Vista 64 Bit Limited Connectivity (Local Only)

If you are a glutton for punishment and you enjoy pain, despair, hair pulling and cursing at tech support people try this for size:

  1. Brand spanking new Dell XPS 630i
  2. Vista Home Premium OEM 64 Bit
  3. nVidia nForce 10/100/1000 MBps Networking Controller
  4. Linksys BEFSR81 v3 Router

This is pretty much a setup of my brand new gaming rig. I covered all the other specs yesterday, so I’m skipping stuff like CPU speed or video card here because they are irrelevant. The above combination is recipe for suffering. It’s partly my fault because I forgot to double check these things before I jumped on 64 bit Vista bandwagon. And I’m sure I will discover more annoyances like this as the time goes on. It seemed such a good idea at the time:

  1. 64 bit is the future
  2. I like the future
  3. I also like to have a lot of memory
  4. 64 bit operating systems have been sold to mainstream users for few years now, so the technology should be semi-mature
  5. ???
  6. Profit

Who could argue whit the stuff above? There are probably a dozen counterpoints that feet in between ??? and Profit, but I forgot to factor them into this equation.

Some of you can probably see where this is going. I guess this is the rite of initiation. You are not really a member of the “I hate Vista Club” until you have experienced one of the famous Vista networking issues. I just got my initiation, and it was not pleasant. I am pretty sure that most other people would simply assume that Vista 64 bit is a piece of crap and downgrade to a pirated copy of WinXP. Fortunately I had the patience and know-how to sort it all out.

What killed me was combination of the hardware and software components I listed in the first paragraph. You see, I have an old router. Routers are one of these things that last forever. You go out and buy a new computer every few years, but hardly anyone replaces their router. You buy it, you set it up and then you avoid touching it unless your internet goes down. Unless of course you are one of the few people brave (or crazy enough) to flash-bake your router with an open source Linux firmware for awesome routing capabilities. And if you are one of those people you probably have 7 routers and 8 switches in your house, so whenever you brick something you can just swap it out.

Most of us, mere mortals however use a single router with a plain vanilla firmware that was installed on the device and are fairly content with it. And that’s where the problem lies. When you upgrade to a new flaky, half baked 64 bit OS you may or may not experience it clashing with dusty old firmware that was not designed to work with 64 bit architecture. In my case I believe this was a combination of old firmware, and the particular 64 bit network drivers for my ethernet card.

But let me start from the beginning.

Huston we have a problem…

I came back from work the other day, and opened the shiny new box that contained my brand new computer. It was the beautiful new gaming rig that I have been waiting for. I had an evening of TF2 and Fallout 3 all planned out in front of me. I did not expect any trouble.

I hooked it all up, turned it on, went through the initial configuration and disabled the stupid shit like the Vista Sidebar or the Dell Dock) and tried to go online to download the essentials: Firefox, Vim, Dropbox client and etc. That was the moment when the proverbial shit hit the fan.

Vista decided to label my network as “Unidentified” and set my access as Local Only. No problem, I thought – I’ll just disconnect and reconnect. I clicked on “Repair Connection” watched a progress bar for a few seconds and… It failed to get an IP address.

Or rather it gave me that stupid 169.x.x.x address and no default gateway. In router speak, giving someone a 169 IP address is roughly equivalent to yelling “Get off my porch!” and slamming the door in their face. It means “no internet for you buddy”. I was not happy.

I know Win XP and Win 2k like the back of my hand – I have worked with these systems for years and I can troubleshoot networking issues in my sleep. But these are 32 bit systems. Vista is a new and ugly beast I haven’t had a chance to grok yet. So I did what any user would do when confronted with a silly configuration problem. Instead of sitting there racking my head and randomly tweaking configuration settings until I find the magical combination, I dialed the tech support number.

