Wireless DSL Modem Problems/Concerns

By JesseM
Oct 12, 2009
  1. I just moved and got set up with a new DSL modem/wireless router as I had to start a new account with my ISP. I am connecting wirelessly through my Dell Precision M70 laptop's internal network adapter. I am running XP Pro.

    Ever since I set up the internet at the new place, it has been cutting off completely at time intervals ranging from 2 minutes to 5 hours (I haven't yet had continuous internet connectivity for longer than 5 or 6 hours at a time that I know of).

    When the internet cuts off, I can re-connect instantly by doing the "Repair" option in Windows. Windows disables my network adapter, then enables it, then tries to connect to my wireless router, and then it says various things like "Clearing the DNS Cache" and "Registering your IP". It always successfully connects after this.

    I was looking around my router's page ( and noticed that my computer had 382 open sessions, while the 3 other people I'm sharing the router with have very few open sessions (1 or 2). The page also said:
    "Session status: Session Usage High
    Recommended Action: Check LAN Devices for Viruses"

    Now, I'm pretty sure my laptop is free from any kind of malware. I regularly update and run AVG and Spybot. I have certainly had Trojans, etc. in the past, but I'm confident I have dealt with them.

    Anyone have any recommendations? I read somewhere that changing the channel of the wireless router can solve some people's problem with the internet cutting out periodically, but I'm not sure this will solve the problem with the high number of open sessions.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    I would start with a complete reinstall from scratch, exactly as required in the instructions.
  3. JesseM

    JesseM TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 219

    Thanks raybay for your response.

    Reinstall my network adapter? I have already tried this without success. I guess I will try again since it wouldn't hurt. Any other ideas?
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Totally remove the old one from your registry using a simple registry editor if you can.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    What??!! removing with a registry editor???? Yikes, NO!

    Just go into Device Manager, rt click the device Uninstall the wireless adapter. Download the latest driver and install it.
  6. JesseM

    JesseM TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 219

    I just uninstalled then reinstalled my network adapter. My router's page still says there are 3xx open ports. I will not be able to determine if the internet has stopped cutting out periodically for a while. Thank you for your help.

    Any ideas why my number of open ports might be so high? I do use uTorrent but the number of open ports is still around 350 even after closing it (the number is much higher while uTorrent is open, as you might expect).
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1) What make/model router do you have?
    2) When you say you "turn off" uTorrent... Have you stopped it from starting when you reboot? 3xx active sessions is indeed alot. Easiest for now to just use msconfig to stop your utorrent program from running at startup. And let's see what happens when all those sessions are running. See here

    /* EDIT */
    Why don't you also try running Currports. It should help identify the processes and all their open ports.
  8. JesseM

    JesseM TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 219

    1) Actiontec PK5000
    2) uTorrent has never been a startup program on my computer.

    Now I only have 81 open sessions (even while uTorrent is running! who knows exactly how that happened), but I still find that a little fishy since everybody else only has 1 or 2.

    I ran Currports but don't quite understand the results. It looks like Google Chrome has 26 entries, 17 are unknown, and uTorrent and random system utilities (svhost.exe, alg.exe, lsass.exe, etc.) are the rest.
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Each line item in Currports represents a currently open network port. Open ports use either one of two network protocols
    > TCP (this is an end to end connection between a port on your computer and a specific port on a remote computer)
    > UDP is a packet broadcast connection from your computer (no specific destination)

    So in Currports you see the Process, the Protocol it's using the Local port number (on your computer), the local network address (which is also your computer).

    Remote port and remote address reflect the connection for TCP protocol on the other end.

    But as to your problem... can you STOP utorrent from running? if only to see if your WLAN connection problem remains the same / is better/ etc.
  10. JesseM

    JesseM TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 219


    My connection has not improved, in fact it has worsened. I left my computer running last night, and my connection failed right after I left it and did not re-connect as it had before. When I checked this morning the computer had not been connected to the internet for at least 8 hours straight, until I manually re-connected through "View Available Wireless Connections" without any problems.

    I am convinced this has nothing to do with uTorrent since I have been using it for years without any problems.

    Could it be a physical problem with my laptop's network adapter? This is getting pretty frustrating...

    Thanks again everyone for your help so far.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    i agree not likely utorrent.... Aside from trying a new network adapter, you might also want to try changing the wireless channel on your router (if you can) and see this link
  12. JesseM

    JesseM TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 219

    I have tried changing the channel on the router, no luck so far. Although the link is helpful, range is not the problem (I have tried right next to the router). I wish I had a different network adapter to try, but I do not. I'm leaning more and more towards a hardware problem, especially since 3 other laptops can connect to the router wirelessly without a problem (that they notice anyway, they also don't use uTorrent so a sudden disconnection could be less noticeable).

    Anyway, I'm about ready to give up. It's really not that frustrating as long as I'm not letting something download while not at the computer (because it will stop the download). Thanks LookinAround I really appreciate your effort and patience
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