New Computer

By jamiescottlomax · 20 replies
Apr 12, 2008
  1. I've just bought a new computer (Dell optiplex 755) and cant get a broadband connection with it.
    I've tried U.S.B & Ethernet but no luck.
    But if i go back to my old comp like i am now it works fine.
    Virgin could not help(my ISP)
    and all friends that know a bit about a bit could not fix problem.
    Any takers
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Before sending you through a checklist of things.. let me ask
    1. how are you connected to your ISP? i.e. there's a wire from your ISP that runs into what? (cable modem? DSL modem? is it modem/router combo device? please state make/model)
    2. Do you have a router in there as well? your own? something from Virgin? please outline the wire/device connections to your computer

    /**** Edit *****/
    Your solution might be as simple as just powering off your cable modem and/or router for about 5-10 mins.. but please outline the detail
  3. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm connected to a cable modem which is supplied by virgin. it is a Motorola Surfboard SB5101e. I've been trying to connect with the usb and a ethernet cable to which i'm having no luck. I've been told that new computers dont support usb-modem connections. if its true i dont know
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    It’s better to use an Ethernet connection to your cable modem vs. USB
    1. Make sure you have the latest Dell drivers for your network card
      • Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager
      • Click the + sign under Network Adapters to see which LAN network adapter you have on your Dell
      • Right click on your LAN network adapter and select Properties. Click Driver tab. What’s the driver’s date, version and provider?
      • The latest Dell drivers for XP on the Optiplex 755 can be found here
    2. Reset your ISP’s connection to your computer
      • Every device that connects to a network is assigned a unique ID when it’s manufactured. This is the MAC address.
      • Your cable modem as well as every network adapter in each of your computers has its own unique MAC address. These MAC addresses are reported to your ISP. So, they know when you change or replace your cable modem or the computer connected to your cable modem.
      • Some ISPs won’t simply “re-connect” to a new MAC address when it appears (e.g. when you change between computers on the other end of the cable modem.)
      • When you spoke to Virgin, they should have reset the connection but to be certain (and as it sounds like you’ve continued trying to switch back and forth)
        • Power down your computer
        • Remove the power cord to the Motorola cable modem
        • Unscrew/remove Virgin’s coax wire into the cable modem (as well as any USB or ethernet cables into the cable modem)
        • Wait about 5+ minutes then reconnect the virgin coax wire and then the power cord to your cable modem.
        • The lights on the cable modem will go through a blinking pattern for maybe 30 seconds as the modem resets
        • Connect an ethernet cable from your computer to the cable modem
        • Power up the computer
    3. Check your computer's IP network configuration
      • Click Start -> Run and enter (or just copy / paste) the following command into the Run box and then click OK
        cmd /c ipconfig /all > Desktop\txtout.txt
      • Find the txtout.txt file placed on your Windows desktop by the step above. Attach it (using the paper clip icon) to your next post back to TechSpot.
    4. Check network connectivity
      • You may choose to start checking network connectivity using this guide here but if you find a problem you might best wait for me (or anyone else on TechSpot) to look at the ipconfig output you posted
  5. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ip config file

    Thanks for your help & here is the info you suggested to look at.

    I have managed to establish a connection thru my U.S.B cable after 8 hours of trying. But would still like to use ethernet if possible.
    I downloaded the drivers from Dell but still no luck so Im thinking maybe the network adapter is just not working.

    I tried all the other suggestions you had aswell.

    Thanks again & if you have any new ideas please let me know
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Modem info:
    Default Gateway of modem is http://[B][/B]/
    User ID: admin
    Password: motorola

    Your attached file "txtout(1).txt" shows Default Gateway: incorrect

    Following LookinAround's recommendations
    Go back to "Right click on your LAN network adapter and select Properties"
    Select "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)"
    Select Properties button
    Select "Obtain IP address automatically"
    Select :"Obtain DNS automatically"
    Close the Network Settings window

    Click on Start-->Run--> CMD
    On the command prompt type: ipconfig /release
    Then type ipconfig /renew
    Close the Command Window

    Click on Internet Explorer
    You may need to refresh the page (or restart your computer)

    Reply back
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Good morning all!
    Well, is morning here. Must be early afternoon by you so pardon as I <yawn> :zzz: am still in the process of waking up.

    Kimsland: I haven't worked with many (any?) cable modems which support USB to a computer, so I might be wrong, but I'm not sure that the IP addresses seen under these specific circumstances are necessarily wrong. (Also note he’s connecting to cable/modem not a router so not sure to expect LAN IP addressing you mention, starting
    In any case, as I understand, jamiescottlomax has indicated that this USB setup is working for him with his USB connections. So, I’d focus on getting him onto ethernet connections and assessing the situation from there.

    Jamiescottlomax: Since you say USB works but not Ethernet, I’ll take a first guess that either
    • There is no ethernet LAN card in your computer, or
    • The ethernet LAN card is there but has no drivers or has the wrong drivers. or
    • The ethernet LAN card is disabled
    But before looking, I’ll ask you to install a tool that you’ll find helpful now and at times in the future. Windows doesn’t always allow you to copy/paste the text it presents in some of its windows (e.g. the information you will see returned by Device Manager in this procedure i'm outining). Install Sysexporter.

    Next, go back to look at Device Manager again.
    • Expand the + sign for Network Adapters to see the list of adapters. I’d like to see the list but you might note Windows doesn’t allow you to copy the items. Instead, run SysExporter. SysExporter opens a window where the top pane is the name of each window from which it can grab standard Windows text from ListViews, TextBoxes, etc.
    • Scroll through the top pane to Computer Management (this is the name of the Device Manager window which contains the text I want). As you select each line starting with Computer Management you see the content of the lower window pane change as it displays the text it can grab from the window (or sub-window) selected.
    • As you check each Computer Management entry in the top pane, you should see one which displays the Device Manager line items in the lower pane. (Hint: look at Items column in top pane. The entry you want will probably have 50 – 100+ items in it)
    • Scroll Down and you’ll see Network Adapters followed by each line item you saw listed under Network Adapters in Device Manager.
    • You can now select the line items you want, then click Items -> Copy Items (Tab Delimited). And paste those items back into your TechSpot post
    Next, verify the Ethernet LAN adapter is ENABLED.
    • Control Panel -> Network Connections. Look for your Ethernet LAN connection listed. What does it say under the Status column? or better yet
    • Once you have the Network Connections window open, run SysExporter again or simply click Options -> Refresh if it’s still open. Scroll to Network Connections and find the entry which when selected in top pane will show you all network connections in lower pane! Copy/paste all net connection info into your TechSpot post so i can now see ALL network connections, just as they are listed for you.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Damn you're right.
    Cable modem has static IP, and can be configured using the ISP CD supplied (I hope)

    I hope I haven't lost him all Internet connectivity
    My answers were on ADSL, not Cable.

    Anyway, I'll stand back now. :blush:
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    hey, no problem.

    we've all been there. Trying to pitch in and help avoid mistakes while sometimes contributing our own mistakes. Been there, done that myself at times as well. ;)

    And, besides, all considered there's an incredibly vast amount of detail and minutia involved with fixing/configuring/even using these darn computers... so a second pair of eyes on all the work effort that goes into some problems/solutions can be good

    As an aside, i'll quote someone i read in a different thread:
    "Who needs a hobby when you have a PC?":
  10. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Back Again

    Hi people, sorry for the time between replys but (i suppose you guessed) i'm in England & by the time i finish work quite a few hours have gone by.

