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intermittent "acquiring network address" message on my laptop'swireless icon

 
 
Alex
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-02-2009
hi all

I have a laptop from my work that I want to use to connect to my home
wireless network. The network works fine for all other computers
(wireless as well as wired). My laptop however very oftenly at
irregular times disconnects from the internet (wireless icon in the
system tray indicates he is searching and message "acquiring network
address" is displayed). It works when he is connected but I get thrown
off very often which is disturbing. I have set my router to broadcast
SSID instead of hide it but for the rest, I have no clue what I can
do. I have xp professional SP2 with the windows update that adds WPA2
functionality in the drop down menu.

Thanks
 
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Robert L. \(MS-MVP\)
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-02-2009
In most cases, this is wireless security setting issue. For troubleshooting,
setup the wireless without security. Does that fix the problem? Or this
search result may help.

Acquiring network addressWhen that happens, the LAN icon in the tray shows
"Acquiring network address". The ipconfig command receives 0.0.0.0 IP
address. ...
http://www.chicagotech.net/Networkin...ingnetwork.htm


--
Bob Lin, MS-MVP, MCSE & CNE
Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on
http://www.ChicagoTech.net
How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on
http://www.HowToNetworking.com
"Alex" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> hi all
>
> I have a laptop from my work that I want to use to connect to my home
> wireless network. The network works fine for all other computers
> (wireless as well as wired). My laptop however very oftenly at
> irregular times disconnects from the internet (wireless icon in the
> system tray indicates he is searching and message "acquiring network
> address" is displayed). It works when he is connected but I get thrown
> off very often which is disturbing. I have set my router to broadcast
> SSID instead of hide it but for the rest, I have no clue what I can
> do. I have xp professional SP2 with the windows update that adds WPA2
> functionality in the drop down menu.
>
> Thanks


 
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Jack \(MVP-Networking\).
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2009
Hi
From your description it seems that the Wireless Connection between your
Wireless computer and the Wireless Router intermittently drops.
It might be due to weak signal or and environmental electronic noise that
interfere with the signal.
Place the Wireless Router in a spot that is high above surrounding
obstructions so that the transmission would not be impeded.
Disable the Wireless security, and change the transmission channels in the
Wireless Router (see the Router's manual). Find the best performing and
stable channel, and then enable again the security.
In general.
My Wireless does not work - http://www.ezlan.net/wireless.html
Wireless Basic Configuration - http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Config.html
Wireless Security - http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)

"Alex" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> hi all
>
> I have a laptop from my work that I want to use to connect to my home
> wireless network. The network works fine for all other computers
> (wireless as well as wired). My laptop however very oftenly at
> irregular times disconnects from the internet (wireless icon in the
> system tray indicates he is searching and message "acquiring network
> address" is displayed). It works when he is connected but I get thrown
> off very often which is disturbing. I have set my router to broadcast
> SSID instead of hide it but for the rest, I have no clue what I can
> do. I have xp professional SP2 with the windows update that adds WPA2
> functionality in the drop down menu.
>
> Thanks


 
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Alex
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2009
On Jan 3, 3:36*am, "Jack \(MVP-Networking\)."
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Hi
> From your description it seems that the Wireless Connection between your
> Wireless computer and the Wireless Router intermittently drops.
> It might be due to weak signal or and environmental electronic noise that
> interfere with the signal.
> Place the Wireless Router in a spot that is high above surrounding
> obstructions so that the transmission would not be impeded.
> Disable the Wireless security, and change the transmission channels in the
> Wireless Router (see the Router's manual). Find the best performing and
> stable channel, and then enable again the security.
> In general.
> My *Wireless does not work -http://www.ezlan.net/wireless.html
> Wireless Basic Configuration -http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Config.html
> Wireless Security - *http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
> Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)
>
> "Alex" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> > hi all

>
> > I have a laptop from my work that I want to use to connect to my home
> > wireless network. The network works fine for all other computers
> > (wireless as well as wired). My laptop however very oftenly at
> > irregular times disconnects from the internet (wireless icon in the
> > system tray indicates he is searching and message "acquiring network
> > address" is displayed). It works when he is connected but I get thrown
> > off very often which is disturbing. I have set my router to broadcast
> > SSID instead of hide it but for the rest, I have no clue what I can
> > do. I have xp professional SP2 with the windows update that adds WPA2
> > functionality in the drop down menu.

