Charter Internet Access Problem From My Router – MAC Address Clone might be the solution

My Internet accessed stopped working today – my internet service has been provided by a company named “Charter Cable” that services several state in the US.  After troubleshooting (rebooting routers, and cable modem, and direct connecting the cable modem to my laptop) I narrowed it down to my personal Linksys router, a direct connect from Charter’s cable modem (happens to be a Motorola SB6121) to my laptop worked – I did have internet access when cutting the modem out of the loop.  I have a couple of Linksys routers, the one that was working stopped working, and another older Linksys ES4200 that had always worked at another location until I stopped using it.

I swapped out the non-working modem, with the older ES4200 that I believed was also functional, STILL NO INTERNET ACCESS.  The router could not see the cable modem.  Neither of them could.

Motorola SB6121 has an internal NAT-ed IP address of when I direct connected from the modem to my laptop, I could see and manually configure the cable modem if I wanted – I didn’t want to.  And of course, when I cut the routers out of the deal, I had internet connectivity to my laptop direct.  I COULD CRUISE THE INTERNET.

Spoke with Charter twice and of course they didn’t want to get into troubleshooting my router.  Last question I asked was: do I need to do a “MAC Address Clone” on my router – from the computer that worked when directly connected (I had plugged it back into the router while troubleshooting).  The nice lady said “No” you don’t need to do that and we hung up after – she told me I could pay them to come out and for $99 setup fee and $3 per month, they would provide a router, I passed on that option “for now”.

I immediately did a “MAC Address Clone” and my router started working… all internet access to all of my computers, tablets, and smartphones has been returned through my router at least one of them.  By the way, then I did this on both routers just to make sure there was not a hardware failure or something else on either router and voila, they both work now.

How did the original model start failing after 8 months of no issues??? don’t know.  I know cloning the mac address was required to get either Linksys modem working.

Again, the “MAC Address Clone” is a function provided by your router – normally supplied by you.  Different routers put the function under different menus… so I can’t help you there but, I would say almost all routers provide the function.  It will likely be under internet connectivity or network connectivity.  One of my Linksys actually had a MAC Address clone tab.  The other had the option under “Internet Connectivity”.

After taking a couple hours figuring out and ignoring Charter’s miss-information, I googled and found that Charter is doing this to lots of people… I have no problem with them not troubleshooting my router.  But telling me the solution to a problem is NOT a solution, is not good.  Hear me Charter Technical Support?

Hope this helps, Mike


Permanently Disable Windows 8.1 help tips or just make one go away

Win 8.1 help tips popup if Microsoft thinks you might need them and won’t – yes will not – go away unless you follow the help tips directions, whether you want to invoke that function or not.

Here’s the URL to a Microsoft article to permanently disable all popup Win 8.1 help tips, if they are annoying you or you are on a non-touch display where the tips have very little value.

Additionally, if you just want to make one disappear – and not permanently disable all help tips – follow the help tips instruction (you can do this with touch or a mouse) and then it will go away and that particular tip should not come back anytime soon.  Microsoft should just put an X on it to close these annoying little pieces of stuff… duh.

Hope this helps, Mike