Crazy Networking Issue, PLEASE HELP!

By badadjective ยท 20 replies
Dec 17, 2007
  1. Readers,

    I've had this problem for a year now. It's insane. I've tried so much, I feel like I'm going crazy:

    All of a sudden I lose internet connectivity, not at the modem, but windows won't connect. The only thing that solves the problem is a Windows restart, I don't need to power cycle the modem or anything, since the connection still exists, but for some reason Windows loses IP address with the following Event Viewer error:

    Event Type: Warning
    Event Source: Dhcp
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 1003
    Date: 12/9/2007
    Time: 11:18:36 AM
    User: N/A
    Computer: BADADJECTIVE01
    Your computer was not able to renew its address from the network (from the DHCP Server) for the Network Card with network address 00173FCDCE99. The following error occurred:
    The semaphore timeout period has expired. . Your computer will continue to try and obtain an address on its own from the network address (DHCP) server.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at
    0000: 79 00 00 00 y...

    This happens multiple times a day, sometimes only once a week, no pattern, and I need to keep restarting the PC over and over again when it happens.

    I've already:
    -Re-installed Windows XP with a COMPLETE format, fresh install.
    -Replaced modem (Time Warner Cable Roadrunner)
    -Replaced network card THREE TIMES with different brands.
    -Replaced cable from PC to modem
    -System otherwise completely stable, all latest drivers, patches, windows updates, etc.

    What the hell could it be? Is it some bad software I keep installing, even after the windows re-install? Someone please help!
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    What firewall software are you running?

    Is the RR thing only a modem or does it act as a router too? (This is important! What kind of an IP address does your computer receive?)

    Is the network OK otherwise? No slowdowns or "hangs"? It could be the connection between your modem and the ISP that is bad. (Have you complained to your ISP about this?)
  3. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Uhm.. That is completely useless. DHCP does not use persistent connections, so trying to see DHCP handshakes with TCPView is pointless.

    Also, since the DHCP renewal fails only occasionally, then this is not some simple firewall rule. "Intrusion" detection or faulty/misconfigured network more likely.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    add the following rule to your firewall and move it to the top of the rule list:
    allow in/out, udp, any source ip, ports 53,67,68​
    the release/renew cycle will then succeed.
  6. badadjective

    badadjective TS Rookie Topic Starter


    thank you for your replies. It's just a regular, non-router modem from roadrunner, which they've now replaced 3 times (2 different brands), cables, filters, everything has been replaced. Also, the modem doesn't disconnect since power cycling it does nothing, I have to restart windows. It's windows not communicating with the modem, it's not a modem-to-isp issue.

    I don't use any third party firewalls or "intrusion detection" garbage. Just standard built in xp firewall untouched with any custom settings. And also, as I mentioned a full xp re-install did not solve the problem, neither did switching network cards 3 times.

    This is why I feel I'm losing it, because otherwise the connection is fast, stable, and consistent without hangs or lags!

    I've posted on other forums to no resolution. Some suggested rebuilding the TCP/IP stack, which I did in every way shape and form, and I figured a xp re-install would have done that anyway.

    I've even moved to a different apartment, in a different area!

    The way I figure it, there is something glitchy on my motherbaord all of a sudden, or some software that I'm using is messing things up. Any suggestions?
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You get your DHCP address from your ISP, therefore the problem does not have to be between your compter and the modem. The modem is a dumb bridge device that doesn't even see the traffic between your computer and rest of the world (the ISP's DHCP server). Your ISP simply replacing the modem suggests that they are not very competent either..

    When this DHCP failure happens, have you tried the "ipconfig /renew" command?

    You could try running another OS for a day or two to see if the problem is with Windows or the hardware. Install Linux or run it off a CD.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    I have T.W.C too and the lease info (in Southern Calif. at least) is
     Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, December 17, 2007 10:59:33 A
     Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Monday, January 18, 2038 7:14:07 PM
    so the ISP cycle is very infrequent yet you report even several disconnects per day.

    I noticed your comment re replacing filters in post#6; what filters? A cabled ISP has none.
    Are you on a DSL connection over the phone lines?

    If so start to investigate someone using the telephone when the disconnect occurs.
  9. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    Wouldn't installing a router and setting up a static/manual IP eliminate this problem?

