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Wireless and LAN works only in one place

By semmelbroesel ·
Hi,
a client of mine has a laptop which I looked at and couldn't figure out. I will probably get the laptop next week to check out again.

It's a Dell laptop with built-in wireless A/B/G card. At home she can connect just fine to her Qwest Actiontec router, but wherever else she goes her connection won't work. It starts out well at 54Mbps but immediately drops and then stays or fluctuates around 1Mbps, and there is no real connection, i.e. no web activity works properly. Occasionally (randomly) you can get to one or two sites. We met in a coffee shop to test her wifi where it doesn't work.

She is using MSN Explorer as her main browser, but I also tested IE.

I checked her IP setup which is normal (DHCP). IPCONFIG seems to receive a normal address. I checked the wifi card setup which is normal - I tried a few changes without success.
My own laptop connected fine to the local wireless network and was stable the whole time.

She also said she cannot connect in hotels using the wired LAN connection. I have not been able to make any tests there.

I suspected bad hardware and plugged in a Linksys PCMCIA card, installed the drivers and then got an error 10 Device could not start.

The laptop also complains about a new printer it finds (which was only connected once, but was never installed), and it asks for the drivers for new found hardware on each Windows start.

Sounds to me like Windows is about to die, unless it's a virus which I didn't find using HiJackThis.

Any ideas beyond what I already tried?

Thanks!

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by CG IT In reply to Wireless and LAN works on ...

Sounds suspiciously like the PCMCIA slots are bad. they can go bad with a lot of use unplugging and plugging in cards. Also have to stop the PCMCIA device before unplugging em.if she had USB ports might opt for a USB wireless card. Airlink has a pretty inexpensive but good wireless NIC. Make sure you uninstall the PCMCIA devices is you go to USB.


For wired with a wireless PCMCIA card installed you have a couple of configuration choices. bridge between the wireless and wired, create hardware profiles one for the wireless and one for wired, or disable the wireless whenever the wired is used.

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by semmelbroesel In reply to Wireless and LAN works on ...

Both the wired and wireless card are built-in. I only plugged in the PCMCIA to test it.

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by w2ktechman In reply to Wireless and LAN works on ...

The first part of the problem appears to be with the built in wireless. I would say that setting the SSID and security might work better than 'searching for networks). If it is 'set' in the config, it may last longer. This may be why it works fine on her home net, but not in other places.

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by jasonbis In reply to Wireless and LAN works on ...

The first thing that comes to my mind is she must have some type of firewall blocking her from getting access. Check for and disable any firewalls such as the built in one from Windows or Norton System Utilities. Mcafee also has a firewall that could be causing issues. Try disabling anything like that and see if it that makes a difference.

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by semmelbroesel In reply to Wireless and LAN works on ...

I did not find any firewall. MS Firewall was disabled, and there was no other installed...

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