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Laptop Wireless Connection Problem


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#1 bearcatnat

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:30 PM

Help! I'm having a majorly annoying issue with my wireless card. About 6 weeks ago my family got a new wireless router and DSL modem (all in one, Netgear) from AT&T. (Our old DSL modem had bit the dust because it had been dropped several times and the case was cracked open.) With the new router/modem, my laptop was experiencing frequent drops of the wireless signal. The wireless would drop then reconnect every 5-10 minutes. I tried many things to fix it, including setting a static IP on my laptop and changing the channel on the router. What finally seemed to fix it was to switch from the default "Mixed 11b, 11n, & 11g" signal to "11b only". I no longer have the dropped signal and the speed has improved.

However, in the past week, I've had a new problem pop up. When I first boot my computer or after waking from both sleep and hibernate, the wireless won't connect. It is almost as if the card is turned off/disabled, as in the system tray, the wireless signal icon shows with a red X, and the message when I click it is something like, "No wireless networks available". I click "troubleshoot" and results will show "Problem with wireless adapter or access point" and "Windows can't connect to the hidden network". I then click through to complete more troubleshooting steps. It will show that it is resetting the wireless adapter. The wireless icon will briefly show the available networks, and I click on my home one to connect. Then it will blink out and show again that there are NO wireless networks. Stepping through the troubleshooter again, I tell it to skip several steps (sorry, can't remember what they are) and then the wireless will miraculously come back to life and connect like nothing is wrong!

I don't know whether it's the troubleshooter or just time that is resolving the issue, but this happens EVERY time I turn on my computer and takes 4-5 minutes to get the wireless card up and working again. I should also say that I was having some other weird behavior, so I've been doing lots of scans and other troubleshooting in the past 2-3 weeks. Spybot Search & Destroy found a few spyware problems, including Widgi Toolbar, Yontoo PageRage, and Tarma Installer. A Google search revealed that one malware had the possibility of keylogging (it was displaying blue underlined links to ads.) Multiple virus scans have revealed no further problems.

Any idea what may be going on?? Sorry for such a long post, just trying to be thorough in describing the issue. I'm usually pretty savvy and able to solve most computer issues but this one has me stumped and frustrated!!

DETAILS:
Laptop - Dell Inspiron 1750
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium
Startup Programs - Avast Antivirus, Adobe Gamma Loader, Dell Touchpad, Dell Dock, Cyberlink PowerDVD, Creative Volume Panel, Akamai Netsession Client, Intel Common User Interface, Synaptics Pointing Device Driver, Ambrun Endpoints Dynamic Link Library
Recent changes - Scanned with Spybot S&D/removed spyware; installed/uninstalled AdAware, installed/uninstalled EasyCleaner, uninstalled 7Zip, customized Windows Services following the "Tweaked/Safe" settings at Black Viper (trying to resolve the slow start-ups), restored ALL Windows services to default, turned off a handful of unused Windows features (again, tweaking slow start-up)
TODAY - Did a restore point rollback to 2 weeks ago

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#2 bearcatnat

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:44 PM

P.S. - Have also tried updating wireless driver (said the best driver was installed), uninstalling/reinstalling wireless adapter, and making sure that the setting to allow the card to be powered off is NOT checked.

#3 noknojon

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

Hi -
A quick question first -
Have you contacted your Internet Provider, AT&T , to male sure the Modem is set up correctly ??
They will usually do this over the phone and it only takes a few minutes (it may involve sitting on the phone for 10 minutes to get through) -

Thank You -

#4 bearcatnat

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:11 PM

I have not spoken to AT&T. The wireless and desktop Internet seem to be working fine, except for this connection issue. All other laptops and wireless devices in the household are fine.

#5 bearcatnat

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:26 PM

Ah, I really thought I had fixed it, but no. I had also made changes to my laptop power settings, so I set the power settings back to default. It seemed to work when I came out of sleep mode once after I made that change, but is back to the same nonsense today.

I'm assuming it's not a problem with the setup of the new router because there are 1-2 other networks in the area, and when this problem occurs NO networks are showing up. It's as if the wireless card is disabled or turned off, but it's not. Just no networks showing up, no functionality until I go through troubleshooting. I also sometimes have to use the keyboard key to actually turn the card off/on 2-3 times for it to start working. :wacko:

#6 jhayz

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:36 PM

Could it be that your wifi adapter card is faulty? Since reinstalling the driver did not made an improvement and sleep mode is always a make or break function, it could either try replacing the card or disable sleep function to check on the difference.

Tekken
 


#7 bearcatnat

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:52 PM

I was wondering that. I believe it is integrated. My laptop is only about 2.5 years old, but I did drop it about 6 months ago, so I was wondering if that could have affected it. Is there any way to check functionality, or does it just totally fail one day?

#8 jhayz

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:53 AM

If disabling the sleep mode function does not create other issues, then you will know the culprit.

Tekken
 


#9 bearcatnat

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:42 PM

Continuing to have issues with connecting, but only on initial boot. Wireless seems to work fine when coming out of sleep or hibernate. Something I did notice today is that the Windows troubleshooting info said it cannot connect to the hidden network. My network isn't hidden, the SSID is set to broadcast. I'm using WPA2-PSK (AES) and have not changed the security settings at all from default. MAC filtering is not turned on. I don't get it!!

#10 jhayz

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:05 AM

Try removing all your previous network connections by your network profile or manage wireless connections. Then connect manually again.

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#11 bearcatnat

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:22 PM

@Jhayz - I was literally doing just that when I received the email that you had posted this. LOL I rebooted and the network immediately connected. So I'm praying that perhaps the SIMPLEST thing is what fixed this. :clapping: Thanks everyone for you replies. I hope I don't have to come back and say it's not working again!

#12 bearcatnat

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:03 PM

ARGHHHHH!!! It's still broken!! I guess I'm going to have to resign myself to call AT&T tomorrow. That always sucks, though.




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