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This morning my network started being very intermittent. The connection only drops for a couple of seconds so you don't really notice it when browsing, but when streaming music from my network drive, or when connected to mIRC, every 3-5mins the connection drops so the stream cuts out / mIRC disconnects. My PC is hooked up to the router via ethernet lead and runs win7 64bit. I have a cable modem info here. I've done pretty much everything I can think of to try and fix this.

The most bizarre thing is that if I run foobar2000 (my music player) in 'safe mode' (doesn't load any plugins), then the music streams for a lot longer before cutting out compared with when stream in normal mode.

Also, the connection works fine on my laptop on both wireless and ethernet. And so does streaming music from the media drive. So I'm pretty sure it must be my computer port. It's almost as if when there's a higher load on the port then it forces the connection to drop. However, saying that, if I run a speed test I get top speeds and the test completes without issues. I've also run windows in safe mode and it works on that too, which suggests its a windows update or something that has created the issue. So I did a system restore to a week before it started occurring and I get the same problem, so it cant be? I'm completely baffled.

I'm starting to think it's my Ethernet port, but I thought I'd ask here first just in case some has a solution. But first, here is what I've tried so far:

  1. Restarted router
  2. Changed etherenet lead
  3. Uninstalled / reinstalled ethernet drivers
  4. Disabled / Enabled DHCP on router to force local IP change.
  5. System Restore to 2 days before it started happening.
  6. Changed speed to half duplex
  7. Pinged my PC from the router - 10/10 1ms responses.

I've rebooted my PC / router after every step above.

Please help this is so annoying.


share|improve this question

You have not given much to go on, it could be many things (and I am just going to list a few options)

I would try and narrow down the problem, can you get hold of another PC (laptop or something) and try that. If it is still dropping something up with the router/cable/connection if it is fine then something up with the PC.

From there you have lots of options (depending on what it is);

Not the PC

You could also check the connection out, normally the router will have some stats about the connection if you can log onto it.

Try another micro filter at the wall socket (if your connection has one).

If the router has a Ping option then you could try pinging the PC and seeing what happens.

If you have all the connection details and are feeling competent you could try a hard reset on the router but make sure you have all details first or you will be stuck.

Does it run over your phone line? Is phone crackly? Call your provider and ask them to run a check.

It is the PC

Any dodgy messages recently (buy this, your computer is infected, etc)?

Software/Hardware upgrades (including software updates)? I had a Win7 machine, did an MS Update and the network card stopped working all together, rolled it back and was fine.

Does the NIC port look okay (is it wobbly)? I have seen machines where the port is raised so high from the board that the connector has easily been pull nearly out! Try another NIC maybe...

Force the card to 10Mb half duplex just to see if it clears it up... From there probably new NIC or better quality cables...

See where that takes you.

share|improve this answer
thanks for the response. I've updated my question. Hopefully it's a bit more informative now. – nutman Jul 10 '13 at 13:23
Okay with the update it helps a lot. Open a command prompt and then type "ping /t" and let it run for 10 mins while you try and stream. When the music stops look at the prompt and see if any packets are lost (ctrl-C will stop the ping and give you results). If the results say 100% then the problem is software, if some are lost could be port (again try another NIC). – Recycled Steel Jul 11 '13 at 10:21

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