http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic/

(a link for you since you are on dial-up)

There are others out there too, of course. Most have limited functionality until you pay for them.

I find it odd that a recent installation would behave like this (regarding your desktop). I can only suggest that if not malware, then it's something you installed that XP isn't playing well with.

Pretty sure XP is trying to automatically detect your settings when your connection drops. It then fails to find what it wants and gives up... I have seen this behaviour before. That's why I suggest manually setting network/IP stuff.

I really like the ease of use when it comes to XP finding a connection, but sometimes it backfires.
April 30, 2006 9:05:36 AM

Wellllll, I tried registry mechanic, fixed all my registry errors and...still nada. everytime I reboot, poof, stupid curved XP windows. Thank you though, the tool seems pretty handy, and I think my system's a smidgen faster now.

What'd you mean by manually setting up network/IP stuff? How can I manually set my IP when the ISP deams which is worthy for me everytime I dial in? :p 
April 30, 2006 7:51:34 PM

Another odd developement. Every time windows has reloaded I've been manually setting the view to classic style. Before my last reboot I didn't, when I restarted, the classic styled windows was in effect. I figured I'd reboot again to see if it'd stay, and it didn't. It turns classic once when I change nothing, goes back to XP style and stays XP style till I manually set to classic again. I've done this whole process twice now (not doing anything, rebooting, finding it in classic, rebooting it going back to XP).

Does this shed any light on what it might be?

Is there any way to just delete the XP style, or remove it and put the classic view in it's place? Where does it hide at? I tried a search for .themes before, but it's not the whole theme, the sounds stay changed, just the window style changes. Stupid XP.
May 1, 2006 3:36:02 AM

Regarding your desktop, I have found what may be a solution:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555512/en-us

Worth a try anyway...

One thing I don't understand: ".... stupid curved XP windows..." We may not be on the same page here. Could you explain what changes you are seeing between the two views? Try to be complete, as it may give a clue if there's something else going on.


It's really been a long time since I used dial-up... maybe 8 years :)  You might do better to create a new thread with a descriptive title like "When dial-up connection drops IE can't find it again without reboot"
May 1, 2006 7:18:59 AM

You are the man! Most of the page didn't help me at all, till I got to the bottom, where it mentioned going into the services tab. That part didn't help me either, but I just turned of fthe Themes service, and vuhla, no more SP appearance problems. Thank you thank you and, btw, thank you. :p 

To clarrify what the problem was, check my first post again, the Appearance tab under the Display properties, change the "Windows and buttons" between Windows Classic style and Windows XP style. XP style = stupid curved windows with smaller buttons. I like it blocky I guess. :D 

I'm not sure there's a cure for the modem problem, but I'll probably do what you suggested and start a new thread for it.
May 1, 2006 3:03:45 PM

The IP assigned to you by your ISP is NOT the same as the IP you assign your NICs on your local network. If you're not using a router or DHCP... it's probably best to manually assign the IP addresses anyway.
May 1, 2006 8:33:45 PM

I'm glad Zoron chimed in on this as I'm on shaky ground :) 

I really think it would be good to take any automation out of your XP networking, by manually configuring it. It might not solve the problem, but it would help narrow it.

How are your modems connected? are they all internal cards?

I'm glad your theme problem is cleared up. When I do as instructed, I get VERY little change... the taskbar changes color. I already have classic view selected for my START menu however... mostly because I like to have "my computer" on the desktop for quick access to it's properties.

I strongly suspect that you have some 3rd party app modifying XP appearance... but if you are happy with the appearance now and disabling the theme service doesn't create any problems for you, best to leave it alone.
May 3, 2006 3:26:07 AM

Quote:
The IP assigned to you by your ISP is NOT the same as the IP you assign your NICs on your local network. If you're not using a router or DHCP... it's probably best to manually assign the IP addresses anyway.


Why in god's name would I want to manually type in the ip my ISP assigns every time I connect? Out of all the base automated things windows SHOULD do and has done on 95-2000, why would I have to start manually entering IPs for XP? I know the IP's different from my NICs, not like it'd matter much since I have no local network.

