I'm not even sure I can get this written and posted successfully, the way this computer is nowadays. It's a 4-year-old Dell desktop running Vista Home Premium SP2. The Internet connection is high-speed fibre broadband (British Telecom 'Infinity', UK.) The wireless router / modem for Infinity is situated on the ground floor of this tall, three storey town house. Router / modem have to be situated there: it's the main BT phone / ADSL socket. Wireless connectivity in terms of actually sending the signal from the ground floor up to the top isn't perfect but, then again, has never been the disaster we're experiencing at the moment.
So what are we experiencing? We-ell. . . How does the loss of connection, every few minutes or so, sound to you? Yes. It's that bad. Web pages. . . freeze. Online transactions. . . lock-up.
But there's nothing to indicate a problem as far as the tray icon is concerned: those two little monitor screens have a steady, bright green world showing. Right-click on that to go to 'Network & Sharing Center' and that eventually displays the comms linkage: an icon of this PC with a line to an icon of the BT router with a line to an icon of the Internet. All three are there. And wireless signal strength is reported to be "excellent". However, however. . .
Double click on the central icon in that flow-path -- the router icon -- and a new Windows Explorer window opens called 'Network'. And it's blank. I have to sit here, watching a kind of grey bar tracking across the top of the panel as Windows re-populates.
When I have a functioning Internet connection, then that 'Network' display features the name of this computer, the identity of ther BT Hub and even the entry point for BT Home Hub Media Gateway. Sometimes, though but not always, the display also shows "ICE 9", whatever that might be: I've clicked on it and also sought out its properties but all that happens is a Windows splash screen named "Network Error" saying "Windows cannot access \\ICE9. Check the spelling of the name. Otherwise, there might be a problem with your network. To try to identify and resolve networtk problems, click diagnose."
Which of course, acheives precisely nothing. Windows spins its wheels. . . endlessly. And that's it.
The mystery of ICE9 aside, a rather bigger mystery (to me) is the well-nigh constant de-populating of the "Network" Windows Explorer screen. Regardless of whatever any other indicators may be saying -- the tray icon; the Network & Sharing Center -- *every* time a webpage freezes it coincides with the Network screen turning blank. When I click to refresh the screen, then sloooowly, or very rapidly |(there's no rhyme nor reason to explain the speed) the screen is re-populated with the PC's name, the BTHub identity, and even the BT Hub 'gateway' point. .. and the web page un-freezes.
I cannot, however, go on like this. I'm losing connectivity -- "Network" populatiojn -- every 5 minutes or so. And sometimes, even refreshing the screen doesn't do any good: the tray icon changes to orange and all I have is Vista's renowned, and awful, 'Local Connection Only'. And all that's showing in Windows Explorer's Network viuew is just this PC. Nothing else.
If anyone has any siuggestion as to what I might do, other than jumping out the window or junking this (much-loved) Dell, I'd be greatly obloiged to hear from them. Please note: I am *not* computer proficient. Just an average user. Tearing her hair out. Many thanks -- Val.