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Standard User HS1
(newbie) Mon 04-Jan-16 11:34:52
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Network connection


[link to this post]
 
This is my first post on this, or any, forum - so please bear with me.

I have two desktop PCs, an old Dell with Windows XP and a used, but new to me, HP Compaq 8200 Elite SFF running Windows 7. Each is connected by ethernet cable to a Billion 8800NL router. I monitor the connections by using Router Stats Lite (RSL).

From switch-on the Dell's RSL graphs show unbroken traces for download and upload connections and also noise margin, whilst over the last few months the HP RSL graphs show frequent drops to zero on the download connection speed trace and noise margin, but not on the upload connection speed. However, the log shows that all three drop to zero. Here's an example from the HP's RSL log -

Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:37:51, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.1, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:38:01, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.2, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:38:11, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.1, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:38:25, Noise Margin (dB)= , Connection Speed (Kbps)= 0, Upstream Sync= 0
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:38:31, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.1, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:38:45, Noise Margin (dB)= , Connection Speed (Kbps)= 0, Upstream Sync= 0
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:38:51, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.1, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:39:05, Noise Margin (dB)= , Connection Speed (Kbps)= 0, Upstream Sync= 0
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:39:11, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.1, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:39:21, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.1, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448
Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:39:31, Noise Margin (dB)= 10.1, Connection Speed (Kbps)= 7136, Upstream Sync= 448

The graphs show the problem better, but I don't know how to insert them in a message.

I've swapped over the ethernet cables at the PCs, effectively changing the router ports at the same time. This made no difference.

If I power down/power up either the router or the HP PC, the problem often disappears – usually for the rest of the session and then reappears next time.

I've uninstalled and reinstalled RSL on the HP, and the issue is still there.

Based on my hazy knowledge of the technology involved, I suspect the problems might be due to the HP's “Intel 82579LM integrated GbE Network Connection”. Does this seem a reasonable line of thinking, or am I missing something? Unfortunately, the network connection is not on a removable card, but is part of the motherboard, and I don't have the ability or confidence to mess with it!

I'd be grateful for any thoughts you might have on the issue.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 04-Jan-16 11:59:17
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Re: Network connection


[re: HS1] [link to this post]
 
Is your actual broadband connection dropping the connection? Or is this just an issue with monitoring the connection.

You really only need to monitor the router on a single PC since it is the same information that is being monitored if you have only one broadband connection to the property.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User HS1
(newbie) Mon 04-Jan-16 12:17:34
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Re: Network connection


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your reply MrSaffron.
I interpreted the unbroken RSL trace on the Dell at the same time as the HP RSL trace is showing drops as indicating that the broadband connection to the property is okay. It was in order to check this that I started monitoring on the Dell, which I rarely use. Am I missing something here?


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Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Mon 04-Jan-16 12:34:08
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Re: Network connection


[re: HS1] [link to this post]
 
The problem could be the driver for the Intel 82579LM on the HP. Have you tried installing a new driver?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 04-Jan-16 12:51:58
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Re: Network connection


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
If the issue is the network driver a much better way to verify this would be a long ping train e.g.

ping -t 192.168.0.1

i.e. ping the router from the PC and see if there are packets dropped.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 04-Jan-16 14:11:34
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Re: Network connection


[re: HS1] [link to this post]
 
What sampling interval have you got RSL set to, on each machine? If the HP one is shorter than the Dell that could account for the difference between the two. With a long interval a re-sync can fail to show.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
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Standard User HS1
(newbie) Mon 04-Jan-16 19:11:02
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Re: Network connection


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the responses -

RobertoS - the sample interval on each PC's RSL is 10secs.

BatBoy - I hadn't updated the HP's network driver previously because running "update driver" in Device Manager told me that the latest driver was installed. After your suggestion I did a Google search and found a driver a few months later than was installed. I downloaded and installed it. I'll keep an eye on RSL to see if there's any improvement.

MrSaffron - pinging the router = bytes 32, time <1ms, TTL=64. Is this okay? Unfortunately, I didn't do it before updating the driver.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 05-Jan-16 14:59:45
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Re: Network connection


[re: HS1] [link to this post]
 
Yes ping wise that is fine, and you want to leave it running and see if any are dropped, there should be no dropped or timed out packets when pinging the local router.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Fri 08-Jan-16 01:52:52
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Re: Network connection


[re: HS1] [link to this post]
 
RouterStats, and the Lite sibling used to suffer a serious flaw IMO - it would log a zero in cases where it failed to read any data from the modem at all, as well as the proper case of logging zero when it reads a zero value from the router. Logging zero in such circumstances causes everyone to start investigating a DSL problem, when the actual fault is either the local network, or just a timing clash.

The RS author makes slight amends in the graphs by colouring the line (between the previous proper reading and the zero) in a different colour. However, this is configurable, so you can set things in a way that makes it undetectable.

I stopped using RouterStats a long time ago, and IIRC the standard line would be blue or black, but the line denoting a failure to read data would be red. When the next reading is taken successfully, the upward line will be the normal blue/black colour - but it will partially overwrite the earlier downward red line.

Why does one programme do this?
Most likely reason is that the two programmes clash when logging into the router, which may only allow one active login session, rejecting the other one, triggering a zero in the logs.
It will be all down to the relative timing of the two computers - with the best solution to stop logging on one computer.

The second most likely reason is a slightly duff networking connection on the HP.

Note the timestamps in your log. Every successful entry appears at 10 second intervals, at 01,11,21,31,41 or 51 seconds. The failures take an extra 4 seconds to appear. That suggests a failure to read data to me.

I use DSLstats and HG612-modem-stats to monitor my 8800NL, which handle the failure better...
http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/board,46.0.html

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Standard User HS1
(newbie) Sat 16-Jan-16 13:26:42
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Re: Network connection


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
WWWombat - thanks for your reply. I'll install HG612 to monitor the HP-router connection. I've noticed that the download connection speed drops occur, generally, in the first twenty minutes, or so, following switch on. After that there are usually no drops.
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