Why did my wireless connection die on 1 of our 4 computers?
July 6, 2008 4:05 PM   Subscribe

We have 2 desktops and 2 laptops. All of the sudden, only one of the desktop's Internet connection went kaput. Why, and what can I do to fix it?

Forgive my obvious ignorance of this subject, but I've Googled my little heart out and cannot find a solution to this really annoying problem. We have 1 Mac desktop computer, 1 Windows/Dell desktop computer, and 2 Windows laptops. The host for our modem/router is the Mac. About 2 months ago, the Internet connection on our Dell desktop got very, very slow, and would still connect using a wireless connection, but it would take 10-15 minutes to download a page. Eventually, it has just quit working altogether. All of our other computers can connect with no problem or speed issues.

Here's what I've tried so far:
- Buying and installing a new D-Link USB wireless connection port
- Moved router to another location
- Reset/restarted the modem and router and host computer
- Tried several of the networking and Internet troubleshooters available on XP and online
- Reset Winsock catalog through cmd
- Pinged my ISP and yahoo.com - both work
- Did the release/renew thing through ipconfig
- Uninstalled/reinstalled drivers for new
- Moved the cordless phone to a different room, away from the router
- Installed and ran AVG, Spybot, and Ad-Aware; also did a defrag
- Uninstalled several unused programs to see if they were interfering
- Called my ISP about 7 times, they had no suggestions
- Ran a System Restore on the affected computer
- Tried several different combinations of channels

And at least 20 other things I can't think of right now. I'm sort of at my wit's end. I'm close to going and buying a totally new computer (and a portable hard drive to transfer the stuff, too, because all of my important files are on this computer, naturally). But I really can't afford all of that right now.

To throw yet another wrench into this mystery - about a week ago, I noticed that a new wireless connection was available through a router I had never seen before as an option. I use Netgear - this one is a Belkin. None of my neighbors have Internet connections that I know of, and we live at least 100-200 yards from anyone else, anyway. I can occasionally and temporarily get a connection using the Belkin, but do not feel safe doing that since I have no idea how/where my computer's picking up that signal. None of our other computers can even detect the Belkin signal. So strange.

Do any of you geniuses out there have any advice for anything else I can try to solve this totally aggravating problem?
posted by susiepie to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried running an ethernet cable directly from the computer to the router? This will help you figure out if it's a wireless problem or an overall OS / router problem.

Have you tried burning a linux LiveCD that you can boot into (Ubuntu or Slackware might be good)? This will help you determine if it's XP that the culprit or the hardware.

Do you have a DVD burner? That's a cheap way for you to backup all your data and then reinstall XP.
posted by sharkfu at 4:18 PM on July 6, 2008

Connect everything through your Netgear router.

There is no need to use internet connection sharing through your Mac. You're adding an entire extra layer of needless complexity. In addition, USB is slower than Ethernet, so by using a usb ethernet hub for ICS, you're wasting precious bandwidth.

Cut out the mess and your network will work much better.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 4:36 PM on July 6, 2008

Replace "usb ethernet hub" with "usb wiresless hub" (for your situation). Everything else remains the same/true.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 4:37 PM on July 6, 2008

I know you said that you reset your winsock, but maybe try downloading this winsock fix. It does a few more things.


Also, do you have norton installed? I've seen it do this multiple times. Uninstall it to test.
posted by meta87 at 5:12 PM on July 6, 2008

I had this problem in our house with the ethernet on a mac desktop: my PC would disconnect from the wireless anytime the third computer (wireless mac desktop) connected before me (my connection stayed active when the third mac came online, but wouldn't reconnect after a shutdown). i would have to reset the router incessantly and never did find a solution :( we also had a d-link router, and i had a d-link wifi card in my desktop (the mac had airport?). changing the router seemed like the only possibility short of connecting my PC by cable.
good luck.
posted by tamarack at 5:36 PM on July 6, 2008

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