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FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

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Registered: ‎01-20-2010

FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

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I'm hoping you can help!

 

We have had FIOS for 3 years now.  We use the Actiontec router for the internet and TV and have our phone on FIOS too.

 

My old desktop computer was dying and we bought a new HP desktop from Costco before Christmas.  When I hooked up the new computer to the SAME line as the old one, it wouldn't connect to the internet.  I brought my 6 month old HP laptop up and tried to connect it to the SAME line and it wouldn't connect either.  Both of the new computers are running Windows 7 and the old one had Vista.  The laptop would, however, connect instantly via the wireless connection.

 

I tried hooking the old computer back up again and it connected to the SAME line instantly.  Tried the new ones again, still wouldn't work.  I brought home my work computer which is running on Windows XP and it connected via the cable instantly.  The new ones still wouldn't.

 

I restarted the router, set it back to factory settings, rebooted the computers several times, and tried other cables.  Nothing worked.  The new laptop WOULD connect in my kitchen via an Ethernet cable.  The new desktop WOULD connect on that kitchen cable also.

 

Our neighbor who works with computers a lot came over to trouble shoot after we had spent HOURS and HOURS on the phone with customer service from Verizon, HP and Costco.  None of them could figure out why the older computers would work and the newer ones wouldn't.  It didn't make any sense.  The HP guy even made me reinstall Windows on the new computer--it didn't do anything different!

 

Anyway, the neighbor figured out that the little lights on the back of the router were lighting up on the 10 but not on the 100 unless we plugged the laptop directly into the router.  All of the other computers were receiving a slower signal.  He went into the Network and Sharing center and forced the computer to accept the 10 speed and then both of the newer HP ones would work.  Horray!

 

The downside is that we're paying for fast internet and it frustrates me to know that I'm not getting the full potential out of it.  We have CAT 6 cabling throughout the house which, by the way, is only 3 years old so I doubt it's the fault of the cables.

 

Is there anything we can do?  It seems like since the laptop can work on the 100 speed when I plug it in directly, it should work in other places at that same speed.  The desktop too. 

 

Thanks for your help!

 

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Posts: 2,153
Registered: ‎11-10-2009

Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

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@viafax999 wrote:

The only solution to your problem will be to replace the RJ45 jacks.  You will not be able to reuse the jacks that are currently on the cables but you can get replacement jacks and stripping tools at Home Depot or Lowes.  The jacks are marked on the sides with the colour codes for the 2 standards - choose one and follow it for all of them, should take you about 5 minutes a jack to replace them.  It is important when you do this that you don't cut too much of the outer sheathing, it should come into the jack collar so that it is pinched when the jack top is crimped down, also you want to undo as little as possible of the twists.  I normally expose about half an inch of the 6 wires then separate them and order them to the standard  I'm following, pulling them gently around the side of a pencil will help to take the kinks out.  Then lay the cable into the jack with the sheathing in the crimp area and start inserting the wires from the collar end, get the first 2 wires into the connectors closest to the collar with the loose end pointing outwards and punch them down using the tool that comes with the jack, then proceed to the next pair and do the same then finish with the pair at the head end.  Trim the excess wire outside the connectors with a pair of nail scissors or the like and snap the jack cover into place

 

Good Luck

 


I just realized I gave you the instructions for wiring the female jacks (the wall sockets)  I'm not sure if Lowes etc. sell male jacks as typically they are a composite unit that you slide the wires into and then use a crimping tool with an RJ45 head to push the connector around the wires and at the same time clamp the jack head to the cable sheathing.

You never mentioned whether your cables were terminated in male or female jacks so I just assumed females - that is normal termination with solid core wires then short fly leads with male ends using stranded wires are used to connect the termination to the device.

Hopefully you were talking abou the female jacks.  If so you may be able to reuse them if the were supplied by a hardware store.  The tops of the jacks can be lifted off - they're really only their for strain relief and you should be able to gently pull the wires out of the clamps.  You will however need some kind of tool to seat the new connections, this is typically a 110 punch down tool or the small device that is supplied with a new jack from a hardware store.

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Silver Contributor II
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Registered: ‎09-15-2009

Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 2 of 11
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It sounds like somewhere in that 1 line they either spliced in a cat3 cable or possibly installed a 10mb hub. You will either have to run new line to that point or backtrack the existing line to fing the sub-standard equipment. You can tell if a hub was installed because atleast 1 other line will also be a 10mb only.



