How do I get a Vista laptop over its wireless quirk?
August 12, 2007 3:04 AM   Subscribe

Why does my laptop disconnect after it wakes up?

At tax time, my husband and I bought new laptops. They're Sony Vaio I-don't-know-the-models running Vista and have generally been great for what we've needed (communications, media, and schoolwork). There's one quirk, though. When either of us opens one of the laptops and enters a password, the internet will work for the first thirty seconds to a minute and look like it's been connected either the whole time or for a while (my IM will either show offline messages or messages that came through--and other people have reported me online when I know the computer was shut). After that first minute or so, the wireless loses connection and thinks there's no network at all for a few minutes. It automatically reconnects after that, and I can't manually reconnect any faster. Is there a reason it does this? Any help for the problem? Google only brought up people who were having problems with reconnecting at all after their Vista laptops woke up.
posted by Cricket to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just got a Vista laptop a couple of weeks ago, and mine does sort of the same thing... it just doesn't look like it's connected first. When I open it, it takes 30 seconds or so to connect. If I'm too fast in checking e-mail or browsing somewhere, it'll give me an error message... refresh and there's the site.
posted by IndigoRain at 3:38 AM on August 12, 2007

Perhaps there's two stages:

You shut the lid.

Stage one, the computer is really on, and updating as normal.

After some delay (10 minutes?), stage two: Power off. All processes are incommunicado, and TCP connections are dropped on the far end, but your sleeping programs don't know it.

You open it or turn it on. The computer wakes, and the processes think nothing's wrong. They try to continue their conversations, and it takes a while for them to realize that their audience left hours ago while they napped.

They eventually figure it out, and you see them struggling to make sense of it. Does this theory fit your observations?
posted by cmiller at 8:14 AM on August 12, 2007

I don't have an answer, just commiseration - to the point where I'm considering putting XP on this laptop because the issue is so friggin annoying.
posted by jferg at 8:33 AM on August 12, 2007

I have the same thing. Only if it's been in the more shallow of the two hibernations (where it wakes up immediately upon opening, rather than going through the whole boot process and then "Resuming Windows...").
posted by Xoder at 9:02 AM on August 12, 2007

My XP computer used to do the same thing, I always assumed it was a hardware issue and it was something I lived with.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:13 AM on August 12, 2007

This may or may not solve your problem, but it will fix similar symptoms.

In your Device Manager, open up your network card and go to the Power Management tab. Uncheck (what should be) the first option, "Allow the computer to turn this device off to save power."
This will stop the connection from being dropped whenever the computer goes to sleep/standby. Many wireless cards don't let you do this, but most, if not all, wired NICs can.
posted by niles at 12:32 PM on August 12, 2007

I don't know if it will help, but see if there are any updated drivers for your laptops wireless adapter.
posted by Good Brain at 12:33 PM on August 12, 2007

Usually, when there are sleeping/waking related bugs, niles is right: it's a good idea to change your Power Management settings to get around the problems (or just leave the machine on). You shouldn't have to do that, but you won't get any help from the manufacturer -- Sony just blames Microsoft.
posted by wryly at 1:20 PM on August 12, 2007

OP: Do you mean hibernation, when you say "after it wakes up?" Or, do you mean standby mode? Hibernation completely shuts off power to the computer, so it would be surprising to see that it was still 'connected' after being shut off. If you mean standby, then I have no ideas for you. I would think that the default power setting for closing the lid would be standby, until a certain amount of time has passed, and then hibernation would be expected.
posted by philomathoholic at 2:42 PM on August 12, 2007

Response by poster: Niles: Thank you, but it didn't fix this problem.

Philomathoholic: When it wakes from standby. There are times when it should have been hibernating, but it's clearly gone back to standby or it's active. It happens whether the lid has been shut for five seconds or twenty minutes or overnight. I open the lid, wiggle the mouse or hit the space bar a few times to wake it up, then it goes straight to the password screen. I haven't noticed whether it also does it when it has to do the whole "Resuming Windows" waking-from-hibernation thing. It's good to see that it's not just mine, though.
posted by Cricket at 4:16 PM on August 14, 2007

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