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No Internet Access w/ Linksys WRT54GS Router

October 1, 2008 by debbie T | InternetWireless

What a day! It was a geeky day, and I’m glad that I figured out my problem (I think)

Last night, I went to bed before midnight, and the Internet (wifi) was working fine. This morning, it was extremely slow, and then non-existent. I phoned my husband who wakes up and leaves for work hours before me, and he said he was had the same problem when he tried to use the wireless connection this morning.

I tried unplugging both router (Linksys WRT54GS) and Comcast modem (the modem is on battery backup, so that was not very helpful) to restart, and I even bypassed the router, and connected directly to modem; it was the same…no connection.

I phoned Comcast, and she wouldn’t help unless my laptop was directly connected to the modem. Geez, what evah.

She told me how to reset the modem by hitting the small reset button at the back of the modem. Oh yeah, I forgot about that! I have to remember to use that button more often!

Anyway, after I restarted my laptop, voila, the internet was back….and the next part was kind of strange, but she said (paraphrasing) that my router might still be the problem, and that just because the connection worked now, it might not when I connect my router.

I disagreed and informed her that I didn’t think it had anything to do w/ the router, and I told her that I would be fine troubleshooting that on my own anyway.

And guess what, she jinxed me! Plugged in the router. What? No connection?! Oh no!

I tried everything! Unplugging router, restarting laptop, updating router firmware, resetting router to factory settings, etc. and nothing worked. I knew it couldn’t be wired cables, because I was connected to my Linksys router and could access the setup/admin through my browser, using both wired and wireless connections. And the cable running from the modem worked when plugged in directly to my laptop.

At this point, I started to blame Comcast, thinking it was some sort of conspiracy. Today, October 1st, was the first day that they began their new “bandwidth limit” so of course they messed up my router, right?

Anyway, I figured that I would just have to go out and purchase a new one. sigh. Came home w/ a new Linksys WRT54G2. Plugged that in, started it up, and nothing. No connection. What? Okay something must be wrong.

And then it dawned on me. Somewhere in my google travels today, trying to troubleshoot the problem, I read advice that each item needed to be restarted in a specific order. Modem first, router second, then computer.

Okay, let’s try one more time. I shut down the laptop, unplugged (electricity) the router, and then I reset the Comcast modem (with the little button on back). Right after that finished booting up, I plugged in the Linksys router. Then I restarted my laptop.

Oh joy!! I have internet. Both wired and wireless. Okay, so let’s find out if I can get my old router working instead. Yep, went through the whole process again, and yay, it worked.

I will return the new router, and keep my old one!

So, in summary, when troubleshooting your Comcast connection w/ a router, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down computer
  2. Unplug electric cord from the router
  3. Hit small reset button on back of Comcast modem
  4. After modem boots up, plug the router back into electricity
  5. When router boots up, restart computer

There are 12 comments

  1. I had a similar experience with my WRT54G. the TimeWarner guy wanted to learn more about Macs so we did tons of experiments. then he said, “I know on a PC you’re supposed to shut it down during the process, but I KNOW on a Mac you never have to do that.” 45 minutes of trouble shooting and we both had to admit we’d have to give that a try, and sure enough that was an essential part of the process you described! glad you’re back on the air.

    Comment by Allison Sheridan on October 3rd, 2008
  2. You know, (and I didn’t test it out so I am not sure) I bet if that silly comcast tech didn’t make me unplug my router, it probably would have worked fine.

    I would have reset my modem, then restarted the laptop. I should really test it, but I bet it would have been okay.

    Darn Comcast tech!

    Comment by debbie T on October 3rd, 2008
  3. that ‘silly tech’ was right, you were wrong… the only thing she should have known is the boot order of the devices.

    I have worked in support and people who think they have ‘some’ knowledge are way more of a pain than people with no knowledge.

    you hadn’t ‘tried everything’ otherwise you’d have connected directly to the modem, bypassing the router, as part of your troubleshooting…

    Why is the comcast tech at fault?

    Comment by Tightscot on October 6th, 2008
  4. Uh, Thanks Tightscot, but I guess you didn’t read my article all the way through.

    If you did you would have noticed that I did direct connect to the modem a bunch of times!!!!

    She didn’t know the boot order, and she pretty much left me on my own to troubleshoot the router problem. The reason I even had a router problem was because it was unplugged!!!

    If I didn’t mention that to her that I couldn’t connect directly to the modem, then she never would have told me to unplug my router. My mother just had a problem w/ Comcast as well, and when she called for help, there was no problem to leave her router. In fact, he told her exactly what to do with the modem AND router…

    Thanks anyway for your comment, just proves how silly you tech guys really can be.

    Comment by debbie T on October 6th, 2008
  5. I have had the same problem with two different routers. Even when I go in the right sequence for start-up, the Comcast service only will work when the computer is direct plugged to the modem. So no more home network! Good luck with Comcast; they are the problem if for no other reason than they cannot guide people to a solution that should be easy. I think maybe they want more connections at $50 bucks a month.

    Comment by Fearless Bear on November 16th, 2008
  6. Hey Fearless Bear,

    Did you unplug everything (including shutting off all computers), then reset the modem first using the button on the back, let it start up, then plug in the router, let it start, then boot up your computer?

    You have to use the reset button in the back of the comcast modem, not just unplugging it.

    I wish you lots of luck. It’s too bad that you are having issues.

    One last bit of advice, I don’t think I would leave my computer directly connected to the modem for too long though. It’s a big security risk without that hardware firewall from the router.

    Comment by debbie T on November 16th, 2008
  7. I found the answer to the Comcast dilemma. Belkin. I bought one of their routers (wireless N0 and it worked like a charm. The ones that failed me were D-link and Lynk-Sys.

    Comment by Fearless Bear on November 16th, 2008
  8. I had the same problem. Resetting things in order, including the comcast reset button, worked!!! Thanks for the info!

    Comment by RandyIndy on December 20th, 2008
  9. Great, glad you have your network working again, Randy!

    Comment by debbie T on December 21st, 2008
  10. Thank you a lottttttttttttttttttttttt. I was going crazy with this router I had two days looking for information and spending a lot of hours about what to do and I did not find it anywhere until now. I did reset the linksys router but it did not work and I just like you call cox communication and they told me the same that they could not help me because I had connection with the pc plug into their modem, but when I plug the router I only had local but not internet connection until now ,it is working 100%. thanks again I hope more people can find this page.

    Comment by Marco on December 4th, 2009
  11. So glad I could help, Marco. Thank you for your comment! 🙂

    Comment by debbie T on December 6th, 2009
  12. I was going insane trying to figure out what went wrong with the router… Tried everything until this… I LOVE you! well in a non creepy way lol… Thanks a lot Ms Debbie!

    Comment by Patrick on February 20th, 2012