Question about Arris SURFboard® SB5101 Cable Modem

2 Answers

SB5101 Motorola Modem Disconnects Randomly

I have a SB5101 Motorola SURFboard Modem. It randomly disconnects all the time. It only loses connection for about 1 minute. All the lights go out, I lose connection, then 1 minute later they come back on by themselves and the internet it fine again. It happens quite a bit, and I am getting really frustrated. My ISP has come by many times to fix the problem. They just dont know what is causing it, so there isnt much they can do. 
If you guys have any ideas, or need any additonal info, plz let me know. Thanks

Posted by on

  • 5 more comments 
  • nsarge87 May 12, 2009

    They have changed the modem 4 times now. The guy came today and gave me another one. It did not fix the problem. They have also changed the wires that connect the modem to the outlet.

    You are also correct about the power light going off. And they changed the power adapter also.

    I'll try the drivers, but I'm pretty sure I'm current. anything else I can check, or that you need?

    1970-01-01 00:00:03
    Ethernet link up - ready to pass packets

    2009-05-12 12:02:41
    Modem Is Shutting Down and Rebooting...

    2009-05-12 12:02:41
    Received Response to Broadcast Maintenance Request, But no Unicast Maintenance o

    2009-05-12 11:30:20
    Ethernet link up - ready to pass packets

    1970-01-01 00:00:09
    No Ranging Response received - T3 time-out (US 1)

    1970-01-01 00:00:02
    Ethernet link dormant - not currently active

    1970-01-01 00:02:34
    DHCP FAILED - Discover sent, no offer received

    1970-01-01 00:00:23
    SYNC Timing Synchronization failure - Failed to acquire QAM/QPSK symbol timing

  • nsarge87 May 12, 2009

    Sorry, that didnt copy too well. Ignore after "anything else i can check, or that you need?" in the previous post.

    Frequency: 693000000 HZ
    Signal to Noise Ratio: 35.7dB
    Power Level: 0.1 dBmV

    Channel ID 1
    Frequency: 38000000 HZ
    Power: 44.7 dBmV

  • nsarge87 May 12, 2009

    My roommates computer is connected to the same modem, so he loses connection when I do. 

    I don't think it is the surge protector, because my roommates computer is connected to the same protector. His computer doesnt go out, and I'm really sure it is not happening when an appliance is turned on. 

    I was thinking that it could be a power surge over the coaxil cable. It might not be grounded properly. What do you guys think. Could that be the cause?

  • nsarge87 May 12, 2009

    I dont think so, and I am in an apartment so it is kinda hard. I know there is some areas my isp cant get into, because only the landlord has access to it.

  • nsarge87 May 13, 2009

    So I was checking my logs from the modem, and everytime the internet goes out, this is what is logged in the modem: "Received Response to Broadcast Maintenance Request, But no Unicast Maintenance o" Does that mean anything to anyone?

  • nsarge87 May 16, 2009

    This problem has not been fixed yet.... Any more ideas?

  • davewilhite May 11, 2010

    T3 timeout is a bad signal. could be a loose cable, or low signal. It could also be noise on the lines that go down the street. I would find out if your neighbors are having the same problem. when you go to your modem's homepage what are your upstream/transmit, and Downstream/receive power levels?



2 Answers

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

Thousands of people have this problem and i have 2 of them. Hey guys? dont you think if u change the modem, the power adapter, the cables, and the ISP do u think maybe.. the problem is that the modem is just a piece of ****?

Posted on Feb 05, 2011

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 20 times.


    An expert who has written 20 answers of more than 400 characters.

  • Expert
  • 145 Answers

If all the lights go out I would assume you mean the power light as well. Couple of things I would look at:

Has your ISP replaced the modem including the power adapter?
Has your ISP verified there is no short on the incoming data cable? You could try to wiggle the incoming data cable to see if the lights go out. I would do the same on the power cable.

If it's not a mechanical fault (cables), verify that you have the correct and current drivers for your modem and operating system.

Good luck and thanks for using FixYa.

Posted on May 12, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Rick Osgood
    Rick Osgood May 12, 2009

    Wow... that's annoying. So, you have ruled out the modem, power cord and cable. There are only two other things I would try.

    1) Run an extension cord from another outlet (preferably on another circuit) to see if there are any issues with the power to the modem. Is there any chance that the connection dropping in the modem is happening at the same time something else is being used in the house? What I mean is, could an appliance be on the same circuit and when it is powered on, you loose the connection.

    2) Borrow or find a way to try another computer on this modem. The problem may be in your PC.

    The second point is a stretch but you have eliminated everything else except bad power to the router and your pc causing the proble.

    Good luck again and let me know how it works out.

  • Rick Osgood
    Rick Osgood May 12, 2009

    If both computers drop the connection at the same time then it is definitely the ISP's issue. I would ask that they replace the connection at the drop point or at least test the cable from the drop point to your wall jack. If this does not work then have them pull a new line from the drop point to your house. If you are in an appartment then this might not be so easy but there is a bad connection or cable somewhere. Any construction done around the time this started by chance?