>
> > Thanks


Thanks Jack and Robert. I will play with the options you mentioned and
let you know what it was. 2 questions though:

1. I have read in a pc magazine that they recommend a program such as
"netstumbler" to record your wireless home network speed. Do you
recommend this when experimenting with the options to see what gives
the best connection?
2. Today I bought a wireless adapter for my mother's laptop and
installed it. The signal seems to be ok all the time with no
interruptions and this at the same location where my laptop is used.
However, when I disable broadcast ssid on my router, her laptop looses
connection and I can't seem to connect anymore until I broadcast the
ssid again. Why is this? Windows knows about my ssid since it worked
before I disabled broadcast so xp should remember the ssid, no?
 
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smlunatick
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-04-2009
On Jan 3, 1:32*pm, Alex <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Jan 3, 3:36*am, "Jack \(MVP-Networking\)."
>
>
>
>
>
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > Hi
> > From your description it seems that the Wireless Connection between your
> > Wireless computer and the Wireless Router intermittently drops.
> > It might be due to weak signal or and environmental electronic noise that
> > interfere with the signal.
> > Place the Wireless Router in a spot that is high above surrounding
> > obstructions so that the transmission would not be impeded.
> > Disable the Wireless security, and change the transmission channels in the
> > Wireless Router (see the Router's manual). Find the best performing and
> > stable channel, and then enable again the security.
> > In general.
> > My *Wireless does not work -http://www.ezlan.net/wireless.html
> > Wireless Basic Configuration -http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Config.html
> > Wireless Security - *http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
> > Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)

>
> > "Alex" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message

>
> >news:(E-Mail Removed)....

>
> > > hi all

>
> > > I have a laptop from my work that I want to use to connect to my home
> > > wireless network. The network works fine for all other computers
> > > (wireless as well as wired). My laptop however very oftenly at
> > > irregular times disconnects from the internet (wireless icon in the
> > > system tray indicates he is searching and message "acquiring network
> > > address" is displayed). It works when he is connected but I get thrown
> > > off very often which is disturbing. I have set my router to broadcast
> > > SSID instead of hide it but for the rest, I have no clue what I can
> > > do. I have xp professional SP2 with the windows update that adds WPA2
> > > functionality in the drop down menu.

>
> > > Thanks

>
> Thanks Jack and Robert. I will play with the options you mentioned and
> let you know what it was. 2 questions though:
>
> 1. I have read in a pc magazine that they recommend a program such as
> "netstumbler" to record your wireless home network speed. Do you
> recommend this when experimenting with the options to see what gives
> the best connection?
> 2. Today I bought a wireless adapter for my mother's laptop and
> installed it. The signal seems to be ok all the time with no
> interruptions and this at the same location where my laptop is used.
> However, when I disable broadcast ssid on my router, her laptop looses
> connection and I can't seem to connect anymore until I broadcast the
> ssid again. Why is this? Windows knows about my ssid since it worked
> before I disabled broadcast so xp should remember the ssid, no?- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


1 - Netstumbler will only display the details of the possible
wireless networks speeds in your area. It will not help to fix your
network problem.

2 - Disabling the broadcast of the SSID is not a security setting for
your router. Look for info on how to set up WPA or WPA2.
 
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Jack \(MVP-Networking\).
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-04-2009
Hi
The "Speed" displayed by the Connection is Not the real measured "Speed", it
is a reading form the Wireless Card Drivers.
Netstumbler is a very good tool the provide info about the Wireless
Connection around you but it does not reflect accurately the actual "Speed"
The best way to measure actual "Speed" is to transfer/download a file of
known size and time it.
Wireless security capacity is.
No Security
MAC______(Band Aid if nothing else is available).
WEP64____(Easy, to "Break" by knowledgeable people).
WEP128___(A little Harder, but "Hackable" too).
-------------------
The three above are Not considered safe.
Safe Starts here at WPA.
------------------
WPA-PSK__(Very Hard to Break).
WPA-AES__(Not functionally Breakable)
WPA2____ (Not functionally Breakable).
Note 1: WPA-AES the the current entry level rendition of WPA2.
Note 2: If you use WinXP and did not updated it you would have to download
the WPA2 patch from Microsoft. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/893357
The documentation of your Wireless devices (Wireless Router, and Wireless
Computer's Card) should state the type of security that is available with
your Wireless hardware.
All devices MUST be set to the same security level using the same pass
phrase.
Therefore the security must be set according what ever is the best possible
of one of the Wireless devices.
I.e. even if most of your system might be capable to be configured to the
max. with WPA2, but one device is only capable to be configured to max . of
WEP, to whole system must be configured to WEP.
If you need more good security and one device (like a Wireless card that can
do WEP only) is holding better security for the whole Network, replace the
device with a better one.
Setting Wireless Security - http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
The Core differences between WEP, WPA, and WPA2 -
http://www.ezlan.net/wpa_wep.html
Jack (MVP-Networking).


"Alex" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
On Jan 3, 3:36 am, "Jack \(MVP-Networking\)."
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Hi
> From your description it seems that the Wireless Connection between your
> Wireless computer and the Wireless Router intermittently drops.
> It might be due to weak signal or and environmental electronic noise that
> interfere with the signal.
> Place the Wireless Router in a spot that is high above surrounding
> obstructions so that the transmission would not be impeded.
> Disable the Wireless security, and change the transmission channels in the
> Wireless Router (see the Router's manual). Find the best performing and
> stable channel, and then enable again the security.
> In general.
> My Wireless does not work -http://www.ezlan.net/wireless.html
> Wireless Basic Configuration -http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Config.html
> Wireless Security - http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
> Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)
>
> "Alex" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> > hi all

>
> > I have a laptop from my work that I want to use to connect to my home
> > wireless network. The network works fine for all other computers
> > (wireless as well as wired). My laptop however very oftenly at
> > irregular times disconnects from the internet (wireless icon in the
> > system tray indicates he is searching and message "acquiring network
> > address" is displayed). It works when he is connected but I get thrown
> > off very often which is disturbing. I have set my router to broadcast
> > SSID instead of hide it but for the rest, I have no clue what I can
> > do. I have xp professional SP2 with the windows update that adds WPA2
> > functionality in the drop down menu.

>
> > Thanks


Thanks Jack and Robert. I will play with the options you mentioned and
let you know what it was. 2 questions though:

1. I have read in a pc magazine that they recommend a program such as
"netstumbler" to record your wireless home network speed. Do you
recommend this when experimenting with the options to see what gives
the best connection?
2. Today I bought a wireless adapter for my mother's laptop and
installed it. The signal seems to be ok all the time with no
interruptions and this at the same location where my laptop is used.
However, when I disable broadcast ssid on my router, her laptop looses
connection and I can't seem to connect anymore until I broadcast the
ssid again. Why is this? Windows knows about my ssid since it worked
before I disabled broadcast so xp should remember the ssid, no?

 
Reply With Quote
 
Alex
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-05-2009
On Jan 4, 7:54*pm, "Jack \(MVP-Networking\)."
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Hi
> The "Speed" displayed by the Connection is Not the real measured "Speed", it
> is a reading form the Wireless Card Drivers.
> Netstumbler is a very good tool the provide info about the Wireless
> Connection around you but it does not reflect accurately the actual "Speed"
> The best way to measure actual "Speed" is to transfer/download a file of
> known size and time it.
> Wireless security capacity is.
> No Security
> MAC______(Band Aid if nothing else is available).
> WEP64____(Easy, to "Break" by knowledgeable people).
> WEP128___(A little Harder, but "Hackable" too).
> -------------------
> The three above are Not considered safe.
> Safe Starts here at WPA.
> ------------------
> WPA-PSK__(Very Hard to Break).
> WPA-AES__(Not functionally Breakable)
> WPA2____ (Not functionally Breakable).
> Note 1: WPA-AES the the current entry level rendition of WPA2.
> Note 2: If you use WinXP and did not updated it you would have to download
> the WPA2 patch from Microsoft.http://support.microsoft.com/kb/893357
> The documentation of your Wireless devices (Wireless Router, and Wireless
> Computer's Card) should state the type of security that is available with
> your Wireless hardware.
> All devices MUST be set to the same security level using the same pass
> phrase.
> Therefore the security must be set according what ever is the best possible
> of one of the Wireless devices.
> I.e. even if most of your system might be capable to be configured to the
> max. with WPA2, but one device is only capable to be configured to max . of
> WEP, to whole system must be configured to WEP.
> If you need more good security and one device (like a Wireless card that can
> do WEP only) is holding better security for the whole Network, replace the
> device with a better one.
> Setting Wireless Security -http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
> The Core differences between WEP, WPA, and WPA2 -http://www.ezlan.net/wpa_wep.html
> Jack (MVP-Networking).


