Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:02 PM
Hello, Lads and Ladies of Bleeping. I have yet another quandary to hone your brilliant skills upon (please oh please):
Machine is a Dell Dimension 8300 running Windows XP Pro, SP3. It connects to the internet via a Linksys Compact Wireless-G USB Adapter (WUSB54GC) directly connected to one of the USB ports in the back of the tower. This device, in turn, gets its signal from a Linksys Wireless-G 2.4Ghz Router, which is about 5 meters away from the PC tower, with only the seated user and an inch-wide panel of wood (tower is located in a desk hutch) in the way of the signal. When connected, signal strength is excellent.
The system is connected by wire to a pair of Altec Lansing speakers, a Samsung SyncMaster220WM monitor, and a Canon Pixma MX850 printer/scanner/fax machine. All three have been on the setup for 3+ years.
The system is wirelessly connected to a Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000 v2.0 and a Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000. These are recent additions to the sum setup, about 3 months old.
For well over two years, long before the addition of the wireless keyboard and mouse, the wireless USB adapter has caused one or both of two small bugs on startup: a network address error (with a string of zeros) or something directly related to WUSB54GC.exe. Sometimes the string-of-zeroes error appears twice in quick succession, one error box atop the other. I don't have the exact text of either at the moment, but I have found reports of other users facing the same or similar blips with the same model of adapter paired with WinXP systems. The primary user of our PC generally deals with these errors by just okaying/cancelling them away.
Once in a while, the system will then fail to connect to the Internet after a fresh startup -- this is easily resolved by Ctrl+Alt+Del > Task Manager > Processes, then finding and ending the process "WUSB54GC.exe". The same process reignites in seconds and the Internet connects very shortly thereafter.
The New Problem:
Access to the Internet is now dropping frequently and irregularly. This has been happening for perhaps a month to the present, but seems to be happening more and more often in the past two weeks. Oftentimes it drops after the user steps away from the machine for a short period, but there seems to be no correlation between the processes on the idle machine and it's tendency to drop or not drop (sometimes it's left long enough to go to the screensaver, sometimes not; sometimes it's left actively uploading or downloading, sometimes not). It has also dropped a few times with a user at the screen, in the middle of actively browsing the Internet. Strangely, long-term downloads and uploads (left unmonitored) seem to eventually complete, suggesting to me that the machine might be picking up the connection again several minutes after dropping it if no-one interferes.
Upon losing the connection with a user at the screen, the connection can usually be re-established by right clicking the wireless connection icon in the taskbar and selecting "repair" from the pop-up menu. (Primary user [my dad] reports that this is not ALWAYS the case, but he is likely forgetting where to find the "repair" option.)
Two other machines in the house (Dell Inspiron 15 laptop running Windows 7 and a MacBook Pro running 10.4) have no problems connecting (nor staying connected) via the same wireless signal.
Suspicions: <--- you can ignore this part
Could there be wireless interference between the Linksys adapter, mouse, and keyboard? If so, why did it not begin at the same time as these devices were initially connected? No other wireless device (phone, gaming, etc) have been introduced to the house in the past 3 months.
Is the Linksys adapter beginning to fail somehow? Driver upgrades and troubleshooting searches to solve the small startup errors have proven fruitless in the past...
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. ;_; Thank you!