    Anyway back to problem in hand, I've copied what i think you wanted to see (names were different than you wrote but hopefully its all the same)

    String Value Handle Parent Indent
    Network adapters 0x0011B658 0x0011D750 0x00118CD8 1
    Intel(R) 82566DM-2 Gigabit Network Connection 0x0011B680 0x0011D7B0 0x0011D750 2
    Motorola SURFboard SB5101 USB Cable Modem 0x0011B7E8 0x0011D848 0x0011D750 2


    Name Type Status Device Name Phone # or Host Address Owner
    Local Area Connection 2 LAN or High-Speed Internet Network cable unplugged, Firewalled Intel(R) 82566DM-2 Gigabit Network Connection System
    Local Area Connection 3 LAN or High-Speed Internet Connected, Firewalled Motorola SURFboard SB5101 USB Cable Modem System

    I think thats what you suggested

    Just to add to the problem, the computer is the same that we use in work to run our software and part of my job is to install them in control panels & copy our software over from the server, anyway I've yet to date not had any problem with getting on the network (which is B.T) to upload software, as soon as the cable is attached the computer finds the domain & sorts the rest automatically.
    Don't know if thats any help or just makes me sound more stupid.
    Thanks Again for all your help, Both of you, and lets hope we can solve this dastardly problem

    Just to add, Do i need a straight ethernet cable or a cross-over
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    So to review what I see, and what next. Your Dell Optiplex sees
    • Two network adapters (which is good)
      • Motorola SURFboard SB5101 USB Cable Modem and an
      • Intel(R) 82566DM-2 Gigabit Network Connection
    • Two Network Connections defined (one for each adapter, which is good)
      • Local Area Connection 2 LAN (for the Intel Adapter)
      • Local Area Connection 3 LAN (for the Motorola Adapter)
      Let's give more descriptive names to the Network Connections to avoid any future confusion. Control Panel -> Network Connections. Then you can right click to highlight each connection and select Rename to name them something like
      • Ethernet LAN Connection (for the Intel Adapter)
      • USB LAN Connection (for the Motorola Adapter)
    What’s not good is the output from ipconfig /all you attached in post #5 only lists the Motorola Surfboard.
    1. Disable the USB LAN Connection and make sure the Ethernet LAN Connection is Enabled. (In Network Connections, right click over the connection name to select between Enable/Disable)
    2. Remove the USB cable between the Motorola modem and your computer
    3. Connect an ethernet cable between the Motorola modem and your computer (a regular ethernet cable, not a cross-over cable)
    4. Are you sure the Dell drivers are installed for the Intel(R) 82566DM-2 Gigabit Network adapter? Go back to my post (#4). It directs to Device Manager, selecting the network adapter and clicking the Driver tab. The Dell Driver page for this adapter indicates v9.8.20.0, Release date 10/24/2007 (click here)
    If the Ethernet Connection is enabled and the Intel drivers are installed and working you should see an IP configuration for the Intel 82566 adapter. Check above steps in this post and then try cmd /c ipconfig /all > Desktop\txtout.txt again. (And with USB LAN disabled, don't worry if Motorola USB doesn't appear in ipconfig)
  12. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    next stage complete,

    I completed the next stage but still same old thing.
    When i click on enable i get a connected message for 4-5 seconds then i get the {a network cable is unplugged} message again.
    I've included the new txtout doc for you to look at and i hope i'm doing what you suggest properly, this is getting quite complicated for me and trying to follow your instructions word for word.

    I downloaded that exact driver from your link.
    But i'm not getting an ip address.
    Is it possible to find all info manually ie; IP adrress, subnet mask, default gateway, and try to put this into internet protocol on device manager manually?
    I'm shooting in the dark here ofcourse,

    I know I've said this before but would like to say again thanks for your help and I hope you dont give up on me, you sound like youv'e done this all before and im sure you will suss it out.

    goodbye for now
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184


    Thank you much for the "thank you"'s. Everyone here is glad to help. That's why we're here :grinthumb

    And you're following instructions quite fine. Happy to say we're at a good milestone in that your ipconfig output is now reporting the Intel adapter vs. your ipconfig output from earlier in this thread. The bad part is ipconfig output about the Intel is what one would expect if there weren't an ethernet cable connection established between Intel adapter and modem.

