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Thread: Computer help please!!!

  1. #1
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    Computer help please!!!

    I am not what you would call "tech savvy", so try to keep any suggestions in terms I can understand. But any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

    Here's the issue:

    Picked up a laptop yesterday. I already have wireless internet in my house. When I open the available wireless connections, mine of course, shows up as excellent connection, full bars. As soon as I connect to it though, it drops down to poor connection, 1 bar. Disconnecting and reconnecting haven't worked, restarting the wireless adapter hasn't worked. Help me out please fellas!!

  2. #2
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    Sorry. Troubleshooting is trial and error. Try a different connection, then try a different computer. Then you'll know more.

  3. #3
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    Try resetting the router. You can do this either by finding the reset/refresh button on the router itself (usually a pin-sized button) or by unplugging the router for about half a minute.

  4. #4
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    You can also go into the properties of the wireless adapter and update the driver.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=NY's stepchild;3992750]Sorry. Troubleshooting is trial and error. Try a different connection, then try a different computer. Then you'll know more.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly.

    Do you have any other computer with wireless at your disposal? Do any of them connect to your router?

    Can you take your laptop to another place with wifi and get it to connect? Does it drop in the same manner?

  6. #6
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    Play with your router security settings.

    Enable WPA2-Personal (aka WPA2-PSK) as that's very secure. If that's set or not working right, reduce the strength to WEP just to see if that improves things.

    Sometimes routers and devices have different preferred security protocols and that can cause problems. Verizion FIOS sets theirs a certain way that wreaks havoc with Apple TV and other devices.

    SAR I

  7. #7
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    It's set to WEP already.

    My desktop connects wirelessly as well and I'm having no problems with that at all. I thought maybe the desktop was causing interference with the laptop connection, but it does the same thing even when the desktop is shut down.

    I tried shutting down the router, no difference.

    This is frustrating as hell. I just don't understand how it finds the signal with full bars then drops down upon connection. Just doesn't make sense. . .

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. If you think of anything else please let me know.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=Mr. Green Genes;3992854]It's set to WEP already.

    My desktop connects wirelessly as well and I'm having no problems with that at all. I thought maybe the desktop was causing interference with the laptop connection, but it does the same thing even when the desktop is shut down.

    I tried shutting down the router, no difference.

    This is frustrating as hell. I just don't understand how it finds the signal with full bars then drops down upon connection. Just doesn't make sense. . .

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. If you think of anything else please let me know.[/QUOTE]

    Well that's why we narrow it down first. Don't mess with the router settings then. Where did you pick up this laptop from? Is it under warranty? Are you sure it's actually connecting to the right signal? Is it password protected? If you see other signals, you could try standing in front of your neighbors house and try see if the same thing happens on his signal. I'm afraid my best guess would be a problem with the wireless card in the laptop. The ones that come with the pc are not high quality controlled, and I'd say 2/3s of them are defective to some degree.

  9. #9
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    here are so many variables with this kind of a problem.

    how far from the router is the laptop / desktop ?
    what radio type is it ? {B,G,A,N ?}
    through what type of construction is it passing through ? {are the walls simple sheetrock,or are they more dense such as brick/plaster or tile...etc.}
    are you using a built-in wireless adapter or is it a usb type ?

    I had a very similar problem with my extreme N setup with a big appartment,going through several rooms of very old plaster construction and a brick wall and needed a stronger usb adapter.
    I don't move the laptop from room to room,it mainly stays in 1 room so I opted for a 1000MW wireless N adapter, it's so freaking strong everthing listed is 5 bars, and the list doubled in size.
    you may not need a 1000mw version, maybe a 500 will do the trick ?

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    well after reading this, I'm hereby thanking my lucky stars (while still crossing my fingers) that both my new desktop replacement laptop and my new wireless printer were both happy to live happily in the same room with my cable modem and router and allow me to even transfer stuff from my old desktop to tne new laptop (how did we live before flashdrives??)

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    Check your settings to see if any wifi "energy savings" options are enabled or what they're set at. I've seen some netbooks do all kinds of screwy energy savings things to conserve power.

    Disable any energy conserving features/modes (or at least check if your wireless adapter has a power saving mode and turn it off) and see if it makes a difference.

    Just a WAG, but might be worth checking.
    Last edited by frostlich; 04-02-2011 at 10:36 PM.

  12. #12
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    Another thing to check is the frequency that your wireless is working at. You may be running into an interference issue with other wireless devices (ie telephones, wireless receivers, etc.).

