The Painful Switch from Sunflower to Midco in Lawrence

As many people found out in Lawrence, KS this week, our cable company switched again.  The company originally known as Sunflower Broadband was transferred to Midco at midnight on June 28th.  We were ready for the switch and were able to help dozens of clients get back on track.  We have some tips if you’re still having problems.

The end of the sunflower

It Starts With Your My Midco Account

In our experience, that’s where the transfer process starts.  You received (hopefully) two letters from Midco:  an account letter and a pin letter.  The account letter tells you about the changes and includes your account number.  Sent separately, is a letter with your pin.

Setting up an account is critical to transferring your sunflower.com emails to Midco.

The prompts are pretty easy, but if you’re having trouble, this short video may help.

Changing Your Email Settings for Sunflower.com

Ugh, what a pain!  Didn’t we have to do that at the last buyout?  For many people they did.  While your email address will stay the same, you still need to change your incoming and outgoing mail servers.  You’ll have to do that on your computer in programs like Outlook, Thunderbird, and Mac Mail.  Your Android or Apple smartphone and tablets will need some changes.

Each program and device have a slightly different way of doing the change.  Midco has some good videos here, but they assume you’re setting up a new email address rather than configuring an old one.  This page tells you what to set your servers to.  Remember that for username use your full sunflower.com email address.

If you’d like our help with this, just gives us a call.  If you’re online, we can configure this remotely.  If it’s on your mobile device, we can setup an appointment at our office.

You Can’t Find Your Old Sunflower Emails

The main reason we’ve seen for this problem is you didn’t set up your Midco account online.  That starts the magic of the email transfer.  Once you create your account, it’s taking up to 36 hours for those old emails to make the move. It is a long drive from Lawrence to Sioux Falls.

If your account still doesn’t work after about two days after setting up your Midco account, the email address might be associated with someone else’s account.  This problem is typical of people who wanted to keep their sunflower email address, but moved off the cable company’s system.  The person holding your account will need to create the My Midco account.

Just to reassure you, as of this writing, none of our clients have lost emails during the transition

You’re Not Getting New Sunflower Emails

This scenario is probably because you haven’t completed the first two steps  1)  creating the Midco online account and 2) changing your email server settings.  Once your account moves to Midco, the email program needs to look at the Midco server rather than the sunflower/wow/knology servers.  The settings you need to change are here.

Once you make those changes, you should be good to go!  The most common problem we’re seeing is that clients that tried to configure it themselves couldn’t find the sunflower.com email password.  That makes it a bit tricky, but Midco has been able to help once the account is transferred.  At that point, Midco has the email and can reset the password.

You Can’t Get Online

It’s not just email; you can’t go to Facebook or Google.  We’re seeing a few reasons for that.  Midco’s first step is a good one.  Reboot devices.  For non-technical clients, the problem is finding what those devices are.

  1. Reboot /Unplug Your Cable Modem

It’s hard to tell exactly what this device looks like.  Most people in Lawrence have Surfboard cable modems.  Here is a link with some pictures.  Unplug the power from the back.  That’s usually a small black cylinder.  Leave it unplugged for about a minute, then plug the power back in.

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580 Back View Modem.png 245 808 2017 07 02 16 33 55

2) Reboot Your Router

After you unplugged and plugged back in your modem, you might have a wireless router.  That’s typical if you use more than one thing to get on the internet at your house.  You might have a laptop and a desktop, or a tablet, or a smart TV.  Unless you reboot your router after your cable modem, it might not pick up the changes.

In Lawrence, Midco customers have a variety of routers.  The common brands are Asus, Belkin, Linksys, and Netgear. Most routers have a small antenna to broadcast that signal.  It attaches through a fat phone-style cable to your cable modem.

The router needs to be “power-cycled” also.  It should have a small power adapter that needs to be unplugged from the back of the router.  It looks something like this:

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After you unplug that power, wait about a minute then plug it back in.  After that, restart your computer and all other devices.  More likely than not, you’ll be back online.

What If You Still Can’t Get Online?

How frustrating!  We’re seeing two common reasons for this problem.

Problems With DNS

This is a techie term for the system that translates things like  http://66.39.88.140 to  http://www.calldrdave.com.  People don’t memorize these numbers, just the words.  The way you can tell that’s the problem?  Try going to http://66.39.88.140. If our website pulls up (it looks kinda ugly that way), you know you have a DNS problem. We recommend Google’s DNS in this case.  This link explains how to change your DNS on your computer.

WOW Didn’t Give Midco Correct Information

We won’t play the blame game because we’ll probably never know.  Your cable modem has a special code called a Media Access Controller (MAC) address.  This isn’t the same as a Mac computer.  Your MAC address is a 12 digit code on the bottom of your modem.  This link from Cox shows how to find the MAC address, but here is a picture they have on that site.

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Once you call Midco with that number, you’ll need to reboot your router and computer for the change to take effect.

It’s Your Computer

If your computer stopped getting online on the 28th, but was able to on the 27th, then the problem is probably with Midco. I say probably because we’ve seen two clients this week that had other problems with their computers.  One got a virus that same day.  In another case, a lightning strike damaged the router.  Of course we got them up and running, but we can’t blame Midco or WOW for either of those problems.

We’re Here to Help!

We’ve been doing computer repair in Lawrence since 1990.  Dave was part of the first cable modem rollout with Sunflower Datavision back in 1996.  If you can’t get back to your email and internet with Midco, let us know.  We can offer suggestions, attempt to help you remotely or set up a service call at your location or hours.

Cable companies may come and go, but we’re here to stay.  That’s probably why we’re the Best of Lawrence for Computer Repair.

Photo by Helena Jacoba

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