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Linksys Media Extenders suddenly stop working, did Cisco pull the plug?

Tim Stevens
11.06.10
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It was the halcyon summer of 2009. The Hubble Space Telescope was fixed, Helio Castroneves won the Indy 500, Somali pirates were really doing their thing, and Linksys decided it was time to pull the plug on its DMA2100 and DMA2200 Media Center Extenders. Production was ceased and that was that... or so we thought. Now we're hearing dozens of reports that those extenders mysteriously stopped working over the past few days, and indeed a thread over at The Green Button is full of hundreds rightfully disgruntled users. Thanks to a lot of investigations by members it's been determined that the boxes are trying to dial home to an address that no longer exists. Naturally this is causing wild speculation about DRM checks and the boxes being remotely disabled, but for now there are some manual work-arounds, including configuring your router to explicitly block any traffic from the Extender or simply assign an invalid gateway. This seems to work for many, but not for all. We've reached out to get an official word from Cisco on what's up here, but until we hear back feel free to post your most alluring conspiracy theories in comments below.

Update: Still no official response from Cisco/Linksys, but Matt was kind enough to send us the official work-around that users who have reported the issue are told to use. We've included that for you below.

Update 2: Cisco responds!

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]



DMA workaround- DMA hangs/freezes as soon as it connects to the Internet

1. Remove the power cable first from the DMA
2. Hold down the reset button
3. Plug the power cable back on and keep holding the reset button for at least 15 seconds as it's booting up
4. Release the reset button and wait until the LED on the DMA becomes solid.
5. Once the DMA menu comes up on the screen go to :
• Network>Set up Network> select Wired or Wireless (your preference)
• If you are setting up the DMA wirelessly select your SSID from the list and enter your security key when prompted ( if you have encryption on the wireless router otherwise click Next if you don't have one. (If you do not know what your passphrase key is you will need to contact your vendor of the wireless router to obtain that information. For Linksys or Cisco Consumer routers, login from a computer that is on the network to http:192.168.1.1 (or whatever your router's IP address is) enter the router's username and password, go to the Wireless page and then click on Wireless Security, this is where your passphrase key will be, remember it's case sensitive.
• When you get to the Address Setting page select Manually>enter a static IP that is withint your network range but for DNS use 9.9.9.9 and click Next until you click Finish.
6. Your DMA should be working now.


Note: You may not need to reconfigure your DMA through your Vista computer, however should the DMA have a problem bringing up Windows Media Center or it gives you a key when you clicked on the Media Center button on your remote, you will need to reconfigure it again.

Reconfiguring the DMA for Windows Media Center

1. Go to the Vista computer that it was associated to before it stopped working.
2. Open Windows Media Center >Task>Settings>Extender>and select Reconfigure
3. You will be prompted for the key that it generated on the TV.
4. Enter the key and just run through the wizard. Once it's complete launch Windows media Center on the TV now.

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