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    [QUOTE=Mr. Green Genes;3992741]I am not what you would call "tech savvy", so try to keep any suggestions in terms I can understand. But any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

    Here's the issue:

    Picked up a laptop yesterday. I already have wireless internet in my house. When I open the available wireless connections, mine of course, shows up as excellent connection, full bars. As soon as I connect to it though, it drops down to poor connection, 1 bar. Disconnecting and reconnecting haven't worked, restarting the wireless adapter hasn't worked. Help me out please fellas!![/QUOTE]

    To try and narrow it down, you could also purchase a cheap USB wireless card and see if that works.

  14. #14
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    Sometimes the signal strength bars are inaccurate until the connection is established, whereupon both sides of the link can talk to each other and exchange a RSSI, Received Signal Strength Indicator.

    It could be you hear the router fine, but it cannot hear you due to low transmit power.

    You can test this easily by trying to connect in the same room as the router and report back on whether the connection still drops to one bar.

    As mentioned, some energy savings implementations drop power to the wifi, and it is possible to change TX (transmit) power in the advanced area of the WiFi adapter properties, but these are unlikely to be the cause in your case.

    Occam's razor says the simple answer is the best. The simple answer here is that you are nearly out of range with the laptop. Power and antenna differences are very large and vary widely. Most laptop Wifi adapters are just 50 milliwatts. Many laptops use the screen area as antennas. You could try rotating the laptop 90 degrees on the table and check again.

    You can get a USB wifi adapter with more power, look for a minimum TX power of 200mw or 23db without antenna gain.

    My favorites manufacturers of these are Engenius and Ubiquiti.

    To get a more accurate idea of signal strength and noise levels, download NetStumbler. Google it.

  15. #15
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    dude lemme me make it simple for you you've got a connection problem somewhere take it back to where you got it, get another one if I was you!

  16. #16
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    Assuming this is an Actiontec router used on the FIOS system, a similar issue can occur when the router broadcast mode is set to 'mixed'. This meaning it will support A/B/G wireless cards. Since A & B cards were so Windows ME, you can set the router to Broadcast only G.

    That's if your on FIOS.

  17. #17
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    Networking Engineer here.. 1st thing you want to do is default the router by logging into it. After you've done that change the authentication type it from WEP and WPA with a PSK.. Use a passphrase, not password.. Much harder to crack


    Once you've completed that, try connecting you laptop to it. your laptop will always list the strongest signal first. If you have a blackberry, smartphone or another wireless device, try to connect with that and along with your laptop. If the laptop still has issues but not the smartphone/other wireless device, then then you probably should update your device driver on the laptop

    If both units have issues (laptop/smartphone) and you've reset your wireless router.. There are two issues.. You have overlapping channels (esp if you live in an apartment) and need to change the channels to 1, 6 or 11

    Still have an issue connecting anything to the router, then you need to replace the router.

  18. #18
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    maybe it's just a FIOS issue as described by LI Deadhead

    If so, call your cable company, get cable reinstalled and send FIOS back to the phone company with all its exhorbitant fees

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=mcsully;3993767]Networking Engineer here.. 1st thing you want to do is default the router by logging into it. After you've done that change the authentication type it from WEP and WPA with a PSK.. Use a passphrase, not password.. Much harder to crack


    Once you've completed that, try connecting you laptop to it. your laptop will always list the strongest signal first. If you have a blackberry, smartphone or another wireless device, try to connect with that and along with your laptop. If the laptop still has issues but not the smartphone/other wireless device, then then you probably should update your device driver on the laptop

    If both units have issues (laptop/smartphone) and you've reset your wireless router.. There are two issues.. You have overlapping channels (esp if you live in an apartment) and need to change the channels to 1, 6 or 11

    Still have an issue connecting anything to the router, then you need to replace the router.[/QUOTE]



    Thanks to all of you guys for the suggestions. I don't care what people say about Jets fans, I've never met any of you, but you seem like decent guys to me. I didn't have time to monkey around with it this weekend, so I'll try tonight.

    Hey mcsully,

    How do I find where to update the driver and/or change the channel if that is the issue? Thanks.

  20. #20
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    I had a problem with my router about six months after I bought it - my laptop could not connect unless it was much closer to the router than where I had been using it. Also, my Wii was no longer able to get an internet signal. Only my iphone continued to get a strong signal all over the house.

    After consulting with several tech people who were unable to help, I found the solution on Google. I downloaded the latest firmware for my router, then changed to another frequency channel. I have had no problems since (must be a couple of years.)

    I suggest you go to the router manufacturer's web site support to get information on downloading new firmware, etc.

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