Sunday, June 21, 2009

Computer Genius Wanted

Rare Sunday night post, but I have a maddening issue that maybe someone out there can help with!

New Computer Same Story
On Saturday I bought a new computer. My wireless connection at the house was pretty bad, and my computer was 5 years old. I thought an upgrade might just be the ticket.

The computer works great, and the wireless receiver is an improvement over the old one. Still I did buy the Linksys PLTK300 powerline system.

The system works by channeling the router signal through the electrical lines. I then plug into an electrical outlet and hook up a adapter which then runs to my ethernet port.

I set it up and after some hand wringing, the thing worked amazing! I had a direct line with great speed and no drop outs. I was in heaven!

This morning I woke up and turned on the computer. The thing does not work. I can "see" the powerline is working, but I cannot use the line to get on the internet and there seems to be no way for my computer to be able to figure it out. NOTHING happened overnight for crying out loud so I have NO IDEA why it does not work now.

What drives me nuts is the product is so new I cannot find any real help online about it.

So here is my favor should you know anything about computers, networks, and wireless systems;
-Why is my PLTK300 not working all of a sudden?
-How can I upgared the wireless network? What is the best way? I have to have the router upstairs, so I need a good signal all over the house.
-Is there any way to have two modems?

Any help is appreciated.

Have a good night.


Vincent said...

First, shut down everything and then reboot. 90% of the time this will correct any problems

Then call Linksys to have them troubleshoot as opposed to trying to find info on the web.

If it is a Microsoft problem where your computer is no longer operative, do a system restore from safe mode. Instructions can be found from the start button and then Help and Support.

You can have as many modems as you have lines (telephone DSL, or cable) as you have outlets. Contact your ISP.

Wireless is funny. I replaced a wireless router that was five years old with the latest and greatest. I could not get a good signal in the next room. In this case older was better.

If you insist on wireless, signal boosters can be installed at various points around the house to bounce the signal. Not only walls can block a signal depending on its constrution, but also distance. Other wireless devices such as telephones are know to cause interference.

getyourselfconnected said...

I asked my service provider about splitting the main line and having two modems and they said that it would cost 2x as much as the broadband would be 2x!? No idea.

I did reboot everything but still no joy. I hate computers. It seems like they were designed to be stupid complicated when it could be so easy.

Stephen Clarke-Willson, Ph.D. said...

I use powerline in the house and one time it stopped working because a kid plugged in his Nintendo DS to charge. That was enough to clobber the signal.

So, even if no one else in the house plugged anything, still it is possible that something turned on and is generating enough noise to wreck the powerline connection.

Just go around the house, roughly in the order that you imagine it is wired between the stations, and look for stuff you can unplug as a test. It's best to get a buddy to monitor the lights on the gadget and tell you when it starts working.

Good luck! (Oh, and make sure you understand the lights on the powerline adapter so you know when it's /really/ working.

Rob Dawg said...

Why not 802.11g?

Stagflationary Mark said...


"I hate computers. It seems like they were designed to be stupid complicated when it could be so easy."

I hear that! I was once a lead software engineer. Even though I use a Linksys wireless network, I can't provide you with any help whatsoever. Further, I have no desire to upgrade my ancient network because at least it works.

My first computer was a TRS-80. It booted in about 5 seconds. The operating system was burned into the chips and could therefore never be updated. Because there was no way to update it, it was 100% bug free (or very close to it).

I long for those simpler days, lol.

I also long for a technological reversion. It would be nice if my computer was nothing more than a dumb terminal that never needed updating. All information could be stored on the Internet. This would allow me to see my data anywhere and not just on my computer. That's sort of Google's plan. That's also how my college's system worked in the 1980s. I could do my work safely and securely from any "dumb" terminal on campus. Dumb/simple isn't so bad! In sharp contrast, too smart/complex often leads to blue screen of death, lol.

For example, look at this blog. I'm posting these comments by using my simple Playstation 3 from the comfort of my family room. I'm not even using my traditional complex computer (it takes forever to boot up due to its complexity). Hurray!

Rob Dawg said...

I still don't understand why you don't use wireless. Easy, secure and easier to troubleshoot.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I'm guessing you meant that comment for GYSC, as I just said...

"Even though I use a Linksys wireless network..."


getyourselfconnected said...

I am using the wireless right now. My issue is that the router HAS to be located in the upstairs in-law apartment due to, well lets just say mom in law will not be receptive to any internet slowness. Of course den where I have my computer set up is diagonally across at basically the largest distance possible from the wireless router. I have connectivity, but it is very weak. Seeing that I am paying throught the nose for broadband, I would like a better connection, hence I tried the powerline product. I will try to work on it this weekend.

Stephen Clarke-Willson, Ph.D. said...

Now I understand your situation. Mom-in-law unplugs it when you're not looking!