Help me with my wireless
August 30, 2004 9:14 PM   Subscribe

My laptop can no longer receive the Internet! The internet comes, via DSL, into my DESKTOP pc. The Desktop's DSL modem is hooked up to a LinkSys Wireless-B router, which broadcasts the Internet signal to my laptop. The lights on the LynkSys are blinking as usual. My desktop is receiving the web just fine. My laptop IS showing the little "connected" (two-computers) icon in the system tray, and when I hover over it, it says "Wireless Network Connection... Speed 11.0 Mbps, Signal Strength: Excellent." But when I start of a browser, I can't get to any page. I CAN get to the same pages on my desktop. Help!

Both systems are running WinXp. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 8600.
posted by grumblebee to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Response by poster: Norton AntiVirus just detected an addware critter called Blazefind on my laptop. I wonder if this could have anything to do with it. Norton couldn't remove it. Grr.
posted by grumblebee at 9:30 PM on August 30, 2004

Have you tried resetting your modem/router? I've had similar problems in the past and it was my DSL modem freezing up.
posted by tracicle at 9:30 PM on August 30, 2004

Response by poster: Yes, I restarted. Thanks, though.
posted by grumblebee at 9:33 PM on August 30, 2004

Sounds like a DHCP issue. Open a cmd windows (start menu, Run, type cmd and hit return). In the shell, type: ipconfig /all and see if the wireless connection settings have an IP address properly allocated. If not (or if you're unsure), type ipconfig /release and then ipconfig /renew. My guess is that while your network was connected, the TCP/IP settings had got screwed up, and this often happens under XP and Wi-Fi due to DHCP not doing it's thang!
posted by benzo8 at 2:22 AM on August 31, 2004

Do you mean that the laptop used to work, but stopped working recently?

Check your DNS settings, make sure there's no servers left in there from a previous setup. Ideally your laptop should have no DNS servers in, but get them from your desktop pc's dhcp settings.
posted by derbs at 4:29 AM on August 31, 2004

My money's on benzo8's response.
posted by shoepal at 6:25 AM on August 31, 2004

also check your firewall. my home network uses cable --> pc (internal router) --> laptop. if the pc firewall is set incorrectly, nothing gets through to my laptop, even though it's connected and everything. if your router has a firewall - especially if it has separate firewall settings for the LAN and the wireless - this might be part of the problem.

if your IP address is something like 169.XXX.XXX.XXX, then it failed to get an IP and assigned itself an internal automatic number. release and renew IP. the 169 number is some weird default that apparently never works with an actual network.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:43 AM on August 31, 2004

caution live frogs: The 169 class A netblock works just fine on actual networks. I use addresses for my LAN (unlike most people who use
posted by thebabelfish at 9:18 AM on August 31, 2004

Response by poster: benzo8, I tried your suggestion and now everything works. Thanks a million!

I'm pretty computer-savvy, but I've never taken the trouble to learn the more technical aspects of networking (http, ip addresses, ports, etc.) It seems like my lack-of-knowledge in this area continually gets me into trouble.

Can anyone recommend a good book or other resource?
posted by grumblebee at 9:54 AM on August 31, 2004

grumblbee: np. Apologies if my instructions were aimed a bit low - wasn't sure of your level of knowledge!

thebabelfish: 169.x.x.x is *not* a valid private subnet range, according to RFC1918. Microsoft reckon it is, but the internet reckons it ain't!

The following are valid IP blocks in which to situate a private network: - (10/8 prefix) - (172.16/12 prefix) - (192.168/16 prefix)
posted by benzo8 at 11:34 AM on August 31, 2004

the 169.x.x.x is a sign that your machine couldn't find an IP - it will self assign an IP if it detects something on the other end of the network cable (a switch, hub, router) but doesn't get it's dynamic IP info.

It's giving me headaches at our DC office grumblebee.
posted by filmgeek at 2:31 PM on August 31, 2004

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