You said to find the best channel so here is what I did:
I tested all 13 channels by enabling them one by one from my router's
webpage. For each channel I wrote down the average Signal/Noise, dBm
that I read from the graph in Netstumbler. I got highest peaks for
channel 5 (about -49dBm) and lowest peaks for channel 1 (about
-62dBm). The default channel it used to be on was ch11 so I changed
this to ch5. I even tried combinations with turbo on and off and ssid
broadcast on and off (yes, I spent the entire afternoon doing this

Now for the location of my router. I must say there is not much I can
do about that since my router is upstairs, as well as my printer
(attached to router via usb) and my pc (lan cable to router) and
external hard drive (to usb port on router). Then there is one lan
cable going downstairs to the cable modem. For wireless internet I
always sit downstairs with my work's laptop and my mother's laptop. I
am guessing the max straight distance between router and wireless
laptop is around 4-6meters. I have thought of moving the router
downstairs together with the cable modem since I always sit downstairs
anyway for wireless internet but I'm affraid I'm restricted by all the
cables coming from all the devices upstairs that I don't have a
choice.

About security settings: I am using XP SP2 with the windows update you
mentioned to enable WPA2. So I've set the wireless properties in
windows to WPA2-PSK and data encryption to AES instead of TKIP and a
network key that is 21 characters long. This because I read this is
the safest and hardest to hack but correct me if I'm wrong since I
don't have a clue about the difference between AES, TKIP or WPA and
WPA-PSK etc. There's one thing I don't understand from your
description, you wrote:
"WPA-PSK__(Very Hard to Break).
WPA-AES__(Not functionally Breakable)
WPA2____ (Not functionally Breakable)."
What is the difference between "very hard to break" and "not
functionally breakable"? WPA2 is best from what I've read, right?
I only use the current security settings since I read about them being
the best/safest but maybe there are better settings that I don't know
of. Therefore I'll list the settings that I can select from here:
***Topcom SKYR@CER WBR 7121gmr NAS router:
can only select DISABLE, WEP, WPA-PSK or WPA-RADIUS. In WPA-PSK I set
it to WPA2-Mixed and not WPA2-AES or WPA2-TKIP.
***Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN card in my laptop has following
settings in xp:
WPA2-PSK with AES encryption.

People in this thread talk about disabling my security settings to see
if the problem persists which I don't understand. I thought security
is very important and now I should turn it off to solve the connection
problem? That's like someone would ask me to turn off my firewall and
ask my ip address. I probably misunderstood you so convince me
otherwise if I'm wrong.

Just to be sure we're still talking about the same: From time to time
at very irregular intervals my wireless connection is interrupted and
the systray icon says "acquiring network address" after which the
connection is re-established. Very annoying when you're just
downloading a page or a file.

Thanks all for worrying with me
 
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John Wunderlich
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-06-2009
Alex <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed)
:

> You said to find the best channel so here is what I did:
> I tested all 13 channels by enabling them one by one from my
> router's webpage.


The bandwidth of a G network is about three channels to each side of
the channel you set it to. The three channel settings that won't
interfere with each other are channels 1, 6, and 11. One of these
three channels should be your best bet.

Keep in mind that 2 GHz cordless phones share the same band as well.

[...]
> Now for the location of my router. [...] I am guessing the max
> straight distance between router and wireless laptop is around
> 4-6meters.


This should be plenty close enough.

> About security settings:
>[...]
> What is the difference between "very hard to break" and "not
> functionally breakable"?


Probably about ten years trying to crack the code vs a lifetime.

> WPA2 is best from what I've read, right?


For home use, yes.

> [...]
>
> People in this thread talk about disabling my security settings to
> see if the problem persists which I don't understand. I thought
> security is very important and now I should turn it off to solve
> the connection problem? That's like someone would ask me to turn
> off my firewall and ask my ip address. I probably misunderstood
> you so convince me otherwise if I'm wrong.


The idea here is to run some tests to see if the encryption is
contributing to your problems. It probably wouldn't hurt to turn
encryption off for an hour or so while you determine if this is a
contributing factor to your drops. Someone would have to be stalking
you to notice that your security went away for an hour. My neighbor
has never used any security at all and so far hasn't had problems
(that I know of).

