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The other day my home ADSL modem/router (dwg 684t in this case) died. A guy from the telecom company came to my place and brought another one, but he also left this one.

Now, I'm interested - it didn't fall, it wasn't electrocuted - but it just doesn't work. What could be the problem? Can it be fixed? Is it worth it (in which case I would have two which is always nice)? I'm not looking for a definite opinion, just your personal advice ... (although in the end I think I'm going to archive it in the "cylinder register")

What are the usual problems that occur with them?

In this case, I can connect to the router, I can see its settings, I just can't connect to the Internet. With the new one everything works. Weird.

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there's a highly infectious ADSL virus going around. only a few old models have built up immunity; most of the recent ones just don't last against it. if yours has caught it, have it put to sleep; there's no cure. and make sure you disinfect your house before bringing home a new one. – quack quixote Jan 5 '10 at 17:51
DDT is no longer legal. – Xavierjazz Jan 5 '10 at 19:25
@Xavierjazz: DDT isn't a disinfectant, it's a pesticide. bleach works tho, and it's legal. – quack quixote Jan 5 '10 at 21:33
My ISP supplied cheap Thompson router died tonight after about 11 months use and a more expensive dual band netgear died after about the same time before that. I am getting a bit suspicious if it could have been causes by the BT (telephone) line itself. I actually changed physical location and filters when I replaced the netgear with the ISP supplied cheap one that had been boxed up untouched for a year. Now in the situation where I either buy a new router or get the line checked by BT for £60 or both. Other option is to forget the under 1Mb ADSL in my area and go for the micro dish broadband – user180966 Dec 17 '12 at 22:41
up vote 6 down vote accepted

He left it for a reason. They are dirt cheap, have no user-serviceable parts and, therefore, are virtually worthless to fix.

Your router doesn't have to fall or be be "electrocuted" to go bad. Normal household power glitches can damage it. The data or power connectors can come loose internally. Overheating can cause any of the electrical components to stop working (temporary or permanent). Less likely, but the firmware (software) can become corrupted.

You can pop it open to see if there is anything obvious (broken connector, loose wires, etc). But, other than that, there are likely few, if any, user-serviceable parts in there.

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Bad firmware update is highly likely. Charter was bricking Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 modems in our area because they flubbed the push. It paid to have your receipts in a safe and handy place for a warranty return if you purchased your own. DSL pushes updates in a similar manner. – Fiasco Labs Dec 17 '12 at 23:41

It can really be anything, the two main reasons are either short circuit and the motherboard fries... or manufacturing defect that just takes time to show up.

The most common fix is simply to change the plug as a fuse can go, but otherwise, typically it is one of the problems above.

Lastly, it is VERY rare for the software to go bad, but sometimes a reflash does solve it.

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i have seen dsl routers destroyed by lightning strike or cranked up WiFi output power (with 3rd party firmware).

other (not uncommon) reasons: poor quality components or manufacturing. you buy cheap, you get cheap.

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Well, this one was from D-Link (which although nothing special, is I guess, not the worse of them there) ... no lightnings, no nothing actually ... died exactly at midnight 2.1. :( – Rook Jan 5 '10 at 17:12
not my favorite brand, but they're not worth fixing unless you have a high-powered business class router. if you want a decent router as backup, grab some wrt-54g, maybe 2nd hand. thanks to tomato or dd-wrt you can turn those little oldtimers into powerful network appliances. – Molly7244 Jan 5 '10 at 17:17
No, no, nothing of the kind. This was just the regular, home user kind ... keeps my 3 machines online, and that's it ... in any case, the man from my ISP already gave me a new one, so I'm not particularly affected by its death ... just thought, maybe it could be used for something. Interesting how it died, the last one also died really close to new year 2 years ago :) freakish ... anyways, thanks for the effort. – Rook Jan 5 '10 at 17:25
i have couple of wrt-54g, some are about 7 yrs old and they still work like they did the very first day ... pure quality (the older generations anyway) :) – Molly7244 Jan 5 '10 at 17:33
oh yeah, those were good. although i've heard the latest models live a little on the old fame, they're still a class of their own (above the average) ... – Rook Jan 5 '10 at 17:52

Imho the main reason for this are compatibility issues. The infrastructure possibly got an upgrade somewhere along the chain, that would prevent your modem from connecting.

A few years ago, I had an occurence where my router would stop, and a friends same router worked, and mine worked at his place, but not vice versa. Once a technician confirmed that he had to replace the same model several times in the vicinity.

Apart from that, they might die from static discharge, or simply age, when one of the components silently dies. Smelly / smokey death is something I never saw on a modem / router.

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Thought of that ... took from from my neighbour (same model, almost same age) (initially I though it was maybe the telephone cable problem) ... his works. Mine doesn't work at his place, his works at both places. – Rook Jan 5 '10 at 17:14

As to your last question -- if there's anything worthwhile to do with the old one -- I'd guess probably not.

But a hardware hacker might find something useful to do with it. Personally, I'd probably gut it, toss the innards, and keep the case for use in some project or other.

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In my experience, the either die from power issues (surges, not being filtered); or from overheating. A lot of home users put them in nice sensible places like ontop of radiators, which doesn't do them much good..

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Did any one replace the oirginal cable between router and modem or reduce the heat . I HAVE A $10.OO FAN and $1.oo cable that solved the works at one place and not the other..

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