3Com Wireless 54Mbps ADSL Modem Router Firewall co

  old china 02:48 14 Mar 2006

I bought this 3Com modem router (model 3CRWR100A) with an usb adaptor last week, connected to one desktop and got internet connection (wired with the ethernet that came with the kit) without any problems.

Saturday night, we installed the usb adaptor to another desktop and got internet access wirelessly without problem. Problems started on Sunday morning. The wired PC could not access the internet but at the same time the wireless PC could. Both PC are running XP pro with SP2.

When I checked the LAN status from Network Connection, it says SiS 900PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter, IP:, Subnet Mask:, Assigned by DHCP; which seem all fine. However, when I tried to access my ISP (Tiscali) home page, sometimes I get a message saying ‘The page cannot be displayed’ at the top, and ‘cannot find server or DNS Error’ at the bottom. But sometimes the PC just hangs, with ‘website found, waiting for reply’ at the bottom of the screen.

When this happens to the PC wired to the router, I could go to the other PC and access internet wirelessly.

The confusing thing is that the above situation happened for most of the day, but for a brief period during the day, the wired PC behaved well and I could access the internet from it. I should add that I did restart the PC a few times and rebooted the router as well, but without improvement.

When I opened Microsoft Outlook, I could see from the status bar that a 50kb message was being received at a painfully slow rate of about 1b per second!

I then disconnected the ADSL cable from the 3Com router and connected the PC (via usb) to the phone socket using my old ADSL modem, everything was fine and got good speed as normal, so the problem is not with the ISP server, I suppose.

I even system restored the PC to when I just got the modem router running on the wired PC (but before the wireless PC was configured) in case I had accidentally altered some settings, still no joy.

Where is the problem? Is it the way the wireless PC was configured? Is the modem router faulty? Please help. Any advice will be gratefully received.

One thing: I did notice that when the wireless PC was jut configured and both PC’s were accessing the internet simultaneously, there was an extra icon on the Network Connections page. The icon said something Gateway (can’t remember exactly because the icon is not there anymore, no matter how many times I rebooted the computer and the router.) Not sure if this is relevant or not.

  The Kestrel 14:02 14 Mar 2006

I run a similar system, with a netgear modem router. My PC is hard wired via ethernet cable, and two other PCs are connected via wireless USB adapters. All PCs connect independantly to the internet via the router. I would doubt that your wireless connected PC is affecting your wired PC. It would seem to be either the cable or the router that is at fault.

If you have another cable, try replacing the existing one to see if that cures the problem. If you have more than one port available try connecting the cable to another port. Finally try using the USB adapter on the wired PC to see if that works. You should then be able to discover what is causing the problem.

  old china 00:12 15 Mar 2006

Thanks kestrel. Haven't got another cable handy, so haven't tried first suggestion. Tried all 4 ports on the router, no joy (not sure if you meant ports on the router or the PC, but there is only one port at the PC end anyway).

Tried you final suggestion -- the usb adaptor works FINE on the 'wired' PC (provided that I unplug the ethernet cable). So, what do you think is wrong? To me, the possibilities can only be the cable, the port on my PC or the router itself. What do you think?

I am beginning to suspect it is the router. When I go to Network Connections, under Local Area Connection, it says the device name is Sis_900_PCI_Fast_Ethernet_Adaptor (is this something built in the router?) I wonder if this device is faulty, because of the following.

I’ve noticed that when I tried to access the internet via ethernet, my Network Connections page indicates an automatic IP address (instead of the correct 192.168.1.x). The 3Com User Guide (page 92) says that ‘the router contains a DHCP server, and if the device cannot contact the DHCP server, you get an automatic IP address of the form 169.254.x.x. Am I right??

What should I do? Go and buy a fast-ethernet cable and try out, or find other ways to test the router. I am running out of steam! Got 2 teenage children who want internet for their homework and a husband who is totally against computers and anything technical. Please help!

  The Kestrel 08:18 15 Mar 2006

I'm not experienced enough to help with IP address problems, though I am sure others on the forum will come in and help with that. Did you buy the router locally? If so, I would return with it to the vendor and explain what has happened and ask them to check it for faults. If you bought it online, there should be a telephone number for customer support which you can ring and explain the problem to the staff there. Can you borrow another cable, rather than go to the expense of buying one as it seems it is more likely that the fault is with the router.

  old china 11:26 15 Mar 2006

Thanks Kestrel for your support. I bought it on the internet through Misco, they don't want anything to do with it and customer support has to be with 3Com from day 1. I had even asked Misco for a refund for the faulty goods but Misco refused. (Not sure if they are legal, but haven't got time to check it out with Trading Standards.) Tried to get customer support from 3Com (online as well as by phone) by their systems are plagued with faults and were down altogether yesterday. Sorry to sound so gloomy but have to accept this risk when buying from the internet. Wish I had bought it from E-Buyer, they seem better from my experience.

  Danoh 13:41 15 Mar 2006

Never shopped with Misco (probably won't bother either, juggling from your experience!)
Although I have often found that calling back another time, I could get a completely different experience ~ dependent on whether you get a good guy or ..
Will post in the Networking forum as the best space for this.

  Danoh 13:42 15 Mar 2006
  The Kestrel 14:08 15 Mar 2006

If the router was brand new, then your contract is with Misco not 3Com. If it is faulty, by law, you are entitled to a replacement or a full refund. It is not your responsibility to go chasing 3Com, as it appears the router was not fit for the purpose it was sold for.

  ade.h 17:59 15 Mar 2006

Just to chip in...

The SIS 900 is your own Ethernet adapter. In your PC. As routers do not get installed - just connected - there is no reference to it on your PC. It's about the only type of device that I can think of that does not use a driver or software of any kind, barring any of those "helpful" setup wizards that run from CD.

By the way, let me know if you do swap the router, but stay with 3Com; I will forward you that security guide as promised when I get time to compile it.

  old china 15:54 16 Mar 2006

Just a quick thank you for all the postings, I shall digest all the info today. My son turned 13 yesterday, so I had to spend time with him -- couldn't get on the forum last night...

  old china 16:15 17 Mar 2006

Yesterday, I tried Danoh's suggestion and got a better lass this time who took (some) notice when I quoted Distance Selling Regulations and my rights (thanks, Kestrel), but she insisted I should provide a case reference number from 3Com to prove that the item might be faulty. Didn't argue because i) my 7-day period had officially expired by 1 day and ii) I had by this time received emailed support from 3Com and locating the case number was not too much hassle . So the kit is being refunded!

It's complicated procedure to get 3Com technical support, but once there you get prompt and relevant response. Despite my recent experience, I still have confidence in 3Com and am ordering the same kit again, but from E-Buyer this time. (I bought from Misco last time because I could buy an extra adaptor from Misco, out-of-stock with E-Buyer). So, yes please, ade.h, your security guide will still be very much appreciated.

One other point folks might like to know: Misco delivers to the credit card billing address only, so I have to take a day off work and stay at home for the delivery. With E-Buyer, they can deliver to my work address which is handy.

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