Dell Tech Support – Round 1

Yeah, I know – calling Dell Warranty Support line for software configuration help is like asking Stephanie Meyer for novel writing advice – it tends to be harmful rather than helpful. But I half suspected that I might have been shipped a defective machine. It has happened to me before. We once got a laptop with a faulty Wifi card at work, and it took me 3 days and 7+ calls to actually get it replaced. The Dell drones made me reinstall windows 3 times before they actually agreed to escalate the case.

I was afraid this will end up being something similar. On the other hand I was hoping that perhaps it is something simple. Something I’m missing because I’m not familiar with Vista. Sadly this was not the case. Dell tech support told me to reboot the computer (surprise, surprise!), power cycle my modem and router, touch my nose with my left hand and jump on my right leg and other common troubleshooting steps. Then they concluded this must be a software issue and it should actually be very easy to fix, but it was the wrong department for this kind of stuff. The guy I was talking to suggested that he can transfer me to another department were they can better handle this issue.

Dell Tech Support – Round 2

I spent the next 20 minutes listening to crappy on-hold music and looping voice recording that assured me that while my call is very important to them, they are not going to pick up the phone just yet. Finally, I got a human being on the line who apparently was not trained in the phone grating thing. Usually when you call a place of business the person on the other line introduces themselves, thanks you for your call and etc. This guy picked up the phone and said:

“[audible sigh] … hello!”

Quite surprised, I replied with another hello. He repeated his hello with annoyance in his voice which confused me more. So I asked the first thing that came to my mind: “Who is this?”

“Who is this? You called me!” he replied not even bothering to hide his annoyance. I explained that I was transferred to this number by another Dell technician and inquired if this is indeed the correct line. He assured me that yes it was, and asked me what the problem was.

I asked if he could just pull up my case notes, cause the other guy has documented it pretty well. He said that yes, he could but he is not going to. Splendid!

After listening to my complaints, he confirmed that this is indeed a common problem with their XPS line with 64 bit Vista and that it should be trivial to fix.

Unfortunately, he said, I did not purchase a software support plan for this computer and thus he would need to charge me a one time fee of $30 to even attempt troubleshooting this. Or, you know – I could buy a 6 month plan for mere $300 which apparently is a steal. I declined, and asked them them to transfer me back to the warranty support line.

Apparently there are 17 different support plans that you need to buy to be fully covered. There is your basic hardware warranty plan which covers regular wear and tear or hardware failures. Then there is the silver warranty support which covers the same, but the call center is not staffed by chimpanzees but by poor Indian farmers who have no technical expertise. They don’t actually have computers in that call center – just paper manuals and an abacus on each desk. If you want to talk to someone who actually was trained to use a computer you need the Gold Premium Support pan. There are also plans for accidental damage that occurs on work days, accidental damage that occurs on weekend, accidental damage while traveling, accidental coffee spill support plan, software support plan that only applies on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a few others.

It is designed this way so that they can transfer you from support center to support center until they find one that you are not covered for and con you out of your money. Very clever!

Dell Tech Support – Round 3, Return of the Jedi

15 minutes later I was talking to an Indian lady with a very thick accent and infuriating speech patterns. Her sentence structure was unusual:

“For this computer, I must confirm: you have Wireless network card, that is correct sir?”

No, I don’t. I don’t have a wireless card. It’s a desktop.

“Thank you for that answer sir. For this computer, I must confirm: you have not a Wireless network card, that is correct sir?”

Um… Yes?

“Oh, ok. Thank you for that answer sir. For this computer, I must confirm: you have do have a Wireless network card, that is correct sir?”

What? No! No! I have an Ethernet card. Ethernet!

“Thank you for that answer sir. For this computer, I must confirm: you have do have a Wireless network card, and you are trying to connect to the Internet. That is correct sir?”

Jesus Jumping Christ! It is a wired connection. I plug in a wire that goes from my router into the back of my computer!

“Thank you for that answer sir. For this computer, I must confirm: you have do have a network card wired. You have a wire goes from router of yours to the computer in the back. I also confirm that and you are trying to connect to internet wireless. That is correct sir?”

