Cannot connect to Internet wired or wireless

Microsoft Windows vista home premium - 3...
August 8, 2010 at 08:49:58
Specs: Windows Vista
This is a very odd situation. I have a Vista laptop that worked fine with a Zyxel DSL modem/wireless router last week. The laptop got some malware on it and was removed. Now, I can connect to the router and get an IP address but I can only get the Internet briefly. When I attempt to ping the router, it works for a minute then ping stops and from there it rarely will return a response on both wired and wireless. I tried different drivers on both the wired and wireless cards...I used the "netsh int ip reset", "netsh winsock reset", and "netsh winsock reset catalog"...I installed all Windows updates...I disabled the Windows firewall and antivirus(AVG Free...Nothing works. The really strange thing is that the other machines on the network (both wired and wireless) do not have a problem with just the Zyxel hooked up but if I hook up another router to the Zyxel, the laptop now works fine. Also, the laptop doesn't seem to have any problems connecting to any other networks. Any thoughts?

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August 8, 2010 at 13:55:58
"...the laptop doesn't seem to have any problems connecting to any other networks."

If you mean via both wired and wireless connections, then there's nothing wrong with your wired and wireless network adapter drivers on the laptop.

High speed modems do not re-set themselves automatically when the internet connection becomes poor and then it becomes better later - the connection will stay poor, even if the led indicating a connection is still lit up.

Sometimes DSL or ADSL connections need to be re-set .
- if the modem or combo router / modem has a switch, switch it off, switch it back on
- if it doesn't have a switch, unplug the AC end of the AC to DC apapter's cord, or unplug the DC cord at the modem or combo router / modem (pull on the plug, NOT THE CORD).

WAIT until all the appropriate leds light up and indicate you have a DSL or ADSL connection.
If the led for the DSL or ADSL connection doesn't light up in a short time, either your ISP is having a problem, or there is too much line noise on your telephone line connection (I frequently have the latter problem).

You can't access the internet from one computer with both a wireless and wired network connection at the same time - it's one or the other. To be sure you're connecting via what you want to, you may need to restart Windows if you change from one to the other.
E.g. disable the wireless adapter, and with the network cable plugged in, restart the computer.
With the wireless adapter enabled, unplug the network cable, restart the computer.

When you have the network cable plugged in, make sure both end connectors are all the way into the network ports. The end connectors should NOT pull out of the network ports until you have pressed the lever on the connectors, and the cable sheath should be clamped inside the end connector, not pulled out of it. The led for that port on the router should light up on the router, at least when the computer is also running and in Windows. The laptop may or may not have an led that lights up at the port.

When you change a setting for a wireless network adapter, the change often does not take affect until after you have restarted the computer.

Wireless network connections are often protected by Security settings in both the wireless adapter's settings and the router's settings by either an encryption code or a password - those must be the same on both ends of the wireless connection, otherwise, you can't connect wirelessly to that router, or if you can, you can connect to it only briefly.

If the Zytel combo router / modem's settings have that code or password set differently that the code or password you're using to access the router wirelessly on your computer, you can't connect to that router wirelessly.
To correct that, you must either
- supply the known correct code or password for the connection to the Zytel that the Zytel requires, in Windows
- or be able to access the router's configuration via another computer that's connected to the Zytel, determine what it's present code or password is, use that code or password in Windows for the wireless connection to the Zytel
- or connect the laptop to the Zytel via a network cable from the laptop and do the same thing
- or connect to the Zytel either way and use the code or password that's being used in Windows for the wireless adapter in the Zytel's configuration.

DSL and ADSL connections have another possibility.

(If your ISP does not require the following, you should have no problem connecting to internet via a network cable connection to the Zytel at any time, unless it needs to be re-set.)

Some DSL and ADSL ISPs require that you register the MAC address of the router or one network adapter on a computer that's connected to the router. That's usually done automatically when you install installation software the ISP has provided, or sometimes you can go to only one specific URL on the web in order to register a MAC address, despite the fact you can't initially access the internet otherwise. Some ISPs allow more than one MAC address be registered, but it's a small number of them , often two.
In that case, the MAC address in all router's configurations for the wired (WAN) connection must be a certain MAC address, or one of a small number of MAC addresses, otherwise you can't connect to the internet.

You can clone the MAC address of one network adapter on a computer when it's the only thing connected to the router, or you can type in a MAC address that you know has been registered in the router's configuration.

E.g. in my case, I use Telus as an ISP, they allow only two MAC addresses to be registered, one is registered when you use their connection installation software, and I initially had a standalone modem connected to a wired network adapter. All my routers must have the same MAC address in their wired configuration as that of the wired network adapter I initially connected to.
If I want to change which MAC address is registered with the ISP, I have to run the ISP's connection installation software again
Obviously, I can't use the default MAC addresses of the routers themselves, unless I use only one router.