> Just to be sure we're still talking about the same: From time to
> time at very irregular intervals my wireless connection is
> interrupted and the systray icon says "acquiring network address"
> after which the connection is re-established. Very annoying when
> you're just downloading a page or a file.


Something seems to interfere with the wireless connection at random
times. This could be the cordless phone ringing, or something that
could cause your encryption to lose sync.

Another possibility is wireless networks can have a tendency to
'roam'. If your computer sees another accessible wireless network
that momentarily appears to be stronger in the vicinity, it could try
to 'roam' over to that network which would cause a break in any
existing connection. If you open the Device Manager (Start->Run->
devmgmt.msc) then double-click on your wireless adapter, then click
on the "Advanced" tab, you might find a "Roaming Tendency" setting.
Changing this setting to "Conservative" (as opposed to Aggressive)
will help keep your computer locked-in to your own router.

HTH,
John

 
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Alex
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2009

> The bandwidth of a G network is about three channels to each side of
> the channel you set it to. *The three channel settings that won't
> interfere with each other are channels 1, 6, and 11. *One of these
> three channels should be your best bet.


So what does this mean in practice? If my neighbour is for instance
using channel 6, I could use channel 1 or 11 to avoid interference?
That's going to be tough since netstumbler is picking up several
channels from different neigbours. I think it was 1, 6, 9 and 11 and
I'm on channel 5.

> Something seems to interfere with the wireless connection at random
> times. *This could be the cordless phone ringing, or something that
> could cause your encryption to lose sync.


It's not my cellphone, maybe a neighbour's cellphone. But I can't ask
my neighbours to stop using the phone, can I *

> Another possibility is wireless networks can have a tendency to
> 'roam'. *If your computer sees another accessible wireless network
> that momentarily appears to be stronger in the vicinity, it could try
> to 'roam' over to that network which would cause a break in any
> existing connection. *If you open the Device Manager (Start->Run->
> devmgmt.msc) then double-click on your wireless adapter, then click
> on the "Advanced" tab, you might find a "Roaming Tendency" setting. *
> Changing this setting to "Conservative" (as opposed to Aggressive)
> will help keep your computer locked-in to your own router.


I found a slider that I moved to the far left (your client will not
roam). It doesn't seem to solve the issue. I still get disconnected
for a few seconds every 5min approximately, even with my laptop within
1meter from the router.

 
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John Wunderlich
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-08-2009
Alex <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed)
:

>
>> The bandwidth of a G network is about three channels to each side
>> of the channel you set it to. *The three channel settings that
>> won't interfere with each other are channels 1, 6, and 11. *One
>> of these three channels should be your best bet.

>
> So what does this mean in practice? If my neighbour is for
> instance using channel 6, I could use channel 1 or 11 to avoid
> interference? That's going to be tough since netstumbler is
> picking up several channels from different neigbours. I think it
> was 1, 6, 9 and 11 and I'm on channel 5.


If you're on channel 5, then the broadcast on channel 6 would overlap
with your settings. As close as you are to your station, though,
this shouldn't be a problem.

>
>> Something seems to interfere with the wireless connection at
>> random times. *This could be the cordless phone ringing, or
>> something that could cause your encryption to lose sync.

>
> It's not my cellphone, maybe a neighbour's cellphone. But I can't
> ask my neighbours to stop using the phone, can I *


Cordless phones, not cellphones, might interefere but shouldn't do
much more than slow things down a bit.

>
>> Another possibility is wireless networks can have a tendency to
>> 'roam'. *If your computer sees another accessible wireless
>> network that momentarily appears to be stronger in the vicinity,
>> it could try to 'roam' over to that network which would cause a
>> break in any existing connection. *If you open the Device Manager
>> (Start->Run-> devmgmt.msc) then double-click on your wireless
>> adapter, then click on the "Advanced" tab, you might find a
>> "Roaming Tendency" setting. * Changing this setting to
>> "Conservative" (as opposed to Aggressive) will help keep your
>> computer locked-in to your own router.

>
> I found a slider that I moved to the far left (your client will
> not roam). It doesn't seem to solve the issue. I still get
> disconnected for a few seconds every 5min approximately, even with
> my laptop within 1meter from the router.


One other setting is a "Allow computer to turn off device to save
power" which could be causing your computer to shut down the network
card when it thinks it's not being used. See:

"How to disable power management for a network adapter when you
deploy Windows XP"
<http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837058>

HTH,
John


 
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