Why is my computer constantly disconnecting from the internet?

It’s like something is timing out, but I can’t figure out what it is. I would suspect that by the time I finish typing this message, I will have been disconnected again. It’s annoying. Anybody know a fix? Thanks.

Details. We need details. Dialup? Broadband? Modem type and brand? OS?

A few years ago, I accidentally ticked a box that set my dialup connection to disconnect as soon as it had finished downloading my mail. Might be the same thing, if you’re on dialup, and if you’re getting disconnected really quickly. It was easily fixed in the modem settings by unticking the box.

When I had a canle modem connected via USB port, I got disconnected all the damn time. Then I got an ethernet card, and now I never get disconnected. Ever. The best thing I ever did, hehe.

Of course, this only applies if, y’know, you’re using a USB cable modem.

If you have dialup: I had this problem where a dialer program would disconnect my regular connection and dial some wierd number.

Open up your ‘show all connections’ window. The phantom virus dialer blips in and out really quickly. It showed up as another profile under my username for my ISP (in this case earthlink). Hopefully you don’t have this problem. It’s a tenacious bugger. I think I finally got rid of it using a patch from microsoft.

Sorry, that’s what happens when I post in the evening. I have cable, connected to an ethernet card. This problem just started recently, and I seem to recall that it coincided with a download update from Spyware Doctor, although I don’t know why that would affect the internet connection. I suppose I could revert to an earlier stable date if this continues, but I’m hoping there is a simple solution.

Bump. The problem continues.

Exactly what happens when you get disconnected? Does the computer crash or restart? If not, do you get the ‘network cable is unplugged’ popup?

It could actually be a problem with the cable itself; I have cable internet and it became very very buggy; I contacted technical support and they sent someone out to test the line - turned out to be that the signal strength had been boosted and was saturating the cable modem, or something like that; the guy fitted an attenuator on the cable and it worked from then on.

Or it could be the modem itself that’s gone wrong.

O (remote chance) it could be that there are multiple instances of the network card driver installed and that they are in conflict, competing for control of the card; you could try this:
Click Start>Run and type CMD <enter>
Type SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1 <enter> (don’t put any spaces before or after the = sign or it just won’t work)
The device Manager control panel will appear
Click View>Show Hidden devices
Expand the Network Adapters category - is your network card listed more than once?

This is one of my all-time favourite XP fixes - It should be OK to uninstall pretty much any greyed-out item in device manager when you launch it this way and doing so will usually improve the performance of your machine, particularly the time it takes to boot up. However, nothing is entirely without the possibility of failure, so proceed at your own risk.

No crashing or anything dramatic, just a pop-up saying no connection is available and two buttons: one says “retry”, the other says “work offline”.

Ran this routine and found one ‘grayed out’ item called “RAS Async Adapter”. I have no clue as to what that is, so left it alone.

I tend to leave that one alone too; if you found a complete set of duplicate entries for a device, it’s worth uninstalling one set, but generally not worth it if you just find one or two that are greyed out, but appear part of a legitimate set.

Paint us a little bigger picture of what you use your computer for, what’s normally running in the background. In particular, are you using any P2P software, in particular does it happen to be eDonkey or eMule?

Nope, no P2P software. The only things running should be the McAfee virus program, the popup blocker and Spyware Doctor. As for use, it’s only for surfing and email.

First I should say, it’s rarely a cable modem going bad.

Second, in order to do a more complete diagnosis of your problem, more information will need to be provided.

  1. What Operating System (Windows XP, Windows 2000) do you have?
  2. How many computers do you have? Do you have a router? If so, wired or wireless?
  3. What kind of cable modem do you have (Manufacturer name will be fine)? Do you see the lights change when you lose your connection?
  4. Do you have any kind of firewall or internet security on your computer? (Such as Norton, McAfee, Symantec, Zone Alarm)

Something probably worth mentioning, most likely you shouldn’t be getting that pop up saying no connection is available. Cable is an always on technology, and does not require a connection to be opened up. If the cable is out, you should be getting the message “Page cannot be displayed”. Open up Internet Explorer, and click on Tools. Then click on Internet Options. Click on the Connections tab, and make sure you have “Never dial a connection” selected. Also, you’ll see a box that says Dial-Up and Virtual Private Networks. Remove everything that is in that box.

Also, have you tried contacting your cable provider? If they have half decent technical support, I’m sure they can help.

Please try the suggestion, and provide the requested information. I do tech support for the internet department of a major cable company, so I can probably help you with the problem. Just have to have the information first.

I got a DSL connectin five years ago and had that problem. Eventually the phone company sent a technician who replaced the wire from the outside pole to our house as well as something he called the “protection box”, but I would have called a junction box that sat between the inside and outside wiring. I have been disconnected only once or twice in the ensuing four years. A friend of mine got a DSL line a few months ago and has the same problem. The phone company won’t do a thing and sends him to Dell, who sends him to MS, who ignores him entirely. On the other hand, my phone line had been noisy and his isn’t, so maybe our problems are wrong. But four years ago, they had technicians who actually knew something; now they employ people who can only read from a list of questions on their screen. I feel foolish because I recommended the phone company on account of their superb technical support. Hah. That was then when they werr trying to grow their business, this is now when they are back to acting like a phone company.

  1. Windows XP Home
  2. One computer, PC; I have a router in the loop because I used to have a wireless laptop for my job. I no longer have the wireless, but the router is still connected.
  3. On the front of the cable modem, it says “COM 21”. Haven’t checked the lights yet.
  4. I have McAfee Personal Firewall

Already checked the Internet Options and all is fine there. Thanks for the help in advance.

Your list is WRONG! There was no 4 in mine, only a 3 and a 5! I refuse to help you now.

Firewalls can cause conflicts with a connection, however I’ve not seen them do anything similar to this. Is there any particular reason you still have the router? Sometimse a wireless router can conflict with a cable modem, so make sure you keep those two as far away as possible. Probably not directly related, but it’s worth being cautious.

I’d still say the modem is most likely fine, but watch the lights, learn how their normal pattern (which ones are blinking, which stay solid). Then, when you lose your connection, see if the lights change on the modem. If they do, then it’s a physical issue most likely with the line. If not, then it’s most likely your router or computer.

Check in the documentation if the modem has a hardware firewall. In this case, the McAfee personal firewall is overkill.

Check if the cable modem is a router too. If this is the case, the router should be replaced with an access point.

In cases like this is better to simplify: remove the router first, then the Mcafee firewall if it is still disconnecting. Do a thorough check for viruses and spy-ware.

A pox upon me for a churlish poltroon!

I still have the router because I’m lazy. And for some reason, I thought (probably incorrectly) that a router helped provide firewall protection. I don’t understand why this problem would suddenly start happening.

I run Spyware Doctor daily and Ad-Aware every weekend. I think I did a complete virus scan just last weekend. My email service provides virus scanning and spam blocking with about a 99.99% success rate. I’m fairly rigorous about email traffic and guarding myself against infections, but who knows.

I’ll try taking the router out of the equation and see what happens.

Okay, when I sent that last post, the same problem occurred. I checked the cable modem and the “sending” (RD) light was dark, but the TD “incoming” light was blinking green. As soon as I hit “retry”, the RD light began flashing.