Having problems getting your Playstation 3 to connect with a Comcast modem? Error 80710102? I can help…

Okay, I spent EIGHT hours last night wrestling with this problem and I believe I have a solution.

Please allow me to note that, first, up until a few days ago, I was able to hot-swap network connections with my PS2 — now the PS2 also has trouble connecting. I suspect a firmware upgrade from Comcast may have caused this.

Now, if you were like me, you were banging your head against the wall trying everything — manual, auto, etc. — to get your PS3 to connect online. And it probably didn’t work.

If you call Sony or Comcast, they will tell you to “power cycle” your modem. Which is a fancy way of saying, pull the power plug on the thing, let it sit for thirty seconds, and plug it back in.

NOW: Please note, everything I’m about to tell you — I take no responsibility if you screw up your cable modem or your phone service or whatever by you following my advice.

Here’s the problem with the newer Comcast modems which also allow VoIP phone service (voice over IP, they wire your phone into your modem, a la Vonage). The battery.

Now, remember, I don’t use a router. I just swap what’s plugged into the modem.

And here’s the rub, again, with the new Comcast modems, the VoIP ones — they have a battery backup inside the modem which makes it impossible to fully power cycle the modem. Without, of course, taking the battery out. They do this so that if your power fails, you will still be able to use the phone (for a while).

Taking that battery out is exactly what you have to do. Here goes. Unplug your PC from the cable modem. Pull the power plug from the back of the modem. Turn the modem upside down, and on the bottom, you should see a little plastic piece clipped in where the battery is (it’s pretty obvious). Take it off, and inside is the battery. Looks like a biggish lithium-type battery, matte black, usually with a strap to help you get it out. Make sure you keep that strap in position for now and when you put the battery back in, or you’re going to have problems getting it back out again.

Now, as soon as you take that battery out, your phones are going to go dead. So try not to do this while somebody is on the phone or if you’re expecting an important phone call in the next five minutes.

Remove the battery. Now, give it about thirty seconds (they say ten minutes to power cycle the modem properly, but that’s bullshit, I think even ten seconds is okay). Next step is up to you. You can put the battery back in, or you can keep it out if you just want to save yourself trouble the next time you do this. If you do take it out and keep it out, though, remember that you will have no battery backup for your phones, and if that cable modem loses power, you lose phone service.

Or you can put the battery back in. Your choice. Either way, next, make sure your Playstation 3 (although this works for PS2s as well, by the way) is plugged into the modem via an ethernet cable. Now, put that power cord back into the plug. You should see the lights on the modem flash briefly, then you should see a couple on top light up, and then you will see the other ones further down light up bit by bit (takes maybe a minute) as the modem comes back online and resets itself. Again, during this period, your phones are NOT working.

Now, wait until it seems like the modem has stabilized and almost all of the lights are on. If you want, check your phone. If your phone is working, the modem is almost certainly cycled back on.

And now you can fire up the Playstation 3 (or 2, as I said). After this — it should work. I hope. I had to go through, on the Playstation 3 side, a number of configurations, enter the DNS servers manually, give it the DHCP name (which you can find by going to the start menu on your PC, hitting “Run”, typing “cmd” to bring up a command window, and then typing “ipconfig /all”, which will show you all relevant data on your IP address — the DHCP server will be numerical and you will have to “tracert” that number to get the name resolved). I may have been able to just have done an auto-configure had I figured out the problem with the modem earlier, but I don’t know. So if you’re still having problems, tweak the network connection settings on the PS3.

This really should resolve a lot of these problems floating around out there, especially people with Comcast who can’t get their PS3s to connect and get the dreaded “Error 80710102”.

Now, please note that if you have a regular cable modem, NOT one that the phone is plugged into, you don’t have to worry about the battery or the phones and you can just unplug it and power cycle it normally. There’s no battery in those.

I really hope this helps. It took me eight hours of messing around to get this done, but you really need that PS3 to be online, or you’ll miss important things like getting the latest firmware update (which is 1.3, by the way).

Good luck. I hope this helps some people.

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