This went for about an hour. I swear it was almost like talking to Yoda. But at least Yoda was consistent in the way he mangled English. This lady would switch it up, and to make things worse she would start each sentence slowly, then speed it up and then slow down at the end. Most of the time I had to ask her to repeat the middle of her sentence, and she would repeat the whole thing, word for word, with the same intonation, and the same incomprehensible word-mumble in the middle.

She also made me reboot the computer, power cycle the modem, uninstall McAfee and few other silly things. She finally concluded that I need to call Linksys as this seems to be a compatibility issue with my router. At least that’s what I think she said.

This made some sense to me. Router could be the problem here. After all, this is a 64 bit OS and my router is probably the oldest device on my network. Chances are it was the culprit.

Bricking the Router

I commandeered my brother’s computer and started researching Vista 64 bit and router issues. I couldn’t find anything specific, but apparently older routers do tend to have trouble with Vista and a lot of people online resolved their problems via firmware upgrade.

I’m one of these people that thinks that the words firmware and upgrade should not be used in the same sentence, unless that sentence is “firmware upgrade bricked my device”. So you can imagine I was very weary of doing this. But I was also desperate, and I definitely didn’t feel like talking to any more support drones.

So I went to linksys site, downloaded the most recent firmware and proceeded to run the upgrade using the web interface. It failed in a spectacular way and for a second I convinced that I bricked the router.

I lost connection to the internet and I couldn’t bring back the UI interface at all. Instead of fixing my networking issue for one machine I pretty much knocked every single other computer off the internet. Excellent!

Thank god Routers are not that expensive. I was really mad at myself for destroying a perfectly good piece of hardware that served me well for years. It also meant I would need to make a trip to an electronics store and buy a Vista compatible router right there and then, or live without the internet until the next day. It was already 11pm so all the bigger, cheaper stores with good selection were already closed. I really did not feel like driving around all night trying to find a 24 hour electronics store which could sell me a router replacement.

Fortunately power cycling the device restored my internet connection. It did not restore the UI however. Apparently doing a firmware upgrade via the web interface on the BEFSR81 router never ends well. I looked it up online, and everyone who has ever tried it regretted it afterward. This makes me wonder why they even have this functionality on their device.

Apparently Linksys has released a special executable app which would flash the firmware via some undocumented FTP channel. The forums confirmed that the app was also the only way to restore the web UI once you fucked it up by trying to flash the firmware the documented way. The executable used to be hosted on Linksys FTP site few years ago, but it has vanished. They probably axed it when they end-of-lifed my model 3 or 4 years ago. I had no clue it was that ancient. As I said – routers last forever. Needless to say all the links posted in the forums were broken and it looked like I was up the shit creek without a paddle.

Eventually thanks to my trusty Google-Fu I found it. I don’t have the link anymore (I was working on my brothers computer) but it was either the Linksys application or something close enough to it. I think it was called TFTP.exe or something similar. I wish I have saved the link – I can’t seem to be able to find it again. I was posted on some shady mirroring site and I didn’t fully trust it but I was desperate!

Thankfully It worked and I it successfully restored my router to full functionality.

Did it help to resolve my Vista issue? Of course not. That would be to easy! Even after I went through all this trouble to flash the firmware, my Vista box still refused to connect to the internet.

I decided to call Linksys support and see if they could tell me if this model is even capable of working with Vista. I tried googling it but I got a mix of opinions. Some people claimed it works fine. Others said it doesn’t work at all. Some people said it wasn’t working originally, but firmware upgrade helped. I really didn’t know if I needed to buy a new device or simply change some silly settings on the one I had.

Linksys Tech Support

Guess what I found out? Absolutely nothing! Linksys support drone told me that this is indeed a common issue and there is an easy fix for it, but… My router is out of warranty.

Can you detect a pattern here? It’s an easy fix, but you have to pay us. Otherwise we can’t tell you. I understand that they need to make money, but it is infuriating when people deny you basic support like that.

