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WiFi signal is good, but decreases a minute or so after fresh OS install or a ne


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#1 KaktitsM

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 01:02 PM

I have dell vostro 5470 with n7260 network card and its wifi reception is very week relative to pretty much any other laptop or even smartphone.

I just tried replacing the network card from another laptop, that has no problems with wifi and woula! - it installed the drivers and worked, I had stronger signal and could see and connect to signals I couldnt even see at all before.... for about a minute or so, then all the signals disappeared and im back to bad signal.

While at it, I put my original n7260 in that other laptop and it worked fine, with strong signal.

First I thouht that its something to do with my laptop casing itself, but after this switch, when it worked.. but for a little while - it must be something in the software, doesnt it? But what? Something changed in the registry for some reason? Some power levels decreased?

I am running Windows 10. (and, actually, it was the same with win 8 and 8.1)

* when I replaced my HDD and installed a fresh OS, it too worked fine.. for about a minute or so after boot up.

* and it doesnt matter what driver I install or completely uninstall the driver (including driver software check box)

 

Of course, I tried googling, but I mostly get "8 ways to make your internet faster" or something like that, which is not for me  - the signal itself is week and I cant even see many connections that other devices can see, unless I go very close to them.


Edited by KaktitsM, 12 June 2016 - 01:03 PM.


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#2 KaktitsM

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 04:27 AM

Tuff one, huh? I have asked in a few places and no one even bothers to try to write something, heh.



#3 Trikein

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 04:46 AM

I would first try isolating the problem with the wifi in that spot vs the laptop's ability to get wifi. Try the laptop in a place other wireless works or try a working wireless device in that spot. If it's the location, look for nearby devices that might cause interference like microwave/lights/crt/baby monitor or cordless phone. If it's the laptop, look at networks around you. Could be a router or AP enforcing "good neighbor" policy, making the laptop jump from a other wise good wifi channel.

 

What model device is the laptop connecting to? 



#4 KaktitsM

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 05:02 AM

The problem persists no matter what router im connecting and where I am - home, work, hotel, neighbor. Its just constantly like half the signal other devices receive (except for the first minute or so after fresh OS install or a new NIC is placed).



#5 Trikein

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 08:44 AM

What did you do exactly when replacing the wireless NIC? I wonder if there could be something broken with one of the antenna contacts. Or maybe the one of the components is giving off interference. Do other devices get less signal when around THAT laptop?



#6 KaktitsM

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 09:06 AM

I just popped one out and plugged one in. 
Previously I did think that there might be something with the contacts or the antennas themselves - I even bought a pair of antennas (thankfully, they are cheap), attached them and tried different positions, even outside the laptop. I can say that having them outside the laptop DID help, a little bit, but nowhere near what would be the norm and it doesnt explain how it can work for a while, with much stronger signal, then pop in to low signal mode.

Other devices work fine around my laptop. I can rest my phone right on the laptop and it doesnt care.

MAYBE it is another component that gives off interference, but not strong enough to affect devices outside the laptop. A component that is activated minutes after a fresh OS install, but is turned on immediately every boot up after the initial.... ? But it doesnt explain why did changing the NIC had the described effect, does it?


There is another slot for a wireless card on my motherbord, I tried plugging it in that one, but the device manager didnt see it after boot up.


Im thinking, if I can get my hands on a third NIC, I could set my system up to track and log every change done to the registry (and other places) - if works for a minute or so, like the other, and something changes software-side that causes the low signal, it should show up in the logs, somewhere... maybe? But how should I do such a task (logging and then analyzing the, probably, sea of log info)?



#7 Trikein

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 10:06 AM

A component that is activated minutes after a fresh OS install, but is turned on immediately every boot up after the initial.... ? But it doesnt explain why did changing the NIC had the described effect, does it?

 

Just for the heck of it, try disabling bluetooth?

 

 

There is another slot for a wireless card on my motherbord, I tried plugging it in that one, but the device manager didnt see it after boot up.
 

