Shouldn't any computer work with my Cable Modem?

Ok, I was going to buy a laptop from this fella off Craigslist, but when we connect the CAT 5 cable from my Motorola SB5120 cable modem, his Compaq Presario C700 couldn't recognize the modem for some reason.

This left me wondering, because everytime I re-format a HD and re-install Windows XP on my desktop, there is never a problem connecting to the cable modem, and using the internet.

If Windows XP automatically recognized my cable modem, I would hope Windows Vista should too.

I recall once having to give Cox communication either my serial number, on a MAC address, but once that was worked out, I never had to install drivers for XP to recognize the cable modem.

His reasoning was that I would have to do some software troubleshooting, but why with Vista and not XP? Isn't it possible there was something wrong with the network interface card on his laptop, and he was trying to hide it?

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Use a router. The router has the smarts to connect to the internet, and it knows DHCP to connect to your computer.

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Three possible reasons. First, the cable modem might require some configuration (might, for instance, still remember another computer was connected, and is still sending fruitless messages there). Second, all CAT5 cables are not alike; you may have (or need) a 'crossover' cable - or you may need to connect computer to hub/switch/router and modem to hub/switch/router. Third, the cable or the laptop or the modem could be faulty.

For configuration issues, sometimes interrupting power is all it takes. Windows may need to be configured, as well (maybe it only checks network connection on the modem). It's also possible that a configuration step requires you to use the USB port. If Microsoft thinks this box is 'not compatible', all is NOT LOST, that just might refer to one lonely bit of configuration that you'll never need to revisit. Once the internet is served to the Ethernet port, there's no Windows/modem interaction, only internet activity.

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The cable and the modem are not faulty, because I just used in on my desktop.

You mean uplugging the AC adaptor from the cable modem, right?

I'll try that next time.....that often works when I cannot access the internet from my desktop.



you to

ll is NOT LOST,

ever need to revisit.

m interaction,

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On a sunny day (Thu, 7 Jul 2011 20:10:14 -0700 (PDT)) it happened Paul wrote in :

Common problem is the address range of the local subnet, either 10.0.x.x or 193 (or was it 198.x.x.x (forgot, I am on 10...). Has to be the same for youe PC as for the modem. In windows you can enter that somewhere,.

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Jan Panteltje

Most likely it is simply driver/configuration issues, there is no reason it shouldn't work except for that. If it was a good deal then go for it and spend the time figuring out how to get it to work. It could be a real pain(if older computer) and not worth the time though.

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Ok, but when I re-format the system HD, and re-install Windows XP, it erases everything.

So why don't I have to reset anything when I do this in XP? It automatically recognizes the cable modem immediately, and I can begin downloading Firefox, etc.

Why should Windows Vista be any different, or more complicated?

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Is the OS setup to use DHCP? He might have the IP address, gateway and/or DNS server set to a fixed number.

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On a sunny day (Fri, 8 Jul 2011 07:53:56 -0700 (PDT)) it happened Paul wrote in :

Dunno, I use Linux, takes only one edit in the config file: ifconfig eth0 netmask broadcast up route add default gw

The gateway, the modem in fact, should be on the same sort of subnet as the PC.

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Jan Panteltje

Because its Vista.

Did you try going through the network setup wizard to repair the connection (or create a new one)?

Paul Hovnanian
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Paul Hovnanian P.E.


Some ISP's lock the modem to the first network card used or one whose MAC address you provide. Other modems simply lock the MAC on power up, this is all done so you can't share the conection with a switch. You *don't need* any drivers to connect via ethernet to your modem. You do need to have the laptop's network card drivers installed properly obviously. What you might need in case the power-down-up doesn't work is to enter the MAC address of your desktop in the advanced properties tab of the network card of the laptop modem.

Best Regards

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Steve Sousa


Yes, we tried repairing the connection, but no go.

I'm sure Vista's got plenty of bugs....some say more than XP.

Oh well, thanks everyone for their input.

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True. What the OP should do is plug the cable modem into the PC, then power-cycle the cable modem; giving it at last a full minute down.

That usually resets same. Years ago the cablecos would lock same, requiring a phone call; but it was too much support grief for them...

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David Lesher

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