Router Locks Up Every 7 Hours Exactly

25 pts.
Tags:
Cisco
Networking
routers and switches
Hi, I am suffering a strange problem with a Cisco 851 router on my network. Exactly 7 hours to the second, the Fastethernet4 port stops accepting traffic. The router is still alive on the LAN side the network still functions and you can still access the router software. I have a 10MB SDL connection entering the router on the Fastethernet4 port and 4 connected clients underneath. The Router performs perfectly with good throughput for exactly 6 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds then internet connectivity is lost. After a power reset, the router again performs perfectly for another 6 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds etc etc. If I decide to reset the router after 3 hours, then the 7 hour stint starts from this new point but always lasts 7 hours which rules out most external influences. I would be grateful for any ideas anyone may have to solve the problem as I am about to take a coal hammer to this otherwise unassuming black box. SMc

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Try updating the Cisco IOS on your router. It usually fixes these bugs. The current version for your router is 5.4.

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  • Ls21gce
    I have looked into updating the IOS software but have the following problem:- - Router is now 2 years old. - Cisco will not offer a support contract unless router is inspected by them - Cost of a hardware inspection is more than a new router - Cant download the latest version of IOS without a support contract. So I am stuck on the old version, but surely the units were not originally sold with a 7 hour timer limit bug in the IOS software so it should still perform OK with just less features. Would a reset back to default settings or a re-install of the current version of the IOS help perhaps, or its beginning to look like I'm facing throwing the unit away because of this bug.
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  • mshen
    If you create an account on the Cisco website, you should have access to download most IOS versions. It is worth a try.
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  • Kevin Beaver
    Definitely look into an IOS upgrade but this could potentially be some faulty hardware as well. See if you can get some support or just buy a replacement unit.
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  • BlankReg
    Are you sure it is a router issue ? Just because it clears when you reboot the router, doesn't make the router the culprit. Lots of other things get reset when you repower, and the router requests information, that it may not do when running. If the IP address lease is set to 7 hours, and doesn't renew, then that could be the issue. Whe it 'locks up' check the interface and confirm it DOES still have the valid IP address (having made a note before of what it is). If you have a fixed IP then make sure the router is configured with that, and avoid any DHCP issues. I have seen something similar here, and it was the ISP who had changed their software that caused this problem. Now the bad news is that to fix it, you probably do need to change the IOS version for a newer one, but you may be able to pursuade the ISP to look into their side of things which might mean you get lucky ! I think this may be something else to look at. I am fairly certain it is not hardware, as the time is so accurate, and hardware doesn't look at time at all, software does. Also, see if you can borrow a different router, maybe an 831 (which should use almost the same config), just to test and see if that does the same thing. A version of IOS should not be too expensive (depending on the features you need), find a good Cisco dealer near you, and haggle a price from them.
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  • Ls21gce
    Hi BlankReg, Thanks for your response and yes you are correct, this problem was to do with a firmware problem on an additional piece of equipment by Ubiquity where the lease was expiring every 7 hours and the router was unable to connect further on to the internet. This was solved in a Ubiquity Firmware upgrade. As far as pursuing the IOS upgrade, I have lost the incentive to deal with Cisco further and offer them additional money. I also find the software very low level and non intuitive. The SDM is a step in the right direction but I couldn't intuitively find a simple function like assigning a static IP address to a particular MAC address of a physical machine. They need to be talking to their customers before and during the design phases to improve on it.
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  • BlankReg
    I am glad that you found the solution. Cisco routers allow you to configure almost all the different parameters, so you can get them working in all sorts of situations. With that complexity, it is difficult to provide a simple GUI based configuration utility. Hey, if it was easy, then I wouldn't be able to make a living configuring this kit ;-) SDM is OK, and the GUI for the firewalls is a lot better than it used to be. I guess you get what you pay for, if it is cheaper, then it has less function, but if you don't need that then why pay more. I think that is why they bought LinkSys, it is a much more consumer focussed product range, with a simpler configuration interface.
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