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Robin S_
04-01-2011, 12:29 AM
My wife's Vaio laptop frequently loses its dial-up connection. On first-time startup in the morning the connection is dropped within 1 - 3 minutes. After reconnecting it drops out usually at longer intervals - up to 20 minutes or more. The laptop uses a PCMCIA card modem (the original built-in one appeared to have failed but in the light of subsequent events maybe it hadn't) and trying a different card modem didn't stop the dropouts. Apart from the dropouts everything has been working pretty much normally. The laptop has a (common for Vaio, I gather) dickey hinge and after use she doesn't close the lid to avoid hinge use. Recently we had visitors who closed the lid several times. On 1 such occasion I found the hinge had sprung apart during opening and was prevented from returning to its "normal" position (which is still a bit agape) because a locating tab was not aligned and engaging with its socket. I pushed the tab into alignment and the hinge sprang back into its "normal" slightly agape position. Since then Eudora client will only send small emails (receiving is OK). I don't know what the actual threshold is - I can send 1-liners (and she has successfully sent about an 8 or 10 liner) but it will not send a 1-liner with a 2-page Word text document attached. The attachment is not the problem as my wife has been trying for several days to forward an email containing several photos in the body to 2 people separately but it won't go. I tried pasting just the first photo into a new email but that won't go either. When trying to transmit it starts to do so but stops sending after about 3 sec to over a minute and won't resume, even though it is still online. It sits a while doing nothing (although the ying yang symbol is still turning and the system tray icon shows periodic blips of activity both ways so presumably the computer and server are still talking to each other) then eventually comes up with one of 2 error messages - either "Error writing to network. Cause: connection reset by remote side (10054)" or "Error writing to network. Cause: Eudora got tired of waiting for the server (10100)." My standard network timeout is 60 sec but I tried increasing that to 240 sec to no avail. With both of these errors the connection is dropped each time but just after the error is reported. I have tried 2 different versions of Eudora and 2 different SMTP servers - all with the same result. I have also tried connecting the Vaio to the same phone jack as a desktop in the next room (with the desktop unplugged) via an extension cable but that makes no difference. I have also tried 2 different ISPs - no joy. The desktop has no problems when used with any of these test conditions.
Dropouts are few when doing a continuous download such as an MS update. Intriguingly, I have not been able to do a MS update from the start menu on the laptop for several months (ever since the dropout problem began) - it always drops the connection before it has even finished checking for updates (and sometimes quite quickly) so I have to wait for the "updates are ready ..." icon in the system tray and update "manually" using that. The Security Essentials automatic update starts with the 1st internet connection of the day and that connection is always lost before the update is complete. The SE update system does not retry until next day when the same thing happens, so the auto update always fails. Manual updates of both update facilities usually proceed without interruption, depending on the update size.

I suspect that the problem is either in the motherboard or in Windows. The Vaio system (an OEM disc set) will not let me do a repair install in the normal sense - its only option seems to be to install an image of the original OEM installation presumably of the whole disc, so anything added/installed subsequently would be lost. A clean install from a non-OEM XP disc would not install the drivers etc that come with the OEM, so a clean install from the OEM set would be an option for fixing the problem if it is Windows-based. Most of the software is on the D: partition so hopefully there would be a custom option on the disc set that would allow me to install just Windows so that nothing in D: gets overwritten.
I had been wondering if there might be a crack or some other poor connection on the motherboard and the fact that there has been a worsening of performance after the lid closings suggests to me that something was further harmed by the movement.
One solution option is to buy another laptop but that has short term problems. I gather that today's machines come without modems or PCMCIA slots. This would mean that she couldn't use her current card modem and would have no internet access until broadband is installed in a few weeks.

I am keen to see any suggestions as to possible causes of the general recurring disconnection problem (which seems to be at the root of the email-sending problem), especially if someone can say definitively if it is a Windows or motherboard one or advise a discriminatory test. I would be happy to do a Windows reinstall if I knew that that was where the problem lay, but I don't want to waste the time if the fault is in the mb.

TIA folks.

