What could be the problem here?

I just moved into my grandparents house, and because the wifi signal sucked I replaced the router in the house with a brand new buffalo hp and flashed it with ddwrt (and my signal still sucks but whatever).. That was two weeks ago.

The wired computers in the house since them have seemed to work fine for a week, when my grandfather complained that one of the computers was offline. I tried repairing the connection, resetting the router, resetting the modem and checking the wire to see if I could fix the problem. I couldn't. I tried resetting the computer last and, voila, the internet worked. wtf.

I told him I hadn't messed with anything and that there is no reason why it should be off, and it definitely isnt the result of me tampering.

Anyways a week later he tells me it is doing it again, and has done it for the past 3 days. He has to reset every time.

What could be the problem here? Why would the internet just cut out on a wired computer, if the other on the network works? I ran a spyware check today, norton AV runs all the time on this pc. The only thing I can think of is the programs..

He has 72 running processes. One is zonealarm, which I think is a waste of money since we have windows firewall and norton. There is also other bs like google updater??, google desktop, easydvd, kodak easyshare and a bunch of other crap that SHOULD NOT be on startup. He claims the only thing he has installed is the kids games.

Has anyone else had experience with a problem like this? Could it be a bad cable, or ethernet port, or uncaught spyware, or maybe the various programs? what do you think?

So basically I am 99% sure it isn't my fault but I look like the bad guy since I flashed the router and installed the new one. He said the problems never came before the router change, but I think it is coincidental. If I uninstall any of these programs it will just make him angry at me.
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More about what problem here
  1. Well I think it may be the three firewalls he has going or maybe adware. Probably doesn't help you much though. An easy way to find the problem is to login to msconfig and unselect anything he doesn't need to run at start up (doesn't require you to uninstall anything just prevent it from starting up till he opens the program manually). Oh if you still have bad signal check what your antenna is set to with dd-wrt and see what they recommend. I know the WHR-HP-G54 has the record for range so unless your going through cinder block or brick you should be ok if that's your router.
  2. Go into Device Manager, find the NIC, and disable the Power Saving Feature on it. You don't want that as an option checked.

    The Wireless signal is going to suck because of the wireless gear. You can't improve it unless you upgrade something. You would be better off setting up a second AP via wire on another part of the house. If you can do a wireless bridge, all the better but in my experiences, you need matching equipment brands to do that.
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