Why does my laptop disconnect every 3 minutes?
May 30, 2008 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Why does windows disconnect from my wireless network every 3 minutes?

My windows xp installation disconnects every 3 minutes (to the second) but not my ubuntu installation on the same laptop. My housemates laptops don't do this, only mine. How can I fix this, i'm guessing it must be simple(ish) due to the precise amount of time it stays connected for.
posted by sliderjc to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check your DHCP server timeout/reissue?
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:54 AM on May 30, 2008

This sounds an awful lot like the WPA rekey interval. If you change the rekey interval, does the frequency of disconnection change as well?
posted by majick at 10:08 AM on May 30, 2008

hmm, neither of those i'm afraid, network isn't encrypted
posted by sliderjc at 10:39 AM on May 30, 2008

Does this happen both when you're plugged in to power and when running off the battery? Some (most?) wireless card drivers will drop the antenna power when running from a battery, and this is usually something you can adjust. As a practice in our windows deployments, we set wireless cards to always use full power.
posted by pmbuko at 10:49 AM on May 30, 2008

Have you tried disabling Wireless Zero Configuration? It's been known to cause similar issues.

What about the WNIC driver? Is it up to date? What kind of device is it? Have you looked at or changed any of the antenna or power saving modes?

What's the current Service Pack installed? XP SP2 behaves slightly differently than XP SP1 does with regards to how well or badly WZC works.

You're right that this is probably simple, but it's important to be forthcoming about the state of things if you want help; not everyone with the expertise to help you will be willing to play a game of Twenty Questions if you just throw it out there as "It's broke, make it go!" and reveal next to nothing about the situation.
posted by majick at 10:51 AM on May 30, 2008

I had this happen with a DLink Router and it turned out the router was going bad. After a month of having the wireless go bad, then the router just simply started to reboot itself every few minutes.

Can you check your router's logs to see if something is going wrong with the router itself?

Also, is there more than one wireless device on your network? If so perhaps you can see if ALL wireless signal is lost every few minutes, or just the one.
posted by arniec at 10:58 AM on May 30, 2008

OK, I see now that it's not a router issue, I'm sorry I missed that note.

Are you running network security at this time?
posted by arniec at 11:38 AM on May 30, 2008

I had exactly the same problem (constant wifi disconnects on my XP machine, while mac worked just fine, also on an unencrypted wifi network.)

Allowing it to connect and then disabling Windows Zero Config before it could disconnect itself again is a kludgy-as-hell solution, but it's the best one I've found so far. (Spending hours digging through logfiles and config screens, only to discover that the problem is being caused by something named "zero config" is always fun.)

I'll be following this thread with interest to see if anyone has a better answer, because having to wave a magic chicken bone over the settings every time I boot up is pretty damn annoying.
posted by ook at 12:43 PM on May 30, 2008

What brand network card to you have? Does it come with it's own Wireless Network software? If so, you can disable the Wireless Zero Configuration service (right click My Computer, go to Manage, click the + next to Services and Applications, click on Services, and scroll down to Wireless Zero Configuration. Double click and set Startup Type to Disabled) and just connect to your wireless network with the software for your network card.

Using my network card's software rather than Windows' Wireless Zero Configuration resolved the same problem for me.
posted by Nerro at 2:36 PM on May 30, 2008

« Older Look out! Here come the Americans!   |   Information Management Filter Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.