Reader Russ Tinley wrote about some problems he was having with his DSL modem, his desktop computer and his notebook. We corresponded on the subject and it made my newsletter as the article HOWTO: Stopping Blue Screen of Death Reboots.
In that article, I wrote
Reader Russ Tinley wrote about a strange problem he was having:
Terry, My computer is connected to a Verizon DSL Modem, and everytime I connect the modem to my PC I get a blue screen and the system reboots. I called Verizon and they replaced my Modem but it still does it. So I called adn they said that my computer must be the problem, so just to test it I plugged my Notebook directly to the DSL modem and same blue screen. I called Verizon and they are giving me the run around saying it is my hard ware. Can you give me any tips on what I should look for or how to work with Verizon to get this corrected. Thank you, Russ
Russ had a strange problem. But, let’s look at the pieces:
- the original modem caused the bluescreen/reboot on your desktop.
- Verizon replaced the modem
- The desktop still does it with the new modem.
- The notebook also does it when connected to the modem.
So, you’ve got two computers doing it with two modems.
I suspect the cable that connects the modem to the computer. I assume this is an Ethernet cable — it’s possible that the cable is shorted internally (run over by a desk chair too many times, for example) or such. I think I’d try another Ethernet cable.
Once you solve the problem, put a router between your computer and the dsl modem. I recommend that for anyone connected to a cable or dsl modem, even if they’re only connecing one computer.
This week, Russ wrote back to say he had kept battling the problem and had solved it:
Thought you would like to know, that I swapped out the
network card of the computer and it has not blue screened since.
My assumption is that the original bad DSL modem shorted out
the two network cards. I put a PC Network card in the notebook as
well and it does not bluescreen. But as soon as I use the onboard
card on either system they blue screen. I mainly use wireless on
the notebook anyway.
So, Russ’ problem turned out to be the DSL modem after all. Despite the network "cards" built into his desktop and notebook working with the router, they’d give him a Blue Screen of Death when connected directly to the DSL modem.
Once he put in a new network card in his desktop computer and a PCCard network card in his laptop, both worked fine with the DSL modem.
Strange… but, remember, I recommend that you ALWAYS USE A ROUTER with a cable modem or a DSL modem. Even if you only have one computer connected, the router gives you invaluable protection that you can’t get from Windows or any firewall software.