[sclug] Tinternet access problem

Alex Butcher lug at assursys.co.uk
Mon Jul 27 12:45:53 UTC 2009

On Mon, 27 Jul 2009, Neil Haughton wrote:

> This is not really a 'Linux' question, but bear with me in case you know the
> answer...
> I have a Netgear wireless router (DG834g) connected to my telephone line
> (usual paraphernalia connected with it, ADSL suppressor and so on) and it is
> normally left on.
> I also have a Netgear W311g wireless adapter in my PC (Ubuntu 7.10, using
> ndiswrapper and the XP driver)
> So here's the problem: If I use the internet one or more times a day, I find
> (not always, but with depressing monotony) that when I eventually try to do
> so I have no connection with my ISP, my router ADSL light is flashing
> orange, and the router admin screen shows it is 'negotiating' and "LCP is
> allowed to come up". Sometimes this will eventually resolve itself, but
> usually not and I have to reboot the router (switch off and on) and restart
> the PC to get a connection. Then it will be ok until I shut down the PC.

I've observed similar behaviour with my Dad's TalkTalk connection, with the
same router, IIRC.

Note to people with experience of the DG834g and the way TalkTalk configure
it; it does magic, like many D-Link ADSL devices and looks more like a modem
than you'd expect compared with other routers; things like disconnecting
when there are no active hosts behind it and suchlike. Personally, I dislike
this, and I'm glad I'm still using my 2002-vintage ZyXEL that is a
bog-standard bridge/router and behaves entirely as one would expect.

> My ISP (TalkTalk) has been unable to cure the problem for any length of
> time, and maintain whenever I call them that line tests show the line itself
> is fine.  This could just be crap tech support, or it could be a real
> problem (line etc) that is going to require actual expenditure to fix, in
> which case I suppose I get what I pay for. (FWIW the phone is quite reliable
> on the same line.)
> Incidentally I am managing a download speed of circa 4Mbps on an 8Mbps
> service (better than the norm, I read), so the line itself can't be complete
> rubbish.
> I have a hunch though that, given that once I have a connection it is
> usually quite stable for as long as I need it, this is simply a DHCP lease
> issue - once I disconnect my PC the router allows TalkTalk to give my IP
> address to some one else, and when I try to reconnect they temporarily don't
> have any spares available so I cannot until another subscriber gives one up.
> Does this sound likely, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Possible, and/or possible authentication problems. My ISP (Eclipse) isn't
unbundled yet, so AFAICS, I authenticate against a BT Wholesale system which
communicates with Eclipse's authentication system. When BTW screw things up,
I get an outage with similar symptoms to those which you are experiencing.

To diagnose further, compare the logs on the router admin screen (where
"LCP is allowed to come up" shows) between a successful connection (e.g.
your first of the day) and an unsuccessful connection. Send the results to
TalkTalk and ask for the call to be escalated until you're talking with a
tech who understands them. :-)

> Either way it's bloody annoying and I am getting increasing domestic flack
> over it too :-)
> Neil.

Best Regards,

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