Posts Tagged Networking

Linksys router blinking power light of death

I’ve been having some odd problems with the router at home recently. I woke up yesterday morning and noticed that neither of my computers could get online. The thing that’s odd about this is that we also have a computer downstairs that has been able to get online while the others haven’t. There haven’t been any changes to the router that I’m aware of. I went through power cycling the router and modem, leaving it alone for a while, and going back through power cycling. But it didn’t work. So I finally decided to check the firmware version to see if there was an upgrade on the Linksys website.

I downloaded the newest firmware package, went into the router setup page and attempted to flash it. I got the “your settings have been successful” page then had to wait for the router to reboot. When it came back up one thing had changed, but not in a good way. I could no longer get to the router’s setup page. I went out to the garage and climbed a ladder up to where we have our modem and router, lugging my laptop up there with me so I could easily bounce between the modem and router. That is when I noticed the blinking power light of death. I had never seen this on a router before so I didn’t know what it meant. But after digging around online I discovered that it meant the firmware was corrupted, which would explain why I couldn’t get to the router’s setup page anymore. I have no idea what happened because I did get the page that said it was successful – a bad download maybe.

I’m sure I spent at least an hour on the ladder in the freezing cold garage figuring this out, but I did finally find a solution that worked for me here in this forum.

Problem: Blinking power light on Linksys router and unable to access setup page.

Solution: What you need to do is statically define your computer’s IP address in order to communicate with the router and flash it with the latest firmware. You will need a little file transfer program, which you can get from Linksys here and also the latest firmware package for your model of router. Plug straight into your modem to download those. I unplugged everything from the router so that the only thing plugged in was my laptop, that probably isn’t necessary though.

  1. Go to your control panel and select network connections… or go to network and sharing center, then click on where it says change adapter settings in the left panel.
  2. Under LAN or high-speed internet, you will see local area connection. right-click on it then select properties
  3. Under local area connection properties, look for internet protocol TCP/IPv4, highlight it and click properties.
  4. Once in the internet protocol TCP/IP properties, set it to use the following IP address and settings:
    • IP address: 192.168.1.5 (it must be same range of your default gateway: 192.168.x.x)
    • Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    • Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1 (that is the default one. if not then enter the IP address of your router, to check it, open command prompt, then type in “ipconfig” [no quotes] the default gateway is equivalent to router’s IP address)
    • Also put in 192.168.1.1 as the DNS server.
  5. Click ok and click the close button on the local area connection properties window.
  6. Now unplug the router and let it sit for a few seconds, plug it back in. I had to do this before I was able to ping the router.
  7. Open your start menu and go to run, then type cmd. For windows 7 or Vista, just type cmd in the search bar.
  8. Once the black box pops up type in ping 192.168.1.1. We need to make sure your computer can communicate with the router before attempting to flash it again. If it returns 4 responses then you’re good to go, if not then check your settings again and power cycle the router one more time.
  9. Now you need to open the program you downloaded earlier, tftp.exe.
  10. In the server section you want to type the router’s IP address, which is the 192.168.1.1 and the password for it. The default password for Linksys is admin, but if that doesn’t work you can try the password you set for it if you changed it.
  11. Now click the button next to file and find the firmware update you downloaded. Then click upgrade and it should flash the router. It was pretty quick for me.

I had to power cycle my modem and router one more time after this to get everything online again, luckily it saved me another 40 bucks by not having to buy a new router. I would guess that you could probably use tftp.exe with other router brands as well, you just need to download the correct firmware for whatever you have and know the default settings for it since those may be different.

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Vista – The dependency service or group failed to start

This was an error that has come up on some students’ computers.  The problem was that it isn’t very specific so it’s insanely difficult to troubleshoot.  But since the main problem along with that error was the internet not working that helped me figure out what to try.

Some people reformatted and that worked, some people did a system restore and that worked, others reinstalled SP1 and that worked.  Based on the research I did today I couldn’t find any solution that worked for more than 1 or 2 people.  I decided to use a stack repair to see if that would do anything.   I hadn’t seen that in any of the forums I read but it was worth a shot since nothing else worked and I’ve used it in the past to fix connection problems.  If it only worked on one of the computers I wouldn’t think much of it but it worked for both computers so here’s what you do:

  1. Go the start menu and type cmd in the search bar.  Right-click on it and choose “run as administrator“.
  2. Now type "netsh winsock reset" without the quotes and hit enter.
  3. Next type, “netsh int ip reset" once again without the quotes and hit enter.
  4. Ignore it if it says that one of the repairs couldn’t be done and now restart the computer.

What this does is reset some configuration files and registry keys to their original state that are related to your computer knowing how to get online.  Various things can corrupt them including viruses/spyware, installing some networking software, and I’ve read some programs that try to remove spyware/viruses can even corrupt them.

I’m not sure what the message saying a repair couldn’t be done was about because they were both able to get online afterward.  I hope this helps some people because the forum posts I saw were pretty hopeless. One pattern I did notice was that a lot of people reporting this issue said that some windows updates had been recently installed.

I think something to look out for which may help you decide whether this will help is opening services.msc (type it in the search bar) and looking at the services that are supposed to automatically start.  On one of the computers I noticed that the DNS Client and DHCP Client both were not running and gave me an error when I tried to manually start them; IPSec Policy Agent, Base Filtering Engine also were not running.  The funny part about that error was that it was something like “A file that should never fail has failed to start.”  Uhh… thanks?

If you end up trying this or finding something else that works please leave a comment, it would be good know.

 

Didn’t work? See this post for a few more ideas.

 

Edit: I’m happy to see this is working for people.  I know how frustrating something like this can be.


Update: In response to the comment from Matt, it sounds like the problem your computer is having is far more than just some services failing to start or some winsock & TCP/IP configurations being corrupted.  I would be surprised if running those commands broke anything since all they do is reset some configuration files to their original working state.  A virus could have corrupted a bunch of files on the computer including those mentioned in this post, so it was only one symptom of the problem.  Sorry it didn’t work.

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