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Computers, Disconnects, Hackers

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Computers, Disconnects, Hackers Monday, January 11, 2010
11:37 AM

Oh My.

Okay, yeah, I meant to do this, and also some people are still having problems with hackers, so I'll cover that too.

BEFORE WE BEGIN. I beg of you. Read all of it, and when you go to try things, do *everything* that seems relevant to your situation, or even just 'couldn't hurt'. You will save yourself, and myself, a lot of grief by simply taking all reasonable steps rather than trying them one by one by one. With that said, if you are unsure about something, don't do it. Ask Chris for advice, (like how I just threw you under the bus there?) or look it up on google to find further instructions. When you do go to attempt to follow any of this, be *certain* to read all information, including notes or comments from others, and be certain you understand the full process before beginning anything.

Here's a good post from Elitistjerks that covers a lot of good information for steps to take to reduce disconnects:


However, for step 2 on that list, setting the TCPackfrequency, there's an easier way then theirs. Rather than following the moderately complicated method they give, go to:


and follow their somewhat simpler version.

Also here is a basic/early step article from blizzard for some other minor tweaks:


Definitely get and run Spybot as Chris suggested, however I recommend *not* turning on the 'TeaTimer' constant protection they offer. I find it to be a little too resource intensive and hard on harddrives. Do, however, run their 'immunization' section, as it will block known malware websites. There website again is:


Also consider getting Malware Bytes free version and running it, sometimes duplicated effort is worth it because one catches something the other doesn't. You can find Malware Bytes here:


For constant scanning/protection I recommend Avast Antivirus, the home version is available for free from here after filling out some basic information:



Quite a bit of post 3.3 disconnects *may* be connected to excessive server information/addon spam. Even if you've disabled most of your addons, some use the official BlizzardAddon chat channel and may be pushing information to you anyway. There are a lot of things you can do to diagnose this, including an addon called Spamfu that watches for spammy addon traffic, or alternatively, ignoring everyone in raid with you since Ignore blocks all chat channels, even the 'invisible' ones. However, there is (should be) an easier way:

Everyone (other than an officer in charge of certain things such as recount, and healers) make a macro that does this:

/script SendAddonMessage = function() end

When starting a raid, press that macro. At the end of the raid to turn back on addon channels, do /reloadui

This should (fingers crossed) block all OUTGOING addon traffic. There is no way in game, short of /ignore to block the incoming information.

NOTE: This is probably a bad idea for healers. One of the biggest problem children for spammy addons is a library used by several raid frames addons (including Healbot, even if you don't turn on the incoming heal tracking) to track incoming heals. Knowing who has an incoming heal, or who desperately needs one can mean life or death in a raid. Also particularly spammy addons: Recount or any variant thereof, the Gearscore addon, and Pallypower. Also buff monitors/any raid frame addons.

It is probably in our best interest that at least one officer begin running Spamfu to watch for people who forget this macro, or for 'problematic' addons:



Since patch 3.2 there has been a very specific type of disconnect affecting some people. If all the 'usual' methods have failed to help your problem see this link here:


it's slightly complicated, but not too terribly so. The biggest problem is it involves letting wow download it's patches again.


This link goes to a 'stripped down' config file for WoW, you can follow the directions and try this to see if it 'smooths out' your gameplay. NOTE: I am not 100% certain that all the flags this stripped down config file sets are still current, so be sure to save a copy of your current config file somewhere else before attempting. Just in case things go blooey.


In related information, even if your system is good, you've cleared out all spyware, and your files are good, and you've repaired wow and redownloaded the patches and whatnot, regular computer maintenance can be very beneficial to your overall experience:

Defrag your hard drive at least once every few months. Here is a helpful guide, as they point out, before defraging be sure to run CHKDSK to check for errors/bad sectors first!


Alternatively, here's a video link explaining it:


If you are feeling confident in your technical ability, and/or know a reasonably bribe-able 13 year old who can help you may also want to consider UPDATING YOUR GRAPHICS DRIVER. Here is fairly straight forward instructions for doing just that, however depending on the company that produced your graphics card, whether it's a separate card or onboard graphics, and the age of your graphics card/chipset it may not be easy to find if or where an update is available. As it says in the comments, before taking a step like this it may be a good idea to be sure to set up a Windows Restore Point in case of difficulty.



Very similar to updating graphic/video card drivers, the key is to find your network card from the hardware menu, get the relevant model # and manufacturer, and check with the manufacturer for any updates. A very brief synopsis that says basically exactly that is right here:



This is another step that should only be undertaken after ensuring you understand what to do, and that you have the means to repair it if something goes wrong. If using a wireless router ONLY update firmware while plugged directly into the computer via an ethernet cable, do not update while operating wirelessly. A brief synopsis is here, that says basically check your router manufacturer's website. This step is still relevant if using a combination Router/Modem. If your hardware was provided by your ISP I *highly* recommend contacting their tech department directly to see if they have any advice/suggestions/information as some ISPs use their own 'personal' versions of the hardware/firmware.



First off: don't. I just don't recommend it. But if you are, here are three articles that may help slightly. The first two are incredibly simplified, the third overly complex, but it's late and I've been awake far too long. The important point to take away from this is that there are ways to optimize your wireless network, and that would be a whole nother article I'm not going to write, but you are free to explore as extra credit.




Finally, some very basic information on diagnosing problems with your internet connection itself:



Some more complicated tools to help you have the information you need when dealing with untrained first tier ISP "tech" support:


dslreports is an excellent source of information and 'how to' for dealing with your internet connection, again to go over all of it would require an entire additional discussion, but if you think you might want to explore possible issues with your connection it may be a good starting off point.

** Post edited by Madrail on 1/11/2010.

** Post edited by Madrail on 1/12/2010.

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