I tried to squeeze out some free information out of him – for example a simple yes or no answer to whether or not it is possible that this router is just not Vista 64 bit compatible. He of course replied that he can neither confirm or deny this without me paying a support fee. I explained that I was not about to pay their fee just to be told I need to buy a new router.

Somehow that got through to the guy on the other end of the line and he suggested that I try their chat support. Apparently it is free and since this should be an easy fix I might get my answer there. I figured that I might as well try that.

Guess what happened?

When I tried to log into their chat system, their whole website went down. I shit you not! Instead of chat support I a page that notified me about a “scheduled maintenance” to their support systems that will last a few hours. Some days you just can’t win.

Internet to the Rescue

I gave up on tech support. I decided to find a solution to this issue or die trying. Two hours later I emerged victorious. Apparently my router does not like the “Auto Negotiation” settings used by the 64 bit Vista drivers for my nVidia ethernet card. This was mentioned as an off-hand on page 6 of some gigantic discussion thread somewhere on the interwebs. The author of that post claimed that manually setting the speed to 10MBps Full Duplex solved his problem.

Encouraged by this, I pulled up the device manager, located that setting in the Advanced tab and changed it accordingly:

Changing Auto Negotiation Settings

Changing Auto Negotiation Settings

Miraculously, as soon as that setting was changed the network icon in the task bar changed to display a little globe icon – a clear indication that internet connection was established. I checked my IP address and it was a real one this time – none of that 169 crap. I was ecstatic. Just for shit and giggles I tried the 100MBps Full Duplex setting but that didn’t work.

If you are having this issue this is what you need to do.

  1. Go to device manager (type in devmgmt.msc in the search box and hit enter)
  2. Double click on your network card
  3. Go to the advanced tab
  4. Choose Speed/duplex settings from the list.
  5. Change the Value to 10Mbps Duplex

This should fix it for you. The only problem with this is that the setting will likely limit my local connection speed. Then again, maybe my old router always capped the network speed at 10Mbps and I just never realized it.

Anyway, here is a hint: when you are upgrading to a 64 bit OS make sure your networking hardware supports it. Otherwise you may end up like me wasting countless hours trying to get your machine online.

Here is something to consider – this issue was difficult to figure out for me – and I am a computer geek with good deal of IT expertise. I got it working because I do know a thing or two about this stuff – but I had to figure it out on my own by looking it up online. I can’t imagine what a regular user would do in this situation. I assume they would either buy a new router or send the computer back to Dell and buy another one (likely with Windows XP). Either that or they would pay out of their ass for the premium support.

There are no winners in this scenario. Either the end user gets conned out of his hard earned cash, or someone loses a customer for life. Maybe they will return the machine and never buy from Dell again. Maybe they will scrap a Linksys router and then stay away from that brand for the rest of their life. Or perhaps they will ditch Vista and ask the kid next door to install a pirated copy of XP on their machine.

Also, I’m a little bit disappointed that Dell did not send me that stupid customer satisfaction survey link in the mail. I get these all the time whenever I call them at work. This time around, I got nothing. I would totally enjoy giving them the lowest marks possible and venting in the comment boxes. Instead I’m venting here I guess.

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25 Responses to Vista 64 Bit Limited Connectivity (Local Only)

  1. Douglas T UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I bricked my router on a firmware upgrade last month. Trying to solve connection problems with a new Vista laptop. The laptop’s wireless kicked itself back on during the upgrade and I’m now the proud owner of a new router… and a laptop with a fresh ubuntu install.

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  2. gabe UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    boy this sort of thing sure is funnier to read about than it is to experience…

    Reply  |  Quote
  3. Naum UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS Terminalist says:

    I realize I’ll get shouted down here, but this type of thing is why my house is filled with Macs now…

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  4. When there is a network connectivity issue, my first thought is to blame the router. Consumer-grade routers are really awful: poorly written, barely documented software and shoddy hardware. I don’t think I ever bought one that didn’t have some annoying issue with it.

