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Aspiring Contributor
Message 1 of 18

Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

I'm wasting so much time on connectivity problems that it's positively wearying. Prior to the installation of BT Infinity here in April, I had a low quality broadband service because of the length of the line from the exchange: if I could get a download speed of 1.2Mbps and an upload of a quarter of that, I was doing well. 


BT advised that thanks to fibre optic, my Internet should run much faster. So we had Infinity installed. I'm registered with so am able to see my performance record.


The average download speed is now aroun d 6Mbps and the average upload, more than that at 7Mbps. How an upload speed can consistently be faster than a download escapes me.


But I'm not familiar with the ways of Internet connectivity and try as a I might, can't get my head around it.


This desktop computer runs Vista OS. Vista was **bleep** when it came out and is renowned for its botched handling of Internet connections. So I'm not blaming BT for the literally unending connectivity problems that are occurring now, with line drops, speeds slowing to a crawl, and no guarantee that any connection will last. But it would be good to actually use BT software to help fathom out what's going wrong here, and today's typical morning which looks like this:



1) Boot up computer. Automatic connection to hub via Netgear USB wireless adapter. Hub is on ground floor of this 3-storey property but signal strength from hub  is excellent, as confirmed by inSSIDer monitoring, currently showing 54 with no other networks anywhere near that figure.


2) Perhaps 5 minutes after connection established, it's then lost. 'Local Only' is displayed. This is, apparently, a known Vista problem. But Microsoft has issued a fix for it. I know this, because it took 100 hours of ploughin g the Net to find out that MS had finally admitted to one more Vista screw-up. I've used the Microsoft router "fix it" before and it didn't work ("failed to process") so uninstalled it and have DL'd it again now and run it. This time it says it has fixed everything.


3) Computer is re-booted to make the fix effective. Computer connects to Internet. check yet again confirms that upload speed is faster than download speed.


4) Connection dies. So much for Microsoft Fix It.


5) Windows diagnostics reports that it can re-set the IP profile (or something.) I click yes. The re-set goes through. Connectivity is restored. 10 minutes later, connectivity is lost. Just a red X in the tray. No connection of any kind, not even that daft 'Local Connection' only alert.


6) Reboot. Yet again. BT Desktop Help was installed here and ran OK when we were using our Netgear DSG34 router. But since the change to the BT Hub, the BT program has never run at all. So-oo. . . It has been uninstalled. And then re-DL'd and re-installed. And though the installation  has been completed, clicking on 'launch' has failed to launch anything. But anyway. An hour ago, in one of the brief periods today when the Internet connection was holding up, I Revo-ed out the earlier install, DL'd BT desktop Help and re-installed it. . . and I'm still at the same stage as always, with a  Firefox browser page that's open and completely blank and has been for the past 30 minutes. The URL is:




 Repeated page re-loading gets nowhere. Malwarebytes PRO is turned OFF to prevent any possibility of blocking and the antivirus is termporaily SUSPENDED. This PC runs on Windows standard firewall but even turning that OFF doesn't get the page to load. Copying the address into Internet Explorer in case there's a Firefox problem merely results in Firefox being opened and the same blank page running there.


7) After all that. . . Connection lost yet again and this time, Windows cannot connect at all. It reports that the "wireless network security key is not correct". I happen to know that it is, because this is maybe the 20th time it has reported this in the past 10 days and every time I have to key in the "correct" key all over again. . . at which point Windows still says it isn't correct and cannot repair.


Turning off the computer completely, unplugging from the wall, holding in the power switch for a full minute to clear the circuits, traipsing up and dowen three flights of stairs to turn off the hub, then wait, then turn the power back onm again. . . Ah, wot fun times I'm having here with my particular versioin of Infinity (as in, an infinity of connectivcity problems.)


Summary: I seem to be being simultaneously hit with one issue after another.


I'm bewildered as to why ever since Infinity was installed here, my upload speed is generally faster than my download speed. I'm not happy with endless Internet connection failures though am thinking that Vista is playing a large part here with its "wrong security key" and unending 'Local Only / Limited Connection' failures. I do miss my Netgear router and the ability to access a fantastic help menu and re-boot directly from the desktop without having to keep going up and down three flights of sdtairs to do so (I haven't been able to find out how toe access the BT Hub remotely.)


Above all though: I'm  really tired of repeatedly trying to run freshly downloaded and installed BT Desktop Help software but getting no further than a blank page because the program has stalled.


