PC Hardware

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A simple way to test a LAN port?

by Ray Harinec / April 14, 2007 12:19 PM PDT

New computer using XP Home worked fine with dial up in VA., computer then taken to Ohio. They decided to use broadband [cable] Times Warner. Apparently the tech brought the modem and a CD, hooked up the modem, never checked anything [punched large hole in wall for some kind of cable and ripped carpteting, UGH].

Using the CD it says that the LAN port is not working. (All my info by telephone between system builder in VA and user in Ohio.) When user called T-W they first said that they have no record of them being a customer, eventually simply said that there is something wrong with the computer.

Is there a simple way using some form of loop back cable to check the LAN port???

I have read so many stories about some of these cable setup problems that I doubt very much that the LAN port is bad.

From what discussion that has gone on between the user and TW tech, I doubt his competence. They make no attempt to give any insight or trouleshooting info.

This long distance troubleshooting can be frustrating when its a new computer built and given to a GrandDaughter [of the VA person]. Unfortunately at VA there was only dialup.

Device manager shows the LAN port as working. Thus I assume that it means that the lAN port is enabled in the bIOS. I assembled the basic system, but when I had it using Kubuntu for a few days, never inentionally enabled the LAN port, but pretty certain that the VA assembler installed the mobo drivers when you put XP Home on it and set the system up

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Is this the solution? Any experts advice?
by Ray Harinec / April 14, 2007 1:36 PM PDT
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If it worked with your Kubuntu installation or...
by linkit / April 14, 2007 1:54 PM PDT

...any Linux live CD, then your hardware is fine.

Make sure you have the PROPER XP driver installed for the network adapter. If it's integrated into the motherboard (not on a PCI card), go to your motherboard's webpage on the manufacturer's website and download the latest network adapter driver. Install it on your computer.

What modem and/or router models are you using?

TEST:
If the network adapter is functioning properly, it should be able to connect to a typical broadband router and bring up the router's administration page.

TEST:
What happens when you run Network Setup Wizard?

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I never connected using Kubuntu.
by Ray Harinec / April 14, 2007 3:58 PM PDT

Toni H installed the Op Sys and the mobo drivers at her place in VA. What hardware is being used in Ohio is unknown. Seems that the timewarner support is terrible. One computer thus probably no router, just a cable modem. The LAN port is onboard the Abit socket 939 mobo.

Probably some progress, they gave the user a way to connect to Google and that worked thus the LAN port must be fine. Now they tell her that IE is fouled up [which may be]. The VA ISP for dialup was accidently not removed before they took it to Ohio after the Easter visit when they picked it up.

She, the Ohio person, is not that computer knowledgeable, and thus possibly IE 6 is not set up properly. That remains for Toni tomorrow to resolve.

Seems as if that tester is a nice item, so will probably get one for Toni's toolbox. She does all the work and I yell at her via telephone or email. LOL Too far away to do it in person.

Your two tests would be great IF they had any such thing at their location.

Thanx for the inputs, they may get used yet.

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Toni H on a 3 way
by Ray Harinec / April 15, 2007 2:25 AM PDT

call with user and timewarner support finally corrected the problem. The Time Warner CD incorrectly identified the LAN as a xerox. It was actually an nVidia chipset mobo. Somehow, by manually accessing the time warner CD they got the correct LAN detected and things worked much better.

Without Toni insisting on dealing with a top level support person, the problem would never have been solved.

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An offer TW coudn't refuse?
by linkit / April 15, 2007 9:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Toni H on a 3 way

You said her name is Tony...hmmm, Tony Soprano? Wait, she spells hers with an 'i'.

Congratulazioni!

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Entering this conversation late
by TONI H / April 15, 2007 10:45 PM PDT

Wind was ferocious enough last night that power went out here and never came back on until about ten hours later (a few minutes ago).

My granddaughter is 20 yrs old and computer illiterate enough to not know terminology except for chat rooms lol but follows directions exceptionally well. While I was on the three-way with Tier 3 support at TW, this gentleman took almost two hours to walk her through various tests at her end and manually installing the correct drivers from their cd for her Nvidia network adapter to work with their modem.

Previous tech support people basically stopped at the level of pinging backwards, couldn't get further than their modem, and automatically responded with 'your LAN hardware is broken' or 'your IE isn't configured correctly, call MS support instead'.

Every time she would try to use their installation cd, the third page of instructions would immediately state 'failed activity test...network adapter isn't installed or is not functioning properly'. Even though they would have her type in an IP addy for google into her IE address bar and it could reach google immediately, she could not travel the net using URL's. They still insisted it was her hardware or IE.

Brock (the Tier 3 support man) made some deletions via Vicki in the registry for winsock and winsock2 entries, rebooted the computer so XP could automatically re-enter it, and then was able to ping backwards to her computer....but it was identifying the network adapter as a Xerox which he had never heard of before and was temporarily stumped because he had it in his notes that it was actually a Nvidia device. He then walked her through manually installing the cd and once that was completed and the system was rebooted, he was able to ping backwards to the computer again, the adapter was seen correctly this time, and when she got on IE, it immediately slammed to the normal MSN homepage with no problems.

It turned out that the cd autorun feature was the main culprit all along since it was seeing the adapter as something incorrect and it didn't have in its database. But it had a compound problem of having something wrong with the winsock entries in the registry or any other tech support person pinging backwards would have seen that the adapter was being misidentified as a Xerox device when it wasn't.

I have no clue at this point as to how the winsock entries worked fine with dial up but got messed up for the cable modem/lan connection, but I'm very grateful to the level of support and the patience Brock took with solving this problem for us. I would have never considered removing the entries from the registry and then manually installing the cd. The man is worth every penny plus more that he is being paid.....a great idea would be to fire all the first level jerks we dealt with for two days straight for hours on hold just to go nowhere near the 'light at the end of the tunnel' and those paychecks should be split between the last woman we dealt with (who was exceptionally polite and when she realized she was out of her realm immediately turned us over to Brock) and Brock himself.

Tech support is always a hit and miss on the level of competancy you get...most times you end up with idiots whose pat answer is to format the drive, use the recovery cd, or it's at your end so figure it out. But I've found that if you keep calling back and you reach somebody new, you eventually get to the one person who is willing to go the extra mile for you and actually do what they are paid to do. You have to repeat your problem and steps you've taken already over and over but eventually you get what you need. The quickest way to save yourself from total frustration is to stay polite, get to the point in the conversation where you know you are spinning your wheels, then either insist on a higher level of support, or hang up, and call back to get to somebody else. Do not let somebody else talk over your words...they can't help if they aren't listening to you and only hearing themselves. Don't let them assume that your trying to describe what's happening isn't important enough to listen to because they know best. They don't know your hardware, they don't know your system, they don't know you and your computing expertise. They will always take a position of superiority and that you are dumb as dirt.

Always remember....YOU are paying for their service. Without YOU, they don't have a job. You are NOT paying them to be rude and jerks. Get your money's worth.

TONI

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(NT) Thanks for the story and the good advice!
by linkit / April 16, 2007 2:56 AM PDT
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