View Full Version : Help! Internet won't work.

2011-Oct-01, 01:37 PM
A few years ago we bought a cheap emachine desktop for the kids to use. We had Ubuntu installed when XP quit working. It ran like a charm until one day it just quit.

I bought a new tower yesterday. The guy at the store asked me if I had changed out my surge protector lately so that my new one would be protected. He said last time we had bad weather over 200 people called in to say their computer wouldn't start. (Hmm that was about the time the desktop quit.) So I bought a new surge protector.

I got home with the the new stuff and decided to go ahead and just check to see if the old machine would work - low and behold - it fired right up. I hooked everything back up but the internet wouldn't work. We've got internet through the cable company. My laptops have been working fine through the wireless router. I changed out an ethernet cord and finally got online on the desktop. Yesterday afternoon the internet quit working again. I'm using old cords I had stuff in a drawer.

Should I buy a new ethernet cord or could something else be causing this?

Donnie B.
2011-Oct-01, 02:39 PM
If you get your Internet via copper (cable TV), it too is susceptible to damage from surges due to lightning or static discharge. You could have damage to the cable box (if that's where the Ethernet hookup starts). It might be worth calling your provider to see if they're having any issues in your area, and possibly to request a replacement box.

I wouldn't expect the Ethernet cable to be the problem. Far more likely would be damage to the cable box or the Ethernet port inside your computer. Since you have one system working, it's possible the cable box was damaged but not fried -- some surge protection devices can change characteristics when they react to a transient (like a lightning strike), degrading the signal enough to affect one particularly sensitive port but not the other. A tech visit may be needed to sort it out.

ETA: another approach would be to add wireless adapters to the misbehaving machines, if they're expandable. Not very costly these days.

ETA2: Trying a new Ethernet cable isn't a bad idea just to eliminate that possibility (but I'm skeptical that it would help).

2011-Oct-01, 04:30 PM
The cable hooks into a little box (modem?) then a ethernet cord goes to a wireless router. I have a ethernet cord running from the router to the desktop. The green light is on where it hooks into the desktop. The dang thing was working yesterday and my laptops work using the wireless router.

2011-Oct-01, 06:57 PM
Does the laptop have an ethernet port? (I'd expect it does).

Try connecting that to the router with the ethernet cable (turn off the wireless).

That might tell you if the problem is the ethernet port on the router (or (less likely) the ethernet cable) or the ethernet adaptor inside that PC.

Your setup is like this?

TV Cable Ethernet Ethernet

|---------- PC
|~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Laptop


Suggesting this to try...

TV Cable Ethernet Ethernet

|---------- Laptop
|~ ~ ~ ~ ~ (Disabled)


2011-Oct-02, 12:52 AM
So the laptop works through the router. I have a wireless thingy that plugs into a USB port but it isn't supported for Ubuntu and I don't know enough to figure out. Is there a way to make it work?

ETA: None of the drivers on the CD will install.

2011-Oct-02, 01:15 AM
So the laptop works through the router. I have a wireless thingy that plugs into a USB port but it isn't supported for Ubuntu and I don't know enough to figure out. Is there a way to make it work?

ETA: None of the drivers on the CD will install.
Search for drivers for the dongle, try the manufacturer's site and then Googling for "[dongle make and model] Ubuntu driver", if that doesn't work ask on one of the various Ubuntu support forums.

The drivers on the CD are almost certainly only for Windows and Mac so won't work for Ubuntu (or any flavor of Linux for that matter).

2011-Oct-02, 01:32 AM
Is it possible to change out the Ethernet port?

2011-Oct-02, 04:42 AM
It's likely to be on-board (built in to the motherboard), but you should be able to buy an add-on card for the PC that adds another ethernet port, and disable the faulty one.

This link is useless to you (wrong location) but gives an idea of what you'd (likely) be looking for http://dicksmith.co.nz/product/XH8265/dse-network-card-10-100mbps .

Making sure it has the right drivers available before purchase is another thing...

2011-Oct-04, 02:26 AM
OK. I got it working again by messing around with the settings. Don't know what I changed but it stopped working again. I'd like it to work but mostly I hate NOT KNOWING stuff. Now I have to learn whatever I can to make this sucker work. Guess I'll be spending time on the Ubuntu forums.

2011-Oct-04, 04:27 AM
You aren't being specific about the manner in which your internet doesn't work. It might fail because of loss of connectivity, in which case you won't be able to ping ip addresses known to be valid. It might fail because although you have connectivity, you don't have name service, so your browser can find things like google.com.