If anyone has any advice / suggestions, other than to buy a carrier pigeon, that'd be much appreciated.






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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 2 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

Carry out a factory reset of your home hub by pressing a pin into the red recess button on the hub. This can sort out many configuration problems.


To remotely soft reset the hub access the Homehub management pages via this link




With regards to the use of BTDesktop help it is known to cause problems on some computers and is not needed to use your computer or connect to the Homehub or internet and my opinion and that of many others on this forum is to uninstall it.


Here is a guide how to do that if you choose to uninstall:


Click start - All programs - BT Broadband Desktop Help - Uninstall (also look in add/remove programs)
Open task manager, check and if found:
remove BTHelpNotifier.exe
remove McciServiceHost.exe
remove McciTrayApp.exe
stop McciCMService.exe in services (control panel - Administrative Tools - Services)
In registry, delete the following (start - Run - Regedit)
delete the following folders if still present
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Motive
C:\Program Files\BT Broadband Desktop Help



You may find that if you set a fixed wireless channel that it can help with connection problems. See this link how to do that.

Distinguished Sage
Message 3 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

also i suggest you try a speedtest using a wired connection and use the BT Speedtest and post back the further diagnostics test results
Aspiring Contributor
Message 4 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

John: whoa-hey! I'm actually connected. . . but haven't been able to get any such connection until now, hence this belated response. MANY THANKS for riding to the rescue. I'll come back to you soon  as I've worked my way through your recommendatioins (including the Desktop Help  uninstall.)


Incidentally, the most recent Speedtest results (today) are:


Download mbps                        Upload mbps                 Latency


6.36                                           7.07                          34

1.27                                           8.71                          31

8.52                                           6.88                          44

0.72                                           1.39                          35

1.13                                           1.61                          32

5.63                                           6.12                          31

0.89                                           1.38                          35


The best figures turned in were two weeks or so ago:


13.31                                         8.44                          33

13.19                                         8.77                           31


Incidentally, excuse my ignorance, but does it matter that the HomeHub is pumping out not one but three wireless signals in the exact same channel??


Looking at inSSIDer right now, all I can see is a terrible tangle of paths, with the signal I'm actually trying to make use of --  BTHub3-xxxx -- being jolted / crossed / seemingly obliterated by the paths of BTWiFi-with-FON ) and BTWiFi (wotever that is.) My neighbours either side are also detected by inSSIDer but their signals are, proverbially, miles away from mine, so there's no interference.


Before going from my 'old' BT broadband service, using my 'old' Nethgear router, I never, ever, had more than one signal path showing and could easily see where it was on screen and what it was doing.


Now, I'm looking at a woolly pullover, a mess of difgferent coloured wavy up and down lines all of which are exactly at -55 RSSI and all on Channel 1. There seems to be no point in attempting a channel change (which I presume I'll figure out when in hub manager -- thank you for that link!) -- because all that would happen would be to shift over not just the signal I want, but drag along the FON and the mysterious 'BTWiFi' path with it. . .


But then: what do I know??


Thanks again for all your help. Back later.




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Aspiring Contributor
Message 5 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

Oh Gawd: gg340 -- Sincere apologies. . . I thanked you for your detailed advice in my earlier reply but hadn't noticed that this sodding wireless mouse had strayed and took you out completely when I was correcting a typo.


As can be seen, I'm having one of those days. I may even accidentally self-delete this post by the time I've finished.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 6 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

The three signals you see are your own Homehub signal and BTWifi and BTWiFi- Fon  which are normal. When you signed up with BT you were opted in to the BTWifi network which allows you to use BTWif hotspots.


See this link


If you'd rather not be apart of the BTWifi you can opt out but it will mean you can not use BTWifi hotspots when out and about.


See this link


When checking the channels you are looking for the strongest least congested channel.

Distinguished Sage
Message 7 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

could you please post the results of the further diagnostics part of the BT speedtest so we can see your IP profile of your connection
Aspiring Contributor
Message 8 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

Thanks again to John and gg30340. Here's an update:


1) BT Desktop Help removed completely from this computer. The uninstaller itself mopped up everything, which surprised me. But anyway.


