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Any wireless/Network experts here? Looking for help with a problem...

Old 09-12-05, 09:08 AM
  #1  
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Any wireless/Network experts here? Looking for help with a problem...

I'll try to explain the situation as best I can here. I'm trying to set up a wired/wireless network in our new house and having major issues. maybe some of you guys have suggestions- I'm running out of ideas...

I have a network set up- cable modem into the house, to a wiress Netgear 802.11b router. This is the exact same setup (the same router, when we moved we got a new cable modem, but it's the same provider) that worked flawlessly in our last house. We just moved and now I can't get the laptop to connect properly. Sometimes it sees the router, but it rarely connects. If it does manage to connect, it usually loses the signal in a minute or 2, and the speeds are awful, like 56k speed.

The laptop is a Dell 600m with built-in wireless card (broadcom, I think).

These are the steps I've done to try to troubleshoot it:

Hooked up the laptop via wire to the router. Works perfect and gets great speed. (so, yes, we do have an internet connection)

Tried a friends laptop in the house, it worked fine and got good speed, never dropped the connection. (so, the router is apparently working correctly)

Tried my laptop at that friend's house, it connected fine and got great speed, never lost the connection. (so, the laptop appears to be working correctly)

Tried replacing the router with a brand new 802.11g router, did not work, laptop never even saw the router.

Tried a 802.11g PCI card in the laptop- the I was actually able to see the router reliably and not lose connection, but even though the status said the connection was "very good" and signal strength was "excellent", speeds were awful- 80-100kb/sec down- With a wire, I'm getting 10 megabits down, so that's not even near potential. However, when looking at signal strength meters, I noticed that signal was hovering at -40 to -60db, and noise at -90. That placed signal around the middle of the chart, and noise near the bottom. Could this be pointing to anything? What is a healthy signal supposed to be?

I've tried reinstalling firmware, repairing connections, changing channels on the router and laptop, all with little to no effect The router is running in open mode, with no encryption, and I'm not hiding the ssid, so neither of those should be an issue. This is driving me crazy. I think I've done everything to make this work correct. Is there anything else I have left to try? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

-jason
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Old 09-12-05, 12:07 PM
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If you are using Windows XP it has a little service called Wireless Zero Configuration that tries to connect you to any wireless service it can see, maybe in your new place there is another wireless transmitter out there that Windows is trying to connect to and in to process loosing your connection. Here is how you can disable it.

"Configuring Windows XP without using Wireless Zero Configuration

If you can view the properties for the Wireless Connection icon, but you do not see a Wireless Networks tab, this indicates that the network adapter driver does not fully support the Wireless Zero Configuration service and that you must configure Windows XP to use the connection by following these steps:

1. In the Network Connections folder, right-click Wireless Connection, then select Properties.

2. Click Configure. From the Advanced tab, configure your wireless network by using the available configuration options. The available options and option names may vary depending on the driver manufacturer:

* Service-Set Identifier (SSID): At IU, this should be set to IU Wireless .
* Wireless Equivalent Protocol (WEP) or Encryption: Disable WEP.
* Mode or Network Type: If you have an access point (e.g., you are at IU trying to connect to the IU network), set this option to Infrastructure. If you do not have an access point, and you are connecting computer to computer, set this option to Ad-Hoc.
* Data Rate: Set this option to Auto or to 11 Mbps.
* Power Save: For troubleshooting, set Power Save to Off or to Disabled. After the connection works properly, you can change this setting.

After you configure these options, click OK to save the changes. Test to see if your connection works. If a red "X" is displayed over the connection icon in the Network Connections folder, or if you cannot connect, complete these following steps:
3. From the XP default Start menu or XP Classic desktop, right-click My Computer, and select Manage.

4. Double-click Services and Applications, then click Services.

5. In the details pane, right-click Wireless Zero Configuration, and select Properties.

6. Under "Startup type", select Disabled, then click OK.

7. Close the Computer Management window, and then restart the computer.

By disabling the Wireless Zero Configuration, you should be able to connect to the wireless network. If you cannot, consider TCP/IP troubleshooting techniques."
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Old 09-12-05, 12:20 PM
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Yep, I've done steps 3-7, but not 1-2. I'll give that a shot. I'm guessing those are Indiana University instructions or something. But I can improvise. Thanks!

-jason
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Old 09-12-05, 09:31 PM
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JM
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Make sure you have the latest drivers for the wireless card in your laptop. You should be able to get them from the Dell site. Some versions of the Broadcom wireless drivers did not operate well with other wireless devices, resulting in massive packet loss and poor speeds. Also, disable all of the power saving features of the Broadcom card (as explained above), as I have found they lower the max speed I can get with the Broadcom-based miniPCI card in my laptop.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:35 PM
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Got a question for anybody that may know got a HP deskjet 840 printer , I have updated the drivers for it got the new software but still wont print whats up with it?
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Old 09-12-05, 10:15 PM
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so, guess what it turned out to be? the LOCATION of the router. It was on the floor in the corner of the room, so I placed it up in a loft-like area in the office, and bang, laptop connects fine, doesn't lose signal, and gets nice healthy speed through the house, or at least in the rooms we need it.

Now If I can figure out if there's something inherently bad in that corner of the room, like a poltergeist, or a bad electric wire...

-jason
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Old 09-13-05, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox
so, guess what it turned out to be? the LOCATION of the router. It was on the floor in the corner of the room, so I placed it up in a loft-like area in the office, and bang, laptop connects fine, doesn't lose signal, and gets nice healthy speed through the house, or at least in the rooms we need it.

Now If I can figure out if there's something inherently bad in that corner of the room, like a poltergeist, or a bad electric wire...

-jason
These creatures, better known as Routergeists infect over 10,000 routers a year. Although Firewalls and Security measures were implimented to stop them the even more rare H4X0R Routergeist always gets by the protection for it's cronies.
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