    Just wondering cause nobody suggested it
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The router would still be using the public IP that badadjective has trouble renewing. Assuming that his computer is somehow broken or misconfigured, then yes, another OS (in the router) may hev better luck with the ISP's DHCP.

    But then again, why should we recommend someone to simply waste $100 on a router "just in case" or some X amount of money on a static IP (if the ISP supports it at all)?
  11. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    Thats why I was asking instead of suggesting. If nothing else I was thinking it give him an extra layer of security.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    agree, a router is a good choice, but the isp->modem connection is the problem,
    even though it's a pass-thru to the system NIC, as Nodsu is suggesting.

    worst case, we would add expense, increase complexity (very slightly) and
    improve the router->system connectivity but not address the isp->modem issue at all.
  13. badadjective

    badadjective TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The reason I think it's NOT the modem-ISP that's the problem:

    1) It's a simple Windows restart that fixes the problem
    2) Unplugging the modem power, waiting, and plugging back in does nothing. All the modem lights blink as normal when the problem occurs. If the modem lost connection, some lights would be off or blinking like there is an error.
    3) Therefore, if it was a modem/ISP issue why would a Windows restart fix it, and not a modem power cycle?

    Am I missing something here?

    Note: It's not DSL, it's a direct cable connection through TWC roadrunner.

    Also, I don't see how a router would solve the problem since I think it's a purely Windows issue, perhaps conflicting with some kind of software I'm running, but I will give it a try. Hopefully I can borrow a router for a few days.

    Thanks all.
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    because you get a new IP configuration, starting from DHCP.
    the ipconfig /release ; followed by ipconfig /renew should to the same thing but apparently it doesn't
    all true but the settings from the ISP do not effect the lights flashing; ie you can't tell if the DNS address has been load
    then there are no filters :)
  15. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    is it set to automatically find the DNS Server

    Before you find a fix for this I am curious what happens when you go to the cmd prompt and put in ipconfig /flushdns then ipconfig /registerdns
  16. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    remove any standby modes or sleep modes
    update you bios for the machine
    if cable check the line splitter could be bad
    if dsl only phones and answer machine should have filters
    newer dsl service gives a modem /router combo for service
    found out how to disable dhcp in the router side
    check house line voltages and or PSU of box
  17. badadjective

    badadjective TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Blind Dragon: thanks, but already tried that, it did nothing.

    Samstoned: no standby or sleep modes are enabled,
    bios is latest, even tried older bios and bew beta bios
    change line splitter, had TWC tech check sihanl strength at all
    no dsl, cable
    power issue? really? why no other problems? interesting idea,
    how can I check power?
  18. badadjective

    badadjective TS Rookie Topic Starter


    OK, here's the deal. Found out that I can get into my modem from the following IP address,, which is apparently standard for most cable modems (remember though this is NOT a modem/router combo though).

    The modem doesn't allow any settings to be changed, but it DOES have a log. And this is the errors I got right around the time my last disconnect occurred. Please note that for some reason dates and times are NOT correct. Modem doesn't seem to know what the date and time it. Time of log is actually dec 18th around 10:10pm, don't know why it says different.

    Time Priority Description
    Wed Dec 19 03:24:16 2007 Warning (5) Mapped to New SAID
    Time Not Established Critical (3) No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out
    Time Not Established Critical (3) SYNC Timing Synchronization failure - Failed to acquire FEC f...
    Wed Dec 19 02:43:19 2007 Critical (3) Started Unicast Maintenance Ranging - No Response received - ...
  19. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    Firmware for the modem?
  20. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    line voltage to box and modem should be 115 to 120
    no lower than 115
    other than this my log has same errors for T4 lines
    check modem connection and power then ask your ISP if these are good
    I don't remember exactly but should be above 0 and below 2 dBmV

    at this point I would say borrow another machine hook up to your lines cofig nic same way if no drops it's the motherboard pci buse or pci connection failure
    chipset going bad I have had IDE chipset failure in a few dells
    if not that the ISP has a hub hardware issue
  21. badadjective

    badadjective TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Couldn't find firmware for the modem. I think it's actually updated automatically by the ISP.

    Starting to think it's a chipset problem as well. Gonna borrow a machine and see if it happens on same modem, if not than I can rule out modem/ISP and just buy a new PC.

    Thanks all, if anyone has any more ideas I'd love to hear it. Otherwise I think this is a lost cause :-(
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