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Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) Problem

by graham_ashe / December 2, 2009 8:27 PM PST

My main computer's (XP, SP3) Internet connection is shared among 3 other machines via ICS. However, one machine (XP, SP3) - which runs a couple of P2P programs - usually loses its connectivity (even file sharing) after a few days.

I'm running Kaspersky Internet Security on the main computer. I've tried disabling it (for testing purposes) to no avail. I've also disabled Windows Firewall on both machines with no improvement. Using a router is pointless because it freezes after a few days (due to the P2P programs). I've tried 4 or 5 different routers (even the "good" brands).

Is it simply an overload in terms of the number of connections possible? Does ICS, in principle, face the same problems as a typical router? Because I've even tried reducing the number of P2P programs to just one and also limiting the number of connections it makes. (Not to mention "fixing" the 'tcpip.sys' limit on both machines.) Any ideas what the problem could be and how to fix it? Thanks.

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Somehow ...
by Kees Bakker / December 2, 2009 8:39 PM PST

I don't think you'll get much help here. Usually we frown about P2P file sharing, because too often it leads to illegal things like sharing (transmitting to others) copyrighted content.

Kees

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Benefit of the Doubt
by graham_ashe / December 2, 2009 10:03 PM PST
In reply to: Somehow ...

I figured it was relevant information. Perhaps some people wouldn't jump to any conclusions about it and just try to address the issue at hand.

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It surely was relevant.
by Kees Bakker / December 2, 2009 10:15 PM PST
In reply to: Benefit of the Doubt

And I didn't really accuse you of anything. So assuming you're a more or less professional file-sharer of open source and other non-copyrighted content let me add some options to Bob's excellent advice (reboot) below:
1. switch to Linux for your P2P-activities
2. use a separate Internet connection for the P2P-machine (ADSL if you now use cable, or the other way around)

Of course, I wouldn't have given these options to the usual movie-downloader.

Kees

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Thanks anyway.
by graham_ashe / December 2, 2009 11:20 PM PST

So in other words, you have no idea what's causing the problem?

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Let's say that's so.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 2, 2009 9:25 PM PST

Windows has a history of not being that stable. My answer here will be:

REBOOT EVERY 2 DAYS.

Bob

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Not much of an answer, I'm afraid.
by graham_ashe / December 2, 2009 10:08 PM PST
In reply to: Let's say that's so.

It is precisely because I prefer not to reboot the P2P machine often (which is the only thing I've found that "solves" the problem) that I'm asking this question. I think XP is pretty stable, by the way. I've had systems running for over two months straight running on XP. They could probably run for much longer if not for the endless updates.

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Then why use XP?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 2, 2009 10:12 PM PST

Linux for example may be the better choice for this job.

You are covering old ground here. "Windows stability" when you factor in the weekly or so updates could be an oxymoron.
Bob

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Linux? That's your "solution"?
by graham_ashe / December 2, 2009 11:24 PM PST
In reply to: Then why use XP?

The Windows updates are not a stability issue in my view. I can always delay installing them up to a point (like two months), but because they are so many and come so often, I'm pressured to reboot eventually.

As for Linux, it would cause more problems for me than it solves.

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Just so you know.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 2, 2009 11:43 PM PST

I've solved this stability issue many times. But here's the problem. The solution never is the same 2 times in a row. So what's the answer?

Hint: You find out what is instable and you change that. Even if it means changing the OS.
Bob

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Science 101
by graham_ashe / December 2, 2009 11:52 PM PST
In reply to: Just so you know.

If you've "solved" this stability issue "many times", it sounds like you've never really solved it. I must admit, there were times I thought I'd solved it... until it came back.

As for the OS, I don't think it's the problem. Like I mentioned in the original post, only one machine (the P2P one) is having problems. I'd sooner think P2P programs were the problem but I need confirmation if this really is an issue with XP's ICS (like it is with affordable routers).

On the other hand, if the "experts" here are like physicians who refuse to treat suspected criminals, perhaps I made the mistake of thinking I'd find any credible solution to this problem on these boards.

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Many times.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2009 12:10 AM PST
In reply to: Science 101

Sorry but this many times is not just one or two machines but thousands over the years. The fixes range from drivers, the old TCPIP reset noted by MSFT (NETSH RESET) to replacing the network card or its driver.


Here's the problem. Many people DEMAND a fix. Let them demand such. Wait for them to season and accept the fact that this is not a simple machine that you can find a CODE and for that CODE there is a fix.

When you get through DEMANDING a fix then you will get more sympathy. But since it is this one machine I have one question.

