The Terrible, No-Good Technology Week

Usually, my weekly article comes out promptly every Friday morning, but not last week!  This  was the week that a strange malady hit nearly every wired and wireless gadget in our household. Sit back, I’ll tell you the story.

It all started Monday when I was working away upstairs in my office where I have a wireless connection,(I office from home), when I noticed I was off-line. Usually, my connection is rock solid, so I went downstairs to our family network area where the modem and router are, and saw our wired computer was off-line too. We have Cox internet & TV services here. I reset the router (unplugged it for 15-20 second), and things came back. This happened 4-5 times on Monday and my husband and I were getting frustrated.

our Home Network

Tuesday, we weren’t down as much, but we had a reserve router we had stored for an occasion like this and we installed it. We use a T-mobile router that has a sim card slot that powers our phone service  (this service is no longer offered by T-mobile). We thought we were home free.

Oh, no. Wednesday was fine until mid-morning and then there was no amount of resetting that would make the crazy router keep a signal (read further down about bricking our modem for as to why I think this happened). I plugged the ethernet cable directly into the computer from the modem (bypassing the router), and I had a connection, so I thought the modem was OK.

On top of the modem problem, my Windows Phone 7 somehow was muted. I could see my screen change and the calling person’s picture come up, but I couldn’t hear a ring and when I answered, neither of us could hear each other – great!

I was getting increasingly frustrated by mid-afternoon with not getting anything done and not being able to communicate, so I went to the T-mobile store and got a clerk who has a Windows Phone 7. She simply took my phone, turned it over, removed the battery and rebooted it! I felt really dumb and thought I surely would have thought of doing that if I hadn’t been so upset about the router at home. Remember – rebooting cures many problems.

Now that I could make and receive calls, I called my IT friend and told him about what was going on with the router and that the modem was working. He thought perhaps the modem was bricked, or locked up and that I should try resetting it. This had happened to him a couple times recently.

A modem can get ‘bricked’, or locked up if you unplug, reboot and attach a router to it too many times. To solve this problem, it needs to be reset. They say to leave it unplugged for 15-20”, but I had to call the cable company to have it reset. (I won’t go into how we had to talk to a computer voice to do troubleshooting—too painful.)

Old Router in the Trash


So now it’s Wednesday and the new router is on and I went through the steps to name the network and secure it with WPA-personal. It seemed that after I did that, the router cycled off frequently. I (mistakenly) thought that my naming and securing it somehow knocked things out of whack, so I did a factory reset and was using the network open and unsecured (not a good idea), but it seemed to work better.

So we had a good connectivity day on Thursday, but I was uneasy about our unsecured network. Luckily, our IT friend came over Friday morning to pick up a computer and while scans were running on a client computer, he said we should go ahead and get our network secured, so we did and then the router cycled off. He said it shouldn’t do that and we don’t know why it did, but it was momentary and then it’s been back on ever since.

My husband and I did order another new T-mobile router (via ebay), to have stashed away for when this happens again.

I’ll finish the rest of our story and share with you our

Lessons learned –from our Horrible, Terrible No-Good Tech Week this coming Friday …

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