Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


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

This is a weird problem that others may have too: 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.

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.

First you need to check if your...