"If your problem has been solved, please mark it as such. Don't forget to hand out your Kudos!"
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Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

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Thanks!  I forgot to mention that we tried all of the computers, including the new one, on different cat 6 places in the house.  The old computer too.  ALL of them are getting 10 for signal strength.

 

There are no hubs in our house.  The cables go directly out of the router to the different ethernet ports around the house.  We tried 4 different places...  all with the same result.  Very strange...

 

Is there a way to program the router to give out more signal?  Is there any other way to boost the signal?

 

I dont' want to spend a fortune to tinker too much because things are "working" now, but like I said, I'm paying for FIOS high speed internet and it's a shame not to get the most out of it I can!

 

Thanks!

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Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 4 of 11
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@Cookie4471 wrote:

I'm hoping you can help!

 

We have had FIOS for 3 years now.  We use the Actiontec router for the internet and TV and have our phone on FIOS too.

 

The downside is that we're paying for fast internet and it frustrates me to know that I'm not getting the full potential out of it.  We have CAT 6 cabling throughout the house which, by the way, is only 3 years old so I doubt it's the fault of the cables.

 

Is there anything we can do?  It seems like since the laptop can work on the 100 speed when I plug it in directly, it should work in other places at that same speed.  The desktop too. 

 

Thanks for your help!

 


You might try to contact the builder of the house to find who installed the netowk cabling and termination.  Then contact them to test their installation.  It would appear that they have used incorrect cabling or terminating hardware or have punched down the termination incorrectly

Do you only have the 4 remote destinations cables at the router site?  How are those 4 cables mounted at the router site? I assume in some kind of mini patch panel, and then how do you connect the terminated cables to the router?

Can you see any of the cable in the house? it will be marked with the grade,  Similarly the terminating jacks should be marked a minimum of cat5.

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Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 5 of 11
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@Cookie4471 wrote:

 

Is there anything we can do?  It seems like since the laptop can work on the 100 speed when I plug it in directly, it should work in other places at that same speed.  The desktop too. 

 

Thanks for your help!

 


I know you said that you doubt that it is the wireing but that is exactly what it is. Either that or you have a hub/switch in the walls that you dont know about. By connecting the computers directly to the router and it works properly. You have already eliminated everything but the wiring in the walls.




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Registered: ‎06-11-2009

Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 6 of 11
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Since you see 100Mb when connecting directly to the router, it is most definately a wiring problem. 

 

If the proper cabling was used, it should be an easy fix.  The cable ends need to match on both ends.

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Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 7 of 11
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Thanks for the ideas...  We thought of that too.  This thing has been a nightmare!

 

We have Cat 6 wiring which runs directly from the On-Q panel in our utility room to each of the rooms in the house that have a jack--each bedroom, the bonus room, my office, and the kitchen.  The wires go directly from that area up through the attic or down through the crawl space as necessary.  I can see about a foot of the wires on the router's end and the label on the wire says Cat 6.  We removed the face plates from the wall in 2 rooms (one was my office) so we could see if there was something loose behind the plates or whatever and we could see that the wire says Cat 6 on that end too. 

 

We used multi meters to test the wires and the signals and have determined that even before we figured out the issue with the 10/100 speeds and needing to force the new HP computers to accept the 10 speed, the signals were being sent to the correct destinations on the ends of each plug.  Everything matched in the different rooms.  There was, however, a difference in the order of colors used on some of the cables.  But, the colors aren't really important as long as the electrical impluses go to the correct destinations. For example, if a red (brown) wire is supposed to be in position 6, the electrician may have put it in position 5 but he put it in the corresponding position on the other end as well.  I do think that the electrical company didn't necessarily wire everything "by the book" in there, but the end result is that the signals are going to the right places.  We spent HOURS and HOURS testing everything!

 

Yes, we only have 4 active ethernet ports in the house because we can only connect 4 cables to the back of the router.  The other unused Cat 6 cables are dangling in the On-Q box unused.

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Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 8 of 11
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@Cookie4471 wrote:

Everything matched in the different rooms.  There was, however, a difference in the order of colors used on some of the cables.  But, the colors aren't really important as long as the electrical impluses go to the correct destinations. For example, if a red (brown) wire is supposed to be in position 6, the electrician may have put it in position 5 but he put it in the corresponding position on the other end as well.  I do think that the electrical company didn't necessarily wire everything "by the book" in there, but the end result is that the signals are going to the right places.  We spent HOURS and HOURS testing everything!

 

Yes, we only have 4 active ethernet ports in the house because we can only connect 4 cables to the back of the router.  The other unused Cat 6 cables are dangling in the On-Q box unused.


