July 15, 2012

UPDATE to Internet Connection Problems

UPDATE 7/17/2012 - I have the new ethernet card installed but now the internet light on my modem is out. My service provider is clueless and wants to pass me off to paid support. Might be a better investment to put the one time $160s toward a new computer. That's not an immediate option, so I'm researching other avenues. Thank you one and all for your kind concerns!


Well, I couldn't find a new ethernet card card locally because businesses have phased them out. I did however order one, very cheap and should be here sometime this week. Several of you made recommendations about serge protectors. I appreciate that. I do have a surge protector for my computer, but so far it hasn't protected us from anything. I will look into an ethernet surge protector.

Apparently however, the lightning strike did more than knock out my ethernet, I'm having trouble booting my computer. With continued storms (and a total of 3.6" of rain last week), I've been turning my computer off and unplugging it when not in use. It takes two or three tries to get it to boot up and then I get a message telling me I've had several boot failures. Duh. I've actually had booting problems since the first lightning strike, as in I haven't been able to shut the system down. It automatically reboots.

None of this bodes well for the life of my computer, which is only two years old. I'm in the process of backing up everything of value to me and wondering what we'll do if we lose our computer. But then nobody ever said life wouldn't be without it's trials!


  1. Oooooo, I NEVER trust serge protectors..we have them too, but I just use it for extra plugs. I think you may be able to buy ones that really do work but are very spendy, I think I still wouldn't trust.

    The other night we had an electrical storm and it came close enough for us to have to go through and disconnect all electronics from plug-ins and cable connection.

    I know little about computers so I have sometimes called my Internet providers tech help..they usually are willing to help out...NOT COMCAST, they were horrid when I had them years ago at the City House.

    Hope you get it all worked out soon. xo

  2. Sherri well, I just ordered a surge protector that includes telephone (ethernet, etc). It was $14 on Amazon for a 6 foot cord, more for a longer cord, we'll see!

    The first time around I called my service provider for help. They were helpful for some trouble shooting but they can only help windows users and maybe Mac. We Linux users aren't "supported." :p

  3. Hubby and I own a computer repair business. What you're describing sounds like a mother board failure. If this is from a power surge, you could check with your home owners about coverage for a new machine. It sounds like you will need one any day now.

    A surge protector only goes so far. The only complete protection is to have it off and unplugged. Good luck!

  4. Well, shoot. I know how lost I am without a computer, so I feel for you. Keep backing up the info so you won't lose that. Good luck.

  5. How awful to lose your computer!! I rely on mine way too much. Everytime it starts lightning around here, I immediately shut down my computer and unplug it but I often wonder if electricity can jump through the plug to my computer.. my luck, it would happen.
    Hope you get things working again soon.

  6. Dave put external hard drives on our computers and then backed up all the information.
    I suppose all that needs backing up again but I'm too computer stupid to know what to do. Dave's cousin and wife are visiting next weekend; perhaps he'll do it for me.
    The storms kill my landlines as well as the phone lines. It's a monthly fight with Verizon to get things fixed.
    In other words, you have my sympathy; life is a trial sometimes.

  7. When we bought our HD TV we were able to get a pricey surge protector (Monster HTS 3600 or similar; ours is a 1600) for free plus the cost of the cable. While we have frequent lighting thunderstorms here in NE, we've never had a strike. But we did have a power surge from the power company due to a faulty something or other at a substation, and it saved the TV. The unit 'took' the jolt and shut the TV down. It is pricey, but as I understand it, it's the algorithms programmed into the circuitry that provide the protection. Sue in MA

  8. Oh no Leigh :/ Being without a computer isn't good, I know, been there myself. Praying you find a solution. If it is only 2 yrs old, did you by any chance, get the protection plan for it? That saved my bacon recently when I needed a new hard drive.

  9. it sounds silly, because 20 years ago I didn't have a home computer and did fine without it, but today it would drive me crazy if I lost mine! luckily we don't have many thunderstorms, but we plug out everything if one does come through, because the surge protector for some reason disturbed my DH's radios (as in radio amateur).. same for wireless stuff, we had a hard time finding old-fashioned wired stuff like mouse, keyboard etc... I hope yours can be repaired - I'd miss your blog a lot!! (I know, I am selfish:)

  10. Bummer, Leigh. I'm blessed with a tech-geek husband (he teaches IT, and can take our computers apart and put them back together again) so I rarely have a computer problem that lasts long. We also have a whole-house surge protector and surge protectors on all our main equipment. My computer is a laptop, and I unplug its power cord when there's a storm, just in case, and run on battery power.

    Sure hope a good solution to your computer issues comes along soon!

  11. Oh, heck, Leigh. Your not having a computer will be bad for ALL of us! Sounds as if you are getting everyone's rain. I have surge protectors on everything, but do not entirely trust them. I just unplug everything when the storms fire up. Hope you can work it out without it costing you an arm and a leg.

  12. I'm sorry Leigh about your computer, and I learned pretty fast when I lived in Florida that a good surge protector is worth its weight in gold. Richard

  13. Who has phased out ethernet cards? Your stores must be going out of business or you got ahold of a lazy geek.


    Tip: don't go to Best Buy for a computer part. They get kudos or whatever you call it for selling complete systems.

  14. If the juice went in through the phone lines, your ethernet, mainboard AND modem are most likely toast. I'd send the modem back to your provider, if that's where you got it.

  15. Just wanted to confirm what CrustyRusty said. It is probably your modem that is fried and there is probably nothing wrong with you computer. Your computer does not influence whether the light on your modem is on or off.

  16. I'm with Susan - computer woes are bad for you, but worse for us! ;) I'm dying to see your kitchen reveal!! Hope all your technical difficulties get sorted soon.

  17. Have you tried checking for a reset button on the modem? If that doesn't work, what about replacing the modem? They do get breakdown or wear out sometimes. It may also have been affected by the power surge.

  18. Checking in from a library computer...

    Heather it's interesting you should say that. After last year's lightening strike I tried to get help via Dell support because the computer was still under warantee. They insisted it wasn't a hardware problem but software. They wanted to pass me off to fee based support. The Ubuntu Forums was the best help. I learned that Dell's ethernet is integrated into the motherboard, which explained why they didn't want to acknowledge a problem. Replacing a motherboard is mucho more costly than replacing an ethernet card!

    Andrew, Best Buy was the 1st place I went and was told they no longer sold PCI ethernet cards. They suggested Office Max, Staples, or Radio Shack. I tried the first 2 but they'd also phased them out. I finally bought one through Amazon but am still having problems. So perhaps it is a modem problem.

    Crusty, Cecilia, and Nina, I went through all the trouble shooting with the modem. In fact at ATT support I asked about whether the modem was damaged but she didn't seem to think so and again, wanted to pass me off to paid support. I may have to see if I can replace that on my own. Thanks.


Welcome to 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog! Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation.