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Hardware problem?

My Internet connection dies if my laptop's on for too long.

Reader Ann writes:

Q My connection to the Internet (cable) goes dead if I leave my laptop on without using it for some time. The error message says "ARP cache will not clear" when I try to refresh the connection. I have tried it with both a wireless and Local Area Network connection, but both exhibit the same problems. My OS is Windows XP SP2 and I have all manner of security in place. Any help will be appreciated! Tried to read MS help page re:asp but is too nerded for me. ~ Ann

First off, a definition: the ARP (address resolution protocol) cache saves IP addresses for faster loading, ironically enough. Windows supposedly clears the ARP cache automatically every few minutes or so, but if for some reason it doesn't, your ARP cache can fill up and you can then no longer connect. That's what I think is happening in this situation.

Assuming that your network is set up fine - and it sounds like it! - there are a couple of things you could try to sort the problem.

That should work!

If you're still having problems, you could try the following command to tell your computer to delete your ARP cache automatically every five minutes.

Note: this is the command for Windows XP Home edition. If you are using Windows XP Pro you might need to change the "C:\WINNT\system32\" portion of the command to "C:\windows\system32"

If Windows is installed in a drive other than default Drive C: you will need to change the "C" to the letter of the drive in which windows is installed.

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