But, the colors aren't really important as long as the electrical impluses go to the correct destinations

 

Unfortunately this is not true and this is where your problem lies.

There are actually 2 different ways to wire ethernet cables, T568A and T568B.  Of the 2 T568B is the more common but it really doesn't matter which you use and you can intermingle them.  Hwever what is important is that both ends of an individual cable match and they ARE USING one of the standards.  The standards are there because of the way the wires are twisted and if the standards are not followed you will get a connection but typically only a low end one.

I actually wired our huse using T568A and cat5 cables.  Everything ran OK for a couple of years.  Then I upgraded all the internal switches and nics to gigabit and noticed that one of the switches was showing a 10 mb connection to one room no matter what I did.  Finally I looked at the jacks on the cables and saw that I had wired it straight through - guess I must have punched them down late on a Saturday after a couple of beers.  Anyway after cut the jacks off and replaced them new ones with the correct crossovers the link came up at 1000 with no issue.  from what you say above this sounds just like your problem.

You may want to look at this link which shows you the valid colour codes.

http://computernetworking.suite101.com/article.cfm/rj45_plug_ethernet_computer_network_color_code

 

The only solution to your problem will be to replace the RJ45 jacks.  You will not be able to reuse the jacks that are currently on the cables but you can get replacement jacks and stripping tools at Home Depot or Lowes.  The jacks are marked on the sides with the colour codes for the 2 standards - choose one and follow it for all of them, should take you about 5 minutes a jack to replace them.  It is important when you do this that you don't cut too much of the outer sheathing, it should come into the jack collar so that it is pinched when the jack top is crimped down, also you want to undo as little as possible of the twists.  I normally expose about half an inch of the 6 wires then separate them and order them to the standard  I'm following, pulling them gently around the side of a pencil will help to take the kinks out.  Then lay the cable into the jack with the sheathing in the crimp area and start inserting the wires from the collar end, get the first 2 wires into the connectors closest to the collar with the loose end pointing outwards and punch them down using the tool that comes with the jack, then proceed to the next pair and do the same then finish with the pair at the head end.  Trim the excess wire outside the connectors with a pair of nail scissors or the like and snap the jack cover into place

 

Good Luck

 

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Posts: 2,153
Registered: ‎11-10-2009

Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 9 of 11
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@viafax999 wrote:

The only solution to your problem will be to replace the RJ45 jacks.  You will not be able to reuse the jacks that are currently on the cables but you can get replacement jacks and stripping tools at Home Depot or Lowes.  The jacks are marked on the sides with the colour codes for the 2 standards - choose one and follow it for all of them, should take you about 5 minutes a jack to replace them.  It is important when you do this that you don't cut too much of the outer sheathing, it should come into the jack collar so that it is pinched when the jack top is crimped down, also you want to undo as little as possible of the twists.  I normally expose about half an inch of the 6 wires then separate them and order them to the standard  I'm following, pulling them gently around the side of a pencil will help to take the kinks out.  Then lay the cable into the jack with the sheathing in the crimp area and start inserting the wires from the collar end, get the first 2 wires into the connectors closest to the collar with the loose end pointing outwards and punch them down using the tool that comes with the jack, then proceed to the next pair and do the same then finish with the pair at the head end.  Trim the excess wire outside the connectors with a pair of nail scissors or the like and snap the jack cover into place

 

Good Luck

 


I just realized I gave you the instructions for wiring the female jacks (the wall sockets)  I'm not sure if Lowes etc. sell male jacks as typically they are a composite unit that you slide the wires into and then use a crimping tool with an RJ45 head to push the connector around the wires and at the same time clamp the jack head to the cable sheathing.

You never mentioned whether your cables were terminated in male or female jacks so I just assumed females - that is normal termination with solid core wires then short fly leads with male ends using stranded wires are used to connect the termination to the device.

Hopefully you were talking abou the female jacks.  If so you may be able to reuse them if the were supplied by a hardware store.  The tops of the jacks can be lifted off - they're really only their for strain relief and you should be able to gently pull the wires out of the clamps.  You will however need some kind of tool to seat the new connections, this is typically a 110 punch down tool or the small device that is supplied with a new jack from a hardware store.

View solution in original post

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Re: FIOS Connection Conundrum with multiple computers

Message 10 of 11
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I can't believe it!  You were totally right!  Even though we traced all of the wires down with multi testers and matched the wire colors on the female end to the way the male ends were wired--it still didn't allow the internet to work until we put the wires in the correct order like you said.  I don't get it, but it works! 

 

My computer now works on the cat 6 cable at the 100 speed!  Thank you! 

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