Wireless drops all the time at work, not at home?
July 30, 2007 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Wireless stops all the time on new computer, my old one (XP and Ubuntu) don't have problems?

The wireless internet just stops and it says I have limited connectivity. This is with XP and it's own connection. This doesn't happen at home or other places. This doesn't happen when I try to connect to the same network with my other computer - XP and Ubuntu.
This happens every 5-6 minutes and I have to go and manually press the repair button on the connection and it goes on again.
My card is Broadcom but I don't know how to see what is the chipset in XP.
Could it be the drivers of the card (although it works at home)?
Can I use some better connection manager(BVPR I tried Connection Manager Lite) which at least repairs the connection automatically?

ps. I have some suspicion that it can't deal with the multiple routers/antennas in the buidling for the same network.
posted by tseo to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hrm. What does the "r*pair" button do? Is it in the Help docs?
posted by cmiller at 2:56 PM on July 30, 2007

The repair button just restarts the wireless device, and then the connection. Its in the right-click menu of the connection.
posted by tseo at 3:03 PM on July 30, 2007

In my experience, this problem is endemic to XP. The crappy software came with whatever network adapter you're using may also be to blame. I have no solution to offer, but all XP machines I've used have had wifi problems exactly like you describe.
posted by snarfois at 4:05 PM on July 30, 2007

Is your new computer a Thinkpad by any chance? Their Wifi or Power driver has some stupid feature that disables the power to the Wifi electronics if you don't use your Internet connection for a few minutes. It does come back automatically, but you've often lost your IP address and your active connections.

I remember it's pretty easy to disable this stupidity, but I don't have a reference on hand exactly how.
posted by Nelson at 4:15 PM on July 30, 2007

This notebook came without software for the network adapter. The other one I have has such software and it works nice. But it works without it too.
The two XP versions are obviously different so I'll see how things stand with Service Packs and so on. Maybe getting this system on the level of the other will help.
posted by tseo at 4:16 PM on July 30, 2007

Have you tried switching channels?
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:07 PM on July 30, 2007

I don't know how to change channels and can't find this option.
posted by tseo at 5:31 PM on July 30, 2007

As my usual response: Make an Ubuntu CD and boot it. If it doesn't happen, it's Windows. If it does happen, it may be hardware, or it may be a common bug.
posted by cmiller at 9:00 PM on July 30, 2007

Have you tried switching channels?
I don't know how to change channels and can't find this option.

Just so you're not looking on your computer, that setting is on your wireless router.

About the 'stupid setting' mentioned upthread, even without software installed on your computer for the wireless card there are some settings you should be able to change on the card.
  • Go to Network Connections -> Right click on the wifi connection -> Properties -> General tab -> there should be a button that says 'Configure' towards the top, next to the name of your network card, click that -> Advanced tab -> then look through the "Property" listing on the left to see if any of them sound the the 'stupid setting'.

  • I apologize if I sound like I'm talking down to you.
    posted by philomathoholic at 10:20 PM on July 30, 2007

    As for the channels - this is the router at the hotel I work so I don't have access to it. When I use Netstumbler I see that it broadcasts on multiple channels but I am not given choice which one to use.

    As for Ubuntu - I was going to install Ubuntu anyway but this won't help my XP.

    As for the settings of the network adapter - it's not dropping form the network because of idling. It actually looks the opposite - only when I start doing stuff and generating traffic it drops (sometimes).

    The answer I was hoping for was some kind of more sophisticated connection manager... or some kind of a common solution to a common problem.
    posted by tseo at 5:35 AM on July 31, 2007

    As for Ubuntu - I was going to install Ubuntu anyway but this won't help my XP.

    Yeah, but if Ubuntu breaks also, then you have a decent case that the hardware is just broken and you should return it for a warranty replacement. Or, if it does work you know it's not the hardware and you should continue searching software-land.
    posted by cmiller at 5:41 PM on July 31, 2007

    It's definitely not the hardware.
    I work at 5 different places and at most of them I use more than one network depending whichever has the strongest signal at the moment. Also I have internet at home. At all these places everything works fine so its not the hardware.

    p.s. Ubuntu doesn't isntall. Says its some come kind of bios error. No way out of my situation:(

    How can I see the the chipset of the adapter under XP? I want to update the drivers.
    posted by tseo at 9:07 AM on August 1, 2007

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