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linksys router - multiple flashing lights

This is a discussion on linksys router - multiple flashing lights within the Networking Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I am having an intermittent problem with connectivity of my wireless router. I have a cable modem (SURFBoard by Motorola


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Old 10-02-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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I am having an intermittent problem with connectivity of my wireless router.

I have a cable modem (SURFBoard by Motorola - it's just the one my cable company gave me) and a linksys WRT160N router which is about 6 months old. One day about a week and a half ago, I had been using the internet with no problems, when later that day I booted up my laptop and had a "local only" connection. This happens to me every once in a while, and generally I just power cycle my modem and everything is fine. Tried that - no success. I then tried power cycling both the modem and the router, after which the modem was working fine (as evidenced by the fact that if I plugged it directly into my computer I had internet connectivity). However, my router was not properly starting up. All of the numbered lights (1-4) and the "internet" light (the planet thingy on the current linksys routers) were just blinking on and off continuously, while the wireless and power lights stayed off. I tried another power cycle (including rebooting my computer), with no success. I then plugged my network cable directly from my modem to my computer again so I could get on line, and tried a bit of searching on the problem with little success. I found a couple references to this happening with the WRT160N (multiple lights flashing) if it was overheating, but mine was quite cool. I found one person posting that a few months after getting the same model router the same problem would occasionally occur, and he would have to leave it unplugged for hours to fix it. It didn't seem that there was ever a permanent fix and he ended up getting a different router, I think. In my case, at some point while I was Google searching for answers, the router apparently righted itself (the blinking stopped, just the internet, wireless signal and power lights came on steady, and all connections were restored).

I tried posting about the problem to the Cisco Home Community forums, but the only reply I got was, "I don't know what's wrong but you should try updating to the latest firmware." However, I *have* the latest firmware. In any case, since the problem had corrected itself, I wrote it off to one of those odd Windows networking glitches and went on with my life.

Flash forward to this morning, when I woke up my computer and tried to go on-line, and the same thing happened (loss of connectivity that was not solved by the usual methods, followed by power cycling of modem and router, followed by router failing to start up properly and the same lights blinking at me). I tried to look into the problem some more, without success, but after 5-10 minutes the problem righted itself again.

Flash forward to tonight...same thing, but this time it lasted probably 20 minutes or so before, again, the router suddenly started working again. A couple of additional notes: 1) When the router is flaking out like this, it's not just the wireless connection that is lost - any connection going through the router is bad. I get an internet connection if I run the network cable directly from my modem to my computer, but if I make a wired connection through my router by running one network cable from my modem to my router and a second one from my router to my computer, the connection still fails (i.e. is "local access only"); 2) I tried expanding my Google searching beyond just my particular model, and discovered a bunch of references, mostly about other linksys models, with this same problem. In most cases it seems that the flashing never stopped (even after resets or attempts to flash the firmware) and at least some of the routers in question were pretty much dead.

Any further information, suggestions, etc. are appreciated.

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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Hello,

I'd RESET your router (push the reset button for 30sec) to the factory default settings and reconfigure everything, it might help. Have you done this yet?

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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Hi, and thanks for the reply.

Resetting the router was the one thing I thought to try, but I haven't done that yet, for a few reasons.

First, I wasn't entirely sure of the correct process for doing so, as I had found several different versions of the instructions (press button for 5 seconds, press button for 30 seconds, unplug everything, then turn on router only and press button, just press the button - with no info on what should be connected/disconnected or on/off; also, some versions included a bunch of other steps after the reset). Secondly, several of the reports I found regarding situations that sound like the same problem included the suggestion of resetting, but it apparently didn't work in any of those cases. Finally, when my router is bugging out (when I don't have connectivity but it looks normal or when I subsequently power cycle it and all the lights are flashing), I can't even make a wired connection that goes through the router, and I can't access the web-based router setup page, so I was concerned about trying to reset the router at that time.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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I would proceed with the RESET. Try the 5 sec. reset. Here's the Manual for your Router.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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I have the manual, but thanks. In any case, it doesn't actually give any sort of specific instructions for the reset other than to hold the button for about 5 seconds. I don't know what, if anything, is allowed to be connected to the router (or anything else), whether to reboot anything afterward, etc. All the manual says is, "hold button for about 5 seconds."
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:12 AM   #6
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Replying to myself, but I have an additional question. Right now the router is working fine, so I have wireless and access to the router's web-based setup page. According to the router's manual, you can reset the router either by pressing the reset button for 5 seconds or using the web-based set up page. If I have access to that page, I presume that I can use it instead of the button?

Also, are there any other guidelines for doing a reset? For example, I found a set of instructions for resetting another linksys router (WRT150N) that someone on a Cisco forum gave in response to a person with the "all lights are blinking" problem. Although that model's manual has the same information as mine (i.e. you can either press the reset button for 5 seconds or use the web-based setup page, the instructions given on the forum were much more detailed and included a 30-second reset. They went as follows: power down and unplug everything (computer, router, modem), power up the router and allow it to "boot" (1-2 minutes), press the reset button for 30 seconds release it and then let the router "reset and reboot" for a few minutes, power down the router, connect the computer to the router via port 1, turn on the router, then the computer, and then try to ping the router. The last couple of steps were not very clear, as there was no mention of the modem anywhere in this process. It sounded like they were telling the person to just connect the router directly to the computer with no connection to the modem, which doesn't make much sense to me, especially as the very next step listed after a successful ping was to open a browser and go to the router's web-based setup page, which you couldn't do if your router and modem were not connected to each other.

Meanwhile, the manuals for both the model referenced above and my model don't give any instructions beyond "either press the reset button for 5 seconds or go to the web-based setup page, then to the administration tab, then the factory defaults tab, and click on the Restore Factory Defaults button."

So...I know to do the web-based one I have to have my router connected to my modem and my computer connected to the internet either by wired connection (network cables from modem to router and from router to modem) or wireless connection. If I connect my modem directly to my computer, bypassing the router, the router's web-based utility is not accessible. I'm guessing I'd want to use the wired connection, reset the router using the web page, then power cycle my router and modem, and then go to the web page again and do the setup as I did when I first set the router up? Do I need to disconnect anything from the computer? Restart the computer??

For the version using the reset button, do I really need to power down and unplug everything? Do I need to unplug *anything*, or can I just hit the button?

Sorry about all of the questions, but the information I have from Linksys/Cisco is very vague and what I'm seeing other places seems like overkill, so now I'm not sure what to do.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:28 AM   #7
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Let's just do the whole reset, and we can get the wireless working after the reset.



The following procedure should get you a connection with any broadband modem that is configured to use DHCP for the router connection, such as cable modems, and many DSL modems.

Note that the wireless encryption and channel selection will have to be done after the basic wired connection is established, the first step is to get wired connections working.

  • Reset the router to factory defaults by holding the reset button down for 15 seconds with power on.
  • Turn off everything, the modem, router, computer.
  • Connect the modem to the router's WAN/Internet port.
  • Disconnect any USB connection to the modem, it will not be used.
  • Connect the computer to one of the router's LAN/Network ports.
  • Turn on the modem, wait for a steady connect light.
  • Turn on the router, wait for two minutes.
  • Boot the computer.

When the computer is completely booted, let's see this.

Hold the Windows key and press R, then type CMD (COMMAND for W98/WME) to open a command prompt:

NOTE: For the items below in red surrounded with < >, see comments below for the actual information content, they are value substitutions from the previous command output!

In the command prompt window that opens, type type the following commands one at a time, followed by the Enter key:

IPCONFIG /ALL

PING <computer_IP_address>

PING <default_gateway_address>

PING <dns_servers>

PING 206.190.60.37

PING yahoo.com


Right click in the command window and choose Select All, then hit Enter to copy the contents to the clipboard.
Paste the results in a message here.

<computer_IP_address> - The IP Address of your computer, obtained from the IPCONFIG command above.

<default_gateway_address> - The IP address of the Default Gateway, obtained from the IPCONFIG command above.

<dns_servers> - The IP address of the first (or only) address for DNS Servers, obtained from the IPCONFIG command above.


If you are on a machine with no network connection, use a floppy, USB disk, or a CD-RW disk to transfer a text file with the information to allow pasting it here.
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the clear, step by step instructions - that's what I was looking for but couldn't find (either in the manual or in what I found via Google search).

Currently the router is actually working fine (as it has been since sometime last night), so I am in "wait and see" mode. I suspect that the issue will return, but for the moment everything is good. If/when that happens, I will try the router reset procedure.

In the meantime, I did open a command prompt and run ipconfig /all and ping as listed in your post to see what happened. All pings were successful with one exception, but there is some unusual background there:

It turns out that the router I have has an issue where it a) assigns its own IP as the primary DNS in the DHCP configuration it sends to connected PCs, but then b) has an issue where it sometimes responds to DNS requests with the wrong IP address - you try to go to Facebook, for example, and end up at someone's defunct MySpace page (see:http://homecommunity.cisco.com/t5/Wi...es/td-p/280327 for more info). This seems to be a well-known issue, and the workaround is to change the adapter settings for getting a DNS from automatic to manual. I got the DNS server addresses I used for this setting as described in the link above. After making the change, the rerouting of my web browser stopped, and everything else seemed to continue to work fine.

