Saturday, June 13, 2009

One little mistake!

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, raging storms swept through North Texas. Thousands of folks were left without power (but not me) and roads were closed due to flash flooding. Lightning was striking all around, sometimes close enough to shake the walls. Of course, being the good little computer mama that I am, everyone was shut down for the duration.

On Thursday afternoon after the last of the big ones had passed, I booted up my Sybil to go on line. Well, she booted just fine but I had no internet connection. Thus began a two-day odyssey into the realm of "WTH is happening here??". I jumped though all of the disconnect, reconnect and reboot hoops several times with no results. I bypassed the router and went straight to the modem...nope.

The next step was to boot up Bob, Sybil's trusty sidekick and partner in crime. Well, Bob powered up, but would not boot. The external drives lit up but no other peripherals. No keyboard, no mouse, no monitor. Now Bob is no spring chicken at 5 years old, so our assumption with him is that his motherboard fried. But how?? He had no power coming into him.

At this point, we were with no internet connection, no home phone and Bob was MIA. Best thing was to let it lie for the night and tackle the problem in the morning hoping the internet problem was outside the house and might resolve itself by morning.

Friday morning...still no internet and according to the cable company there were no service problems in our area. Back to Square One...disconnect, reconnect, reboot. Nope. Hubby got home from work and I sent him up to the cable company to swap out the modem (on DTV transition day...they were busy!). He came home with a replacement modem, but that was not any better. And having been told to register the new modem with TWC as soon as we got on line, we were now with no internet and using a modem that they didn't recognize because we couldn't register the MAC address!

Finally we had to do the most dreaded thing of all the cable company and let them troubleshoot from their end. It is heinous because you can count on at least 20-30 minutes of hold time just to reach a person who may or may not be able to do what you need! And of course, if they can't help you, you get to hold some more while they try to figure out who to hand you off to. An hour later, they had pinged us and insisted that we were on line even though we were not. We went to our back-up router and still no luck.

Then the thought came to us...check the X-box! Well, the X-Box wouldn't go online either. Not through either router and not directly to the modem. The puzzle now had more pieces to figure out! Fry's Electronics was now in our immediate future so off we went to buy a new modem and an ethernet card for Sybil. Success at last. Sybil was on line, but all the other problems remained.

What happened? As best we can figure out, everything was without power EXCEPT the wireless router which I forgot was plugged into the wall outlet. A power surge took out the router and traveled over to take out the modem. Then it carried it through the ethernet lines into both computers and the X-box. All incoming connections were damaged. Sybil is now back up, hubby is building Bob Jr., the X-box will have to go in for factory service on it's LAN connection and the wireless router will have to be replaced before we know whether or not the phones are damaged!

All because I forgot to unplug the router. I'm sure there is a moral to this story, but it evades me at the moment and I am several hundred dollars poorer!


  1. That totally bites... been there done that... good thing is... I am betting it wont happen again.. ever. We keep everything plugged into protected boxes now and all with battery backups and whe whole deal.. being on an island we are losing power.

  2. Aww, Gayle. You have really had a rough time of it lately, my friend! I know how it is to have your computer down. I was down 3 days recently and that's tough when you're trying to run a shop! Glad you're upp and running again. We missed you!