Tonight, I was watching a TV programme that I was streaming from my desktop computer (which is connected to the Superhub 3 by ethernet) to my Apple TV, which is connected wirelessly using the 5GHz wifi. This is nothing unusual. I do it pretty much every night. Suddenly, the picture froze. I waited a short while, and then attempted to recover the playback, whereupon the Apple TV informed me that it was no longer connected to a network. I then looked at the front of the TiVo V6, and it had the two red lights showing that it too had no connectivity (again, it is connected wirelessly to the router via the 5GHz). I then checked all of my other devices - three phones, two iPads, a laptop and an iPod. None had connectivity via wifi. In fact the network had disappeared from every device.
I tried all the usual resets and restarts but to no avail. On each restart, the hub settled with just the white light, and the desktop had full connectivity to the hub and the 'net via its ethernet connection. So I thought I would log into the router and see if I could see anything wrong with the wifi configuration. Except it wouldn't let me in …
Eventually, I rang to speak to someone. The call went on a long time with lots of long blank line periods whilst the lad was doing stuff down the network. After several attempts, he finally got the (a) network pair to show up on my iPhone. No sign of my original network names that lived in the hub, though. We were back to the VM xxxxxxxxx 2G and 5G names that they come out of the factory with. So I had to use the factory password to connect with my iPhone, and it did. I asked the lad I was talking to if it was ok to go back into the router and reset my network names and passwords as many people visit the house and have automatic connection to my network. But he seemed adamant that I should keep using the complicated password on the hub. I eventually got all of my devices reconnected, including the TiVo, but I had to do a full new-install-style connection to get that back. So I'm assuming that in order to get the router out of the funk it had got itself into, the guy had to do some kind of down-the-network factory reset that wiped out all the configuration stuff that I'd got stored in the hub.
But here's the kicker. Once I had it all working again, I thought that I would go into the router, and rename the networks back as they were, along with the passwords. But it won't let me in. On the login page, it is suggesting that it wants the password on the bottom of the hub. Fair enough I suppose if it has undergone a factory reset. Remember, this password works just fine to get my devices onto the network, so is definitely correct and recognised by the router when it's an external device asking for a wifi connection. But it won't work to gain IP access to the hub itself. It just keeps telling me that the password is wrong. I have also tried the original password that I had in there for configuration access that has always worked fine, just in case it was 'burnt' into the code somewhere, but it says that one is wrong as well.
So, my big questions. Does anyone know a way to either recover the password that the hub thinks that it has for access to itself, or bypass it ? And what can have gone wrong to cause all this in the first place ? Could something have happened on the VM network to 'spike' my hub's OS ? Sorry it's long, but the devil's in the detail, as they say …
I'm finally back where I was. I eventually managed to get back into the hub and reset the configuration password back to what it was. I've also reset the network name back to what it was and re-established my own network joining password, so all good up until that point. Then this morning, I went to print something. "Your printer is offline …" Doh!
Then began the usual HP printer software dance where you end up uninstalling the printer and all its software, and then doing a full re-install before the network can see it, and better yet talk to it ! I assume that it must have got a new IP assigned to it when the router had all its trouble. I don't see why this should cause a problem as it's ethernet connected, but who knows …?
Interestingly, the fixed addresses that I had in the router - that's the desktop streaming host and the Apple TV because of past problems with them losing contact with each other after a hub reset - had survived the master reset or whatever that Virgin did down the network last night to get me up and running again. This morning, I have fixed the address of the printer as well. When I called Virgin late last night, I'm sure I heard a reference in the gabbled automated messages that you get as you pass through the system, to people having problems with their wifi, so maybe there was something going down last night. Maybe a software update that went wrong or something ?? Considering how late at night it was, it took a long time to get through to someone, with messages about them experiencing a high level of calls. Usually if it's after 11pm, you can pretty much get straight through to someone ...
The wifi is stable now, but whatever the person did online to reset the Hub3 - which resulted in it defaulting to its original factory out-of-the-box settings - is persisting. I have had occasion to restart the router a couple of times for a piece of camera remote viewing software to do automatic port forwarding on the router, and every time I do restart, it is losing all of the user settings like access password, network names, network passwords etc. Oddly though, the list of devices that I have with fixed IP addresses - that's my desktop machine(ethernet), my Apple TV (wifi) and my printer (ethernet) remain intact, as they did after the Virgin down-the-cable reset that was performed to resolve the original wifi problem. I have never lost settings after a Hub3 re-boot prior to this, so something is amiss.
I suspect that maybe things went wrong with a software upgrade to the Hub3 that screwed it up in some bad way that then required a 'factory' reset to get it out, and that there is something still slightly buggy about the software that's causing these user data losses on a reboot.
I have a friend who is a Virgin field tech, and I asked him if he had seen any similar problems in the last few weeks, and he said he had seen a few, but the people who were having problems seemed to be restricted to those like myself who had made changes to their network names and passwords, so maybe that might give a clue to any Virgin technical people reading this … ??