Computer Help forum


Ethernet light on a DSL modem.

by gulf-coast / December 18, 2016 9:54 AM PST

I have worn out several DSL modems of various brands over the years but one thing that they had in common is that the ethernet light only came on when the modem (currently a Motorola 3360) was communicating with the computer. Lately, I noticed that the ethernet light has started to come on before I turn the computer (a PC) on. I can make it go out by unplugging the ethernet cable or by unplugging the computer's power cord. Is this a sign of a problem? If so, could this problem also be causing some of the multitude of problems I have with the PC? If so, how do I fix it?

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All Answers

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I'm going with no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 18, 2016 10:05 AM PST

How that light works is on the web so I'll start with no and then suggest you look for this PC's options about Wake On LAN. (AKA WOL)

From WOL to work the Ethernet link has to be "UP" and the link light would be lit.

This has yet to cause an issue since I deployed Ethernet in the 1980's.

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by gulf-coast / December 18, 2016 1:41 PM PST
In reply to: I'm going with no.

I googled WOL and found this: . I tried Esc, F2, and Delete and nothing happened. I clicked on Network adapters in Device Manager and Gigabit Network Connection was the only thing there. In Properties, Advanced, there was no WOL option. Is it correct that, if my computer has WOL enabled, and is connected to the internet and turned off, somebody can turn on my computer remotely without my permission or knowledge?

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WOL from the web? Unlikely.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 18, 2016 2:06 PM PST
In reply to: WOL

Since the magic packet would have to get to the PC, and routers would not by default router that to the PC, not without a LOT of work on your part. No router I know would arrive with this working.

There are debates if the BIOS should contain all settings. The buyers today might ask and expect answers. Support is no longer included with most PCs.

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by gulf-coast / December 18, 2016 3:26 PM PST

The article I referenced is not clear to me but it seems to be saying that purpose of WOL is to allow the computer to be turned on remotely, as in from elsewhere on the internet. I thought that was what you were suggesting was happening to my computer; that my computer was really on (turned on by somebody else) even though I had not turned it on yet (and I did not mention it, but the "on" button on the computer was dark when the ethernet light on the modem came on but the "on" button has always been lit when the computer is turned on.) So, what is the purpose of WOL and what is the connection to the problem I reported?

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While true, the packet would have to make it to the PC.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 18, 2016 3:39 PM PST
In reply to: ???

So while true, very few users are directly on the internet so the magic packet can't get to the PS.

The purpose of WOL is simple. Wake On LAN.

The connection to what problem? The indicators on the port can be on and that's not a problem. Just how it works. I can't guess what problem you are trying to solve here but the LED being on is not a problem at all.

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What does Wake On LAN mean?
by gulf-coast / December 19, 2016 6:13 AM PST

The problem (or, perhaps a symptom) is that the modem's behavior has changed. For 16 years, the ethernet lights on the various modems I owned stayed dark until I turned the computer on (various different computers, actually). I routinely power up the modem first because it takes more time for it to sync up to the internet than it takes to sync up to the computer. At this point, the ethernet light has always been dark until I power up the computer (until recently). Recently, the ethernet light has sometimes come on (steady, not blinking) before I power up the computer. In either case, the "on" button does not light up until I press it. When I started this discussion, it looked like this was a stable change in behavior, but late yesterday it went back to normal behavior and then back to the new, altered behavior this morning. So, it is not stable. I have read the referenced article again and I still do not understand it. It says WOL is for waking a computer remotely. I don't need that; I sitting right in front of it. Waking implies changing the computer's state from "sleeping" to "on". In my experience, "sleep" mode is different from "off" mode, at least with the computers I have owned. The article suggests that they are the same thing, but my computer behaves differently in those two modes. Is WOL's purpose to allow somebody else in some other location to turn on (or wake) my computer? If not, what is it for? I have not changed any settings related to WOL; I don't know how to do that.

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I'd start a new post with the real issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 19, 2016 8:59 AM PST

The lights on the Ethernet port look fine here. WOL is sometimes not shown in the settings and is what it is. Given the web content on WOL I must keep that short.

BUT! If there is a problem here, start a post about the problem. I'll repeat the light on the Ethernet looks proper. It could be unsettling to folk that always saw it on, off, blinking under some conditions but the light is not a problem to date. I guess if I had a client that insisted it be off we could clip the LED leads but they would be paying for that modification.

Please start a thread with the problem as the Ethernet light appears to be fine.

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that works if you have a port
by James Denison / December 18, 2016 4:22 PM PST
In reply to: ???

set to forward to the computer from the router. For insteance if the port was 8080, then you'd put in your home IP address, add a colon : and the port 8080 into your browser line and get the password challenge from your computer. It's something you have to set up, doesn't come as default setup.

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Network adapter
by Bob__B / December 19, 2016 12:18 AM PST
In reply to: WOL

There is no standard labeling on what this feature is called.
On this network card it's called 'wake up capabilities'.
The options are....magic packet or wake up frame.

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