Dennis D. McDonald ( is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on and aNewDomain.

My DSL Modem Failed

By Dennis D. McDonald

I woke up Wednesday morning to find that none of my networked computers had Internet access. After numerous reboots and headscratching, I called Verizon Online technical support. I then proceeded to spend over three hours on the phone tracking down and repairing the problem.

We finally concluded it was a problem with the modem -- the DSL connection was fine (dial tone and all) but we just couldn't push a message through to the Verizon server from the modem.

Fortunately, when I resubscribed to Verizon DSL service, they sent me another modem/wireless router, even though I didn't need it. It's been sitting in the box for months. So I figured, let's swap it out but still use my old Linksys router for shared network access.

Nothing we did worked. We couldn't figure out how to get the new modem working again, and I began to wonder if the original modem was a problem. We even changed my Verizon password which had to be re-applied to the modem and router configurations.

I could tell the (very patient) tech support guy was running out of ideas when he suggested I call my "hardware vendor" to make sure I have all my local area network configuration ducks in a row. He suggested I call back later.

I hung up and sighed. I hate network problems, there are so many failure points possible. But I then thought of an idea -- why not try the CD based set up routines that came with the modem? I popped it into the machine and started it up. Even though it requires using Internet Explorer (yuck) I let it walk me through the setup steps on the Windows 2000 laptop I had direct cabled to the modem. Bingo, we have web and internet access. I then tried my Window XP laptop -- it worked and was accessing the signal from the Linksys router, not the new one (which I have not yet figured out how to turn off).

So things are back to normal. It only took all morning.

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