Help! Trouble getting online w/wireless network.

I’m at wits end and am hoping a fellow doper can assist me. I am not terribly versed in computer verbiage, so I apologize in advance.

I got a new laptop (HP) about a year ago and have always had trouble getting online using my roommates wireless connection (DSL). Here’s what happens:

I click on my connection and the computer attempts to connect. About a minute later, it says, “Connected”, then immediately, the list of available networks disappears and starts looking for other available networks. My signal strength says “low” or “very low” yet, I am not able to get online at all.

I click on “repair” and after a few minutes, get the following message, ‘Windows could not finish repairing the problem because of the following: renewing your IP address”. I have a friend who is pretty smart when it comes to computers and he could not figure out what was wrong.

It seems that my computer goes thru spurts; sometimes I can get online with no problem at all, but for the past week have not been successful. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with it, but my next door neighbor had a wireless network set up and I used it sometimes, but they’ve moved as of last week. It’s probably just a coincidence that I’ve not been able to get online since the day they moved. (I’m posting this from a school computer).

Dbl thread reported FYI.

GQ is our computer help forum (usually), so I’ll move your OP there.

Are you sure you are getting on your roomies system, if he is not broadcasting an SSID it will not appear on lists of available networks. Wireless router range can also be severely degraded by heavy walls or bulk like heaters, appliances, etc betwen the router and the computer. IF you are within 20-30 feet straight line you should have little problem.

Does your roommate happen to use any file sharing programs or perhaps a torrent program?

I used to have this problem with my laptop while my other wireless machine was busy torrenting (this was on a B network). I had to pause Azureus, let the laptop connect, then re-start Azureus. No idea why this happened…and it doesn’t happen anymore now with my G network.

I’ve had that issue occasionally with my wireless network … Somehow, the stored IP address for the laptop’s network node becomes inconsistent with other addresses on the WLAN. The Windows repair routine should make it pull a new IP, but for some reason it still ends up with the originally stored one when it tries to renew. What works consistently for me is: Start–>Run , and enter ipconfig /release (this clears the current stored IP). Then reboot the PC. It may reconnect automatically, or you may need to run that repair routine. Once I do that, my laptop connects without a problem.

Why I need to go through that, I’ve never been able to work out …

Another thing to try is making sure the “Enable IEEE Authentication” box is unchecked if that’s not required. That can cause periodic disconnects on a wireless network (for god only knows what reason).

I had the same problem. Funny thing was, I would loose connectivity to my wireless portal, but I could access my neighbor’s unsecured networks. I tried everything I could think of to fix it until I just gave up. A 40’ ethernet cable reaches anywhere in my apartment–works like a charm. Problem solved.