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Frustrated about Vista WLAN connectivity problems

 
 
Boris Schaeling
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      02-19-2009
I'm using Windows Vista SP1 on a new laptop now for a month. While I'm
rather satisfied with Vista I'm very frustrated about WLAN connectivity
problems. Every morning I switch on my laptop it takes about 15 minutes
until I'm finally online. I have to switch on and off the wireless card a
couple of times, click on "Diagnose and repair" a few times, and if it
doesn't work reboot some more. After 10 to 15 minutes the wireless
connection is finally established and rock stable for the rest of the day.
On the next morning the frustration starts again ...

My wireless card is a Broadcom 4322 AG (driver up-to-date). The router I
use is a FRITZ!Box 7170 (firmware up-to-date). I use DHCP. If I use an
Ethernet cable to connect to the router there are no problems at all and
I'm immediately online. If I use WLAN Windows Vista finds the wireless
network pretty fast but can't identify it. I have then only local access
and an APIPA IP address 169.254.195.158 assigned. I click then on
"Diagnose and repair" a dozen times to request a new IP address and hope
Windows Vista can finally identify the network correctly. If it doesn't
work switching on/off the wireless card and some reboots sometimes help.

I've read about and tried the various recommendations including setting
registry keys like DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle and
DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag, changing the MTU from 1500 to 1492, disabling
IP6, shutting down any antivirus software etc. - needless to say that it
all didn't help. It's also needless to say that my old Windows XP laptop
and any other non-Vista devices connect in a few seconds successfully.

Given the amount of cries for help regarding Vista WLAN problems on the
Internet I'm afraid that probably noone can help me in this newsgroup
either. What would be really great though if Microsoft stepped up to
acknowledge that there is a serious problem and takes steps to fix it. Of
course I don't know if it's really Microsoft's fault. But it would help
already if Vista tells me if it's the driver or router which causes
problems so I know whom to complain about.

Boris
 
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Robert L. \(MS-MVP\)
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2009
Have you checked if the hardware is compatible with Vista?
Windows 2008 hardware compatible
You can take a look at the Hardware Compatibility List for Vista,
which should be roughly the same for Server 2008. You can find the Vista HCL
here: ...
http://www.chicagotech.net/netforums...8d63f0f9f2dea8



--
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
"Boris Schaeling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsp.uplpo2u2hcamje@bose...
> I'm using Windows Vista SP1 on a new laptop now for a month. While I'm
> rather satisfied with Vista I'm very frustrated about WLAN connectivity
> problems. Every morning I switch on my laptop it takes about 15 minutes
> until I'm finally online. I have to switch on and off the wireless card a
> couple of times, click on "Diagnose and repair" a few times, and if it
> doesn't work reboot some more. After 10 to 15 minutes the wireless
> connection is finally established and rock stable for the rest of the day.
> On the next morning the frustration starts again ...
>
> My wireless card is a Broadcom 4322 AG (driver up-to-date). The router I
> use is a FRITZ!Box 7170 (firmware up-to-date). I use DHCP. If I use an
> Ethernet cable to connect to the router there are no problems at all and
> I'm immediately online. If I use WLAN Windows Vista finds the wireless
> network pretty fast but can't identify it. I have then only local access
> and an APIPA IP address 169.254.195.158 assigned. I click then on
> "Diagnose and repair" a dozen times to request a new IP address and hope
> Windows Vista can finally identify the network correctly. If it doesn't
> work switching on/off the wireless card and some reboots sometimes help.
>
> I've read about and tried the various recommendations including setting
> registry keys like DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle and
> DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag, changing the MTU from 1500 to 1492, disabling
> IP6, shutting down any antivirus software etc. - needless to say that it
> all didn't help. It's also needless to say that my old Windows XP laptop
> and any other non-Vista devices connect in a few seconds successfully.
>
> Given the amount of cries for help regarding Vista WLAN problems on the
> Internet I'm afraid that probably noone can help me in this newsgroup
> either. What would be really great though if Microsoft stepped up to
> acknowledge that there is a serious problem and takes steps to fix it. Of
> course I don't know if it's really Microsoft's fault. But it would help
> already if Vista tells me if it's the driver or router which causes
> problems so I know whom to complain about.
>
> Boris


 
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Boris Schaeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2009
On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 15:46:24 +0100, Robert L. (MS-MVP)
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Have you checked if the hardware is compatible with Vista?
> Windows 2008 hardware compatible
> You can take a look at the Hardware Compatibility List for Vista,
> which should be roughly the same for Server 2008. You can find the Vista
> HCL here: ...
> http://www.chicagotech.net/netforums...8d63f0f9f2dea8


Thanks, I had a quick look: Neither my Broadcom wireless card nor the AVM
router is listed. It looks like not many Broadcom products have been
tested at all (there is only one certified Broadcom wireless card). The
Broadcom driver I use is a Vista specific driver though.

