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New 3com wireless laptop card keeps locking up

 
 
Tiny Tim
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      12-31-2003
I just bought myself a Netgear DG834G wireless ADSL router and a 3com
3CRPAG175 wireless 802.11a/b/g laptop card. Everything seems to be set up OK
and I can easily get a 54Mbps connection and surfing the net is no problem.
XBOX live also connects easily through a wired port.

I'm a networking newbie and even less clued up on wireless than wired so I'm
pleased to have got this far, with broadcast SSID off, WEP 128 bit
encryption turned on and using authorised MAC addresses only. Not sure what
else I should be doing security wise.

The problem is that the laptop keeps locking up with 100% CPU at random
intervals. Sometimes it frees up but most times it stays stuck. The wireless
card has the XJACK retractable antenna. If this is pushed in it turns off
the wireless connection and the laptop often springs back to life. But
sometimes only a power off reboot will fix it.

Lockup occurs anywhere between 5-120 minutes from clean boot and it doesn't
seem related to which apps I have running or how much network traffic there
is. There are no other networks detected in the area.

I'm running Win XP Pro SP1 with all patches and the router has the latest
firmware, and the card has the latest published drivers. I tried the setup
first of all with 3com's own LAN Manager software and got the lockups with
that so uninstalled and reinstalled using Windows to manage the wireless
LAN. The problem is consistent with either approach.

I've put in a call to 3com but await a reply so hope you guys can help.
Google reveals nothing helpful other than a few other people have had
similar problems with various bits of kit but there are no solutions I can
see to help me out.

Any ideas (other than returning the kit and getting something else).

Thanks,
Tim.

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Jay
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      12-31-2003
On Wed, 31 Dec 2003 14:05:02 -0000, "Tiny Tim" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>Any ideas (other than returning the kit and getting something else).


....would be, I'm afraid, the obvious choice. Have you access to
another laptop to see if it experiences the same problem with the
card?

jay
 
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Tiny Tim
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      01-03-2004
Jay wrote:
> On Wed, 31 Dec 2003 14:05:02 -0000, "Tiny Tim" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> Any ideas (other than returning the kit and getting something else).

>
> ...would be, I'm afraid, the obvious choice. Have you access to
> another laptop to see if it experiences the same problem with the
> card?
>
> jay


I have a Dell Inspiron 7000 running Win Me so I can try it on that.

I did find an end user review on the net and the guy was using it in a Dell
Inspiron 8100 without problems so I'm hoping there is a simple solution to
the problems with my Inspiron 8000. I did find a few other problem reports
but in Danish, Italian and Dutch so hard to tell what was going on. There is
not much info - or at least complaints - out there about the 3CRPAG175 card
I guess that could be taken as a good sign?

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Tiny Tim
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      01-05-2004
Tiny Tim wrote:
> Jay wrote:
>> On Wed, 31 Dec 2003 14:05:02 -0000, "Tiny Tim"
>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>> Any ideas (other than returning the kit and getting something else).

>>
>> ...would be, I'm afraid, the obvious choice. Have you access to
>> another laptop to see if it experiences the same problem with the
>> card?
>>
>> jay

>
> I have a Dell Inspiron 7000 running Win Me so I can try it on that.
>
> I did find an end user review on the net and the guy was using it in
> a Dell Inspiron 8100 without problems so I'm hoping there is a simple
> solution to the problems with my Inspiron 8000. I did find a few
> other problem reports but in Danish, Italian and Dutch so hard to
> tell what was going on. There is not much info - or at least
> complaints - out there about the 3CRPAG175 card I guess that
> could be taken as a good sign?


OK. I have put the 3CRPAG175 (11a/b/g) card into the Inspiron 7000 and that
seems to be running perfectly at 54Mbps.

I also have a 3com 3CRSHPW196 11b card that I have now put in the Inspiron
8000 running XP Pro and that seems to be running OK at 11Mbps as expected.

So both cards work under Win Me and the 11b card works under XP Pro but the
11a/b/g card is temperamental under Win XP Pro.

I am still awaiting a response from 3com for a problem report filed first on
31st December (vanished from system) and re-filed on 3rd January. I cannot
find any firmware updates at all and there is only one set of drivers, which
I already have.

Until I hear back from 3com does anyone have any other ideas?

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Tiny Tim
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      01-05-2004
Tiny Tim wrote:
> Tiny Tim wrote:

<snip>
>> I have a Dell Inspiron 7000 running Win Me so I can try it on that.
>>
>> I did find an end user review on the net and the guy was using it in
>> a Dell Inspiron 8100 without problems so I'm hoping there is a simple
>> solution to the problems with my Inspiron 8000. I did find a few
>> other problem reports but in Danish, Italian and Dutch so hard to
>> tell what was going on. There is not much info - or at least
>> complaints - out there about the 3CRPAG175 card I guess that
>> could be taken as a good sign?

>
> OK. I have put the 3CRPAG175 (11a/b/g) card into the Inspiron 7000
> and that seems to be running perfectly at 54Mbps.
>
> I also have a 3com 3CRSHPW196 11b card that I have now put in the
> Inspiron 8000 running XP Pro and that seems to be running OK at
> 11Mbps as expected.
>
> So both cards work under Win Me and the 11b card works under XP Pro
> but the 11a/b/g card is temperamental under Win XP Pro.
>
> I am still awaiting a response from 3com for a problem report filed
> first on 31st December (vanished from system) and re-filed on 3rd
> January. I cannot find any firmware updates at all and there is only
> one set of drivers, which I already have.
>
> Until I hear back from 3com does anyone have any other ideas?