  • Rick Osgood
    Rick Osgood May 12, 2009

    Final thoughts. I am thinking your ISP runs a main drop to a utility room and then it is split off to the various apartments. The problem may be between the main drop point and the cable to your apartment. You should discuss with the landlord.

    Whish I could help more but I think you have ruled out the problem being within your pc's and router.

    Best of luck.



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of.(from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones)
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

How do i connect belkin n300 wireless router to motorola surfboard SB5101 cable modem?

The ISP modem (cable) connects to wireless (yellow port) PC and other devices connect to any port available on wireless. This is the standard setup.

Aug 28, 2012 | Belkin Share N300 Wireless N Router

1 Answer

The modem randomly drops the connection and restarts on it's own. Usually does this when there is a download or upload taking place while I am online or even when I am playing Xbox online. Why is this...

There can be any of a number of reasons for the modem randomly dropping your connection, but the vast majority of these are going to deal with a poor signal coming in over the coaxial cable line. Call your cable provider and let them know the modem is resetting. If they claim there are no problems, ask them for the signal strength and the "SNR". The signal strength should generally be within a ballpark of -10dbmv to 10dbmv, the closer to 0 the better. The SNR should not be any lower than around 32 or 33db.

Aug 18, 2011 | Arris SURFboard® SB5101 Cable Modem

1 Answer

What type of wifi router should I buy

you can add any router you want. since the surfboard is just a modem, you can add any router you want. just make sure that after you plugin a router into the surfboard, that you disconnect the surfboard from it's power, wait 10 seconds and then reconnect the power. this is to let the surfboard see the router since it is known to remember it's last connected device.

Apr 08, 2010 | Arris SURFboard® SB5101 Cable Modem

1 Answer

My modem randomly disconnects and reconnects and has been doing so the past month, is it my router?

I have been experiencing the same problems recently for the past 3 weeks and I had the same modem going on 5 years with no problems so, I replaced it with another exact model still same problems. I have the cable people coming out next week and, I will get back with you with the solution.

Jan 03, 2010 | Arris SURFboard® SB5101 Cable Modem

1 Answer

My Internet times out randomly, and causes me to lose connection in game (COD Modern Warfare 2)

There should be somewhere in the setup screen saying disable timer, you have to unchecked that.

Nov 11, 2009 | Arris SURFboard® SB5101 Cable Modem

2 Answers

SB5101 Modem disconnects randomly

That sounds more like a bad cable signal than a modem problem - can you get to the modem status page (It's normally visible at htpp:// - and see what the recieve signal level is?

Jul 01, 2009 | Arris SURFboard® SB5101 Cable Modem

1 Answer

Motorola surfboard sb5101 random interruptions.

Yes, try reporvisioning another modem on there system that modem is hosed and your going to need another if you bought it from the cable provider or renting it ask them for another modem..

Apr 22, 2009 | Arris SURFboard SB5101 Cable Modem

1 Answer

My motorola surfboard sb4200 modem randomly disconnects and then is unable to 'Send', as in the light doesnt go on. This seems to fix at random times and can go off for hours at a time, plz help

Have you contacted your ISP yet? You may be having issues with your connection, such as an upstream low signal-to-noise ratio or upstream receive power.

Also, since your modem is older you may want to have their tech support check and see what the power level is. If it's well above 50, closer to 60, then it's time to replace the modem. What happens is that if the signal is bad then the modem will have to "work harder" to stay online. After awhile they wear out. Another sign is if it's running hot - which means that it's struggling to stay online. Have your ISP confirm this for you.

Finally, have you checked with your ISP to see if there are any ongoing issues in your area? Don't go by what the recording says, as it reads your area code and prefix - and often is inaccurate.

Hope I've helped!

Jan 14, 2009 | Arris SURFboard SB4200 Modem

2 Answers


Modems firmware needs to be updated
Electrical interference is causing all the trouble
Make sure there is no interfernce in the surrounding

Jun 07, 2008 | Arris SB5100 SURFboard DOCSIS 2.0 Cable...

3 Answers

Motorola SB5101 Modem disconnects

* If you can connect after disconnecting power and reconnecting, it means there is formation of static charge on modem

* Check whether there is any cordless phone or any other satellite devices next to the modem. If so, move the modem 10 feet away.

* If your modem is placed on carpet, please place it on wooden desk

If this doesnt work, please dont rate me down, if it works, please rate me as fixya!!! lol...

Have a nice day!!!

May 18, 2008 | Arris SB5100 SURFboard DOCSIS 2.0 Cable...

Not finding what you are looking for?
Arris SURFboard® SB5101 Cable Modem Logo

2,213 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Arris Computers & Internet Experts

Doctor PC
Doctor PC

Level 3 Expert

7733 Answers


Level 1 Expert

36 Answers


Level 2 Expert

185 Answers

Are you an Arris Computer and Internet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides