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My computer has Multiple Personality Disorder

1401 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Prophet
Yes, evidently my computer is suffering from multiple personality disorder, and the condition is becoming increasingly serious--within a week or two I may not be able to access the internet at all.

What I mean to convey by the term "multiple personality disorder" is that my computer has episodes where it is simultaneously displaying two different "personalities"--online mode and offline mode--and each personality has no awareness of the other. But the result is that I cannot get online when the condition flares up.

It began about a month ago, and has been occurring with increasing frequency ever since. Randomly, when I start my computer, turn on my DSL modem, and then open a browser, I will not be connected to my home page or any other web page I try to access. (Incidentally, my DSL connection has performed perfectly throughout all this, the three green lights always on,etc.--in my careful experiments to isolate the cause, it has been proved never to have been a factor.) And not only does the browser (whichever one I try) not connect me, but what's very clear, and very important, is that the browser is not even attempting to connect--instead of trying for a while and then reporting failure, the instant I click on a bookmark it will say "Done" while leaving me with a blank screen. (This is Firefox's way of dealing with it. If I use Chrome, it instantly shows a blank screen with the words "Web page not available". All three of my browsers (Internet Explorer too) fail to connect me to a web page during these episodes, though each expresses the failure differently.)

But the element that I need to drive home is the instantaneous nature of the reported failure--this is not the typical case of access problems where the computer tries for 20 or 30 seconds to connect to a web page, but ultimately reports that it cannot. Less than a nanosecond after I click on a favorite or a web address, Firefox will report "Done" with a blank screeen or Chrome will report "Web page not available" with an otherwise blank screen. It's exactly as though I'm in offline mode, even though when I click on "File", "Work offline" is unchecked. (My attempts to remedy the problem by checking and unchecking "Work offline" have failed. Similarly, logging off but not restarting my computer does nothing. Manipulating my DSL modem has no effect. Only restarting my computer has worked, but it's just a matter of time when that too will fail because all restarting does is let me "roll the dice" again--at this point I have about a 1/3 chance of an episode occurring when I turn on the computer. A month ago, the chance was about 1 in 15, two weeks ago 1 in 7 or 8, now it's 1 in 3. Incidentally, these episodes never occur in the middle of a session, only when I turn my computer on--once I have internet access, I continue to have it until I turn off my computer.

So, to summarize--at present, about 1 in 3 times when I turn on my computer, I cannot access the internet with any browser, and they all fail to connect WITHOUT EVEN TRYING, exactly as though I'm in Offline Mode-- but I'm not (or, more accurately, I haven't put it in offline mode, and there's no official indication I am in it, but I believe one "personality" of my computer IS in offline mode. Meanwhile, the computer's other "personality" doesn't think I'm in Offline Mode, but believes that for some reason the "web page is not available" (Chrome) or that it's actually connected to the web page even though the screen is blank (Firefox).

I'm desperate at this point, because the future is clear-- and ominous. 1 in 3 will soon be 1 in 2, then 1 in 1. I posted to the Microsoft Community website with this problem, and though I got many views, I received no replies. Then I tried Geeks to Go--again, many views, no replies. Can this problem really be so unique that NOBODY HAS A CLUE???????????

I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop, purchased Dec. 2006 if that is relevant, with Windows XP.
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Reading through your problem it really does seem like a kind of unique problem, at least one that Ive never run across before. Its really kind of hard for me to troubleshoot things this way but here are a couple of things I would try that might solve the problem. Something tells me this may be a browser issue. I would completely uninstall 2 browsers and see if it works right using only one browser on your computer. Im just thinking that perhaps the browsers are all trying to be your default browser at the same time and its causing a problem. Does that sound stupid? The other thing I would try thats easy would be to do a system restore back to a point before this problem was occuring. Sometimes this will fix the whole problem with very little effort. I think system restore is the best thing microsoft ever came up with its fixed many many problems for me over the years. Im not sure if these things will fix the problem but its worth a try. Let me know if it helped. Im really sorry that I cant be more help but like I said this problem is kinda unfamiliar to me. Ill look around and see if I can find anything else to try for this problem.
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Yes, evidently my computer is suffering from multiple personality disorder...
Overly-wordy posts have a tendancy to diminish people's enthusiasm to help. Also I think your multiple personality analogy fails, and distracts from the technical nature of the problem.

As I understand your post, you have a problem with establishing an internet connection when you turn on the computer. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

Correct ?

Has it always been like this ? Did something happen just prior to the problem starting ? Have you tried running a System Restore to go back to a time when the machine worked correctly ?

The fact that your DSL modem has a green light does not necessarily mean it is doing it's job completing the "handshake". You can't rule your DSL modem out as a possible cause until you can show that another computer connects to it just fine, while the problem computer does not.

Have you tried doing a "Master Reset" on the DSL modem ? Have you talked to the cable company about the modem ? Sometimes they can look at it (online) and tell you if it appears normal or not.

Check device manager. Click "show hidden devices". Are any of your devices flagged ?

Run chkdsk.

Could heat be an issue ? Vacuum the intake and exhaust vents of the laptop.

Have you tried a different peice of CAT5 cable ? Maybe the cable is bad.
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Ben Her is absolutely correct about your modem. Have you tried rebooting the modem? To do this shut off your computer, unplug your modem from its power source for about 30 seconds, plug it back in and wait for the lights to come on, and then restart your computer. I still think it might be the multiple browsers as this will sometimes cause conflicts to occur. I run IE8 and I also have Firefox. Sometimes they will override each other trying to make themselves the default browser. This sometimes causes one to go into offline mode while the other goes into online mode. This can really cause alot of confusion if your not a real computer person. In your situation though I truley think a system restore back to when your computer was working correctly is the easiest fix for your problem. To do a system restore go to start-programs-accessories-system tools- select system restore. Go to a highlighted date when you know it was working right and click on it. Select system check point from the box on the right and click next. Then just do what the screens tell you to and when your computer reboots check to make sure it says system restore successful. If you are still experiencing a problem after that post back and we can try something else. I hope this helps you. Let me know.
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do not shut your dsl modem off unless you loose connection. It can take upto 15 days for your dsl connection to reach optimum speeds. If this is a wireless connection the modem should have a button to turn just the wireless broadcast on/off. Is this just a modem or is it a modem/router? And is the connection wired or wireless?
do not shut your dsl modem off unless you loose connection. It can take upto 15 days for your dsl connection to reach optimum speeds.
Sounds like urban legend to me. Sounds very silly, as a matter of fact. Any link(s) to substantiate this ?

Also, speed is not the first concern, getting a working connection is.
every dsl modem I have ever received from a internet provider has said to leave the modem on for 12 - 15 days to stabilize the connection. But the reason i recommended that he leave his modem on was so it would retain an ip address. that way when he boots his pc the dhcp from the modem will assign his computer a ip address and subnet that will connect to the internet. if the modem isn't fully initialized when windows has finished loading there is a very good chance that he will have an ip address that won't connect to the internet. internet connection troubleshooting 101 is to power on each device to the internet in the order the signal enters the home and each device should be fully initialized before the next device is activated.

Now if those steps are followed and there is still no connection to the internet then he will need to verify the ethernet port or wireless connection is enabled and working correctly in device manager. Then he needs to open command prompt and type ipconfig /all and post the results so we can determine he has a proper ip.
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And it isn't any sillier than asking if he has called his cable company about the problem when dsl hooks up to the phone line.
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