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @gabe: I know, right. :)

    @Naum: Shouted down? Here? Did you forget which blog this is?

    My house is filled with Linux boxen – but I need at least one Windows rig for that I can use for gaming. If I didn’t enjoy video games so much, I would ditch Windows completely years ago. :)

    @Chris Wellons: Very true. But since this device has worked for years without any issues, I didn’t really think it could be a problem at first.

    Btw, any recommendations on a replacement router?

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  6. Tino UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Congratulations for finally working it out. Do you have any idea what have changed in duplex-negotiation to make this catastrophe possible?

    I have to assume that you decided to go with tech-support just to amuse your readers :) My experience is that it is a no-win situation:

    Either, it is a common and known problem. In this case they eventually help you, but the solution would have been trivial to find on Google.

    Or, it is an uncommon problem. In this case they just waste a lot of your time with worthless diagnostics. It would be faster to diagnose the problem yourself.

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  7. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Well, I would think the problem is more likely to be in the nForce 64bit Ethernet driver than it is in Vista. As far as I can tell, it’s the driver that’s supposed to handle speed negotiations, not the OS. 64bits driver have a reputation for being poorly written, bugged and fixing them is ultra low priority. But being a 64bit OS in itself has no effect on Ethernet Auto-Negotiation procedure or on Ethernet frames. They’re both the same in 32bit.

    It’s pretty clear from your testing that your router doesn’t handle 100Mbps Ethernet (is it more than 15 years old ..? or do you use a cable of over 100 meters ..?), so the negotiation part must have been going wrong and set the link to 100Mpbs while it should only be 10Mbps.

    Either that, or your router accepts 100Mpbs but can’t handle it (faulty firmware, old and tired chip, …). I’ve had one such network card, so it’s clearly another possibility.

    Last, but not least, if your network get super slow, try 10Mbps Half Duplex. If your router is a standard equipment, it’s set to auto-negotiate the link, and if one side wants to enforce a speed then it defaults to Half Duplex. Half Duplex on one side and Full Duplex on another works, but the poor Half Duplex side has barely any time to transmit as it can’t talk and listen at the same time and the Full Duplex side just won’t shut up. You could try 100Mpbs Half Duplex too.

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  8. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Zel: Thanks for the tips Zel!

    And yeah, I think I said that I suspected the issue with the 64 bit driver. I was only ranting about 64 bit OS because without it I would probably be using the 32 bit driver which may have had been bug free. :)

    Btw, this is my router – the specs say that it should be capable of 100MBps. My cable is fairly long (router is in the living room, the gaming rig is in the basement) though I think it’s under 100 feet (~30m).

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  9. Kenny CANADA Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Autonegotiation issues are common with older equipment. It’s not unusual to have to manually set the speed. Should have blogged when it wasn’t working and let the internet solve it for you :)

    Is your cable at least Cat 5? If it’s Cat 5e or Cat 6 you could upgrade to a gigabit router or put a gigabit switch in front of it. Especially if you upgrade to gigabit in any other machines and transfer back and forth.

    If it’s not Cat 5, or is damaged in any way (or poorly constructed, etc), it might only be able to do 10Mbps. The external port on that linksys is only 10Mbps anyway, so it’ll only slow down internal transfers.

    I’m not sure that the 32bit drivers would have been any different, but it’s hard to say. Try booting off an ubuntu disk some day, I’d be curious to know if it works and at what speed.

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  10. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I have a new router… bought it specifically because of an Amazon review saying they had it running 24/7, maxing out the connection with downloads and never had to reboot it. That is my persistent “issue” with routers – having to reboot every X number of connections.

    At the same time I’d just moved house and acquired a new ISP, so now I’m not sure who to blame for the random drops of internet connectivity, but I don’t think it’s the router – rebooting doesn’t always fix it, and waiting (not rebooting) often does. I blame the ISP… it doesn’t happen consistently enough to be an actual wiring fault in the telephone so I’m guessing they just crap out under load every so often.

