Help with my computer problem

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by dewaltdisney, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    As Marky got such great help from Mr Man and others could you have a look at this problem which is driving me mad.

    I am having trouble with my computer disconnecting me from the internet at certain times. I was on dial up with British Telecom and found that my connection would terminate during the hours of 9.00 am to 5.00pm after a few minutes. I have done extensive work to try to find this problem and I have upgraded to Broadband only to find the same thing happening.

    I have changed the operating system from Windows ME to XP and also installed the full McAfee security centre to eliminate virus problems.

    British Telecom has checked the lines right up to the Voyager 100 modem with no errors detected. When the engineer swapped his laptop to my modem it worked perfectly but as soon as we switched back to my computer the DSL dropped out repeatedly after a few minutes. The disconnect when idle is set at 59minutes.

    I just do not know what to do next as I have been through everything and as the system works perfectly out of business hours I am now thinking that there may be some glitch connected to clock imbedded within the core Compaq software.

    Any ideas where I can look?

  2. Mr MAN

    Mr MAN New Member

    Every problem is as strange as the last I fear to say but I've got a couple of things you can test.

    1) The Compaq utils don't have any kind of clock embedded - they use the system clock. So to see if this is actually your computer or the BT line and be 100% sure about it, adjust the clock by 12 hours and see if the drop out times change. If the time of the drops shifts as I suspect it might to between 9:00pm to 5:00am then you've just ruled BT completly out of the problem.

    2) As you've had this problem with 2 different operating systems on the same pc (also using different drivers) I cannot see this being software but that's not to rule that out of the question.

    Firstly now you've XP you'll have an event log, is there anything of interest in there that may look like a comms fault?

    Secondly a good idea is to disable the system board power management as this may be in some strange way conflicting with the power management built into the Windows O/S and causing a problem. You'll find the power management setting in the BIOS (I think you press F10 at system power up??). Basically make a note of the previous settings and if there is anything relating to power management or APM then disable it. Power management historically has caused a great deal of problems so it's worth a try.

  3. Tangoman

    Tangoman Well-Known Member

    Hi DWD,

    please could you provide a few more details.
    1) How is you modem connecting to your computer - I presume it is external, but is it USB or network cable.
    2) What hardware is this connected to - if USB likely to be motherboard, if network then could be motherboard or network card. Whichever, there is likely to be some sort of utility software running on your machine that controls this.

    It is very unlikely to be an OS related problem (eliminated by changing OS's and retrying). The most likely explanation given the facts laid out above is that you have some software running which for some reason sees disconnecting you as a useful feature - thing is to find out what and how to disable it. I think it is pretty unlikely it is BT.

    Last resort would be to wipe your machine install the OS, and the BT software and try then, prior to installing any of the Compaq bundled stuff, most of which you shouldn't need. Put any drivers on you need, but the rest is simply utility software which is surplus to requirements.

  4. Tangoman

    Tangoman Well-Known Member

    p.s. ME is a very poor OS glad you've got rid of it!
  5. Mr MAN

    Mr MAN New Member


    I think that the Voyager 100 (now discontinued and replaced with a 105 according to a BT friend of mine) is only available as external and connected via USB I made this assumption - am I wrong??

  6. carl42

    carl42 New Member

    You should check your "Dial Up Networking" entries and check the entries there are as you expected. Some unscrupulous web site you have visited may have installed a new premium rate number which automatically disconnects your ISP connection and tries to dial their number. If there is an unfamiliar entry, do a search on Google to see if there is a utility to remove it. There was a section on Watchdog a few months ago about this with people racking up huge phone bills.
  7. Mr MAN

    Mr MAN New Member


    This happened to me a few years back and BT contacted me because it was not normal usage for my home phone to dial a premium rate number. They then very nicely banned all premium rate numbers from my line to prevent it ever happening again - total cost to me of about £120 if I remember correctly!! Personally I never liked BT but this did impress me at the time

    Anyway - this sort of thing I didn't suggest because of the time aspect of the problem as the dialers would be doing this 24hrs per day.

    Another thought though - DWD - are there any specific applications you only use during this period of 9:00 to 5:00 perhaps an email client that could be associated to a spefific dial up connection and thus a conflict of multiple dialup connections as Carl points out?

  8. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    Thanks for the replies chaps, a lot of leads for me to follow.

    Firstly, the Broadband Voyager is connected to an external USB, previously the internal modem was used for dial up.

    On the ME OS I went through all the software I had deleting stuff that was not used but on uninstalling one of these it messed up the registry and the machine fell over. A pal took the hard disk out and managed to save my personal stuff although I lost my e-mail address book. He then installed XP and I added another 128MB of RAM as XP was slowing it down.