 

Do you mean in the Dell Vasto 5470? If so I think that is another mini PCI-E slot, but not designed for a wireless card IMO. Could you try a external wireless adapter? Also, could you try safe mode with networking? Or even a bootable OS like Knoppix? Driver here.



#8 KaktitsM

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:00 PM

Ok, so here is what I got. 

*I dont have an exterlan adapter at hand now.

 

*Turning off Bluetooth - no effect.

 

*Safe mode was weird -  first it showed EVEN LOWER signal for the single AP it did see. Then it jumped up to "normal" signal level - full strength for my own AP, as it should be, as im literally right next to it. Then it showed neighbors AP, woot! .. then back to "normal", with only my own AP visible. Then, a bit later, it decreased signal strength again, then jumped back to "normal" and seemed to stay there. 
**I tried NetSurveyor (in normal mode -  it did not work in Safe mode) and it showed just one AP visible, like windows usually shows, with beacon strength -38dBm, beacon strength 158.4893 mWatt x 10^6 and Beacon Quality 78%, excellent (shouldnt it have higher quality than just 78%, as I am literally right next to the router?)

 

 

*I tried Ubuntu live - at the "try ubuntu or install" screen it showed  2 neighbors AP (total of 3, including mine) - the same as other laptops in my house at the same signal strength (two out of four lines), indicating that it is working as it should. Then I clicked on "try ubuntu" and it dropped one neighbor, but still saw more than my windows usually - for prolonged period of time, not just a minute or so.  Then I disabled and enabled WiFi and im back to just seeing one AP even in ubuntu live :(
 

Booted back to windows, clicked on wifi icon to see if I can still see just my own AP - for half a second I DID see one of my neighbors AP, but no sign of it after.

Perhaps the device itself is working fine, but something is just reporting the signal strength to be just half of what it should be?


Edited by KaktitsM, 13 June 2016 - 12:01 PM.


#9 Trikein

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:12 PM

Now it's sounding more like your neighbor's wifi is interfering with yours and changing channels (or something) and that computer is the only one that can't cope. That would explain the lower SNR at higher strengths. 

 

Can you post data from NetSurveyor? Are they broadcasting on the same channel as your AP? 

 

Last, what model AP/router do you have? Do you know how it's configured? As in channel, band, encryption type, etc. 



#10 KaktitsM

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:23 PM

nop, nop, its not my neighbors, because my laptop had this problem right from the start and my neighbors didnt even have wifi untill recently + its the same no matter where I am, in the house or outside, hotel, friends, whatever. I live in a house with just one nearby neighbor (yes, they have tow AP's - large house)
What more is to post from NetSurveyor? It just shows my own AP and thats it.

I am using channel 1, 2.4 GHz, WPA2-PSK. Pretty sure the neighbors are using the default 6. I have experimented with different channels and encryption (including no encryption) before and no change. 

My AP is Huawei E5186s-22a, but, as I have told, it doesnt matter what AP I connect to.


Edited by KaktitsM, 13 June 2016 - 12:26 PM.


#11 Trikein

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:33 PM

Then I am out of ideas. Maybe someone else.



#12 KaktitsM

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:34 PM

Ehh :( 



#13 KaktitsM

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 05:32 AM

Someone knows a better place where i could ask this question? One thing is that this is quite a inconvenience, but its actually quite fascinating.  



#14 technonymous

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 08:48 AM

Sometimes a mixing of hardware just don't work to well. As an example, I have both a Cisco linksys dual band G/N router and a D-link router with same specs. If I used the D-link USB wifi dongle with the Cisco Linksys router I would get very poor signals. The same thing would happen mixing a Cisco Linksys USB dongle with the D-link router. Once I paired each brands together I get really good signals.



#15 Wand3r3r

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 09:57 AM

How about downloading xirrus wifi inspector and posting a screen shot of what it sees for local wifi networks.






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