Help me refrain from smashing my wireless router with a sledgehammer.

If anyone can help me figure this out, I’d appreciate it. Here’s the deal:

The equipment:
Linksys WRT54G Wireless “G” Router
Motorola SB4100 Cable Modem
Dell Latitude D505 laptop (“my laptop”)
Some damn Toshiba (?) laptop with a Linksys wifi card (the “Wife’s laptop”)

The situation:
Moved recently from New York to Dallas. Moving trucks finally arrived, including my router, cable modem, etc. Wife has had the same work laptop for several years; mine is new, from my new job.

In New York, the router worked fine with my wife’s laptop and with my then-work laptop, conicidentally also a Dell Latitude, although I’m not sure of the model number. So I assume it’ll easily work here in Texas. Right? Nope. Here’s the relevant facts:

  1. My laptop will not connect wirelessly at all. No IP address assigned, no pinging, no nothing.

1a. N.B: It CAN see the wireless router, and reports a strong signal, but it can’t connect.

  1. My laptop will connect via a wired connection, but only for a minute or two; then the connection fails, solved only by cycling the router.

  2. My laptop will connect wirelessly to a neighbor’s open access point, if I’m in a spot where I can get that signal.

  3. My wife’s laptop will sometimes not connect wirelessly, but when it does, it generally maintains a solid connection. It stayed connected all last night. (I don’t have my wife’s PC here today as she left on a business trip for a few days).

4a. However, my wife’s laptop’s connection craps out if my laptop tries to connect to the router.

Things I have tried:

  1. All sorts of combinations of cycling the router, cycling the modem, and rebooting the laptop.

  2. Adjusting the RTS Threshold to 2304 per the Linksys website instructions. I think this may have helped some with my wife’s laptop, but no change with mine. (I’d also try adjusting the fragmentation threshhold and beacon interval, but I can’t stay wired-connected to the router long enough to get them to take).

  3. Doing a full reset of the router to factory defaults.

  4. Changing the broadcast channel of the router (from 6 to 11).

I’ve also turned off all security – no WEP or WAP, so that’s not an issue.

Anyway, I’m stuck. I have no idea what to do next. But for the fact that the router apparently does work with my wife’s PC, at least as long as I’m not on it, I’d just go get a new router. But this really has me stumped, and I’d rather not waste time buying something new only to have to return it if the problem isn’t in the router.

Help me SDMB GQ posters, you’re my only hope.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Does your neighbor that your laptop can connect to have a different brand of router?

The biggest suspect seems to be your laptop’s network card. Try smashing that with a sledgehammer.

[li]Upgrade router to latest firmware.[/li][li]Reset router to default values.[/li][li]Buy a real computer. :-)[/li][/ul]

No help here. I’ve got a similar Lynksys router that went from working fine to not being visible to any of my wireless equipment overnight. No move, no change in settings, and it self-tests fine.

Personally, I was going to use this as an excuse to buy an 802.11g router.

Yes, it’s a Netgear router (thank goodness he hasn’t changed any of his router’s defaults).

But…but…it’s an internal card! Also, my new employers would frown on smashing firm-bought equipment. :slight_smile:

I’m not really a wireless expert (just yet) but I have one at home and at work. I’m using netgear hardware but the setup is pretty similar. When I have wireless problems I normally start from scratch. Reset everything to the default config and then start with one thing at a time. Get your main PC working first, then the second laptop.

1: Make sure the SSID for the router and the notebook wireless cards is the same including capitalizations. If not you will be able to access open wireless access points for the internet (ie your neighbors) but will not be able to form a network.

2: For the modem I am assuming you went through an online initialization procedure where they logged your modem onto your cable internet ISPs network in Texas so the modem ID is verified as being part of their network. If this has not been done you want to call up your vendor and get the modem properly initialized. Make sure the wired connection between your cable modem and the PC is via a Cat5 ethernet cable and not a USB cable.

3: As test turn off (ie power down the base unit and the handset) any 2.4 Ghz wireless phones operating in the vicinity and see if that makes a difference.

4: Power down / unplug the cable modem. Reset the router (red button on back - hold down for 10-15 seconds until all buttons cycle flash then power it down completely by unplugging it, wait 2 minutes then re-plug) You might also want to upgrade the firmware via the wired connection while you’'re at it (do this before using the setup CD). Make sure the 4100 modem’s power button detent is “on”. IIRC The modem power light will glow red if just connected to power - this does not man it is actually “on” in terms of being ready to receive. Make sure the actual power buttion is activated.

5: Your Linksys WRT54G router comes with a fairly powerful setup program on CD. (it may be available onlline as well) where it looks into all sorts of setup parameters and does a mini diagnostic on your connection. Have you used this CD?

Re: Astro

  1. The SSID is broadcast from the wireless router. Like I said, I can see the router just fine, I just can’t connect to it. The SSID necessarily matches because the laptop is taking that setting from the router’s broadcast.

  2. Yes, the cable modem is fine. I can directly connect to the cable modem and have full internet access with no problems. MAC address cloning should not be required with my ISP (Comcast), but I’ve tried that as well and it doesn’t help.

  3. No phones at that frequency in my house.

  4. As noted, I’ve done the cycling game in several different orders, and I’ve also hard-reset the router. I’d love to flash the firmware, but I can’t seem to get a steady connection to it even with a wire.

  5. Yes, I tried using the setup CD to no avail.

Did you accidentally set the “disable zero confirguration”?

Is your wireless card on? :stuck_out_tongue:

No, yes. Like I said, the laptop connects fine to a neighbor’s router, and a month ago when I was staying in a hotel while waiting to close on my house, I could access their wireless hotspot just fine as well.

Trade routers with your neighbor. :slight_smile:

It could be that something is set by default differently on his router than on your router and your network card doesn’t like it.

Update the BIOS on your Dell notebook and see if there is a separate BIOS update for the wifi card itself.

Here is one update for the D505 wifi if this is your wifi hardware

Well, I’m posting from a local coffeehouse. I think we can rule out my laptop as the source of the trouble (I went ahead and upgraded the laptop’s wifi driver this afternoon anyway, maybe that’ll help).

Although I have no electronics advice, I would recommend that you consider smashing your router with a hammer smaller than a sledge. For a small piece of equipment like that, one or two wacks with a sledge and it will be done, probably along with the table or whatever else it was sitting on.

I would recommend a large ball peen hammer. As you strike with the rounded head, bits of plastic and circuit board will go flying off satisfyingly in all directions.

Hope this helps.


A firmware update to the router did the trick…though I was sweating bullets while it was updating, hoping the connection wouldn’t go down mid-update and thus totally nuke the router.

Billdo, I shall remember your suggestion for the next time a small appliance breaks.