-> Why not reload the OS, the drivers and see if that's it?
Bob

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Demanding? More like "asking"...
by graham_ashe / December 3, 2009 12:21 AM PST
In reply to: Many times.

"-> Why not reload the OS, the drivers and see if that's it?"

I wanted to avoid the default trial and error approach which is both time consuming and inefficient. If someone out there has faced this particular problem before and can contribute something useful, or there's an expert who knows that P2P programs cause problems with ICS, I'd be much happier and save a whole lot of time (and possibly money) in the process. Isn't that the reason we have online forums like this?

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Yes. I have seen this issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2009 12:24 AM PST

let me repeat what I wrote before but only to address this.

1. The XP NETSH RESET command.
2. The replace the network card fix.
3. The reload the OS answer.

And about ICS. When you get tired of it failing, let us know.
Bob

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A glimmer of hope...
by graham_ashe / December 3, 2009 12:39 AM PST

Okay, I've tried the first option. I'll know in a few days if it worked.

> "And about ICS. When you get tired of it failing, let us know."

I don't seem to have any other viable choice. Like I said, routers don't work in my case (they fail more often) and I doubt running a different OS on one machine is going to make networking my computers any easier.

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It didn't work.
by graham_ashe / December 5, 2009 11:38 AM PST
In reply to: A glimmer of hope...

As expected. The first option didn't work. Instead of trying the 2nd and the 3rd, I'm just going to conclude that ICS cannot handle too many connections (like affordable routers) as is usually the case with machines running P2P programs.

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This happens
by Kevinconner75 / December 19, 2009 10:52 PM PST
In reply to: A glimmer of hope...

Normally in case of P2P sharing, the router malfunctions, and this is a common problem. For that machine, try some wireless connection and observe for a few days.

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Wireless?
by graham_ashe / December 20, 2009 7:06 PM PST
In reply to: This happens

Are you saying a wireless router typically doesn't suffer from that problem? Is it because the connections to it are inherently slower? Could be a worthwhile trade-off. Hmmm....

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possible solution
by Clydeb1 / December 5, 2009 11:52 AM PST

I'd suspect the RAM in the problem PC. My first attempt at a fix would be to replace the existing RAM with a faster, High quality set.

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Been there.
by graham_ashe / December 5, 2009 12:04 PM PST
In reply to: possible solution

I suppose I could replace the RAM with a higher quality set, then perhaps replace the network card, then try a "good" router, then replace the operating system... perhaps when nearly the whole PC is changed and a small fortune spent, this problem would be solved.

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Makes no diff. to me
by Clydeb1 / December 9, 2009 11:36 AM PST
In reply to: Been there.

The problem you described points to defective RAM, that was the point.

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You sure?
by graham_ashe / December 9, 2009 12:28 PM PST
In reply to: Makes no diff. to me

Defective RAM that only seems to affect ICS?

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You Were Partially Right
by graham_ashe / December 19, 2009 10:37 PM PST
In reply to: Makes no diff. to me

After a full day and a half of testing, I thought I'd share some updates. It turns out a stick of RAM in the P2P machine was indeed faulty but that's not all. UltraVNC - which I used to connect from my main computer to the P2P machine - was apparently causing *both* my computers to become unstable (and reboot from time to time). It can happen with some machines and has to do with the "mirror drivers", I think. I've uninstalled it and am now using TightVNC instead. A little sluggish but so far so good. Perhaps I can get some decent uptime now.

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It appears things are looking up.
by Clydeb1 / December 20, 2009 12:00 AM PST

Thanks for the feedback and good luck with your apparent fixes.

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One More Thing...
by graham_ashe / December 20, 2009 7:02 PM PST

Apparently, XP's Security Center service was also conflicting with Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 that I had installed (causing the machine to reboot after a few hours). I've disabled it and suffered no more reboots (so far). However, the gods seemed to have ordained that the computer now buzzes annoyingly from time to time; but a gentle slap on the side of the machine solves that problem.

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Finally Solved
by graham_ashe / December 24, 2009 10:29 AM PST
In reply to: One More Thing...

With significantly more confidence than ever before, I think I can now say I've solved the problem (reboots kept happening every few hours despite all of the above and despite many other small changes and modifications). The culprit: My motherboard's BIOS (Foxconn P4M800P7MA-RS2) needed to be flashed and updated. I've so far enjoyed an unprecedented 17 hours of system up-time and counting. Perhaps it's also worth mentioning that I also installed a fan at the back of the computer to blow *out* hot air. It didn't have a fan before.

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Good news
by Clydeb1 / December 24, 2009 11:38 AM PST
In reply to: Finally Solved

It is great that your persistence has paid off. Some times that is the difference between a so-so outcome and a good one.
thanks for the feedback.

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