Wireless adapter problems. Any ideas?

Every since I got my laptop about a year ago, I’ve had the same, on going problem. I noticed the first few times I tried to access wireless at school, contacted Dell, they had me do a few things, and they said it would be fine from there on out. Since then, I hadn’t really used the wireless much, but I recently got wireless in my apartment. Needless to say, the problem has become increasingly noticable.

Basically, I have no issues actually connecting to any wireless network (or finding them-- there’s always a full list of available ones). The problem is that my laptop will only sustain the connection for relatively short spurts of time. Sometimes the laptop will hold the connection for 5 minutes, sometimes 3 hours.

When it disconnects, it will do one of two things. One, disconnect but still have the little wireless icon still there, just with the red line through it. I can try to reconnect, but it wont. I then do the Repair function, but it freezes and says it cannot reconnect to the wireless adapter.

If it doesn’t do that (which, I’d say it does that 2 out of 3 times), the icon will just completely disappear from my tool bar. If I go into my wireless networks through the Start Menu, nothing will be listed.

The only way to rectify this is to restart the entire laptop. Needless to say, this gets a big tiresome- especially when the computer does this every five minutes.

For what it’s worth, the actual wireless router is about 20 feet away in the other room, so I know that isn’t a problem (plus, my roomie’s comp holds the connection for days at a time).
Any ideas?

And, um, my faulty wireless adapter also stops me from previewing. Yes, sir.

It could be that there is other software installed that is conflicting with the default wireless controller of the OS.

However, we need more info, what OS are you using?

What wireless card are you using? Or it is built in? Who is the manufacturer?

Right after I posted, I walked out of the room and thought, “Wow, I left out some pretty damned important stuff.”

I running XP on a Dell Inspiron 600m. The card is an Intel ProWireless 2200 BG.

The card is the built in one that came straight from Dell.

This type of problem is typically driver related. My first step would be to see if there is an update.

Try this first:

Right click on the wireless icon on the lower right, the one that looks like two tiny computers, select open network connections, right click the wireless connection, select properties, click the Authentication tab, see if the “enable IEEE 802.1x authentication for this network” is checked, UN-Check it if it is not.

See if that keeps the connection longer, sometimes the IEEE gets in a loop trying to authenticate other connections that the wireless device sees and thinks are the most powerful ones.

If you don’t see an Authentication tab in the connection properties we have a different problem.

That’s the same card that’s inside my Sony Vaio right now. Just thought I’d share.

Nope, there is no authentication tab.

Ok, you are not gonna like this, but then it is the Intel ProWireless software that is controlling the wireless connection, check with Dell, it is possible you need to upgrade the wireless drivers, there is a way to tell XP to controll the wireless connection if Dell does not manage to get you a better connection.

Lame! :slight_smile: Thank you for your help, though.

Do you know where I can update the drivers online? Before actually having to go through the hell that is calling India, er, Dell?

Here’s the latest driver from 5/17/06.

If you can’t get to that page from that link, try going to http://support.dell.com and working your way through support to Drivers & Downloads for your model and then finding your network card under “Network.”

It won’t hurt to use the built-in XP wireless controls, either. I usually recommend people do this so that XP doesn’t “fight” with their card’s software. Easier just to let XP win.

But do update your drivers first. Then we’ll talk XP :wink:

I updated my drivers, followed the instructions and everything, and now it is saying “No supported wireless network adapters available in this system.” Of course, right next to that, is the computer with lines coming off of it. . . which is connected to my wireless network.

What is saying there’s no supported wireless adapters? The driver install program?

Are you connected to a network (as indicated by the icon)?

There is the little computer with green lines coming out of it- that says I’m connected to the wireless network. Next to that, is the little thing that looks like a fan that gets wider towards the top, that has a red ex through it and says there are no supported wireless adapters.

do you have XP service pack 2?
Go to start —> run. Type services.msc

look through the list for wireless zero configuration service

r click on it and start it if it is not started

if updates and such are failing and you have access to another machine, try stripping out all of the wireless drivers and any wireless bloatware like “wireless control panels” and such.

Also what type of AV and or firewall software are you using if any, many firewalls are a PITA when dealing with repairing and restoring network adapters since the new driver may read as a different non approved program trying to access the network. You may want to temporarily disable them to eliminate them as a potential cause as well.

The “computer with lines coming out of it” is the Windows Wireless Network thingamabob (which means she has SP2, drachillix). The other thingy is no doubt the adapter’s software’s icon.

Go to Start - Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs and look for the wireless adapter’s software. You may have to use some Standard Common Sense to figure out what is the program you’re looking for. You can do it I know you can! :wink:

That should force the card’s software to stop trying to manage your connection and let Windows take over. Unfortunately I’m not on any of my wireless machines right now so I can’t give you any more advice. But getting rid of the card’s software should help. It’s not the same as the driver, it’s just software.

Then again you never said if you had a connection or not (can you browse the web?)

Several mfr’s wireless TSR’s have similarly stylized logos, just avoiding second guessing the description.