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Ok I have an interesting & very frustrating problem happening. I'm going to explain it the best I can.

I work as a graphic designer & web designer on a mac and have a Comcast internet connection that comes through a Comcast branded router (SMC8014) which then ties into an Airport Extreme Base Station which runs my office network. I run OS 10.5.7 and also run Parallels 4.0.3 (running Windows XP) for testing websites in Internet Explorer and so on.

Ok, so that the basic background. Here's my issue.

I've been collaborating an ecommerce website with another designer/developer and when testing the site on the PC side we have started to run into some sort of network problem. The site is https if that matters at all I suspect it may. Basically when I run parallels for testing I am constantly having to restart the router in order to connect to the test site (it's hosted). Funny thing is I can access the rest of the internet fine, just not this site I'm working on until I restart the router (It's sorta like the site is timing out). This never happens when just running the Mac side of things. It only becomes an issue when Parallels is open and I am doing page refreshes while making css or HTML edits via something like Coda or CSS edit (connected to the hosting server via ftp). The real problem is that once the problem starts I only get about 2 or 3 page loads before I have to restart the router again. It's absolutely crippling. I cannot get any work done when I have to restart the router every couple of minutes.

So, if you think this problem is isolated to me, the answer is no. The designer/developer I'm collaborating with has an office a couple miles away and experiences very similar problems under slightly different setup. He also has Comcast as his internet provider and connects his router to an Airport and primarily works on a mac. The main difference is that rather than using a visualizer like parallels to test the website on the PC he uses a real live PC that is on his network. Once he fire up the PC to do testing he runs into the same issue described above. After a couple of page refreshes in Internet Explorer or other browser on the PC the site becomes unresponsive and the router has to get restarted.

Any thoughts on what is going on here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Anyone have any suggestions? One thing I have noticed is that if after making changes to my css and saving them to the server if I wait a couple minutes before loading/reload a page on the test site in parallels I don't have to restart the router as often. –  user14106 Jul 24 '09 at 12:17
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5 Answers

No real answer, just things you could try:

  • Does the problem happen only when using a web browser and ftp at the same time? If you just use Parallels/IE to browse the site, will it time out also?
  • Will the problem happen if you use another browser than IE under windows (Firefox)?
  • Have you tried pinging the server (at the time of the problem and before).
  • Have you tried waiting for the problem to clear itself without a restart?
  • You might want to log into you router and see if anything shows up in the log (do that before you restart it).
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll keep these things in mind when I work more on the site. We pretty much wrapped up testing the site last week so it may be a while before I can test these various situations. thanks much. –  user14106 Jul 27 '09 at 11:01
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I think I would start by updating the airport utility and firmware:

Who knows, this may be an issue that already has a fix.

EDIT:

With regards to your comment, perhaps it's an issue with http persistent connections. Is the problem still there if you disable http 1.1?

In internet explorer:

Click on Tools... Internet Options... Advanced tab... Scroll down to HTTP 1.1 Settings and clear both check boxes.

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airport is up to date. I'll look at the http settings in IE –  user14106 Jul 27 '09 at 11:02
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this sounds to me like a address conflict. Check your parallels network settings, I suspect it is in bridge mode with the same IP as you macs IP or some other.

Although the correlation between the time you reload and how often you need to reboot the router puzzles me.

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Sounds like you fill up the tables needed for NAT-ting connections in the router.

What do ComCast support say?

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Wow, my situation exactly. Me = web developer + Coda + Parallels for IE testing = internet disconnection

In trying to figure this out, I noticed that it only cripples me when I access the remote network ( upload/save a file ) when I have Parallels open. I found that I have to quit Parallels before doing anything with Coda. Sucks... but keeps me working. Im going to contact Coda and see if they know whats up. Hope this helps some...

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