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 Post subject: Lightning Strikes Again
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:49 pm 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:49 am
Posts: 378
We had a bit of a storm roll through last night.

A relative playing some online game during (yeah) the storm heard a "SNAP" and realized his Internet connection was lost. Computer seems fine otherwise.

Internet service via Comcast using an Arris Touchstone telephony modem connected to the PC via an older Linksys NIC--motherboard doesn't have networking of its own.

Comcast asked him to swap out the Ethernet cable; he did, but no difference. Oh, he didn't tell them he was playing online during a thunderstorm!

What most likely got fried: the NIC or the modem?


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Again
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:05 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 12:54 pm
Posts: 543
Location: NYC
You didn't mention what's currently wrong, I assume your relative can't connect anymore?

He gets his internet connection over the phone line using a modem, but it's not DSL, right? And the phone otherwise still works? If that's the case I would doubt anything lightning-related happened over the data cables, otherwise it would likely have taken out your phone line too. Has he tried resetting the modem?

Also, the specific activity he was doing doesn't matter. Web browsing, playing a game, downloading a file, talking on skype, they're all essentially the same thing, it's all packets as far as the internet is concerned.


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Again
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:41 pm 
Million Club [PC]*
Million Club [PC]*
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:29 pm
Posts: 4914
Location: Motor City, folding for Mom
@ threephi: wha?
Comcast is a cable company. ;) And, an Arris Touchstone Telephony modem is a cable internet + telephone modem. You've heard of Comcast (or Bright House, or Time Warner, or any other cableco) 'digital voice' (or phone) service, right? These are how they do it.


@ ROXXORz:
Does he still have working phone service? If that's also dead, it's quite likely that the modem is dead, and/or the line is fried.
Status lights on the modem - what do they have to say?
Status lights on the NIC - what are they doing?
Does Windows indicate that there's a connection at all? If it does, can you open the modem's web interface ( http://192.168.100.1 )? If you can, any issues indicated there?

If Windows (and the NIC's lights) indicate that the connection is dead, try simply swapping out the NIC (or, connect your laptop to the modem.) NOTE: if your swap the NIC (or the computer), you MUST shut down the modem first! It needs a reset, otherwise it simply won't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Again
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:54 am 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:49 am
Posts: 378
The Link light on the modem is out. The other lights are on steady. I know his cable TV works, but I don't know about his phone service.

There are no lights on the NIC: the 100 and LAN/Act LEDs are dead.

Other than having no Internet access, there doesn't appear to be any further damage to the PC; it does everything except get online.

Hopefully, it's just the NIC, and I can buy another one this afternoon.

And maybe next time, he'll turn the PC off during a thunderstorm!


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Again
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:36 pm 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:49 am
Posts: 378
It was just the NIC card! Picked up an overpriced replacement at Best Buy.

The modem's Link light started blinking the moment it was connected to the new NIC. All I had to do was install the drivers off the CD, reset the modem with a paperclip, and reboot the PC.

I took the opportunity to vacuum out the inside of the case, removing the CPU fan to clear the grill underneath; pulled the video card out and cleaned its fans. Now, I mention this because the guy is a smoker. You know how most dust is kind of white (it is in my house). His dust is brown, like cinnamon. And that crap deposits thicker than dust in a non-smoking home--it sort of cakes on and seems to absorb a good deal of moisture from the air.

And people put that crap into their lungs?


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