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Windows 7: Need help choosing an automated Ping Utility - NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE

01 Apr 2016   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
Need help choosing an automated Ping Utility - NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE

Hello to all of the knowledgeable people out there - I used to be one of you! And I know this could almost read as an April Fools joke, but it certainly isn't. In the 1980's and 90's I was writing a lot of code in Unix and Cobol and a bit in a lot of other languages. Being out of the game for 11 years and losing interest in keeping up, medical issues (plus, I have to add, my ever-increasing years on this planet) means I've forgotten much of it, although sometimes I'll be googling like crazy with a problem and how I got around something a hundred years ago with an MS Dos batch file or by writing a very (very) simple utility will come flooding or trickling back and I might be able to fix things up myself without having to ask anyone for help. Anyway, I'm not a total beginner, but I've forgotten much of what I've known and my grumpy old husband has never had the slightest interest in computers; as long as they run, he's happy. Until he goes to a computer owned by someone else who doesn't tweak it death and keep it cleaner than a very clean thing that is, they are the only times he realises that by not keeping on top of such things is the difference between 10 milliseconds and 10 seconds and even more when you're talking about 10 minutes. So that's the probably unnecessary background, which you will possibly wonder why I wrote but hey - being the wrong side of 50 means that you get to ramble.

So, we live in Thailand. ISP techies are very nice but not the brightest of the bunch. They also speak English worse than my Thai, so going to them is last on the list.

A couple of months ago we upgraded from ADSL to VDSL. I'm not sure why I bothered, but a lot faster speeds for less money than our old deal made it seem like a good idea at the time. The ADSL had worked very well, the first couple of months not so much, but I ditched the cheap router that they installed, bought a better one and it was great. The VDSL, however, drops out all the time. When I say all the time, I mean a lot - sometimes several times an hour, but sometimes only several times a day. I stream radio from back home so I know how often it drops, and I can't ping the router when it goes. The thing is, it's back up and going again within 45 seconds to 2 minutes, 3 at most. Not a windows problem, my laptop on Win7, the PC on Win10, the tablet on the latest Android and my phone on the second latest Android - Grumpy Old Man refuses to have a smart phone. All are off together at the same time. When one or more device has been turned off and I can get it/them fired up quickly enough before it comes back online, I have proved that each device has been off (not asleep or hibernating) when it's happened to others, so definitely not that.

I had the ISP send someone last week. They said they'd phone before coming - they didn't, I wasn't home but my husband managed to convey 'goes off a lot, resolving host, comes back on quite quickly, the full extent of his knowledge about the issue. The techie left after saying he'd 'reconfigured' (presumably the router) and for the first 4 days I thought that it had done then trick. One dropout the first day, two dropouts the next 2 days. I can live with that. Then 3 or 4 dropouts a day, for the last couple which is where I am now. I've been looking if my IP address changes when it drops out, and it is doing so on about 33% of the times, but I keep forgetting to check the address when I boot up.

I want to be able to hit them with a printed log if they have to come out again - numbers have no language barriers. I've looked at a lot of programs the last few days, some new and shiny and some I remember from the pre Windows (3.1) days. They are all good, some excellent (I mean really, how hard is ping and log). The thing is, I can't see one that will do all of the things I need it to being 1) Run in startup - if my husband is first up, there's no way he'll remember. Also, I don't always remember everything. 2) Give me a log and 3) Record my IP address as well as the one I'm pinging. This is the one I'm sticking with. I've been trying to set reminders to lookup my address as soon as I turn the machine on then check it again after each dropout, but I forget or get distracted and and lose my copy/paste or close the page. As I say, I've found some really good ones, some that also test the speed, another issue but I'd rather get the dropouts fixed first. JD's Autospeed Tester does everything I want, except give me the option to ping every 60 seconds, the minimum is 10 minutes which means the dropout could have come and gone - I don't want to test my speed every minute, once an hour or so is probably more than enough (but nowadays, what do I know?)

I know that there is probably a free utility that will do this, but even if I have to get a paid program I would very seriously consider. In all, at least one device is connect and active for about 18-20 hours per day and this is driving me crazy. Also, a thought I've just had but don't know if there is a solution to, is can my router be somehow forced to give me a 24 hour ping report which includes whichever IP address it is connected to at the time?

Anyway, thanks for reading. Even if you can't help, thanks for reading anyway. You seem a jolly decent set of people on here who at least won't treat me like a total idiot, treat me with contempt for not knowing something so basic as how to get a ping tester to do what I want it to, or be condescending - I still shake my head at the number of forums that do are full of people who do that. One day, long, long ago, we all came back from the shop with a big box and were beside ourselves with excitement and knew absolutely nothing beyond how to plug it in.

And remember - treat your memory nicely and don't assume it will last for ever.

Thank you in advance, and here's hoping a lovely weekend for all of you where-ever you are.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2016   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

Lots of views, but nobody helping?

Please imagine me as your doddery old nanna and throw me a suggestion out of sympathy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2016   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


Check out PingPlotter Freeware Upgrade

you might need to set a scheduled task to start it at start up... hope it helps.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Apr 2016   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

Thank you Loki. Pingplotter is one of the things I've downloaded and looked at , but it seems that a lot of the options aren't in the free version an the help isn't terribly helpful - I can add a program to startup, I assume most ping type programs insert that automatically.

