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Help- Intermittent internet connectivity- suspect PC wireless


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#1 jb2012

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:53 PM

I recently had to replace my desktop because of a failed hard drive. Prior to the hard drive failing, I was also experiencing intermittent issues with my linksys wireless router (occaisionally dropping signal, etc.). I bought a new Dell XPS 8700 desktop and ran it for a week with my old router and cable modem (which is also a linksys). Near the end of the first week, my router just stopped working altogether and I couldn't get online without plugging directly in from my computer to the modem (bypassing router).

 

Due to the problems with my router and the fact that it was 8 years old, I figured the computer gods had just decided to have their way with me and blown out my router at the same time as they killed my hard drive. So I decided to by a new linksys router, model ea6200. I am not a computer novice at all- this is a plug and play router, however, I could not get it set up and online at all. Neither could the linksys tech who took almost 2 hours on the phone with me. finally, I just broke down and paid the $20 additional fee to linksys for their enhanced service. They turned my call over to a specialist linksys tech who was able to get the router set up and working fine (after working on my pc via remote access). That was two days ago and all has been good.

 

Today, while using the PC, the signal just dropped. It then dropped again for no reason. The dell has a built in wireless, so the only ethernet cable I have is from Modem to router (no ethernet connected at the back of the PC). After unplugging both the modem and router and letting enough time pass so they reset (as well as disconnecting the coaxial cable from my modem), I got my signal back. But this is getting really old, and I can't figure out what the heck could be causing this. When I worked with a direct connection (modem to computer with no router), I never had a drop once. In fact, every time I call my ISP (Comcast) they tell me there are no service issues in my area and they show me having a very strong signal.

 

I suspect there could be an issue with the internal wireless on my dell, but this is the first pc that I've had that has this internal wireless capability, so I know very little about it. Does anyone have any thoughts? Is this likely a PC issue, a router issue, or could it be something to do with my cable modem? As an FYI, my cable modem is a linksys befcmu10 (older model but has been very serviceable).

 

PS- I am running windows 8 on the new machine.

 

Any thoughts are appreciated as I am close to pulling all my hair out.


Edited by jb2012, 12 August 2013 - 08:59 PM.


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#2 jhayz

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:25 AM

What wireless router brand is connected to the modem? Try looking for an updated driver for your onboard wireless card from the Dell website first http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/Product/xps-8700 then install it.


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#3 jb2012

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 06:17 AM

The new router is a EA6200 (linksys). I'll look for updated drivers for the onboard wireless card and see if that helps.



#4 smax013

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 11:56 PM

Is the router close enough that you can connect the desktop to the router with an ethernet cable and bypass the WiFi connection altogether? If so, try ethernet and see if any of the same problems happen. Even if you cannot realistically do this as a long term solution (i.e. the router is not in the same room where you want the computer to be), you should still try this for a while if you can just to see if the ethernet connection works fine. At a minimum, it could help us truly narrow it down to a WiFi problem.

If you cannot realistically use ethernet, then the WiFi problems could realistically be one of three things: 1) problem with the WiFi adapter in the computer; 2) problem with the router; or 3) some sort of interference with your WiFi.

In addition to check for an updated driver for the WiFi adapter, you should look to see if the router has an updated firmware (it is possible that the Linksys support person already did this if there was updated firmware).

To consider #3, how far away is the computer from the router? What is in between the two? Any major appliances (i.e. fridges, microwaves), bathrooms, or large masonry objects (i.e. chimney)? Do you use cordless phones in the house? Is this a single family house or an apartment? If a single family home, how close are your neighbors? How many other networks show up on your computer when you go to connect to your WiFi network?

#5 jb2012

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 07:25 PM

Yes, I can use an ethernet to plug it in like I used to and bypass the internal wifi of the computer. I'll give that a try and see if I still have issues. I shouldn't have any isues with appliances because there isn't anything close to my home office, and we don't use cordless phones. It's a single family home in a subdivision but only 2 or 3 networks show up. I will run it for awhile with both the wireless and then with the ethernet and see if I can isolate the issue. I really do suspect the internal wifi. Thanks so much for your thoughts.



#6 jb2012

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:24 PM

So I tried to run my pc with just the PC wirless picking up the signal today. It's gone out 3 times in 3 hours. I do the troubleshoot connection option, the PC "resets the wireless adapter" and it's back....Yet when this happens, it doesn't go out on any other device that is using my wireless signal in the house (my phone, my laptop). This tells me it's a problem with the internal wifi on the PC. Am I right to say that if I plug in the ethernet cable from the back of the computer to the wireless router and then hook the router up to the modem (like my previous configuration) I'll be ok? Or do I somehow have to disable my dell wireless too? I could honestly care less if my desktop has internal wifi....my modem, router and desktop tower are all in my home office, stacked on top of each other. The internal pc wifi isn't something I'm ever going to use because I don't plan to move my desktop tower more than a foot from my modem, router and the plate that has the cable coming in from the wall. Do I turn it off via device manager and then just plug the wires in as described?

 

What a pain.


Edited by jb2012, 14 August 2013 - 10:28 PM.


#7 smax013

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:19 AM

So I tried to run my pc with just the PC wirless picking up the signal today. It's gone out 3 times in 3 hours. I do the troubleshoot connection option, the PC "resets the wireless adapter" and it's back....Yet when this happens, it doesn't go out on any other device that is using my wireless signal in the house (my phone, my laptop). This tells me it's a problem with the internal wifi on the PC. Am I right to say that if I plug in the ethernet cable from the back of the computer to the wireless router and then hook the router up to the modem (like my previous configuration) I'll be ok? Or do I somehow have to disable my dell wireless too? I could honestly care less if my desktop has internal wifi....my modem, router and desktop tower are all in my home office, stacked on top of each other. The internal pc wifi isn't something I'm ever going to use because I don't plan to move my desktop tower more than a foot from my modem, router and the plate that has the cable coming in from the wall. Do I turn it off via device manager and then just plug the wires in as described?
 
What a pain.


I believe that Windows will select the better Internet connection...i.e. the ethernet connection...automatically, but I don't remember for sure. If you want to be sure, then turn off the WiFi. The WiFi connection software might have an on/off mode. If worst comes to work, you can use the Device Manager to disable the driver.

And yes, you use an ethernet cable from the computer to the router. And the router stays connected to the modem by an ethernet cable.

#8 jb2012

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:46 PM

Been running fine with no internet service cutout since I hardwired the ethernet cable from computer to the router. I'm starting to wonder why these manufacturers put wireless into a desktop when it's such unreliable wireless.



#9 hamluis

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 05:31 PM

Been running fine with no internet service cutout since I hardwired the ethernet cable from computer to the router. I'm starting to wonder why these manufacturers put wireless into a desktop when it's such unreliable wireless.

 

Because...wireless is "cool" :)

 

Seriously, even though wired is faster and more secure...many users just don't like the wiring exposed or have multi-system households where wireless is more convenient.

 

And newer PC users probably think that wireless is the only way to connect :) because...that's what their computer experience abounds with.

 

Louis



#10 antrobus178

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:36 AM

I am having the same problem with the EA6200 router. However, it doesn't just happen to one of my devices. Every computer will occasionally get disconnected from the router, not at the same time though. It seems to happen about once a day and the computers don't reconnect unless I turn off wireless on the computer and turn it back on.






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