Why is my WiFi connection spontaneously dropping?
March 23, 2005 2:43 PM   Subscribe

I need some information on a WLAN card problem, if anyone can help.

I recently acquired two D-Link DWL-G510 802.11g PCI wireless cards for my and my girlfriend's PCs. I have tested both the cards in both computers under a variety of conditions and the same problem occurs. Both computers are running Windows XP SP2.

The problem seems to be that after a seemingly random amount of time the connection just drops. I've tried it when downloading, not downloading, etc, and there seems to be no trigger.

The connection still shows up as "connected," but internet use becomes impossible and I can't ping the router anymore (a Linksys WRT54G, running the most recent firmware). Disconnecting and attempting to reconnect does not help, and the only thing that fixes it is rebooting the computer entirely. Signal strength varies but is almost always at an acceptable level (including while this phenomenon is happening) so I don't think that's the problem.

I have tried configuring the card using the Windows XP native wireless support, the third party client included with the D-Link card, and drivers/utilities from an ASUS card that uses the same chipset. Nothing has worked. (The ASUS drivers/utilities seemed to work the best, as I had the connection stay stable for nearly two days, but I rebooted to test something and now it's crapping out again like usual.)
Since this happens with both cards, it's statistically unlikely that they are both lemons.

Currently using 64-bit WEP encryption but it doesn't seem to make a difference whether it's on or not; I've tried it both ways.

If anyone has an idea as to what could be going on here, I'd much appreciate some insight--I have searched for the past few days attempting to find an answer with little luck. All of the comments I've read about D-Link's customer service while searching for the answer have said it's horrendous so I haven't bothered calling. I suppose it could be the router's wireless capability being bad, too, but the wired part of it works perfectly...
posted by Kosh to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
You say you have two cards with the problem; does it happen to both of them simultaneously? That would be a completely different sort of problem than if it happened to one at a time.

You also mention that "the only thing" which fixes it is rebooting. Have you tried ejecting the card and reinserting it? Reinserting it into a different PCMCIA slot?
posted by majick at 3:09 PM on March 23, 2005

Buy a different card (if that's an option). The DWL-G510 sucks (I briefly owned one).
posted by kickingtheground at 3:27 PM on March 23, 2005

A few things:

Do you have any 2.4ghz cordless phones? If so, pull the power from them and see what happens.

There are so many things that can cause annoying interference and intermittent dropouts (devices w/ bad power cords, microwave ovens, various electrical motors, 2.4ghz phones, etc)

Try changing the channel number of the linksys (default is 6) Go high or low.

I had a similar problem recently. It turned out that a BIG and OLD book had fallen on top of the wireless router. As soon as I moved it, the connection issues stopped (but they started again, so I moved the router 8 feet off the ground and haven't had a problem since)

I hope this helps.
posted by zerokey at 5:49 PM on March 23, 2005

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