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).