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WIreless signal sporadically dropping

By brigopens ·
have one Dell laptop on our network. Using Belkin g access point and Belkin wireless card.

For some reason, the signal drops severaal times a dya, for 2-30 seconds. Goes back to searching for IP address, and then reconnects. More annoying than anything, but interrupts downloads, teleconference, IM, etc...

Can't seem to trouble shoot or find any info as to why this might be. other computers on the same network have no issues with this so I am assuming it's a specific config/hardware problem with this laptop.

Thanks for any help.

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by zack.phierce In reply to WIreless signal sporadica ...

What OS are you using? If it's XP what service pack?
If you are using xp are you using the belkin utility to manage the wifi? or are you using the windows utility?

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by wcp In reply to WIreless signal sporadica ...

The cause should be one of the three below.

1. Belkin wireless card
Install it in other laptop.
If there is the same problem, the card is bad.
If not, the cause is one of the two below

2. Laptop
Install a different kind of wireless connection (USB, for example).
If there is no problem, the laptop is bad.
If there is the same problem, it must be Windows.

3. Windows
Check network configuration. Compare with other laptops.
If there is still the same problem, backup data and clean install Windows.

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by CG IT In reply to WIreless signal sporadica ...

WCP is right in that Belkin PCMCIA wireless cards tend to be flaky. Also I believe what WCP means to say is that when if you install a different type of wireless adapter, e.g USB and if it works the laptop is bad, it's the PCMCIA slot that isn't functioning properly.

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by Neil Cotton In reply to WIreless signal sporadica ...

have a look at your network connectivity selection accounts if you are using windows wireless network manager. In the connections (of the card, not physical connections), you have a list of "prefered" accounts to connect to. Remove all and depending if you have the latest version of the wireless software, you can set it to not automatically detect and connect, and you only specify by SSID and channel, which network you want to connect to. If it detects a single broadcast packet from one of these accounts, then it will try and connect to that, then fail cause the signal is not strong enough, then move to the next prefered network, which is probably the one you were on in the first place.

Make sure that you are not on the same channel as any other possible sources. Use a netowrk detector (Network Stumbler) to scan for any wireless activity that may be interfeering.

Take your card of auto-detect and specify the connection standard a, b or G rather than b/g-auto.

If the connection is being dropped very often, set network stumbler running on its own, and monitor it, see if you get any specifically high noise to signal ratios, or any rouge access points or other networks bouncing up.

It is even possible that something completely un-computer related may be causing the problem. I had a client who had a problem similar to this when sitting in his front room of his home wireless network, when his connection would drop randomly, nothing specific. It was actually associated to when his girlfriend put the microwave in the kitchen on and interfered with the signal.

Also could be some settings on the Access Point it's self, load and traffic and such. What kind of AP/Router are you using? What is the environment.

Could be many things.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to WIreless signal sporadica ...

how do you spell relief: c-i-s-c-o
be sure to rule out spyware. can you stick wired connection on *this* laptop just to see if work fine?
as others point out all wireless equip is not created equal. you are teleconferencing over wireless? over *belkin* wireless? i must be getting old...
could be marginal connection, finished off by noise (interference from cell phone, satellite other emf source). like, laptop was working ok from reflection off door or something then they moved the office around a little. plus got a cell phone (to use when teleconferencing went down (rdl)).
wireless has to have line of sight, basically. you cannot go around corners except sometimes you get enough reflection for a marginal connection. just like wired, you lose signal strength thru attenuation and noise. but in addition to wired you can get damped out or dead zones. go google 'wireless antenna' to get to the sites where they really explain about wireless.
you probably can boost the signal or bridge in another wireless ap point closer if this turns out to be the case. yuk. it is all gonna be shot gunning the fix tho until you figure out what exactly it is. it is not magic, it is invisible tho.
i would put a laptop right on top of the ap and see if it still drops. if you get solid then, do some tests. walk around, see how far you can get w/o dropping. you will see your actual milege vary dramatically from the pre-sales spec betcha.
if this used to work then yes, sounds like interference. sounds strong too.
but i bet it never worked. i bet you need better equipment or at least a firmware update on the belkin ap. or move the ap to true line of sight. can you get a failure log going to see what time of day it is happening.

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