    I have always had a firewall and have never had the dialer hijacked. The Broadband one is 0,38 which BT confirm is correct.

    Strangely, it has not fallen over once in this session, typical isn't it.

    I think that changing the system time might be an idea but I am not sure if it reads the NASA internet clock? Not sure about this though.

    I will need a bit more guidance on some of the other suggestions so let me try the easier ones first and see what happens and I will come back.

    Thanks for the help so far,

  9. Mr MAN

    Mr MAN New Member


    True - time auto update might me on, that's easy to disable, double click the time / date on the start menu (bottom right) and you'll get a properties box - then there will be a tab for the time updates, in there is a check box to turn it on and off.
    As an alternative if you don't get the tab as per a XP system that's part of a domain then you can disable the service whilst you are testing - it's called "Windows Time" and you get to it via computer manger (right click "My Computer" select properties and navigate to "Services and Applications"\"Services" in the MMC it will be at the bottom of the list - just double click it and set to disabled followed by actually stopping the service, again a right click and select stop will sort that out).

  10. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    Still hasn't dropped out, a record for this time of the day. Can computers know you are trying to suss out what is going wrong????

    The USB power conflict might be something. On the Voyager it has three green lights. The first is the power, the second is the DSL and the third is for the data. When the DSL line drops out the light will flicker on and off for a few seconds, hold and then the data light comes on. I can then reconnect.

    Not sure how to find the XP event log, I am going to have a look for that next.

  11. The Dormouse

    The Dormouse New Member

    DWD. <u>This has crossed with your latest message &</u> <u>now looks even more relevant</u>. Even if you sort this out with the help of other replies I suggest you install an ethernet card which you can buy for just over a fiver. I presume your modem has an ethernet output which you can then use instead of USB which is much heavier on computer resources. There is advice on this on the NTL support site & probably others.
  12. The Dormouse

    The Dormouse New Member

    DWD. P.S. I hope your modem has it's own power supply & not powered from the USB port, which can be very nasty unless you are using a separately powered USB hub.
  13. Mr MAN

    Mr MAN New Member

    XP event logs are in computer manager (right click "My Computer" and select manage - in the MMC under "System Tools" you'll see the event viewer.

    Assuming you do get another drop - make a note of the time and check the events to see if there is any info there.

    Interesting you note the connection light coming on and off but if this were an actual power supply problem then I think the power light would go off (perhaps who knows??). However - should it be a power management problem then power would remain and the connection dropped to save power, that's why I suggested you disable that.

    So, this is what's getting me at the moment - why the 9 to 5 thing, again if this were power then it would be happening outside these hours also.

  14. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    I do not believe it, two long internet sessions today and it has not faltered.

    Mr Man, I have found the event log so now I await an event.

    Dormouse, thanks for that info, totally lost me there I am afraid.

    Bl*y marvellous isn't it, like going to the dentist and the toothache stops!!

  15. Mr MAN

    Mr MAN New Member

    And I'll bet my bottom dollar you don't get any events of any use logged either - which will be really helpful for you!!

    So, you've had 2 good long sessions today, during these periods have you been sat at the PC all of the time doing something or not - what I'm getting at is, if you leave your pc for a bit and go back to it will it have dropped and if so how long is that interval?

  16. Mr MAN

    Mr MAN New Member

    Forgot to ask by way - what model of Compaq have you got?
  17. Dewy

    Dewy New Member

    When I was on dialup, I had the computer automatically disconnect from the internet after a set time of non use. It didn't recognise that I was using the connection when using ICQ so I was always getting cut off. It may be worth checking whether this is set to turn off after 59 minutes. Internet Properties/Connections/Settings/Advanced. This doesn't apply to me since going on cable but may if you are on DSL using the phone line.
  18. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    Third session today, let us see, but past the dodgy time zone.

    My computer is a Presario 5013UK with a AMD Duron 900 MHz processor, now it has 256mb of system memory.

    The sessions I had earlier today were a mixture of active and tickover as I had some telephone calls in between and answered some personal e-mails whilst connected. Normally the line would have dropped out after every pause.

    Sunday, and yesterday it was dropping out all the time which prompted me to seek help on the forum. For example, I was looking at some Estate Agents with my son and it dropped out in the time we read the details of a house.

    Very strange. Been on 20 minutes now and no problems.

    The case continues.

  19. big all

    big all Screwfix Select

    18 replys in 10 hours

    dont you just love it when a plan comes together

    the troups rally round and your problem is solved

    [hope i havent spoke toooo soon]

    big all
  20. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    Don't temp fate Big All, this is the best it has been for ages!!


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