The Help Desk

Here are some easy tips that can save you time and a phone call.
To assist HALNet ADSL users to connect to the Internet to send or receive e-mail, or just to view web pages effortlessly, HALNet support occasionally submits useful information articles to the HAL-PC Magazine. Please note that HALNet ADSL uses DHCP and the information provided here may not work with PPPOE ADSL as provided by other Internet services. HALNet ADSL users do not need to enter any password or install bulky software programs that imbed web beacons (web bugs), report which links or URLs they visit, or any e-mail messages that they click on. The following helpful hints are being provided as a troubleshooting guide to assist the many HALNet ADSL users.

Most of the recent calls for ADSL help have involved the ability of the user to either connect to the Internet or to display web pages. This information is being provided to assist users with simple troubleshooting skills, and can reduce the number of calls regarding such problems. As the number of HALNet ADSL users increases, so does the wait time to talk with an ADSL technician. These simple troubleshooting steps should eliminate the need for most users to call for support. If the end users do not practice simple troubleshooting solutions on their own before calling technical support, a small service charge may be imposed.

These issues can often be resolved by simply rebooting equipment or clearing cookies and temporary Internet files. However, for those times when these simple resolutions do not remedy the issue and a more complicated solution is required, the next course of action will involve contacting ADSL technicians.

When the ability to display web pages seems impossible, first the users should reboot all the equipment (modem, router, and then the computer) even if the three key lights (Power, Ethernet, and DSL) on the ADSL modem are green. The correct procedure to reboot equipment, even if the three key lights on the ADSL modem are green, is as follows:
In the “simple scenario” where the user has one computer connected directly to the external ADSL modem, the user should turn off the computer, then turn off the modem and wait about five seconds, then turn the modem back on, wait two minutes and then turn the computer back on. Wait until the computer is fully booted and then try to connect to the Internet.
In a “complex scenario” where the user has more than one computer connected to an additional hardware device (a hub, switch, or router) that connects to the external ADSL modem, additional steps should be taken. Turn off the computers, the additional hardware device, and the modem. Wait five seconds and then turn back on the modem, wait two minutes and then turn the additional hardware device on, wait at least one minute, then turn the computers back on and wait until the computers are fully booted before trying to display web pages. This sequence of turning the equipment back on is vital to the success of connecting to the Internet or to display web pages.

If the user still can not connect to the Internet, look at the ADSL modem and determine if the three key lights are all solid green, and if so, then disable any software-based firewall (such as Norton Internet Security®, Black ICE® Defender, or McAfee® Personal Firewall Plus, etc.), and try again to bring up a web page. To disable most firewalls, locate the firewall icon on the desktop, in the lower right by the clock. Right-click on the icon and select disable, exit or pause. Now try to connect and display web pages.

To clear cookies and temporary Internet files on most older Windows® operating systems, click on the Start menu, Settings, Control Panel, and then Internet Options, which will open the Internet Properties page; while on the newer Windows® operating system “Settings” is not part of the path. Be forewarned that in following this process, ALL of your Cookies, Temporary Internet Cache, Forms, and Passwords (for web-based on-line sites) will be deleted. On this page, the second section is titled Temporary Internet Files. Click on the button Delete Cookies and a pop-up window will appear where the user should click on the OK button to confirm the action to delete the cookies. Once the hourglass disappears, then click on Delete Files and again a pop-up window will appear where the user should first click to also delete off-line content and then on the OK button to confirm the action to delete all temporary files. Another hourglass will appear and will remain present until all the temporary files have been deleted. Then close the page and the control panel and try to display web pages; on older Windows operating systems, the user will need to reboot (shut down the computer and then restart the computer) before web pages can be displayed correctly.

  • If, after rebooting the equipment, and clearing cookies and temporary files, the user still cannot display web pages, then the user should:
    Check the lights on the modem and if the DSL or Ethernet light is out, the user should check the cables. Unplug the cables connected to the modem and listen for the click when the cables are plugged back in. If there is no click, try again as the cable may not be making a good connection and may need to be replaced. See if web pages can be displayed, if not, check to see if an IP address is being obtained from the HALNet server.
    To check the IP address: (Simple Scenario)
    A. For Windows 95 you would go to Start, Run, and type in WINIPCFG and click OK. A dialog box should appear with network information. If it shows the PPP Adapter, then click on the drop-down arrow to the right and pick your Ethernet card from the list (D-Link, 3com, Kingston, NE 2000, Linksys, Realtek, etc.). Then click RELEASE ALL. Wait 5 seconds and then click RENEW ALL. You should now have an IP address of (x can be any number). If you get an IP address like 169.x.x.x then you aren’t communicating with HAL-PC. This is a “Windows operating system” IP address since it can’t find a valid network IP address. Check that the Ethernet cable is securely connected to your computer. (Un-plug the Ethernet cable and then re-connect the cable and listen for the click).
  • B. If you still cannot get an IP address of, or display any web pages, then you’ll need to talk to the HALNet ADSL technical support.
    To test for an IP Address in Windows 98 or ME, click on Start, then Run, and type in COMMAND (for NT, XP, and 2000 you would type CMD instead), then in the “DOS” screen type in IPCONFIG. You should get several lines of text on the screen showing information about your network configuration. Look for all the lines labeled “IP Address”, there may be several. You should have an IP address that starts with, unless you have a router, and in that case you would have a,, or a address.

To check the IP address: (Complex Scenario)

  • C. With a hub or switch, the user would check for the IP address as stated in the “simple scenario”. If the user has a router connected between the computers and the ADSL modem, the user would also follow the same instructions to check for an IP address but will not receive an IP of, but an IP address as provided by the router such as If you still cannot bring up any web pages, then you need to talk to an ADSL Specialist, call technical support at 713-993-3300.

The most important action to take before calling tech support is to turn off all the equipment - the computer(s), any router, and the ADSL modem. The order for shutting down the equipment should be:

  • The computer first.
  • The router second.
  • The ADSL modem last.

The order in which the equipment is restarted is critical to the success of making an ADSL connection and is as follows:

  • The ADSL modem should be turned on first and the modem will go through a self-test and contact the HALNet server. This process could take up to 2 minutes. If it’s working properly, the modem should receive an IP assignment from HALNet.
  • Any router being utilized should be turned on second, but only after the three key lights on ADSL modem have stopped flashing. This process can take up to 2 minutes for the router lights to stop flashing.
  • Finally, turn the computer(s) back on and wait until the computer has completely booted before trying to connect to the Internet to send or receive e-mail, or just to view web pages.

Following these procedures will not only save you time and money, but will facilitate worry-free web surfing.
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