You can connect the wireless adapter to only one wireless router at a time. If you want to change which router you connect to wirelessly, you have to select that router's SSID label in Windows and choose to Connect to it.
If the connection says "Security Enabled" the correct code or password must be supplied in order to connect to the router.
Once the correct code or password for a particular connection to a particular router has been supplied, Windows will "remember" that code or password for that router and you don't have to type it again, unless Windows has been reloaded, or you've changed your wireless adapter .

"if I hook up another router to the Zyxel, the laptop now works fine. "

In that case, you must be connecting the ports on the two routers together, and the telephone cable to the other router . In that case, the Zytel is acting as a network switch or a simple network hub. You can access the internet because the settings in the other router's configuration are correct.

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August 9, 2010 at 11:35:13
That's a lot too read but I think you missed a couple key points. All my other computers work fine on the network both wired and wireless and even if I introduce a new computer to the network it has no problem. I have tried disabling the wireless and just connecting wired and it only works for a minute or so and stops working. That is the odd part. Pretty much I can get on and load up one page before it stops working (and I'm not talking about a cached page). I have gone through all the basic troubleshooting steps and have made no progress. I believe it has something to do with something at a sub-level that controls both wired and wireless cards. I have tried disabling IPv6, Qos and other unnecessary protocols and services. I have even booted in Safe Mode with networking support and it has the same is able to connect for only a minute while other computers on the network continue to work properly. It is an ADSL connection and the ISP is only sees the MAC of the modem...all other computers would be masked behind the router. It would only see the one MAC registered to the modem. I am A+/Network+/MCP certified and have been troubleshooting networks like this for years. I have not been able to make head or tails of this one though.

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August 9, 2010 at 12:46:25
I know from much experience that it is very easy to assume you're connecting to the internet via the network cable, or wirelessly, when you actually are NOT.

You MUST do this -

To be sure you're connecting via what you want to, you may need to restart Windows if you change from one to the other.

E.g. disable the wireless adapter (e.g. in Device Manager), and with the network cable plugged in, restart the computer.
With the wireless adapter enabled, unplug the network cable, restart the computer.

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Related Solutions

August 9, 2010 at 12:57:09
How about posting the results of an ipconfig /all and a tracert to for review.

Can you go to a restore point before the virus? Restoring to this point would be the way to go.

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August 10, 2010 at 09:20:40
I think everyone is missing the idea here. Let's just say I disable the wireless completely and just connect a wire to the connects and I am able to ping the router and internet addresses (such as but after about a minute, the ping to the router just stops working but it may have an occasional reply to a ping (maybe 1 out of 50). If I connect that same wire to the other router, it works fine. I have also tried new patch cables. I even tried adding PCMCIA network card and it has the same sympthoms. I cannot do a system restore to a point before the virus because it is disabled. I do not want to reformat or use the other router. I know I am just being stubborn and want to figure out the problem. There must be a logical explaination for it. I am looking for an idea that is out of the normal scope of basic troubleshooting. This seems to be a more advanced problem.

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August 10, 2010 at 13:59:28
If you haven't done similar to what I stated in Response 3, then I'm not convinced you were actually connecting to the internet through the network cable from the laptop.

If you are getting "Limited or no connectivity" or similar messages for the wireless connection on the laptop despite Windows showing you the wireless signal strength is, say, at least 3 bars out of four, then the code or password for your security in the wireless adapter's settings on the laptop is NOT correct - you must make that the same as in the Zytel's wireless settings.

E.g. You search for available wireless connections on the laptop, click on the one with the SSID for the Zytel, click on Connect, type the correct code or password, twice.

NOTE that if you are already connected to the Zytel, and if the code or password is NOT correct, you MUST disconnect that connection, then click on it again, click on Connect, and then type in the correct code or password, INSTEAD OF the one that's there by default (asterisk place holders are shown where the code or password is entered - there are the same number of asterisks as the number of characters in the code or password - if the number of asterisks is not correct, the same as in the Zytel's wireless configuration, the code or password that was previously used is not correct).

"I cannot do a system restore to a point before the virus because it is disabled. "

Many anti-malware programs and other sources tell you to disable System Restore when you want to get rid of malware, but Microsoft experts have recommended for some time that you should NOT do that because
- you cannot be re-infected by malware that's in System Restore restore points unless you load a restore point yourself that's infected.
- usually not all the restore points are infected when you do have one or more infected restore points. You can often load one that is not infected and have no problems related to that malware.
- sometimes anti-malware programs make mistakes and remove the wrong things. In some cases, the problems caused by that cannot be fixed easily, and timewise you are better off to use some procedure to Repair Windows, or to install Windows from scratch, unless you have one or more System Restore restore points to load, which is easy to try.
E.g. Spybot, many times, and AdAware, have removed the wrong things in the past and that caused major problems.

They say it's fine for you to disable System Restore to remove infected restore points, AFTER you're sure the malware is gone from Windows otherwise and you're sure Windows is working properly, or you can do a Disk cleanup of the partition Windows is on, then choose to delete all restore points other than the last one.

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August 10, 2010 at 16:37:11
stroke6463 I don't think we are missing the point.

It is really helpful for the situtation if you provide the information as requested.


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