As you've replied and tried to help, here's one back. You might think it crazy, buy stay with me until the end. Back in the day, you'd get a shareware game or utilty with a 30 day limit on it and it was easy enough to edit the win.ini file and away you go for another 30 days. Not that I encourage that behaviour in any way. Windows 95 didn't have that editable win.ini file, so the kiddies had to find what is now called a hack. I found the perfect one that I use to this day, and that's a lot of years.

So, set aside two hours. You probably won't need that much, but who knows? Format C. Install windows, install all of the latest drivers for your bits and bobs, and tweak, preen, squeeze and overclock it to death. Update Windows, install your AV, malware, browsers and any programs you use a lot and aren't going to change in a hurry. Move My Documents etc to a partition or another drive and ensure tall of the files you generate from the programs you have installed are not defaulting to drive C. You are going to create the perfect burner and and anything stored locally will be splattered when you re-image. Spend that couple of hours well, get yourself THE perfect machine.

Run tweaker programs on it or do it yourself. Stop all unnecessary services that run automatically - do you really need remote access? A beginner maybe but not people here. Totally clean (get rid of unnecessary MSI files and the hidden temp files) then defrag your machine and registry. Get everything exactly the way you want it. Then make an image. Actually, make 2. Store one in the drawer with your socks for emergencies, and you can always get back to where you are today. You can do what you want then. Go to any sites that might be a bit dodgy, Doesn't matter, because you've got an out. Go somewhere you know you are going to pick up a virus - doesn't matter, because you've got an out. It takes a long time to set it up perfectly, but then there is virtually no work involved.

For more than 20 years, every Sunday morning as soon as I woke up, I booted up the the PC on the way to the kitchen to boil water for tea, initially from a floppy than a USB stick boot to the imaging program that would format C and put the image that I'd created the previous Sunday with no internet connection. The nice, vanilla, perfectly tweaked to within an in inch of it's life image. By the time I'd showered and read the newspaper, Windows had installed any updates needed, my antivirus had updated itself, a couple of other programs that I wanted to update automatically when available did so. If I found I was going to a new site a lot I'd update my bookmarks (it wasn't automatic login to get all of your bookmarks and settings back then) and if there was something I was using a lot I'd add an extra icon to my desktop, but almost always I would do nothing, just check that the updates were done. Then I would clean and defrag both the computer and registry, a two minute job with a handy little utility then set it to create a new image that I would use the following week whilst I was having breakfast.

People said I was crazy, all the time it takes to do the setting up, 20 minutes to re-image then 20 minutes to make the new image after all the updating you had to do. Every week. Who could be bothered? But in reality, after the initial set up, it was literally killing the hard drive and giving me a nicely tweaked brand new computer every single week. And it all happened whilst I was otherwise engaged, in the bathroom, drinking a cup of tea, reading or having breakfast so it was no inconvenience to me at all.

If you choose to do this, always keep 2 backups. Let's say this is today, hey it's Sunday here! Take your image dated 27 Mar 2016, splat your existing set up then later create an image called 3 Apr 2016. Delete the older file dated 20 Mar 2016. The reasoning here is that you have kept an older one that (obviously) worked. You now know that the file called 27 Mar 2016 worked fine, so that's all you need. Occasionally there will be times when an image you made last Sunday won't work for whatever reason, corrupted files happen, they are a part of life. It doesn't matter though because the image that you used last Sunday to create the one that doesn't work is just fine - you wouldn't have been able to create your current image if there was anything wrong with it, it will just be doing 2 weeks worth of back up instead of one. So as a fail-safe, always keep the image you just made and the image you made the week prior, because you know that one is good; you just used it. And if all else fails, you know that you have that pristine, vanilla image in your sock drawer. Sure, it might take a long time to do all of the updates if it's been a few months, but it's still better than starting from scratch all over again isn't it? And don't forget to put that vanilla image, which you should call BrandSpankingNew back in your sock drawer, maybe with another image called BrandSpankingNewUpdatedApril.

End of sermon. Take a bit of life advice from somebody who was a scriddie in the early 1980's and went on to have a pretty good life. This will save your arse so many times it's not funny, seriously. I used to test our system for potential external attacks on our fledgling internet service amongst other things, and would have to purposefully infect my own computer with a virus from time to time. It didn't matter. Splat. New image from last Sunday, or if it fails, the previous Sunday.

I'm Lazy now, once a month or so is enough unless I get a bad feeling about a site I've visited or some trial program I've installed is causing problems or slowing me down. 20 minutes (maximum, that's with program files on drive C, I used to have them on a different drive when there was a lot I was using daily and didn't want to have to reinstall every Sunday).

Trust nana. She knows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2016   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


Yep backups can save the day, and images can really save the day.

I do all my crazy stuff on a bootable vhd. Now it's just copy that vhd and it's good to go.

I think the standard version of Ping Plotter might do what you want so you might not need the Pro version. The free doesn't save. I run the free to watch any drops, I was having intermittent internet outages. Finally got that resolved with my ISP.

But you get a 30 day with the install to see.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2016   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)

A friendly suggestion: I have not read either of your two impossibly long posts--the "nobody helping?" probably owes to that. You are better served to make your questions short and to the point.

Dunno Ping Plotter but I have EMCO Ping Monitor Free 4 and it works, but it might be hard to find as I think the creators abandoned it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Need help choosing an automated Ping Utility - NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE

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