Linksys wireless router problem

I have a friend with a BEFW11s4 v. 2 Linksys wireless router feeding an incoming net cable signal.

It works fine with a desktop XP unit attached directly to it via a NIC cable, but will not work with a Win ME system with a USB connected Netgear wireless MA 101 about 70 feet away. The remote wireless unit was working fine until 2 weeks ago when it suddenly just stopped working according to my friend.

On the Win ME unit the Netgear signal strength applet indicates signal is plenty strong between Linksys and adapter. I tried replacing Netgear adapter - no difference. Tried driver re-install - no go. Tried winipcfg and “release all” and “renew all” . Error on the renew when it says it “cannot find a DHCP server”. It cannot see the XP unit when I have it do a network neighborhood search.

Brought unit with Netgear adapter home. It works fine on my BEFW11s4 v. 2. Both units use the same cable ISP (Comcast) and both are set to find IP addresses automatically. Only difference seems to be my subnet mask is set to and auto config on the friends unit is set it to Tried on friends XP unit via the router config applet, but it just killed the net feed when I did this so I set it back.

Took unit back to friends house and tried playing with all kinds of settings on friend’s router, but nothing I did will make it work and be “seen” by the router. Would normally think router is defective but Netgear applet indicates signal level between two devices is fine. This is usually plug and play simple.

Very frustrating - Any suggestions? Could the Netgear unit be showing adequate link signal and the router still be defective in allowing remote unit on the network? In over my head, confused and tired.

If it shows a signal, then that means that it IS connected. What is it that it won’t do exactly?

Here are a couple of suggestions off of the top of my head:

  1. Change the SSID of the router to something unique and make sure that the adaptors are set to receive on the same SSID (It is probably set to linksys now).

  2. Make sure that the adaptor is set to receive on the same channel that the router is broadcating on.

I dunno. I still believe that it is already connected and there is some other problem going on. Oh, here is another thought. Check the Internet control panel and make sure that the internet is set up so that it tries to connect through LAN and then check the LAN and TCP/IP settings to make sure that they haven’t been monkeyed with. This is more likely than a router or adaptor problem based on what you described.

I’ve got a laptop with Win ME and whenever I have any kind of problem with the computer, people always tell me the first step in solving it is to upgrade to Win XP cuz Win ME is just flawed.

WinME is, in and of itself an extremely flawed operating system. It’s the last version of windows to be fully based on the 9x kernel and as such still has a LOT of the problems associated with it. In addition, Win9x was never really meant to be fully networkable which is why you see a lot of offices (when they can afford it) running NT instead. Your best bet, if you want to network computers, is to upgrade (or downgrade) to Win2000 or XP since they are based on NT and have the necessary ability to be networked.

As an aside, time has taught me that, while NetGear makes hardware with an attractively low price, the compatibility and dependability of the hardware is absolutely terrible. This has just been my own experiencxe though, YMMV.

That all being said, first, change the SSID on the router AND make sure it is set to braodcast on the wireless network (the address to access the router is and the default password is admin with no user name) then, if you are suing WEP encryption make sure it is turned on at both machines AND that the encryption key is the same on each. If neither of these solutions work you can try two other things.

  1. Replace the computer’s receiver with somehting my own experience has shown to be more reliable. In the past I’ve found you can’t go wrong with either Linksys or D-Link hardware.

  2. Try an upgrade to Win2000 or better yet XP. XP has built in wireless support and would greatly minimise your headaches.

Best of luck, let us know how it turns out.