Boris
 
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Jack \(MVP-Networking\).
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2009
Hi
169.254.195.158 means that the Wireless card is not really connoting to the
Wireless Router.
It is a default IP that is assigned by Windows when it does not find a DHCP
server.
Some of the remedies that you try are Not related to the problem and might
make it worse.
Wireless is very tricky since it depends on the environment too.
As a first step put every thing back to default, If you want to use Widows
as the Wireless manager make sure that the original Wireless Utility does
not load
at Startup.
Check the Wireless configuration and temporarily switch off the Wireless
security in the Wireless Router and the computer, and try to adjust to
different transmitting channels in the Router (1 and 11 are usually the
best).
If it does not work take the laptop to a public place (like Internet Cafe)
and see if it works there. If it does work elsewhere then your problem might
be in the Router.
Otherwise take into consideration that there are Millions of Laptop with
Vista that work well out of the box so general blames about the OS and its
manufacturer is Not really the solution.
Obviously there is trouble with your system if you can not find it on your
own seek professional help (The need to switch on and off the Wireless card
might indicate hardware problem).
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)

"Boris Schaeling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsp.uplpo2u2hcamje@bose...
> I'm using Windows Vista SP1 on a new laptop now for a month. While I'm
> rather satisfied with Vista I'm very frustrated about WLAN connectivity
> problems. Every morning I switch on my laptop it takes about 15 minutes
> until I'm finally online. I have to switch on and off the wireless card a
> couple of times, click on "Diagnose and repair" a few times, and if it
> doesn't work reboot some more. After 10 to 15 minutes the wireless
> connection is finally established and rock stable for the rest of the day.
> On the next morning the frustration starts again ...
>
> My wireless card is a Broadcom 4322 AG (driver up-to-date). The router I
> use is a FRITZ!Box 7170 (firmware up-to-date). I use DHCP. If I use an
> Ethernet cable to connect to the router there are no problems at all and
> I'm immediately online. If I use WLAN Windows Vista finds the wireless
> network pretty fast but can't identify it. I have then only local access
> and an APIPA IP address 169.254.195.158 assigned. I click then on
> "Diagnose and repair" a dozen times to request a new IP address and hope
> Windows Vista can finally identify the network correctly. If it doesn't
> work switching on/off the wireless card and some reboots sometimes help.
>
> I've read about and tried the various recommendations including setting
> registry keys like DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle and
> DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag, changing the MTU from 1500 to 1492, disabling
> IP6, shutting down any antivirus software etc. - needless to say that it
> all didn't help. It's also needless to say that my old Windows XP laptop
> and any other non-Vista devices connect in a few seconds successfully.
>
> Given the amount of cries for help regarding Vista WLAN problems on the
> Internet I'm afraid that probably noone can help me in this newsgroup
> either. What would be really great though if Microsoft stepped up to
> acknowledge that there is a serious problem and takes steps to fix it. Of
> course I don't know if it's really Microsoft's fault. But it would help
> already if Vista tells me if it's the driver or router which causes
> problems so I know whom to complain about.
>
> Boris


 
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Boris Schaeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2009
On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 17:11:43 +0100, Jack (MVP-Networking).
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Hi
> 169.254.195.158 means that the Wireless card is not really connoting to
> the Wireless Router.
> It is a default IP that is assigned by Windows when it does not find a
> DHCP server.


Yes, it's an APIPA IP address.

> Some of the remedies that you try are Not related to the problem and
> might make it worse.


I would be glad if there was a tutorial which explains step by step how to
debug and fix this problem. As it doesn't seem to exist I had to search
for and try the many recommendations which I found on the Internet.

> Wireless is very tricky since it depends on the environment too.


I have seen several Windows XP laptops, an Apple laptop and a Nintendo DS
using the very same router without any problems for years. Why should it
be trickier for Vista?

