Why does my laptop's wireless quit on me?
April 20, 2008 1:14 AM   Subscribe

Why does the integrated wireless radio on my laptop stop working?

I have a Lenovo T60 laptop that is almost 18 months old and a couple of months ago, the wireless radio would shut off while I was using it. The Access Connections icon would show it as connected in the taskbar but whenever I tried to actually open Access Connections it would stall on the startup screen.

This would force me to completely restart my computer to get it to work again. I've tried to close it and reopen it, I've tried to just log out, I've tried to use the switch to power off and on the radio manually and nothing has worked. Has anyone else ever heard of/had this issue? Is a reformat of my computer the only option?
posted by crashlanding to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Go to the wireless card's manufacturer website and check if there is a new driver available. Also, assuming you are using Windows, try uninstalling the card in the hardware manager, and restart (typically, the card reinstalls itself using Win drivers).
posted by lord_yo at 1:19 AM on April 20, 2008

Access Connections is a total POS. I wind up removing it from every Thinkpad that I give to my users and poof: wireless problems are solved. You can also get the latest version of Access Connections from Lenovo's site, but you're better off uninstalling it.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:34 AM on April 20, 2008

Agree-- do not use Access Connections. It is __ONLY__ __VAGUELY__ useful if you have a WWAN.

Here's what I had to do on my T60:

1. Remove the ABSOLUTE FRIGGIN POS "Lenovo 802.11 card"
2. Put in an Intel 4965 (or 3965)
3. Bask in the glow of a working WiFi card.

It's really amazing how bad the other one is. For me, it would "sorta" work for a while, but pretty much would never survive a sleep/wakeup.

Even more infuriating, it is a $7 option to upgrade to a card that actually works.

I'm a big Thinkpad fan, but this is one of those things that I can't help but think wouldn't have happened in the IBM days... (although, I just checked Lenovo's site, and it appears that they only offer the Intel card now...)
posted by gregvr at 5:37 AM on April 20, 2008

Also make sure the power settings for the card aren't turning off the radio for the wireless card.
posted by clanger at 10:50 AM on April 20, 2008

I'm having a similar problem on my T61. The wireless goes out at random times, it says "limited connection," and nothing fixes it other than restarting. I've uninstalled Access Connections, checked for new drivers for the wireless card, and unchecked the "turn off to save power" options in the power settings for the card. Is there anything else I can do?
posted by lemuria at 9:01 PM on April 22, 2008

Very late in responding, but if you see this lemuria, your problem is likely that your DHCP service is stopping for some reason.

Type services.msc into the run box and start it if it's not started. It should wake it right up. It's happened to me a few times, and I can't figure out why it dies.

And just for posterity's sake, I find the Atheros based "Thinkpad foo" cards to be miles ahead of the Intel cards in every way, save the lack of the "Centrino" sticker.
posted by wierdo at 12:57 AM on June 19, 2008

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