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hoovs

join:2001-08-11
Rockwall, TX

Kingston111 in the trash thanks to ASI and DSLR

If you can tolerate the ramblings of a short term reader/first time poster, I'd like to relate my initial DSL install experience.

SBC/SBIS did a good job of switching my TELCO service, getting the line activated and sending equipment (5260 modem and Kingston111 NIC). I did some web-checking and was a little troubled to find that Kingston had gotten out of the NIC business several months ago, but figured its hard to screw up an ethernet card. Anyway, driver and Enternet300 install went fine with only one Automatic Skip Driver do-over and I was surfing in style. Only one problem--any file download would start up and then freeze, and all but the plainest web pages would always stop just short of completely loading. So I started calling tech support.

And calling, and calling. Bless their hearts, SBIS was always sympathetic and sounded like they were really trying, but their talents were no match. After the first call, I felt like I knew as much as they did because they always suggested doing the same things. Often, they couldn't find a record of any previous calls I had made--I ended up with 3 or 4 trouble tickets and 4 or 5 case ID's. They sent me out a new NIC card (the same kind) at no charge in case that was the problem. After 2 hrs on the phone, they would surrender and tell me they were bumping me up to "second tier" support (this happened a couple of times). Another two-hour session consisted of the help desk tech repeatedly putting me on hold while she consulted second tier who put her on hold repeatedly. I was promised more than once that second tier would call me back, but they never did. ASI called me back though.

ASI was a completely different story. Without fail, every time I was fortunate enough to stumble through the phone option maze to find them, I found a technically competent and professionally courteous person who could perform the task at hand themselves. One also was the one to turn me on to dslreports. They confirmed the lines looked good and offered to send a tech to the house whenever I said the word. I of course didn't immediately accept that offer because (a) I trusted in my soul that I was just one checkbox on some obscure setup screen away from DSL nirvana, (b) I was too technically macho to admit that I couldn't get it working myself, and (c) I was too cheap to pay for the service call if it did turn out to be me or my home wiring or my computer's fault.

Then I got to studying DSLR. I found references to people with my same exact problem in SBC DSL FAQ Sec 8 "Installation and Troubleshooting"(#1568) I can browse but can't download www.dslreports.com/faq/sbc/8.0+Installation+and+Troubleshooting#1568 and others. I followed the suggestions on reseating the NIC, removing all extraneous cards, swapping PCI slots, avoiding IRQ sharing conflicts. I re-hooked my dial-up modem and downloaded RASPPPOE and DrTCP and tried to see if that made a difference. Finally, during one session with an ASI guy, when he confided that he had gotten back in touch with second tier SBIS who had said I had made "too many phone calls to count", he didn't want to conference in with me and that his best suggestion was for me to "ugrade my browser", I knew I was done with them and I scheduled the ASI tech visit.

The guy came out when he said he would, and called me at work, all the while extremely professional. He confirmed (again) that the lines looked good, then hooked up his laptop to my modem and it checked good. The last thing he did was tell me that he always had troubles with Kingston111's and left behind a 110 for me to replace it with. Of course then came the happy ending. I got home, replaced the board and I was downloading and web surfing at 1.1M with a Ping score of 62.

When I called ASI (not SBIS) the next day to thank them and report success, I talked to Corey, a manager in maintenance dept. I apologized because I didn't catch the tech's name who had come out to the house, but I did tell him I'd put in a good word for them here. He also ensured that their data reflected the replacement of the NIC.

The lessons I learned from this:
--don't waste any time with SBIS. If it's not on their list of basic problems and troubleshooting, they'll never figure it out.
--do go directly to ASI. They're the pros.
--don't hesitate to call them to the house, particularly on a new install with problems. I felt especially justified in doing so after doing my homework here.
--do not waste any time with a Kingston111. Go buy your own if you have to. I'd like to see the CPE folks wise up and purge their inventory of these cards.

Thanks for listening. Thanks DSLR for good understandable poop. And most of all, thanks ASI for doing the job right. I'm a happy camper now.