OK - just got a call from 3com and they are going to arrange a replacement
card. But I fear the same result as the current card works fine under
Windows Me so I think it's a driver problem rather than hardware. We'll see.

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Tiny Tim
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      01-09-2004
Tiny Tim wrote:
> Tiny Tim wrote:
>> Tiny Tim wrote:

> <snip>
> OK - just got a call from 3com and they are going to arrange a
> replacement card. But I fear the same result as the current card
> works fine under Windows Me so I think it's a driver problem rather
> than hardware. We'll see.


Still awaiting replacement card from 3Com but a new twist has emerged. I
tried setting my router to operate at 11b mode only and now the card is
working perfectly at 11Mbps on the I8000 with Win XP. I've downloaded ~1GB
in the last 12 hours from internet and other laptop on the LAN and no sign
of a problem. So I'm now even more puzzled. To summarise...

11b card works perfectly in I8000 with Win XP and I7000 with Win Me.

11a/b/g card locks up repeatedly in I8000 but only if running at 54Mbps. It
is fine at 11Mbps or at any speed in the I7000. It seems to make no
difference whether I let Windows manage the wireless bit or 3Com LAN
Manager. Lock ups still occur at 54Mbps.

Does this give any further clues to what might be wrong or what the solution
is?


 
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Tiny Tim
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      01-13-2004
Tiny Tim wrote:
> Tiny Tim wrote:
>> Tiny Tim wrote:
>>> Tiny Tim wrote:

>> <snip>

> Still awaiting replacement card from 3Com but a new twist has
> emerged. I tried setting my router to operate at 11b mode only and
> now the card is working perfectly at 11Mbps on the I8000 with Win XP.
> I've downloaded ~1GB in the last 12 hours from internet and other
> laptop on the LAN and no sign of a problem. So I'm now even more
> puzzled. To summarise...
>
> 11b card works perfectly in I8000 with Win XP and I7000 with Win Me.
>
> 11a/b/g card locks up repeatedly in I8000 but only if running at
> 54Mbps. It is fine at 11Mbps or at any speed in the I7000. It seems
> to make no difference whether I let Windows manage the wireless bit
> or 3Com LAN Manager. Lock ups still occur at 54Mbps.
>
> Does this give any further clues to what might be wrong or what the
> solution is?


New card arrived yesterday and has exactly the same problem - fine at 11Mbps
but freezes system after a while when running at 54Mbps on XP Pro.

Knowing that the card works at all speeds on my older Inspiron 7000 laptop
running Win Me I rebuilt my Inspiron 8000 with Win Me and tried the card
again. It ran for almost 10 hours at 54Mbps with no signes of stuttering or
system freezes. In the time I grabbed ~1GB of data from the internet and
~400MB over the wireless LAN between laptops, all without a hitch.

I restored back to Win XP from my Ghost backup and the card and suffered a
dropped connection within 10 minutes and a total system freeze after about 1
hour.

So now it appears all the hardware is fine, and Windows Me is fine and
Windows XP is fine at 11Mbps but Windows XP is not OK at 54Mbps with this
card.

This is still with 3Com but does anyone have any further ideas?


 
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Tiny Tim
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      01-14-2004
Tiny Tim wrote:
> Tiny Tim wrote:
>> Tiny Tim wrote:
>>> Tiny Tim wrote:
>>>> Tiny Tim wrote:
>>> <snip>

> New card arrived yesterday and has exactly the same problem - fine at
> 11Mbps but freezes system after a while when running at 54Mbps on XP
> Pro.
>
> Knowing that the card works at all speeds on my older Inspiron 7000
> laptop running Win Me I rebuilt my Inspiron 8000 with Win Me and
> tried the card again. It ran for almost 10 hours at 54Mbps with no
> signes of stuttering or system freezes. In the time I grabbed ~1GB of
> data from the internet and ~400MB over the wireless LAN between
> laptops, all without a hitch.
>
> I restored back to Win XP from my Ghost backup and the card and
> suffered a dropped connection within 10 minutes and a total system
> freeze after about 1 hour.
>
> So now it appears all the hardware is fine, and Windows Me is fine and
> Windows XP is fine at 11Mbps but Windows XP is not OK at 54Mbps with
> this card.
>
> This is still with 3Com but does anyone have any further ideas?


At 3Com request I reverted my BIOS levels from A22 to A17 and then A21, all
with identical results. Then I received this little gem of an email from
3Com......

"Dear Tim,
Sorry for the delay taken to answer your mail. We've had similar issues with
Windows XP only and George Nasr is actually our senior engineer dedicated to
this issue. We are in the process of escalating this generic problem to our
manufacturing department.
In the meantime, I suggest to use another OS than XP.
Regards
anne wasmer"

George Nasr is the guy I spent a long time on the phone with last week,
trying several things without success. So basically they knew all along that
their card had a problem under XP and forgot to mention it. I must have
wasted a good 12+ hours (probably 20) trying to resolve this and it seems I
needn't have bothered.

Unfortunately for me, I really want 11g speeds and the Xjack antenna and
this is the only card that meets both criteria. Otherwise it would be an
immediate refund and get something that works like Netgear. I just hope 3Com
come up with a fix soon. It's a real bummer to have paid a price premium for
the 11g card and only be able to run it at 11b speeds.

I just hope others don't waste the time that I have with this card.


 
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