Every now and then it happens to me, that I have to have a look at the computer problems of my relatives, just like the current weekend. Topic of the session: “Internet access”, the classical error report: “nothing works” – roughly translated this could be taken as a “Search for it, I’m too lazy to demonstrate” thing, not to forget that the user never did touch anything.
So the first step is doing some basic diagnostics like firing up the pc, which worked. Even the Internet Explorer didn’t refuse to start and as a bonus web pages showed up. In other words, things are working – or at least they seem to. I started to ask the typical questions and some hours later I got a clue: Our victim doesn’t want to enter the whole login credentials every time she logs in.
As usual, the problem was not compatible with the error message, but luckily an easy one to be solved. Configuring Outlook did the trick just until the router refused to work. Great. The common problem solving steps start with powering down the device and rebooting anything – but the Internet connection refused to work.
As the ISP isn’t really cooperative with users, it is pointless to call the support line – So it was a do-it-yourself-job again including the fact that the lines could just be busied out, which happens from time to time in that area.
Sadly this can only be done using the tools shipped with the installation CD of the ISP. But as this doesn’t work – as usual, I had to do it my way again. Pointing a browser directly onto the IP of the router showed a fine status page and no password and a button labeled ‘Connect’ which even does what it should do – even without the Telekom Software package. As a bonus, you even get error messages, which make it possible to have a guess where the problem really is.
Now I have to get things foolproof: I changed the startup page of the browser to the routers’ IP which brings up that diagnostic page having the connect button and the error messages if there are any.
Problem solved. But one question still remains: Why do big ISPs always have to go with non standard solutions to drive us technical folks crazy?