> As a first step put every thing back to default, If you want to use
> Widows as the Wireless manager make sure that the original Wireless
> Utility does not load
> at Startup.


I don't have a wireless utility installed and use the Vista built-in
functions.

> Check the Wireless configuration and temporarily switch off the Wireless
> security in the Wireless Router and the computer, and try to adjust to
> different transmitting channels in the Router (1 and 11 are usually the
> best).


I see. I've tried WEP and WPA so far but will give an unsecured network a
try.

> If it does not work take the laptop to a public place (like Internet
> Cafe) and see if it works there. If it does work elsewhere then your
> problem might be in the Router.


I had to connect to another wireless router four weeks ago which worked
fine. At that time I wasn't aware though how serious my connectivity
problems become and didn't look into it.

> Otherwise take into consideration that there are Millions of Laptop with
> Vista that work well out of the box so general blames about the OS and
> its manufacturer is Not really the solution.


I tried for one month to fix this problem myself. And I'm sure you are
very well aware that there are millions of people who are not convinced
about Vista precisely because of issues noone ever faced with XP.

> Obviously there is trouble with your system if you can not find it on
> your own seek professional help (The need to switch on and off the
> Wireless card might indicate hardware problem).


I doubt it's a hardware problem as the wireless card works perfectly all
day once it has identified the network and got an IP address assigned from
the DHCP server. It only takes way too long to get this address.

Boris

> [...]

 
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Jack \(MVP-Networking\).
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2009
Hi
I laid down a serious of functional suggestions.
If you tried them and did Not help then we reached the limit of what I
perceive that I can be do over a newsgroup without having the hardware in
front of me.
As an example numerous of time happened to me that people claimed that they
are Not using the manufacture utility, just to find out later they did not
know that the utility was loaded up with the drivers (some Wireless
installations do it without informing the user) and installed a service that
StartUp every time when the computer boots.
I am not saying that the utility is necessarily the cause of your wireless
system, but I do know that philosophical debates (I gave them up at the end
of Graduate School) - are not going to help no matter what.
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)

"Boris Schaeling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsp.uplzejsahcamje@bose...
> On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 17:11:43 +0100, Jack (MVP-Networking).
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> Hi
>> 169.254.195.158 means that the Wireless card is not really connoting to
>> the Wireless Router.
>> It is a default IP that is assigned by Windows when it does not find a
>> DHCP server.

>
> Yes, it's an APIPA IP address.
>
>> Some of the remedies that you try are Not related to the problem and
>> might make it worse.

>
> I would be glad if there was a tutorial which explains step by step how to
> debug and fix this problem. As it doesn't seem to exist I had to search
> for and try the many recommendations which I found on the Internet.
>
>> Wireless is very tricky since it depends on the environment too.

>
> I have seen several Windows XP laptops, an Apple laptop and a Nintendo DS
> using the very same router without any problems for years. Why should it
> be trickier for Vista?
>
>> As a first step put every thing back to default, If you want to use
>> Widows as the Wireless manager make sure that the original Wireless
>> Utility does not load
>> at Startup.

>
> I don't have a wireless utility installed and use the Vista built-in
> functions.
>
>> Check the Wireless configuration and temporarily switch off the Wireless
>> security in the Wireless Router and the computer, and try to adjust to
>> different transmitting channels in the Router (1 and 11 are usually the
>> best).

>
> I see. I've tried WEP and WPA so far but will give an unsecured network a
> try.
>
>> If it does not work take the laptop to a public place (like Internet
>> Cafe) and see if it works there. If it does work elsewhere then your
>> problem might be in the Router.

>
> I had to connect to another wireless router four weeks ago which worked
> fine. At that time I wasn't aware though how serious my connectivity
> problems become and didn't look into it.
>
>> Otherwise take into consideration that there are Millions of Laptop with
>> Vista that work well out of the box so general blames about the OS and
>> its manufacturer is Not really the solution.

>
> I tried for one month to fix this problem myself. And I'm sure you are
> very well aware that there are millions of people who are not convinced
> about Vista precisely because of issues noone ever faced with XP.
>
>> Obviously there is trouble with your system if you can not find it on
>> your own seek professional help (The need to switch on and off the
>> Wireless card might indicate hardware problem).

>
> I doubt it's a hardware problem as the wireless card works perfectly all
> day once it has identified the network and got an IP address assigned from
> the DHCP server. It only takes way too long to get this address.
>
> Boris
>
>> [...]