Why am I telling you this story? Well, when I followed the 2nd part of your post (ipconfig /all and then the series of ping commands), I was able to ping all the addresses on your list except "dns servers" (where the first server address listed was the first of the ones I manually entered as described above). Normally (without the change to the adapter settings), the IP address of the first DNS server would be the same as that of the default gateway (which is also my router's address), which I can ping with no problem. When I tried to ping the other DNS servers (the ones that come up after the router on ipconfig /all if my adapter is set to get DNS server address automatically, and which were used to stop the funky DNS/wrong IP address thing), the command timed out.

I don't know if we are now wandering into a completely different issue, but I was struck by these results and wondered if there might be some connection between the "fix" for the previous problem and the new problem.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:31 PM   #9
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This is probably the ISP DNS servers. Try changing your TCP/IP configuration to use the following DNS Servers.

8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4

See if that helps.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for the quick reply. Questions:

1) So might there be a connection between the settings for the DNS issue workaround the other problem (although that actually seems to be with the router hardware, as when it happens the router itself won't start)?

2) Why would using the ISP DNS servers be a problem?

3) If it *is* a problem, and I can't ping those DNS server addresses, why does my internet generally work fine with those settings? (Although I do occasionally have to power cycle my modem or run Windows troubleshooting and force acquire a (new?) IP address.)

4) Just to be clear, you're suggesting that I use the DNS servers you've listed in the "Use the following DNS server addresses" setting for my wireless adapter (the setting required to avoid the router's DNS issues)?

5) Oh, and what *are* those addresses, anyway?

Thanks again.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:06 PM   #11
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They are Public DNS's, here's a more detailed explanation.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:12 PM   #12
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Got it. Thanks for the reference! Someone on the original Cisco thread about the WRT160N's DNS/wrong IP thread suggested 4.2.2.1 & 4.2.2.2, and another person gave OpenDNS addresses. All three sets of addresses ping fine, and I have changed my adapter's DNS settings to the ones John suggested and a couple other public DNS's. Meanwhile will continue to monitor the issue I originally posted on here, and try a router reset if it comes back.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:57 AM   #13
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Great, let us know.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:09 AM   #14
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I'm back....

Here's the scoop:
My entire system was working fine for about a week. Then this morning when I turned on my laptop I had "local only" access. I disconnected the laptop from my wireless network and shut it off (as I had only turned it on to check something else that's been going on with hibernation with that machine - all is well there). I went upstairs to my desktop and resumed from sleep. "Local access" only - no surprise there. Did the following:

1) Ran Windows "diagnose and repair" on the connection. I got back the thing where the only suggestion Windows has is to reset the wireless adapter. Past experience tells me that that never works for me (it never has - not once, and as far as I know my adapter is fine).

2) Power cycled my cable modem, which past experience says sometimes solves the problem. No luck.

3) Power cycled my modem *and* my router. Flashing router lights were back.

4) Followed your instructions above to reset the modem. While I was doing the reset (holding reset button for 15 seconds), the lights never stopped flashing on the modem. I took this as a bad sign, but carried on with the rest of the process. When I turned on the router again - after letting my modem get connected - the lights were again flashing. I waited two minutes anyway, and booted my computer. Router lights still flashing. I did not continue with your instructions (ipconfig /all and ping) for the following reason: When this issue is going on with the router (won't start up, multiple lights flashing), I not only don't have wireless, but any connection running *through* the router is "dead." That is, I have a network cable going from my modem to my router and one from my router to my computer (as described in your instructions, and as I did when I set up my router in the first place), but my modem and computer can't see each other. It's as if they aren't connected at all. The only way for me to get an internet connection when this happens is to connect my modem directly to my computer. FYI, if I do that (connect directly to my modem), my internet connection is fine and I can successfully ping all addresses (except the DNS server one, which still times out), but that doesn't really help here.

Interestingly, it actually appears as if the router *did* reset. Previously when I had this problem, although the router was not starting up properly, the lights were flashing, and I could not connect to the internet, my home wireless network still appeared on the list of networks available to connect to. Also, if I did a direct connection between my modem and my computer, I was still told that I was connected to <name of home network here>. This time, when I finished powering everything back up, my home network was no longer showing up on the the list of networks to connect to, and when I plugged my network cable directly from my modem to my computer, I was connected simply to "Network 2." However, while the router does seem to have reset, since I can't even run a wired connection from my modem through my router to my computer, I can't reconfigure my router, as I can't access my router's web-based setup page.