    We got some cable strung through the walls as of recently, now wondering about re-purposing the old router to serve as a switch in one room – it’s not necessary since the second thing it would be connecting can go wirelessly to the new router, but I like wires…

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  11. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Man, sorry…that was damned funny. I thought I was being an idiot trying to set up Vista for a relative, but I am glad I am not alone.

    Though, you did bring this on yourself. DELL and VISTA in the same package…dealing with both DELL and VISTA support? You were just asking for it :)

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  12. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Sorry to see that Vista 64 is even more annoying than Vista 32. As you know, I am setting up my own game machine a (lot less powerful) Vista based system. I am having a lot of trouble with it. One of the main problems I have encountered is that Vista handles security in an odd way. It simply refuses to allow applications to write anything in the Program Files directory. Obviously, installing something is ok. But extracting an archive there is simply impossible. Not even using the UAC (the Vista equivalent of a sudo) is working. You obviously see where I am going: if installed in Program Files, Oblivion and Morrowind are practically impossible to mod. It can be done manually by copy pasting in each directory, but not by using the auto-sorting of an archive extractor such as Izarc, for instance.

    There is a way of course, which is to use these applications in a hidden “True Admin” mode, which must be set up via a console (I found this in the Vista help forums). Or, obviously, to install Oblivion and Morrowind in another directory than Program Files (ideally on another partition). Running these games is also full of problems with Vista, and will often require to run them in admin mode (via right click and using the UAC).

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  13. AlexZ UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Man!!! I have been laughing out of my lungs ( people in the cubs next to mine were coming over to see what is going on). Just yesterday I was trying to fix the same problem for a friend of mine who got this XPS two month ago and two weeks ago it stopped responding on net connection( don’t know how it was working for a month). He connected it directly to cable modem. Like you said I thought I knew a thing or two about XP but with this Vista I got lost, so ( yes I did it too) called Dell.-( ( like didn’t know how to spent 3 hours of my life). So after round 3 the ‘normal’ tech person walked me through several steps( for about 20 min) then finally he found it in his research ( they probably googling as we are but using their local DB) and made me do this switch and I got the connection immediately but only on 10Mbps Half Duplex or 10Mbps Full Duplex. I brought to my friends house freshly gotten from cable company Cable modem, almost new Netgear Vista-supported router ( not because I knew the problem issue, just bought recently cause my old one started to kick me off line more often then I was willing to do reset). So I was so happy when we got the connection that I hang up the phone with Dell and didn’t even ask why only 10M and not 100M will work. We were connecting directly to modem and via router and only 10 M let us get the connection. Despite 100 M is limitation to local speed, but why my laptop with XP that was connected to the same modem+router is flying in net and downloading 1-1.5 G file in no time and this XPS after all in comparing to my PC not getting the same speed at all? I am sure 10 M or good enough for everything but it is too slow now in net. Can anybody tell why please?

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  14. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @AlexZ: That’s probably unrelated to the 10Mb issue. Unless your friend has the 20-50MBps Verizon FiOS plan then the 10MBps shouldn’t limit your internet traffic.

    The problem is that Vista is broken – and I had the same issue – shitty download speeds all around. Tell your friend to run cmd as admin and then issue this command:

    netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=restricted

    That should improve things quite a bit. I actually have a post about this queued for Thursday so you can wait till then and send him the link. :)

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  15. Moose UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    thank you so much for this, it helped alot, and the indian tech support section gave me a great laugh to fix my vista stress and give me a calmer mind to fix my problem. thanks again


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  16. Pingback: Fallout 3 Has Stopped Working (Fixed) « Terminally Incoherent UNITED STATES WordPress

  17. Bill Anderson UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    These were great ideas and thoughts. They led me to go old school. I installed a 10 year old 10-100 ethernet card and it works like a champ!
    The problem was the the 10-100-1000 card and TCIP 6 overshot my cable/router. I get great speed out of the old card, 3 mega-bytes, so what’s not to like?