 
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Boris Schaeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2009
On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 20:08:14 +0100, Jack (MVP-Networking).
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> [...]I am not saying that the utility is necessarily the cause of your
> wireless system, but I do know that philosophical debates (I gave them
> up at the end of Graduate School) - are not going to help no
> matter what.


That's true. Unfortunately I don't know anymore either what to try. I
guess I have to wait and install Vista Service Pack 2 and new drivers for
my wireless card when they become available - and hope. :-/

Boris

> [...]

 
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John
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2009
It sounds like getting an IP from DHCP is the main problem here. What if you
give Vista box a static IP, subnet mask etc? Does it connect to your WLAN
right away?

"Boris Schaeling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsp.upl5gax7hcamje@bose...
> On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 20:08:14 +0100, Jack (MVP-Networking).
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> [...]I am not saying that the utility is necessarily the cause of your
>> wireless system, but I do know that philosophical debates (I gave them
>> up at the end of Graduate School) - are not going to help no
>> matter what.

>
> That's true. Unfortunately I don't know anymore either what to try. I
> guess I have to wait and install Vista Service Pack 2 and new drivers for
> my wireless card when they become available - and hope. :-/
>
> Boris
>
>> [...]



 
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Boris Schaeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-21-2009
On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 22:43:20 +0100, John <a> wrote:

> It sounds like getting an IP from DHCP is the main problem here. What if
> you
> give Vista box a static IP, subnet mask etc? Does it connect to your WLAN
> right away?


A static IP address doesn't help unfortunately. I see that the static IP
address, the subnet mask, the address of the default gateway etc. are all
set correctly. And while the SSID is also correct there are packets sent
but none received. When I click then on "Diagnose and repair" there is no
repair option anymore (just a few recommendations). As I need to request a
new dynamic IP address from the DHCP server a few times - so far that's
the only option which after a couple of attempts suddenly works - I can't
do anything anymore when I use a static IP address.

I don't know what Vista is doing when it tries to connect to a wireless
network. Is there any negotiating done? Does it try to detect the network
capabilities? I wonder as even though I always have problems to connect to
the network it also always works after 10 to 15 minutes (where I typically
click on "Diagnose and repair" a dozen times; suddenly Vista gets the
dynamic IP address and the laptop is online without any problems for the
rest of the day).

Boris

> [...]

 
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Jack \(MVP-Networking\).
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-21-2009
Hi
As much as I sympathize and understand your problem that is a functional
problem.
I have an extensive experience with Wireless and can tell you that most
problems are not a result of OS (whether any Windows or other OS').
Wireless Hardware is a little like the "Old Wild West" many manufacturer
deviates "a little" from the strict standards', and drivers that the write
are not very good either.
When done professional it is vey easy to isolate the problem. I have few
Wireless cards (mini, pcmcia, usb, and Routers that work like client
wireless cards).
I also have few Wireless Routers and Access Points. So it relatively easy
for me to isolate the component that creates the problem.
Try to borrow a PCMCIA, or a USB Wireless card from a friend, disable the
current card and give it a try.
In addition if it is Vista, I think that SP2 should be released in the near
future.
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)

"Boris Schaeling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsp.uppenwn2hcamje@bose...
> On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 22:43:20 +0100, John <a> wrote:
>
>> It sounds like getting an IP from DHCP is the main problem here. What if
>> you
>> give Vista box a static IP, subnet mask etc? Does it connect to your WLAN
>> right away?

>
> A static IP address doesn't help unfortunately. I see that the static IP
> address, the subnet mask, the address of the default gateway etc. are all
> set correctly. And while the SSID is also correct there are packets sent
> but none received. When I click then on "Diagnose and repair" there is no
> repair option anymore (just a few recommendations). As I need to request a
> new dynamic IP address from the DHCP server a few times - so far that's
> the only option which after a couple of attempts suddenly works - I can't
> do anything anymore when I use a static IP address.
>
> I don't know what Vista is doing when it tries to connect to a wireless
> network. Is there any negotiating done? Does it try to detect the network
> capabilities? I wonder as even though I always have problems to connect to
> the network it also always works after 10 to 15 minutes (where I typically
> click on "Diagnose and repair" a dozen times; suddenly Vista gets the
> dynamic IP address and the laptop is online without any problems for the
> rest of the day).
>
> Boris
>
>> [...]


 
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