678 Error - The most common error

Prior to reading the following, the visitors are advised to visit the page Microsoft Support for the detailed explanation of Microsoft about the said error. This error could be a result of both line and system problems. Based on the experience gathered from outdoor units and subscribers, the error occurrence is found in the following cases:-

Line and CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) Problems:-

(a) In some cases it was observed that the connections from the splitter were interchanged i.e. Modem socket was connected to Phone and the Phones socket was connected to Modem, which was the cause of triggering of the said error. This would also result in Blinking ADSL link lamp.

(b) In some cases, it was observed that the ADSL link lamp was not steady and the cause of the problem was found to be DC or Cross talk on the line. This not only resulted the said error, but also caused disconnections. In some cases it was observed that there were some tappings to the main telephone line before it was connected to the splitter. In a couple of odd cases it was also observed that the internal wiring was the reason for the ADSL link lamp flickering. In some cases, the Cordless Telephone connected to the splitter was resulting in unstable ADSL link lamp.

(c) In some cases, it was found that the capacitor in the Rosette Box was leaking thus interrupting the ADSL Link.. When the same was removed, it was observed that the connection was through. In some cases the local power adapter with bad core was the main reason for the link lamp to be unstable..

(d) Very few cases of ADSL Splitter failure were also causing the said problem. Such cases were very few in number.

(e) Few cases of MODEM failure were the cause of the said problem. It was observed that most of them were MT880 and a couple were WA1003 routers.

(f) Few cases of unstable ADSL link were reported especially during the night hours. The main reason was due to electrical interference due to weak insulation of the cable pair used and induction from closeby TV Channel cables.   I have experienced this only in two cases.

System Side Problems:-

(a) In most of the cases, it was observed that the systems were infected with malware. Installation of anti-spyware and scanning of the system is to be carried out. If the problem persists, clean formatting of the system and reloading of OS with proper drivers for LAN card would solve the problem. The cause of the error was mainly due to non-availability of Firewall, Anti-Spyware and Anti-Virus programs on the system.

Following are the symptoms of infected system with malware:-

    (i)   Firstly, sooner the system gets infected with spyware, one would see the system slowing down upon connection to the internet.

    (ii)   Secondly, one would experience, disconnections, slow internet access and popping up of unsolicited warnings like "your system is insecure.. Download bla bla bla and scan your system" or some such messages.

    (iii)   In the third stage, though the connection gets through, the web pages may refuse to open and the messengers may continue to work for some more time. At this point of time, if one observes the local area connections properties, one would notice the faster data flow in both send and receive directions though no web page is opened or no activity is carried out by oneself. This unsolicited data transfer is a clear indication of spyware activity on the system. Lastly, Error 678 would be appearing when trying to connect.

(b) In some cases (On Win 98, Win ME and Win 2K) it was observed that the setup of PPPOE was corrupted and the same could be rectified by reloading the PPPOE file. Actually, the PPPoE file gets corrupted due to infection only. On Windos XP, in some of the cases, it was observed that this error was due to infection of the operating system only and was rectified only through reformatting and reloading of the OS with service pack 2 and downloading of all the patches released by Microsoft from time to time. This was necessary only in the cases, when the systems were totally infected. Prior to going for for clean installation, it is suggested to try with system restore option for recovery from Programs> Accessories>System Tools>Restore.

(c) In some cases, it was observed that the NIC cards were faulty and were throwing up 678 errors. This can be decided only when all other possibilities are thoroughly examined. It can be confirmed by pinging the router at 192.168.1.1 from the PC. For Type I, Type II models by default the DHCP on the router is disabled. Hence the LAN card is to be assigned an IP Address 192.168.1.10 with subnet mask as 255.255.255.0 and the gateway as 192.168.1.1 and then the ping test is to be carried out.. For Type III and Type IV models the DHCP on the router is enabled by default and hence the LAN card should be required to be put to "Obtain IP address automatically" before pinging. If the ping fails, the issue is with the LAN card only. Either the drivers or LAN card is the culprit in the issue. The command for pinging the router is "ping 192.168.1.1" from the command prompt. If the reply is received from the ping, then the only possible cause would be the bad port in the exchange.

(d) However, bad network card drivers, thrid party firewall blocking the connection, corrupt winsock layer and sypware infection were the most commonly found reasons for said error. In case of bad network card drivers, re-installation with the latest drivers solved the problem. Firewall configuration has also eliminated the problem in case it was due to fire wall settings. Corrupt winsock could be repaired by issuing the command without quotes "netsh winsock reset" could recover the problem. But, system has to be checked for the malware infection.

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