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Troubleshooting Q&A - March 28, 2005

Used Routers Can Create Whole New Problems

When you buy a second-hand router, be sure to wipe its history clean for a fresh start ... and Internet Explorer limits you to downloading only two files simultaneously. We offer a workaround to let you take advantage of high bandwidth.

By Ron Pacchiano

Q. I just purchased a used D-Link DI-784 router [define] from a guy on eBay. After I received the router, I connected it to my network. The router appears to have DHCP [define] enabled because it assigned an IP address to my wired PC and I was surfing the net in minutes. My wireless notebook, one the other hand, didn't go as smoothly. For some reason, it just can't seem to be able to communicate with the router. I've tired doing a release/renew on the notebook multiple times, but all I get is a 169 IP address.

So I attempted to examine the routers configuration using its built-in Web-based management utility. According to the guy I had bought it from, the default IP address was 192.169.0.1 with a username of "admin" and no password. When I tired accessing the router through my Web browser I was prompted for my username and password, but after I entered it, I received a 401 unauthorized error. I tried to access it multiple times, but it keeps happening. Even though it seems to be working with my wired PCs, I think this unit might be defective. I tired contacting the guy I purchased it from on eBay, but he stopped returning my e-mails. Do have any idea why this is happening and if there is anything I can do to fix it? Thanks!

A. The fact that your router is working with your wired machines I think is a pretty good indication that the unit is functioning OK, so I don't think it's defective. The more likely scenario is that the previous owner had originally configured it to use WEP [define] encryption. Without those security settings, your wireless notebook would be unable to connect to the network. Additionally, I think that the gentleman you purchased the router from simply forgot the actual username and password he had assigned to the router and was quoting you the default one found in the documentation. That would explain why you are receiving a 401 unauthorized error whenever you attempt to log into the router. The username and/or password you are typing in is wrong.

I think the easiest thing for you to do to correct this problem would be to reset the router back to the factory default settings. The following reset procedure will completely restore the default settings to your D-Link DI-784 router; including your username and password.

Step 1 - Locate the reset pinhole on the back of the unit.
Step 2 - With the unit powered on, press and hold the Reset button.
Step 3 - Hold the Reset button for about 10 seconds.
Step 4 - Release the Reset button.
Step 5 - The unit will reboot. Allow 20-30 seconds before reconnecting.
Step 6 - The device is now at factory defaults.

Note: Do not recycle power during the reset procedure.

The default user name for most D-Link devices is "admin" and the password is left blank. This should get you access to the router's configuration menu. Once there, just reset WEP to your own preferences and you should be online in no time. Good Luck!

Q. I'm a public relations manager and spend a great deal of time downloading files from the Internet. These files include mostly software, video footage and various other types of media formats (JPG, MP3, TIF and so on.). Our office is equipped with a T1 line that is very fast, but for some reason I can never seem to download more then two items at a time. When I try to initiate a third download, it just sort of sits there waiting for one of the first two downloads to finish. Often the files I am downloading are very large, particularly when dealing with video. Being limited to only two downloads really hampers my productivity. Why can't I download more then two files at a time and is there anyway that I can get around this? Thanks!

A. I'm sure we have all come across this situation at one time or another and you're right. It can be quite a hindrance when you have time constraints. I myself have run into this on a few occasions and was always under the impression that this was a limitation that a Web master implemented on a site to prevent people from consuming all of their bandwidth. Recently, though, I discovered that this limitation was actually designed into Microsoft Internet Explorer and is a normal function of the browser.

The reason that Internet Explorer does this is to comply with the Internet Standards Committee's mandate that users can download only two files simultaneously and queue a third. You mentioned that one download seems to be waiting for the others to finish before it starts. Well, that's because it is. However, as connection speeds increase and the number of total connections that are allowed to Internet servers increase, the two-connection limit may be restrictive. There is fortunately an easy way to circumvent this limitation, but doing so is not recommended by Microsoft and constitutes a violation of Internet standards, so use this at your discretion.

All you need to do is make a small change to your system registry [define]. Before making any changes to your system, though, I would highly recommend you make a backup of your system registry first. If the registry became damaged or corrupted it could disable your system. I found a detailed description with step-by-step instructions for backing up your registry in multiple Windows operating systems. Take a minute and follow them before going any further.

Once your registry has been backed up we can begin. Make sure no other applications are running; especially Internet Explorer. Now To increase the number of simultaneous connections that are allowed to 10, just follow these steps:

Step 1 - Click on the Start button and select Run.
Step 2 - On the Run line type Regedt32.exe and hit Enter. This will launch the Registry Editor
Step 3 - Locate the following key in the registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
Step 4 - Click on the Internet Settings Key. Now go to the Edit menu, point to NEW click DWORD Value.
Step 5 - Type MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server for the name of this DWORD Value.
Step 6 - Double-click on the MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server key you just created and enter the following information:

Value data: 10 Base: Decimal

When finished press OK. Step 7 - Repeat steps 4 and 5. This time name the key MaxConnectionsPerServer and assign it the same values as indicated in Steps 6. Step 8 - Close the Registry Editor.

That's all there is to it! Now you can download up to 10 files simultaneously. Hope this helps you get out of the office a little earlier. Good Luck! Use our feedback form to submit your questions on home or SOHO networking issues. We cannot guarantee to answer every question we get, but we’ll consider them all.



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