[qualte]How are your modems connected? are they all internal cards? [/quote] Two computers are using PCI modems, my laptops is built in. Why take the automation out of the networking when there's no networking involved? Simple dialed in dirrect connection to the internet for a single computer.

I can care less about Windows' themes, other than how much I hate them, so turning off the entire service does nothing but good to me :p 
May 3, 2006 6:44:03 AM

Let's try some basic troubleshooting then.

For safety's sake, we will have you NOT post specific results, but compare them.

Step one: With a WORKING active connection, go to the run command in your start menu and type command then hit return. From this command prompt, type ipconfig and hit return. Write down what you see.

Step two: With an active connection that is NOT working, repeat step one.

Omitting the actual addresses, tell us what info was provided in each case... there could be a line that was not present in one but there in another. Also tell us what addresses changed, but don't go into specifics.

Because your address is dynamically assigned and you are behind a firewall, you aren't in any great danger of being hacked from this forum, but it's good form anyway.
May 3, 2006 12:49:43 PM

O-k, I kinda feel like a heel now. I can't get it to mess up now. I've tried it on 2 of the 3 systems that was having the problem, and they keep working fine after I reconnect. I'm also writing down the info from ipconfig though, so when they do stop working we should at least now what's not deciding to update.

The info's pretty basic, when I'm connected and reconnect my IP and my Default Gateway are the only things that change, my Subnet Mask stays the same of course. When I'm disconnected ipconfig shows nothing. I'm only doing ipconfig, if it starts messing up and doesn't tell us anything different I'll start doing /all and compare those.

For the record I've had this problem for well over a year on my laptop, so I'm not crazy, and I haven't updated or changed anything on it in months. I'm assuming it's because all I'm doing is disconnecting and reconnecting, but hopefully I'm wrong and it'll just keep working fine now. :/ 
May 4, 2006 8:25:18 AM

Ok, finally got it so it won't reconnect. During a normal ipconfig, connecte or not, the very first thing listed is:

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 2:
Media State . . . : Media disconnected

I didn't think anything of this because it works fine connected or not, and even reconnects great if I just sit here and disconnect and reconnect from my ISP.

The last time it screwed up I ipconfiged and showed I had 2 sepereate PPP adapters initiated to my ISP, normally when my connection's fine there's only one listed. On the first listing, the IP Address, Subnet Mask and Default Gateway are all listed as 0.0.0.0. On the second listing everything's normal, updated IP and so forth. I'm assuming this unrealeased first connection is the problem.

Now then, I tried ipconfig /renew to try and force it to update the ip. I recieved and error saying it cannot use renew while the media is disconnected. I then disabled my Local Area Connection, which isn't and hasn't been connected to anything. I tried to /renew again, this time I recieved and error that stated there's no device to renew. I'm at a loss of what media relating to the onboard ethernet is disconnected and how the heck I can connect it so it'll update my connection information.

Now that I think about it, all computers that are having problems reconnecting to the ISP have onboard ethernet adapters. The lack of this problem with Win 2k is really ticking me off. Does any of this information point any fingers?
May 4, 2006 2:27:58 PM

Ok... from your initial post it sounded like you had your computers networked together in addition to connect with dial-up modems.

I don't believe you can do anything with IPConfig when it comes to dial-up modems... I've never tried, because I've never had the kind of issue you're having. (That and I'm on DSL with a router). So if you disable your NIC, you'll get the "No device to renew" message.

Media Disconnected on your NICs simply means you don't have a working network cable plugged in. If you're not using the NICs anyway, disable them. Give that a try and let us know how it goes.

Again, if you're dialing up, this should have NOTHING to do with your NICs, but it's worth a shot.
May 4, 2006 2:29:56 PM

Oh, and when I said manually assign the IP address... I mean the address for the NIC... NOT the modems. You can't change that anyway.
May 4, 2006 6:48:08 PM

You gave me the idea to try and /release the connection whenever it messed up again, and while I waited for it to mess up I googled for the problem under new terms now. Found this, not making me entirely hopeful.

 fficial&sa=X&oi=groups&ct=title" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dial+PPP+release+xp+p...

Looks like plenty of people have had the same problem for years, but they never got answers about what can be done...looks like something universal for XP. Kinda depressing.

Edited: added stuff.
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