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  18. Zachary UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you! After hours of frustration with this issue you saved the day.

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  19. reynold UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    only got as far as Dell support and please pay $129 before I found this article. Many thanks. Worked like a charm.

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  20. Bil Anderson UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I’m really old school and won’t let a problem go unsolved, so I pursued this until I figured out why my Realtek PCIe Gigabit NIC wouldn’t work. I solved the problem by using the admin screen on on my D-Link 624 router to manually add the MAC address to the list of allowed devices. I moved the wire from my 10-year old nic to the Realtek and it was instantly accessing the internet.
    BTW I have a Dell Sudio with Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9650 @ 3.00Ghz and 8 Gigs of memory. I use an ATI Radeon HD 4350 w/512MB and a pair of 24 inch Viewsonic LCDs; one with HDMI, the other with DVI. I have 650GB internal and 1.5TB external disks. I got all ths so I could do lots of Photoshop work, but alas, Photoshop would be 64-bit ready until next year and I have to be content with the old 32-bit version.

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  21. Downer GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Still having this problem with Vista 64. Your solution didnt work either. :(
    Funny thing is, it also works on XP no problem.

    I even tried Win7 64 (enterprise test version) and it still didnt work. Tried several fresh installs of my Vista 64. No go. Tried several drivers. No go. Tried billions of solutions on the net. No go. Tried 3 different NICs (Realtek, Atheros, Marvell). No go.
    Then I thought it might really be a problem of the 64 bit drivers and so I downloaded Win7 32 and installed it. But no go either.

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  22. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Downer:

    Wow man. I don’t know what to say. I’m assuming you tried different values for the speed/duplex setting right? Half, full, 10, 100, etc…

    Have you tried a different router perhaps? That was my next step if this didn’t work.

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  23. Bil Anderson UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ Downer:
    Do you use network lock, such as IP or MAC filtering and/or network security such as WEP on your router? If yes, go to the router admin page (I use Network Magic to do this) and disable network security manually. Also set your filters to MAC filters and manually add the MAC address of the NIC card that is active. BTW, make sure you have only one NIC card enabled and use its MAC. Reboot your router. If that doesn’t do it, re-install the driver for the NIC card you are using. If that doesn’t do it, buy an Apple computer. If it does, go back to your router and put locking and security back where you had them and enjoy a few cold ones, you deserve it.

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  24. Bil Anderson UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I tried all speed settings and none of it worked. I figured out that my router (D-Link 625) was so old it couldn’t figure out things like auto-negotiate, which only served to confuse the old boy. That’s likely what happened with those who were successful by slowing the speed down, they were simply setting their speed to one that the router took as a default.
    So I went old school and set everything manually. I’m sure my old router uses some of the wireless logic for access control so by simply bypassing all the dynamic crapola, I could just join the internet party with a faked invitation. BTW, if you use wireless and use Auto-negotiate in the in the speed setting of the NIC properties setting AND you have a newer router that can support wireless A/B/G and draft-n, than you’ll likely get wireless A and a lousy 1mbit transfer speed because the router will connect with the first negotiated speed. You should use the admin screen for your router to set it to wireless G or N, which ever you have.

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  25. azbolive UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    nice post! its good to see that ther’s someone out there that is still bothered about the common user. and furthermore the dreaded “DELL EXPERIENCE” I HAVE A XPS M1330 with vista h.p & being a xp man like yourself i was new to vista but fairly confident . BOY OH BOY! WHAT A PILE ‘O’ CRUD! it now has xp pro sp3 & tweaked cpu affinity’s for stability and a funny little program called xp smoker that resizes cache files just right for dual core machines might be worth a try from a spare drive or partition, & with not much else installed its the fastest xp ive ever seen. once again great post, your info on the nvidia propertys was spot on and my desktops all singin all dancin again THANKS! AZBOLIVE@@ ~

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