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.
Here are a few of my articles on the subject:
Also, Windows by default will blue-screen on certain errors and automatically reboot. Unfortunately, the reboot happens so fast you don’t have a chance to see what error is displayed. Fortunately, you can prevent the automatic reboot so you can have a chance to read the blue screen:
Follow this route:
Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Startup and Recovery Settings
then, uncheck "Automatically restart"
Russ subsequently replaced the Ethernet cable and added a router to his system. At that point, his computers worked fine with the router, so he knew they weren’t damaged.