Alphabyte

join:2001-02-20
Edwardsville, IL

We have not sent out k-111's In a long time, I can't even remember the last time we did. We have been sending out Kingston 110's for quite some time. I wonder if they got a batch of old card or something going out?


hoovs

join:2001-08-11
Rockwall, TX

I've got two of 'em, suitable for doorstops.



Alphabyte

join:2001-02-20
Edwardsville, IL
reply to hoovs

Sorry to hear about your luck with tech support and what not. Just remember if you ever have to call back in, and you feel that they don't know what they are doing, simply hang up and call back 1 out of 5 people DO know what they are doing.
--
Miss Cleo love you baby, call me now for your free reading!


hoovs

join:2001-08-11
Rockwall, TX

good advice. Thanks



Flippant
So Much For Subtlety
Premium,Ex-Mod 2000-13
join:2000-06-04
Katy, TX

Thanks for sharing your experience, Ranma or I will see that it gets included in the FAQ.



kmac1
Off in new directions
Premium
join:2001-06-07
Port Neches, TX
reply to hoovs

Actually the 111 isn't bad when it works. I've gotten higher downloads (20-70k) on average, but the high rate of failure is a big turn-off. I still use them but only in Macs.
--
DSL- It's not just a job, it's an Adventure!!!



Ranma
Premium
join:2001-04-28
Houston, TX
reply to Flippant

said by Flippant:
Thanks for sharing your experience, Ranma or I will see that it gets included in the FAQ.
I have added this thread to the FAQ. I have also reorganized the entries to place more emphasis on changing to a different NIC. I searched some of the other forums and I noticed this download problem seems to happen about once a month in Pacbell, Swbell, and Ameritech forums. I couldn't find any posts with download but can't browse in Verizon forum or Qwest forum, so i think maybe some of the Kingston NICs may come out defect with PCI IRQ steering issues. Usually you have to swap it out for another card or try to resolve the IRQ steering issue by finding a slot that doesn't share an IRQ with another PCI device.

FAQ #1568 I can browse but I can't download.

I think it looks good.
--
need a desktop support or tier 1 helpdesk tech job in a corp atmosphere in DFW, Austin, or Houston? Please let me know if you know a place hiring for people with only a year's experience.


Artimas Z$

join:2001-02-10
Saint Louis, MO

Nice to see another conflict =) Here at ASI we know most of these problems already with many NIC brands.

I use a 3com 905-TX myself instead of the ol kingston 111.
3com, Linksys and Netgear are the way to go for optimal network throughput. Because they use similar topology as the Modem itself because of the alcatel chipset.

I have no idea why we dun send them out /w the modem kit?

Kingston cards are like the cheapest in bulk i have seen in my life.

If SBC is reading this, just say down with kingston!



systech

join:2001-03-16
Richardson, TX
reply to Alphabyte

I just opened 2 dsl kits. Both have kne111 NICs in them. I like the KNE110TX also.



kmac1
Off in new directions
Premium
join:2001-06-07
Port Neches, TX
reply to hoovs

We just shipped all our excess inventory up to the warehouse in OK where they're being repacked and sent out. A lot of these have KNE111s in them so I imagine they'll be sent out to customers. Some of them do work well, but many don't. I haven't been able to detect a trend as far as batch or serial #s on the card themselves and I haven't really looked at the chipset at all. I'll try to start getting some more info and I'll post what I find.
--
DSL- It's not just a job, it's an Adventure!!!


System
reply to hoovs

The 110 seems to be the more bullet-proof of the two.

Built-in nic's seem to have some conflict with Enternet300 sometimes, its the first thing we disable when we cant get it to go. I have never had a problem with a 3com pci nic, linksys, nor a 110.
Use what was sent to you or you run the risk of getting less support than necessary. Remember that any nic but what we send you is an unsupported issue, and therefore not our fault if it goes wrong. If you choose to install your own brand, be prepared to look elsewhere for answers if it becomes a problem. We simply cant support every piece of equipment out there. Nobody can.



Artimas Z$

join:2001-02-10
Saint Louis, MO

aramnis21 I can sure as hell give it a shot =)

Ha ha!