Sony Vaio, 1.1MHz, 256MB, 80GB, Win XP Pro.

pctek
04-01-2011, 08:02 AM
laptop loses its dial-up connection.

trying a different card modem didn't stop the dropouts.

Eudora client will only send small emails (receiving is OK).

it will not send a 1-liner with a 2-page Word text document attached.

my wife has been trying for several days to forward an email containing several photos in the body to 2 people separately but it won't go.

"Error writing to network. Cause: connection reset by remote side (10054)" or "Error writing to network. Cause: Eudora got tired of waiting for the server (10100)."
I have tried 2 different SMTP servers

I have also tried connecting the Vaio to the same phone jack as a desktop in the next room

I have also tried 2 different ISPs


Sony Vaio, 1.1MHz, 256MB, 80GB, Win XP Pro.

This desktop - have you tried the same emails and downloading stuff with that? Does it also have a problem or it works fine and the laptop doesn't?

Because this will determine whether or not the problem is with the line or with the computer.

How big are these photos? Dialup does not do well with large attachments.

Who is the ISP? And when you say you tried two - how exactly? Do you have an account with two different ISPs?

Changing SMTP likewise - what SMTP servers did you try? Generally you can't just use any SMTP, it has to be the one from the ISP.

And the obvious you would have already done:

Unticking the Hang Up after Sending/receiving setting in Outlook.

Doing malware checks with 1 up to date antivirus and 2 up to date antispywares.
Which can be tricky if you can't download - but perhaps you can get the updates/programs from a friend or relative with broadband if necessary.

Robin S_
04-01-2011, 12:14 PM
Thanks Pctek. The desktop - works fine with emails in and out and surfing etc. I can't forward the problem-send emails to the desktop machine but I have thought of copying the body of one of them to a flash drive and transferring it to the desktop, incorporating it into an email and sending it. My expectation is that it would go without problems but I should test that. As I mentioned, connecting the laptop to the same phone jack as the desktop doesn't help.
I don't know how big the photos are because they are in the body of an email (not attachments), but the same system downloaded them OK to start with and there was no indication that they are gigantihuge.
The main ISP is Splurge, which seems to have gone downhill to some extent since Woosh bought it, but the desktop functions OK with it. The second ISP is Freenet with whom I have an account as a backup. I haven't actually used it because I haven't needed it. However, I logged on to Freenet and tried their SMTP server and exactly the same problem occurs with that so to me that indicates that the problem lies within the laptop itself - either hardware or software.
We use Eudora client, not Outlook, and both auto disconnect options in Control Panel Internet Options are deselected.
The laptop has Security Essentials running and it is up to date.

pctek
04-01-2011, 01:55 PM
Security Essentials huh. Its a good antivirus for a free one but you do need anti-spyware as well.

Spybot, Malware Bytes and I'd also do a scan with Hijackthis and post the log here for Speedy to view as well.

Robin S_
04-01-2011, 04:55 PM
Thanks again, Pctek. Because of the disconnect problem doing updates can be a
bit of a mission, as you predicted in your previous post, so quite a bit of stuff is not up to date including antispyware etc, but I'll see what I can do.
Some follow-up info - this afternoon I tried sending the 2-page text Word doc attachment from the laptop and it didn't go. (I couldn't copy the message body of the email with pictures into Word because only the text copied, with little 'o's representing the pictures). So instead I copied the Word doc attachment (it is only 32.8KB) to the desktop machine and emailed it to the laptop. It transmitted and was received without problems so to me this draws the noose more tightly around the laptop box as the seat of the problem, be it s/ware or h/ware.

Safari
19-03-2011, 07:11 AM
[QUOTE
We use Eudora client, not Outlook, and both auto disconnect options in Control Panel Internet Options are deselected.
The laptop has Security Essentials running and it is up to date.[/QUOTE]

When you say Control Panel Internet Options do you mean Tools/Options/Dialup setting in Eudora
You need to determine if the problem is with your dialup connection or if it is with Eudora
You will have Outlook Express on the computer. Set that up and see if that can send those messages or not.

pctek
19-03-2011, 08:23 AM
Thanks again, Pctek. Because of the disconnect problem doing updates can be a
bit of a mission

Get all the updates off another PC and transfer to that then scan.