    It might just be a matter that you reset the cable modem again now that you've switched USB to ethernet (the modem and/or Virgin might not do the switch themselves unless forced to). Try resetting the cable modem as i had described in an earlier post. Unplug all cables from the modem and remove its power cord for 5+ minutes, etc. Only after you finally restore power to the modem only connect the ethernet cable between modem and your computer do not reconnect the USB cable. Then give the cmd /c ipconfig... string of commands a try again and see if it looks any different.

    /***** Edit *****/
    By the way,,, do you have an install CD for this cable modem? Once we actually establish the electrical connection between the modem / your computer it might help you set the configuration. If you don't have any install CD, no problem but there is a question as to whether Virgin is assigning you a static IP address or dynamic ip address (if those terms are familiar). You have any setup info from virgin? needn't tell me any details now.. just yes/no is good for now
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    btw... i've also tried looking to see what i might find about virgin's broadband service. If i could ask you a few of the same questions they are asking...
    1. Which one of these providers were you with before Virgin Media?
      • ntl
      • Telewest
      • Freedom
    2. What's the last part of your email address? (Please do not post your email address here. Just identify which is correct for the last part of your email address)
  15. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    We Have Lift Of

    You are the man !!

    We have established a connection, I'm so happy you would think I've won the lottery.
    I thought i was getting excited to soon as I had connection but was getting the old "Unable to display this page" message when I tried to get Google up, but after changing a few settings and rebooting the computer it all worked.

    Thanks mate.

    So can I just ask ( if you don't mind) how do i set up a home network now that i got my modem working from Ethernet? or should i start a new thread if i don't manage to set it up on my own first.
    All I want to do is put my kids P.C and laptop on line but can't really afford to go wireless at the moment but if that's the best way then I will do that at the end of the month.

    Thanks again and hope to speak to you in the future, I will be a regular on this site now as I think its the best forum with the best guys and lass's I've come across
  16. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry, just to answer your questions from last thread, if they still apply,
    I do have a install C,D but its very old and they said its out of date, I didnt have broadband before, This is my first internet.
    I dont have a e-mail thats with my ISP but im sure it ended blueyonder when i was offered it at the beginning and before they became Virgin I was with Telewest.

    Hope thats O.K if it still matters.

  17. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    CONGRATS! GREAT NEWS!! :grinthumb

    As to browser problems when they occur here’s a link that can help debug browser problems using IE (many of the issues would affect IE or other browsers as well)

    As to home network, I can continue helping in this thread or you can open a new one (with a new title that attracts appropriate attention to the topic). Am sure you’re also more likely to get additional help/opinions as additional people will tend to look at newer threads (I have no problem with either choice you make and of course others have other hardware experiences, technical exposures, etc)

    For home networks, all you basically need to create a home network is a router. The router serves as the gateway between
    • A Local Area Network (LAN), which is your home network of your different computing / peripheral devices (e.g. your computers, printers, etc) and a
    • Wide Area Network (WAN) (i.e. the Internet) which you connect to via Virgin’s ISP service
    (hope this diagram comes out ok, never tried one before!)

    ..........coax cable.........|...........ethernet cable..............|.........<wired/wireless>..........
    Virgin <======> Cable Modem <===========> ROUTER <=========> LAN Devices

    Virgin continues to communicate with just a single device: the router. The router makes all of your home network look like just a single device. Virgin still assigns you just one IP address.

    Note, from Virgin’s perspective only difference between diagram above vs. today is it’s not “YOUR ROUTER” connected to the Cable Modem but rather today it's your computer. That’s also the one potential “gotcha” that will “get ya”! In the above diagram Virgin can see the MAC address of your router when router is connected vs. the MAC address of your computer causing those connection problems again when you switch between the two. The solution: MAC address cloning.

