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I cannot understand why the internet sometimes just stops working and when I hover the mouse over the internet icon in the system tray it say 'identifying connection' and when I refresh google I cannot connect.

Then all I do is restart and then it suddenly works. This happens after leaving my PC for a few hours?!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's probably an overheating problem. During reboot, there is no demand to connect to use the internet so either the NIC in your PC or the router is cooling down a bit during this time, and then you're okay again.

I've seen this problem many times, and it often turned out to be this; the fix is really easy -- vacuum the dust out and make sure the router is in an area that doesn't prevent airflow (e.g., in an area as small as a shoe box prevents airflow, but up on top of a shelf that is open doesn't prevent the needed airflow).

Updating the NIC driver to the newest version sometimes helps to resolve this problem as well, but I'd try clearing any dust first.

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BTW this never happens with my MacBookPro –  TheLearner May 8 '11 at 10:18
    
@TheLearner: Then that could help to rule out the router having some problems -- if you're experiencing this problem with your PC at the same time that your MacBook Pro is NOT having any connectivity issues (and you can confirm that the MacBook Pro is still working during the time that the PC fails), then that does rule out the router (assuming both the PC and the MacBook are using the same router and the same type of connection {e.g., wired or wireless}). –  Randolf Richardson May 9 '11 at 3:00
    
@Randolf Richardson I think my PC is starting to give up - have had it for about 3 years now. –  TheLearner May 9 '11 at 13:49
    
@TheLearner: If the power supply is very old, you could try changing that first because this might save you a lot of money -- when power supplies get old they can fail in all sorts of different ways, and one of the most common is that their output voltages begin to fluctuate or gradually increase/decrease. –  Randolf Richardson May 9 '11 at 15:46

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