So the "good news" is that I seem to have successfully reset my router. The bad news is that resetting my router seems to have had no effect on the original problem, which seems, if anything, to be getting worse. The first time it happened, the router's lights continued to flash for maybe 5-10 minutes before they stopped and the router functioned normally. The last time, I'd say it took about 20-25 minutes. This morning, I've been sitting here for longer than that, booting my computer up (as part of the reset process you outlined), checking available networks (and noting mine is no longer listed), redoing the connections (to plug my modem directly into my computer), typing and editing this post, running ipconfig and ping (just in case you still wanted those, though since they now only give information about my Ethernet adapter and *its* connection to the internet I'm guessing no), etc. And my router is still stuck in the lights flashing mode.

ETA: Just as I finished this and posted it, my modem's lights finally stopped flashing and went to normal. I'd say it took at least half an hour for the modem to start this time. I suppose I could do another reset at this point, but I'm not sure how much that will help as the original reset seemed to have no effect on the problem at hand.

ETA #2: I may have to retract my original statement about the router actually resetting. My home network is back on the list of available networks to which to connect. I'll have to see if I can actually connect to it.

ETA #3: So despite the previously obtained evidence, it appears that the router did not, in fact, reset. Once it finished "starting up," my network was back. I suppose I can try doing a reset now that the router is back to normal, and then see if the flashing lights come back after that?
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:27 AM   #15
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Quick addition to previous post (as too much time had passed to do an edit): The only other suggestion I've gotten is to flash the firmware for my router (even though I have the current firmware). Not sure which (reset or firmware) makes more sense, if one does, or if I should do both, and if so in what order.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:33 AM   #16
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Latest update:

I went ahead and flashed the firmware. The "upgrade" was successful (I put upgrade in quotes, as I already had the current version of the firmware, but flashing it had been suggested on the Cisco forums).

Then, since the router was actually working, I did the hard reset again (holding the reset button for 15 seconds, etc.). However, when I got to the "turn on the router" step, I once again got the flashing router lights.

At this point, I again plugged my modem directly to my computer and initiated a chat with Linksys support. I told them what the problem I was having was, and that I had both updated the firmware and reset the router, and that neither of these things had fixed the problem. The support person I chatted with gave me an incident/chat ID number and directed me to their RMA page to get a replacement router.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:07 AM   #17
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FYI, it took 30-35 minutes for the router to finish starting up this time. And when it did, at first I couldn't even get a "wired" connection to give me internet (i.e. Ethernet from modem to router and from router to computer). Ultimately, the router came fully on line and I was able to re-input all of my wireless network settings, but as I said above, it doesn't seem that either reflashing the firmware *or* resetting the router addresses the primary problem.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:20 PM   #18
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Hi lkadlec.

I have a Linksys E1000 router and I am having the same problem of you. All the lights (except the power led and the internet led) are blinking. I noticed that this happens always when the energy of my apartment goes down and back. It already happened with me 3-4 times and all of them I solved by just removing the linksys energy cable from the back of the modem and plugging it back again.

Now, as I sad, it is happening again but I already tried to plug out and in the energy cable and it not solved the problem.

I will wait to see if the modem cames back again by it own, as happened with you. Let see....

Regards,

rsc
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:37 PM   #19
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rscrsc - If you need assistance please create your own Thread. We'll be glad to assist you. If you're just giving your feedback then there's no need to create one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rscrsc View Post
Hi lkadlec.

I have a Linksys E1000 router and I am having the same problem of you. All the lights (except the power led and the internet led) are blinking. I noticed that this happens always when the energy of my apartment goes down and back. It already happened with me 3-4 times and all of them I solved by just removing the linksys energy cable from the back of the modem and plugging it back again.

Now, as I sad, it is happening again but I already tried to plug out and in the energy cable and it not solved the problem.

I will wait to see if the modem cames back again by it own, as happened with you. Let see....

Regards,

rsc
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkadlec View Post
FYI, it took 30-35 minutes for the router to finish starting up this time. And when it did, at first I couldn't even get a "wired" connection to give me internet (i.e. Ethernet from modem to router and from router to computer). Ultimately, the router came fully on line and I was able to re-input all of my wireless network settings, but as I said above, it doesn't seem that either reflashing the firmware *or* resetting the router addresses the primary problem.
I am also having the same issues about every 6 or 8 weeks (port lights and WAN light blinking); just enough time to forget what I did the last time to fix it. I believe it was just time (to cool down?) as what seems to be the best solution in this thread (doesn't seem to be a logical solution).

Does anyone know if there's a fix for this?
It even appears that DD-WRT flashed units have the same problem with this router as suggested by this thread:
DD-WRT Forum :: View topic - WRT160N v3 all lights blinking after power outage

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