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That Darned Old Internet Gateway!

WARNING! WARNING! DANGER! DANGER! This is just how I felt after recent ... of helping a friend of mine get his new wireless router working. I was talking him through some of the settings on th

WARNING! WARNING! DANGER! DANGER! This is just how I felt after recent experiences of helping a friend of mine get his new wireless router working. I was talking him through some of the settings on the phone while looking at my router, which is the exact same model.

Now I am not new to computers or networking but I must say that Windows XP still throws me now and then. My friend starting reading his screen to me and mentioned Internet Gateway when he went into his Windows XP Networking Connections. There was a red flag! I told him hooooold on! Stop! Now what did you say again? He said in his Network connections he saw an icon for Internet Gateway. My immediate thought was somehow he had managed to turn on the Internet Connection Sharing or ICS.

I bopped on over to my new laptop, running XP Professional and…BAM! I had the exact same thing on mine. I hadn’t seen this cute little icon before. Maybe I just hadn’t the “just right” opportunity of noticing it before? Who knows…

In my infinite wisdom (Of not knowing what this little mysterious icon would do for o me.), I decided it must be the ICS and I didn’t want that, so I right-clicked and disabled the sucka! Well, not a swift move for me. It did indeed disable it. The icon went away and so did my whole home network’s Internet connection. DOH!

I tried to simply enable it again, but as I said, the icon was now gone. There was nothing to click to enable. I went through everything I could think of but none of my computers could get out to the Internet though the router. I use a cable modem so I plugged a computer directly into it, rebooted the computer and YES, access once again. So I knew the problem had to lie with the router. It seems somehow I had managed to turn off some portion of my router by just disabling the Internet Gateway from my XP Pro.

After fumbling around for hours shutting everything down, resetting the router with the hardware reset button, reconfiguring all router settings I still could not get it to work again. I wondered if XP had actually shut down the router’s WAN port.

I finally broke down and called Linksys technical support. I first tried their online knowledgebase, which wasn’t working, the online live chat, which nobody answered, and searching the net for answers. After being on hold for quite some time, a tech finally answered and she was very polite and helpful. I knew she was going to walk me through shutting down everything and resetting and I told her I had already done this but would be willing to do whatever she suggests at this point. Well I’m glad I did. I did in fact already do everything she was having me do, but missed the sequence of steps. So let that be a lesson, do not think you’ve exhausted all the simple fixes until the tech tells you that you have. :)

The steps she had me do were:

1.Shutdown all computers, unplug the power from the router, and then unplug the power from the cable modem.
2.Wait approximately two minutes.
3.Plug the power back in on the cable modem and wait for the connection light to go solid, indicating I have a connection to my provider.
4.Plug the power back in on the router.
5.After the diagnostic light on the router goes off, using a pen or such, press the reset button on the back of the router for about 3 seconds or until you see the diagnostic light come back on. (This will reset all your current configs to the factory default.)
6.When the diagnostic light goes off once again, then boot the computer.

It seemed like I had previously performed all these steps, but I believe I missed the router hardware reset BEFORE I turned on any computers. That must have done the trick. Anyway, I thanked her very much and told her to have a nice day.

I was quite upset that I could cause that to happen by disabling something on my laptop though so I decided to find out some more about this Internet Gateway.

It seems that the Internet Gateway Device Discovery is tied to Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). UPnP was the first major setback to Microsoft’s claim that Windows XP is the most secure Windows yet. Another one of the infamous “buffer overflow” exploits seemed to call for yet another security patch when the operating system was still brand new.

If you are sure you do not need these features I would recommend uninstalling them. If you are on a network, check with your administrator on whether these features are necessary.

To uninstall these features follow these instructions:

1.Go to Start—> Settings—> Control Panel—> Add or Remove Programs, then click on Add/Remove Windows Components in the left-hand column. When the Windows Components window comes up, scroll down and click on the Network Services line, and then click Details.
2.Do you see Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client selected? If so, clear that check box.
3.Do you see RIP Listener selected? If so, clear that check box.
4.Do you see Simple TCP/IP Services selected? If so, clear that check box.
5.Do you see Universal Plug and Play selected? If so, clear that check box.
6.Click Next, as needed, to get to Finish.

Windows XP seems a much bigger and yesComputer Technology Articles, better (in some ways) beast than previous Microsoft Operating Systems. Just be careful when clicking around in it. Make sure you understand what you are doing BEFORE you do it so you do not render part of your system inoperable. If unsure about a feature you can look it up in the Windows Help (Press F1) or on Microsoft’s Knowledgebase at: http://support.microsoft.com/.

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Copyright©2003 BiosBrain – David E. Morse
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