Internet connection drops
pfsense 2.2.1 on a VM under esxi, four-port Intel GigE nic, WAN comes in from a Motorola SB6141 cable modem. Has worked great for a long time. Bout six months ago I came home to no internet several nights in a row. Ended up putting the cable modem on a Christmas tree light timer, it reboots twice a day. Also had to create cron jobs to reboot pfsense at the same time because simply rebooting the modem didn't work. Worked great for a few months because I was too lazy to troubleshoot. Now the problem is back with a vengence, I am losing the internet connection many times a day, and this has now gone on for over a week, every day.
Cable modem shows link is 100% up and traffic light blinks during outage.
pfsense shows WAN link is up electrically, has an IP address from my ISP, however will not pass traffic (shows it is unable to check for updates in the main status screen and no clients on the network can get out).
Rebooting pfsense individually at this point has no effect. Rebooting the cable modem individually also has no effect. However, if i reboot the cable modem, and then reboot pfsense either at the same time or within minutes of rebooting the cable modem, everything comes back up 100%, for 12-18 hours (varies). If I reboot the cable modem and then disable/enable the WAN interface on pfsense, it gets an IP address and shows some (minimal) WAN traffic, however pfsense still can't reach the update server and no clients can pass traffic over WAN. Only rebooting the cable modem and pfsense, in that order, together, works.
A new cable modem is on the way to rule that out.
Any other thoughts as to what could be going on? I have restored the VM image for pfsense several times to make sure I am using a "clean" install, although I have not updated pfsense, nor have I made any configuration changes at all, since the initial install. I suppose the Intel NIC could also be swapped out and tested, but I have other VMs running on the other ports, and all of them work fine 24/7.