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Why does router sometimes need rebooting?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 29th 04, 09:30 AM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Andrew
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 20
Default Why does router sometimes need rebooting?

Chris wrote:
Why does my router sometimes need rebooting?
It doesn't happen often - maybe once a fortnight - and at random.

It's a Netgear DG814, which I've had for a couple of years, and which
is reliable, and which has the latest firmware.

Symptoms of needing rebooting a
- Internet light is ON
- web browser cannot connect to router.

I would like to understand the cause of the condition - and if anyone
can help to increase my understanding I will be very grateful.


I think you would be better posting this on uk.telecom.broadband.
Not really of much help, but I too have the same router and the same need to
occasionally reboot.


  #2  
Old December 29th 04, 10:01 AM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Dave Gibson
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Posts: 24
Default Why does router sometimes need rebooting?


"Andrew" wrote in message
...
Chris wrote:
Why does my router sometimes need rebooting?
It doesn't happen often - maybe once a fortnight - and at random.


Unfortunately its a sign of the times. Most consumer equipment these days is
built down to a price, and designed/debugged in the minimum time possible to
maximize profits.
Most 'engineers' coming out of university these days do not know the very
basic fundamentals of hardware and software design and the possible causes
of failure in such systems in a real-life environment. To counteract the
basic skill deficit 'sophisticated' design tools are used to perform the
majority of the basic design tasks leaving the 'engineers' to design at a
much higher level.

This unfortunately means that should an unforeseen event occur either in the
hardware or software, the device will take a course of action which deviates
from all the designed for paths and will not be able to get back into the
normal operation mode - hence the 'lockup'

Causes for 'lockups' are many and varied ranging from simple mains glitches,
mobile phone transmissions corrupting memory contents, random high energy
cosmic particles causing memory/hardware malfunction (yes, seriously), and
poor design.

Watchdog timers systems are normally fitted in high reliability equipment -
these monitor the occurrence of certain events in normal system operation -
software may have to toggle various bits of hardware in a defined sequence,
and even the hardware should regularly perform internal checks and report
back to the watchdog.

If any of the systems fail, the watchdog will time out and automatically
reset all the hardware and software causing an automatic reboot.

This ensures that if the device is capable of normal function, it will
continue doing so regardless of random bugs and events.

Sadly the application of correctly designed watchdog subsystems in
commercial equipment is a dying art, and you will find more and more new
equipment on the market which will randomly 'lockup' - the only cure for
which is to pull the mains plug, wait 10 seconds and re-insert it .....

They call this 'progress'. What a crap world we live in - everyone out to
make a fast buck in this throw away society - where will it all end?


Dave


  #3  
Old December 29th 04, 03:58 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Dave Clarke
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Why does router sometimes need rebooting?

On Wednesday 29 December 2004 10:01 Dave Gibson wrote:

Unfortunately its a sign of the times. Mostcompromiseequipment these days
is built down to a price, and designed/debugged in the minimum time
possible to maximize profits.


Wasn't it always, though?

Most 'engineers' coming out of university these days do not know the very
basic fundamentals of hardware and software design and the possible causes
of failure in such systems in a real-life environment. To counteract the
basic skill deficit 'sophisticated' design tools are used to perform the
majority of the basic design tasks leaving the 'engineers' to design at a
much higher level.


True. Overuse of libraries which are never investigated for their true
suitability.

Causes for 'lockups' are many and varied ranging from simple mains
glitches, mobile phone transmissions corrupting memory contents, random
high energy cosmic particles causing memory/hardware malfunction (yes,
seriously), and poor design.


Ah yes, the high energy particles. I remember the military found that
plastic IC packaging better protected the contents. Bugger, they thought,
as they liked ceramic packaging.

I've never been convinced that it's a real problem. Theoretical yes, but
real? Not so sure.

Sadly the application of correctly designed watchdog subsystems in
commercial equipment is a dying art, and you will find more and more new
equipment on the market which will randomly 'lockup' - the only cure for
which is to pull the mains plug, wait 10 seconds and re-insert it .....


I must admit I am coming across more and more domestic equipment that locks
up, and needs a reboot, Namely one Freeview box, and incredibly one VCR.

They call this 'progress'. What a crap world we live in - everyone out to
make a fast buck in this throw away society - where will it all end?


I will never buy equipment from the companies that I have had problems with,
unless, after a long time, I find they have significantly improved.

This is one area that newsgroups are useful, to find out what's good, what's
bad, or what's the best compromise.
--
Dave Clarke

  #4  
Old December 30th 04, 02:25 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Andrew Gabriel
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 227
Default Why does router sometimes need rebooting?

In article ,
"Dave Gibson" writes:

"Andrew" wrote in message
...
Chris wrote:
Why does my router sometimes need rebooting?
It doesn't happen often - maybe once a fortnight - and at random.


Unfortunately its a sign of the times. Most consumer equipment these days is
built down to a price, and designed/debugged in the minimum time possible to
maximize profits.
Most 'engineers' coming out of university these days do not know the very
basic fundamentals of hardware and software design and the possible causes
of failure in such systems in a real-life environment. To counteract the
basic skill deficit 'sophisticated' design tools are used to perform the
majority of the basic design tasks leaving the 'engineers' to design at a
much higher level.

This unfortunately means that should an unforeseen event occur either in the
hardware or software, the device will take a course of action which deviates
from all the designed for paths and will not be able to get back into the
normal operation mode - hence the 'lockup'


It's also sad that the vast majority nowadays come into computing
via certain operating systems where this behaviour is common and
it has become expected/accepted, when it never should have.

Causes for 'lockups' are many and varied ranging from simple mains glitches,
mobile phone transmissions corrupting memory contents, random high energy
cosmic particles causing memory/hardware malfunction (yes, seriously), and
poor design.


Software bugs being top of the list.

Watchdog timers systems are normally fitted in high reliability equipment -


When you have a high reliability system which needs to be even higher
reliability, a watchdog can be really useful. Fitting watchdogs to
low quality systems is a mixed blessing -- they can actually make the
system significantly worse. They aren't a magic pill which will turn
a crappy system into a high reliability one.

A home internet router does not need to be very high reliability.
For most users, as long as it's more reliable than their mains supply,
and more reliable than the ISP's DSL service, then they aren't going
to have any noteworthy problems with it. A router which runs for a year
or two without problems would probably meet this requirement, and in
such a simple device, a watchdog should not be required to meet this
requirement. Just checking mine...
uptime
1:57pm up 346 day(s), 17:23, 1 user, load average: 0.04, 0.02, 0.02
Last reboot was when I moved it from one room to another. It's been
in operation since 17 August 1993, with the only two reboots due to
it being moved, and me switching off the electricity when I was adding
another socket to the ring circuit.

OTOH, if the user is running one of the operating systems where hangs
and reboots are not uncommon, then they are likely to be more than
happy with a router which runs for a couple of weeks between reboots.
Sad really.

--
Andrew Gabriel
Consultant Software Engineer
 




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