2) Bt Home Hub manager set up and working. Had to input serial number and create new password. All of this sounds fairly easy and would be if one had the device near the desk. But the idiots who built this property shoved the BT master socket inside the garage next to the door. Our two home computers are on the third floor. To ensure the wireless signal strength is OK, the Hub and Infinity module/device/whatever it's called are on a high shelf. It's a major job to even reach the darn things, never mind read the labels seeing as how the BT Infinity engineer was good enough to tidy up the cabling and make a very tight connection to the wall socket.


3) I had hoped to be able to back up the Hub's settings, seeing as the software provides for Advanced Settings / System / Backup. But not on mine (Hub 3.0). All that System allows is choosing which internet clock to define the accurate time. Everything else in System is just a pattern of short lines as if trying to indicate that there's some text there but it's invisible.This is now my second encounter with BT software which, for whatever reason, isn't functioning as it should on this PC.


4) Hub reset to factory fresh, according to BT guide.


5) Reset appears to have achieved nothing apart from requiring the password to be popped in again. After reset, it wasn't even possible to connect to the hub manager. Internet connectivity was eventually established for all of 30 seconds and then, gone.


6) Computer was shut down and then booted anew. Internet connectivity is still. . . dreadful. One minute everything's fine and then, literally,. the next minute a webpage won't load. Even opening the Hub Manager has taken three attempts, i.e., disconnecting from the Internet, re-connecting, failing, and trying twice more until success. Yet all the time these failures are occurring, the tray icon is showing a steady, unwavering green icon for Local and Internet access -- despite the fact, there manifestly isn't any.


7) Speedtest. net tests are actually showing upload and download 'trajectories' going slower and slower and finally halting at some point on the arc, then after a period of up to 30 seconds, suddenly becoming animated again. Speed test results with broadband speed checker UK and Think Broadband's checker are so at variance with one another, and with Speedtest, net, that it seems all three are using different technologies in pursuit of the same thing. Either way, upload speeds continue to be much, much faster than download speeds, a state of affairs I certainly have never encountered before.


😎 Speedtest net tests taken in the past 10 minutes, with one test following on from its predecessor, begin at 8.24 down/8.88 up, followed by 5.24 down / 6.40 up, followed by a mind-numbingly lonnnnng 0.62 down / 8.70 up -- in other words, a continuous yo-yoin g of Internet connectivity to the pooint that it actually might as well not even be here (I've had to make five attempts just to get on to this forum. . .)


9) BT Speedtest will necessitate disconnection of everything downstairs and all boxes being lugged up here. This is actually going to require uncoililng tied-off cabling and hanging off a stepladder to do so -- though I surely can't be the only person in Britain who doesn't have a nice, handy BT master socket in their study or lounge. That said though: until we switched to Infinity, we *never* experienced these kinds of horrendous connectivity problems and never had need to unplug the Netgear router downstairs and bring it upstairs to connect directly to tjhe desktop PC so BT's own test could be run.


I'll just have to get to work dismantling stuff tomorrow. However, I have to say that after a factory re-set which has changed nothing at all, I'm beginning to think there's a problem with the BT line itself (hence why I'm happy to follow the advice here, though less than happy at the prospect of the messing about involved.)


Thanks, you two, for your patient help, and also for clarifying the situation re the three signal paths being shown on inSSIDer. At least I know that's usual now! And now, hopefully, when I press 'Post', I won't be faced with an endlessly spinning Firefox circle culminating in  what may well be, or seem to be, the 57,938th time today of seeing "Page Not Found". . .

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 9 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

One other thing to try before taking your system to bits is a power cycle or reset of the Openreach modem. It can solve speed and connection problems. See this link'power-cycling'-your-openreach-fibre-modem-an...


Forgot to mention, but you have now found out, if you change your Homehub passkey and admin password then carry out a factory reset this returns the passkey and admin password back to the original.


"Everything else in System is just a pattern of short lines as if trying to indicate that there's some text there but it's invisible"


This can be caused by addblockers on your browser. Disable them.


You should also try connecting by ethernet cable at some point. You could be pushing the wireless signal to its limit if you are three floors away from the Homehub.


Powerline adaptors might be an option to consider.

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Distinguished Sage
Message 10 of 18

Re: Unending connectivity problems -- and Desktop Help software won't even launch. . .

i was also going to suggest that you are on the limit of wireless range it would have helped if when installed the engineer had either changed another socket to be the master or installed a data extension kit wireless connection will never provide the best possible speed that a wired connection will
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