    MAC address cloning will be a router feature though might be called a different name on the router’s configuration setup. (make sure u know before you buy tho i think this feature is fairly standard) It boils down to:
    • You can “assign” a MAC address to your router. You assign it the MAC address of your computer! (which I note for you below)
    • You also set a router option telling it to report the assigned MAC address to the WAN, not its own MAC address.

    With that done, no more pain-in-the-*** resetting your ISP and cable modems whenever you might decide to switch cable modem’s ethernet connection between router vs. directly into your computer.

    If you look at ipconfig output you did last, it reports the ethernet adapter Physical Address is 00-1A-A0-80-D6-0C; that odd looking set of numbers 00-1A-A0-80-D6-0C is the MAC address for the ethernet adapter sitting in your computer.

    Also, I would suggest you at least compare pricing between a router which
    • Supports only wired ethernet cabled connections vs.
    • Supports wired ethernet cable AND basic wireless (you’ll see wireless routers state the support “802.11g”)
    I think you’ll find the incremental cost for the router can make it cost effective to simply buy a router which supports both wired and basic 802.11g wireless. I think you’ll find it’s the cost of the wireless adapters (one per device you want to wireless connect) that starts to add up the cost. (I’ll just add that you will also see things about wireless and newer version “802.11n” (802.11n is so new it’s not even standardized yet!) Also names like range boosters and super and max only drives up the price) and not clear how much extra power/ extra range/ extra speed you want from wireless all of which is extra price.

    Btw 1) You can check each of your computer’s for its Ethernet adapter before ever buying a router. Run the ipconfig /all command on each computer and make certain the ipconfig output at least reports (anything) about an Ethernet adapter being present! Just as in your case, if ipconfig doesn’t report an ethernet adapter verify the Network Connection is Enabled and drivers are present and running. No cable need be connected to check that much.

    Btw 2) Since you are including the kids' computers you might want to check for router models that allow you to set “parental control” (like time-of-day access, blocking web sites, etc.). These “profiles” are usually set on a per MAC address basis (that unique number assigned every network adapter). And not to be confused with Virgin’s use of the acronymn MAC for something-or-other I noticed when they talk about some of their user accounts.
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Wow great post.

    I would have said just run NetSetup from Start->Run

    But you have covered everything I feel.
  19. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    is an ethernet hub the same as a router?
    i'm going to give it a go as soon as i format my old p.c which i'm also having problems with, ( thread - Formatting old computer/any ideas)
    I will start a new thread when i begin setting up home network, your diagram that was in last thread was very helpfull in understanding how it works (thread 17), Thanks.

    LookinAround I'm sure we will talk again in the future and i'm looking forward to learning as much as i can from you if you dont mind teaching me what you can ?
  20. jamiescottlomax

    jamiescottlomax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    you know how much of a pain in the backside i am !

    I got a ethernet hub and connected the laptop to it, along with PC, i get a connection for about 30 seconds and mps ranging from 10 - 100 but then i lose connection. I've adjusted settings, rebooted, but each time i enable connection it lasts only 30 secs.
    Any Ideas?

    All the while the PC has no problem, running at 10 mps, I tried disconnecting PC and only running laptop but no different.
    I tried NetSetup but no good
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    An ethernet hub is very different from a router.

    A router connects a Wide Area Network to the many devices on the Local Area Network it's managing. Consider your case where (an oversimplified) view of the routers shows
    • The router is assigned its WAN (Internet) IP address by Virgin
    • The router also manages and assigns its own IP addresses, one address to each network connection it sees appearing on the LAN. The router assigns IP addresses which, by definition, can only be used in LANs.
    • The router performs a switching function as it exchanges data between the WAN and the different LAN network devices
    • The router performs Network Address translation by mapping local LAN IP addresses to Internet IP addresses and vice versa and translating the address information in the network protocol packets.

    A hub simply propagates network protocol packets received on one network cable along to the other network cables plugged into the hub.
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