Please Keep Me From Fixing This Computer With A Hammer!
January 13, 2010 8:29 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently running open access from a wifi router (linksys) but my wife's vista machine can only access it as local only (no internet). I've scoured google and have since disabled IPv6. Still no good. Any suggestions?

I did have a secured network up and her machine was fine until a neighbor kid did something on our kid's machine. I've reset my router and am leaving it as open and unsecured until this is resolved.

I'm thinking that she should be able to link in the same way she would at starbucks or something. Please hope me!!!
posted by snsranch to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have MAC restrictions enabled? That sounds like either that's what's going on, or when you've got the wrong key entered. Does her wifi use some third-party app to connect (like what comes with Dell machines with wifi, for example)? Maybe it's still trying to use the key because it's saved in the SSID's profile.
posted by m0nm0n at 8:46 PM on January 13, 2010

Nope, no MAC or third party, but it does look like a configuration problem.
posted by snsranch at 8:56 PM on January 13, 2010

Sounds like your DNS setting has gone awry somewhere.

Try specifying it on the router as or, and then checking that the client is picking up the setting from the router (sorry, dunno how to do that last bit on windows).

(to check whether this is a problem, ping from the client. If you get a response, the client IS connected to the wider internet, it just can't resolve hostnames)
posted by pompomtom at 9:38 PM on January 13, 2010

This exact thing happened to my girlfriend's Vista laptop recently at a hotel.

I couldn't solve the problem, but I did discover that for whatever reason, the laptop was getting an IP address but had no default gateway. It also didn't have valid DNS servers, but without a gateway that doesn't really matter - no way to get to the internet. I also learned that the error message you're getting from Vista ("local connection only", or whatever) is a blanket message that covers a wide range of stupid Vista problems. Good luck.

(I also disabled IPv6, to no effect)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:21 PM on January 13, 2010

It sounds more like a DHCP problem (laptop's not being assigned a public/routable IP address) than DNS (laptop unable to convert hostnames into IP addresses).

snsranch, is the laptop getting assigned an IP address? I believe Windows has an ipconfig command. Try comparing the output of ipconfig /all on a machine that works vs. the one that doesn't.
posted by hattifattener at 10:21 PM on January 13, 2010

You don't say what you've tried, so here are some random thoughts:
  • Can she access any network shares, or see any other computers in the Workgroup? That will tell you if there is a problem on the router blocking her from getting "outside"
  • Have you done a spyware check on her computer? Maybe its not a config problem, but something is trying to redirect maliciously and failing.
  • When in doubt on Windows: open a command prompt and type in "ipconfig /flushdns" (to get rid of bad DNS entries the machine could be holding on to) then "ipconfig /release" then "ipconfig /renew"
  • You say you've reset your router, but have you changed the broadcast name? You might be able to trick it into thinking its a different router

posted by cathoo at 4:20 AM on January 14, 2010

Call linksys tech support. They will usually walk you through a solution over the phone for free.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:48 AM on January 14, 2010

Windows is wonky. It could be another machine pretending to be your AP, and so hers is connecting to something else instead of your AP.

I say you should try changing the SSID first, and then try to connect to the new name.
posted by cmiller at 7:50 AM on January 14, 2010

Also, test that you're connected to the Internet by opening a command prompt and typing


It should show one line per outbound hop to a university in Australia. If that gets more than two lines without "*" failures, then you're on the Net but you have other problems.
posted by cmiller at 7:54 AM on January 14, 2010

Thanks guys, I got kicked off last night (Mrs. had work to do on the one functional machine).

I'm working through all of your leads right now. Thank you very much!
posted by snsranch at 5:42 PM on January 14, 2010

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