Lightning storm damage

  Ferdinand 11:59 24 Jun 2003

I am experiancing dial up problems since a severe local lighning storm. I have surge protection but no phone line protection. (I was unaware phone line protection is available and still don't know anything about it.) Advise please.

After going through many checks and tests I am able to state the problem:-

1. I am unable to leave the phone line connected to PC when internet not required because connection somehow blocks the telephone line which is just silent, no clicks or other noises, and I get error message 680; No dial tone. As soon as I disconnect the PC from the phone line I regain my telephone line and get a dial tone: If however I reconnect the PC phone line but don't try to make an internet connection the telephone line gets blocked again within moments, and is just dead no clicks or other noises.

2. When going online, unless I connect first time I must disconnect the phone line from PC and ensure I have a dial tone, I can then try again.

3. Likewise, if cut off whilst online I must now disconnect the phone line from PC and ensure I have a dial tone, I can then try again.

No 2 & 3 are symtoms of the problem. I lean towards a motherboard problem, but have no idea if this problem is rectifyable or not.

BT have checked the line and assisted me in internal line checks, they believe it to be a modem or motherboard problem.
I have tried a new working modem, the problem persists.
I am loathe to tamper with or replace the motherboard as everything else seems to be working fine.
My operating system is XP home and I have been alternately advised by my PC supplier:-
1. To reinstall the operating system.
2. With XP you shouldn't need to reinstall.

Has anyone experianced this sort of problem, or has anyone any ideas of how to solve this problem.

Your help appreciated.


  Brian-336451 12:04 24 Jun 2003

A Dialup and an ADSL modem after a lightning strike nearby.

Both modems came out OK when diagnostics were run, but both were fried internally and never worked again.

Replaced both (dial ups only about £8.00) and fully functional.

I unplug my phone line when there is a thunderstorm about now.

  Agent Smith 12:59 24 Jun 2003

If can ascertain that your modem in OK. Then check your Modem lead. If your lead proves to be ok then contact your house contents insurer to find out if you are covered by storm damage. You will probably have to be specific about the date of the storm and that the storm was reported on the TV or Radio etc. You may be able to claim for the cost of your repairs against the insurance company. You will of course be liable for the excess. If your excess is £50 it's probably worth claiming if it's £100 or more well you may have to bite the bullet. It's got to be worth a phone call though.

  Ferdinand 14:21 24 Jun 2003

Thanks for your response; Not THAT Brian May, I have tried new working modem and lead; problem persists.

If I swith on my PC with the PC connected to the phone line, within moments of switching on my PC the phone line goes dead, no tone or noise of any sort. This happens without any attempt by me to open an internet connection, I am obliged to disconnect PC from phone line and check phone for dial tone.

Thanks also Agent Smith for insurance advice.

  jospar 16:40 24 Jun 2003

You say that everything else of your system works, except this proble even though you've replaced the modem.

Could suggest a motherboard problem, but the storm also could have corruptd the data concerning connection and browser, and this could be casing the problem.

Before replacing the motherboard, try system restore and take it back before the storm, and see if this recerfies the problem. Don't forget to back any impotant data/documents that you've done since the storm, as it will only be these that will be lost, during this procees.

If this doesn't work it might be a good idea to reinstall XP, These two ideas are worth a try, as apart from time, and a small amount of hassel, (espacialy if you forget or decide not to back up data) don't cost any money.

The theory being that if this problem is being caused by corrupt data on the hard drive, then if you replace the motherboard and use the hard drive then you are still going to have the problem.

  woodchip 16:57 24 Jun 2003

Get an external Modem I?ve got a Dynamode connects to serial port

  Ferdinand 09:51 25 Jun 2003

Thanks Jaspar, your response pretty much confirms my opinion and will probably be my next action.

Also Woodchip, I see your point, isolate from phone line gives protection from this sort of damage; however space is at a premium on my desk and I don't think speeds are comparable.
Thanks anyway.

  jimv7 11:14 25 Jun 2003

A Belkin surge protector also has phone line protection, plus 20 to 40k insurance, depending on the model, a worthwhile investment.

  Big Elf 11:35 25 Jun 2003

Could it be the phone socket that's damaged. I have a similar problem after the storms even though I have surge protection on both my PC, modem and phones but can connect using another phone connection point (not an extension) and the phone and modem work on that OK without having to disconnect the phone.

I've yet to replace my 'faulty' socket but will advise if it fixes the problem unless you get your problem sorted in the meantime.

  spanglysteve 11:55 25 Jun 2003

This may sound incredably basic, but are you sure your not overloading the REN count on your phone line. In general you should not have anymore than 4 device attached to your phoneline. Try disconnecting a phone in your house somewhere and see if that solves the problem

  woodchip 13:16 25 Jun 2003

Speed It downloads as fast as any other modem
4.6kb a sec

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