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LadyMin

@xo.net

[Modem] Error 678 - Remote computer does not respond

I have had a mostly solid DSL line with Earthlink for 7 years. Last Monday I could not connect to the internet. I disconnected my router, UPS and filters and set up a direct connection and used XP's WinPoet to try to login. Now I get Error 678. I also tried a different phone jack, swapped out phone lead and ethernet cables, and even tried it with my notebook computer.

Called Earthlink tech support. Told them all of the above, which they ignored. They had me doing the same troubleshooting again and again and again until finally Saturday they said it was a line problem and would have the phone company work on it. Yesterday they called me and said it was repaired and that it was something in the CO.

It is not fixed. I still get Error 678. The tech now tells me it's my modem and that I need a new one. I'm not sure I believe them. How did I go from "the phone company fixed it" to "it's your modem". Plus past experience: They said my modem was bad 2 years ago and it ended up being a line problem. In addition, I have a backup modem (same model), which also gets error 678.

My question is this: Is there a way to test the modem? I use a Speedstream 5260. (It's one that should be upgradeable to a 5660, but I have not been able to get it to ftp the upgrade firmware.) I can telnet into it, but I'm not sure how to interpret the results.

I asked the earthlink tech if we could test the modem, and he said no, it was too old, the firmware was probably worn out. His exact words, "worn out". Then he went into a sales pitch on buying a new modem or signing a year contract. I will not do that so my options are to solve the problem myself or go with a different ISP.

Any help is appreciated. I have run out of patience. Eight days now with no internet is unacceptable. Earthlink's technical support is abysmal.

RogerADSL

join:2004-12-10
Lawrenceville, GA
Lady Min,

What is the status of the lights on the modem?

Are the Ethernet and DSL lights solid?
Sys should be green
DSL should be green
ENET should be green

What username are you using? Are you putting the entire user@earthlink.net in?

Try this: »kb.earthlink.net/case.asp?article=23745


LadyMin

join:2006-07-12
Galt, IL
reply to LadyMin
All 4 lights are green and steady on both modems.

I used the entire username to log in me@mindspring.com
I even tried a second username which has an earthlink.net domain. That also failed.

I already tried most of the suggestions in the faq. Firewall and AV shut down, created new connection, reset TCP/IP and even tried setting the NIC to half duplex. Still no response from the remote computer.

RogerADSL

join:2004-12-10
Lawrenceville, GA
reply to LadyMin
By XP's winpoet, do you mean the built in PPPoE client? Or are you using WINPOeT?


LadyMin

join:2006-07-12
Galt, IL
reply to LadyMin
I'm using the PPPoE that's built into XP. It's the wan mini port that is giving me the error message.

But I couldn't connect using the PPPoE in my Linksys router either.


DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
reply to LadyMin
Make absolutely sure that you've entered the correct password with your username.

I doubt that you have a bad modem. That's a stock answer the script-readers in India are told to give you [it's also possible that they may not have support scripts written out for the older modems].

RogerADSL

join:2004-12-10
Lawrenceville, GA
reply to LadyMin
One bad modem, maybe, two bad modems, no way. Can you log into my account and/or webmail? That would test the username/password.

RogerADSL

join:2004-12-10
Lawrenceville, GA
reply to LadyMin
If the username and password are good, ask to have TS rebuild your account. Provisioning could be screwy.


LadyMin

join:2006-07-12
Galt, IL
reply to LadyMin
My username/password are good. I can log in to webmail; I just tried it now. I have asked several different tech reps if my account was still valid on earthlink's servers and if they could "reset it". They insisted everything was fine. I didn't use the words rebuild or provision. I will call again this evening and ask them them to do that.


DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
reply to LadyMin
What RogerADSL said... rip and rebuild the circuit. They may not have done this since they fixed the line problem.


LadyMin

join:2006-07-12
Galt, IL
reply to LadyMin
I called tech support and they looked up my ticket and before I could ask a question told me I needed a new modem. That my modem is old and needs to be replaced and that the firmware probably went bad. I find that difficult to believe. I asked him how that could happen overnight on two different modems. He kept insisting that they have determined it is the modem and must be replaced. That both modems are old. And that even if I were able to use that modem that I would get a lot of interference. They appear to be stuck on this and won't budge.

I specifically asked if they rebuilt the circuit and was told yes. I asked if the line had been re-provisioned. They said the phone company checked the line and it checked out ok. It was like talking to the wallpaper.

This is the end for me. I am not paying for a modem or signing a contract for a year. The thought of even talking to earthlink tech (un)support one more time makes me nauseous. Although I will be sad to say goodbye to my DSL line, a company this poor does not deserve my financial support.

I have called my cable company (Wide Open West) and I can get a faster line installed in a few days, and for a cheaper price. All of their tech support is US based. My neighbors are happy with their service and they get good reviews here.

Thanks for the help. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who had problems with earthlink (un)support.

RogerADSL

join:2004-12-10
Lawrenceville, GA
Good luck with the cable experience. I am pretty sure no one ripped and reprovisioned your circuit. The whole both modems thing is too much to believe. The place has gone down the tubes.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to LadyMin
said by LadyMin:

I called tech support and they looked up my ticket and before I could ask a question told me I needed a new modem. That my modem is old and needs to be replaced and that the firmware probably went bad. I find that difficult to believe. I asked him how that could happen overnight on two different modems. He kept insisting that they have determined it is the modem and must be replaced. That both modems are old. And that even if I were able to use that modem that I would get a lot of interference. They appear to be stuck on this and won't budge.
They are full of beans....

I have two DSL Modems that are the originals from 1999/2000 Mindspring installation and they both work fine on my line to this very day. One is a Speedstream 5660 Router/Modem and the other is Speedstream 5260 Bridge Only Modem. ADSL is a standard and it has not been changed to where older Modems just stop working.

Regards,

Doctor Olds
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


LadyMin

join:2006-07-12
Galt, IL
reply to LadyMin
I agree. They most likely did not re-provision the line, and they are definitely full of beans!

I was on the call with them for about 10 minutes. We kept going round and round about the modem. He kept giving me more and more reasons why I needed a new one. I even asked if anything in DSL technology had changed overnight rendering the old firmware obsolete. He again said "firmware wears out".

I can understand level one tech support talking down to the customer's level, because 90% are probably not technically literate. But when I get to the supposed upper level techs and ask questions and try to discuss the problem logically, and they still treat me like I am clueless, I lose patience.

I know if I got their new modem it still would not work. Then they would make some mysterious adjustment (like re-provision the line) and viola, the next day the new modem fixed it. I'm not playing that game.

I figure if cable doesn't work out for me I can always have Covad hook me up again for DSL with someone other than earthlink.