How do I fix my wireless internet connection?
February 14, 2008 6:48 PM   Subscribe

Wireless connection on brand new laptop disconnecting after 5-30 minutes and unable to reconnect. Peer moderation with counselor, persuasive tactics with claw hammer and threats of waterboarding proving frustratingly ineffective. Any real solution out there?

Running Vista Home Premium 32-bit with Netgear WGT624 v2 router connected to Comcast (RCA) modem on a 3-week old HP Pavilion dv6626 connection works fine and so does wireless...for 5-30 minutes max...then, wireless will disconnect and prevent reconnect to router...even though I can sometimes connect to other wireless connections. Tried upgrading router firmware, upgrading drivers, disabling TCP/IP v6, changing battery settings, disabling 802.11 authentication, changing router channel to 11 and a majority of the other advice given online...even used the heck out of HP "talk to an online technician" feature so often that now they just tell me to send the darn thing in....and I'm about to that point, even though it would that would be admitting defeat, which would be a horrible blow to what's left of my ego...basically, I'm hoping someone might have experienced the same problems I have and found a solution....oh, and this is my first post, so if I violated any spoken/unspoken rule of MeFi....i sowwie. :) thank you!
posted by Hogermite to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mmm. not a Dell... I had something very similar with a Dell laptop with XP. Very annoying, but I blamed it on overlapping Dell drivers... I'll watch this with interest ;)
posted by acro at 6:55 PM on February 14, 2008

(P.S. Welcome to metafilter- one 40K to another!)
posted by acro at 6:57 PM on February 14, 2008

First thing I would do is isolate/narrow down the problem:

Does it only exhibit this behavior when wireless connecting to ONLY YOUR router? Can you take the laptop to a friends house or a coffee shop or some other place and have it reliably connect wireless for longer than 30min ?

That would be the first thing I would try. You need to be able to isolate it and figure out if its the wireless drivers/chipset in the laptop causing it... or your Netgear router.

(personally, my preference is Linksys routers. I've got mine running DD-Wrt firmware and its solid)
posted by jmnugent at 1:14 AM on February 15, 2008

Try a live boot CD (Ubuntu might be the easiest) to see if you get the wireless issues on a different OS. If you do, it's a hardware issue, not a software one. If you don't have any problems, it's a Vista thing of some kind.

Live CD won't touch your existing Vista install, so it's a no-risk thing to help troubleshoot.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:08 AM on February 15, 2008

try channel 9 or 5. lots of routers come with 1, 6 or 11 as the default channel. chances are a neighbor's router has channel 11 set too.

not that i would do this, but you could get on a neighbor's network, go to the router's address, and change the channel for them.

there's plenty of utilities that let you see info on a wireless station. ap grapher and istumbler on osx, not sure for windows.
posted by KenManiac at 9:44 AM on February 15, 2008

I had pretty much the exact same question/problem with my Dell Vostro at first. Turns out the cheapie Dell re-branded Broadcom integrated wireless card is absolute junk.

Since it's an internal PCI-E card it's user replaceable. I replaced mine with an Intel 3945 a/b/g card and it's worked perfectly ever since. Connects every time without a hitch, I love it! Plus it was only like $20 on eBay.

Dunno if your HP has the same/similar Broadcom card, but the Intel 3945 is a killer card and it's cheap enough to "shotgun" in there just to try.

Oh, and if you want to try one for yourself, I recommend the eBay seller "Dragon on the Edge". She currently has four in stock. I bought mine from her and my friend bought one for his Gateway from her; both worked like a charm!
posted by sprocket87 at 1:15 PM on February 15, 2008

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