A new customer was having difficulty getting a new broadband connection to work.
Most times, its just something trivial, but this one was unusual.
When I got there, I started the modem and PC, and they both started correctly.
Customer says she contacted Telstra, but they eventually said “there is something wrong with your LAN hardware”.
The modem (one of the new telstra-branded white modems, with the word “2wire” on the side), had the usual LEDs that can be either red or green.
As expected, I found most LEDs turned green, except the internet LED (which flashed red). OK, it looks like I just need to connect to the modem, and enter the correct username and password.
So I start IE, enter 10.0.0.138 into the address bar, and then nothing happens (I’m expecting the modem web screen). A glance at the modem shows most LEDs switched off (except for a flashing power led)… looks like the modem either lost power, or reset itself.
I check all the cables, and everything looks ok.
I go get a usb to ethernet adapter from the car (to eliminate a failed ethernet port), but it also gives the same error.
I also change ethernet cable, in case there is a faulty wire.
But the modem still resets most times it is accessed.
At this point, I’m ready to say “its a faulty modem” (or maybe an XP problem).
Before I do that, I decide to remove windows XP from the equation, and I boot my mepis live cd.
And would you believe I can access the modem without any problem?
I find the username / password page, and I notice the username is something like: email@example.com@pigpond.com ie two @ and two domains.
I correct the username and check that I can access the internet (It works!).
I restart into XP (I get the feeling it won’t work… but I’m proved wrong) and it connects to the internet as if there was never any problem.
The antivirus starts updating, I check a few websites, I run an adsl speed check, play a quick game on teagames.com, and after 5 minutes, decide that the problem must have been the double @ in the username field.
I restart the PC, just to be sure, and then I’m back on the road again.