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Wireless adapter losing network address

 
 
Bella Simona
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      10-09-2009
I have a home wireless network. Up until recently it was based on a
Linksys
WRT54G and the various PCs are a combination of Windows-based desktops
and
laptops (XP Home & XP Pro sp3 and Vista Ultimate sp2) with integrated
wi-fi
capabilities or with PCMCIA cards or internal PCI-based cards or in a
couple
of cases USB based adapters. It has worked just fine and very
reliably for
several years. Since my kids' and grandkids' friends are always
bringing
their PCs over to play networked games I have the network configured
without
any encryption. I use the MAC address filter in the router. It will
only
allow connections from devices that have their MAC address entered
into the
router -- something that I can do and undo pretty quickly without them
having to make configuration changes.

Recently, one of the desktops (XP Pro sp3) that used a 802.g PCI card
by
Airlink started occasionally losing the network address/connection. I
noticed it because the desktop network icon would be moved and/or
there
would be messages displayed saying that the "wireless connection had
been
established" even though it was supposed to already have been
connected. I
then noticed that when the icon would disappear the wireless icon in
the
system tray would be animated and if I placed the cursor over it it
would
say that it was acquiring a network address. The connection is always
rated
as "Excellent" or "Very good" and shows a connection speed or 48-54
Mbps.

All of the other devices never disconnect.

Thinking that my Linksys router might be getting a little long in the
tooth
I replaced it with a new Linksys (Cisco) WRT160N. Nothing changed --
except
that some of the adapters that supported 802.n started running
faster. The
same desktop continued to lose and re-establish a connection while
everything else remained stable.

Then I updated my Airlink driver -- once from the Microsoft Update
site and
once directly from Airlink. Again, nothing changed.

Finally I disabled the device and installed a Hawking 300N USB-based
adapter. The only thing that has changed is that while the erratic
desktop
is connected it is connected at 270 Mbps rather than the 48-54 Mbps.

I have moved the erratic desktop around to different parts of the
house
[near other devices that are working reliably] and the symptoms stay
the
same.

It seems pretty clear to me that it must be something in the way XP
Pro is
configured for this particular machine but I can't find any
difference.

Is anyone familiar with this behavior and what causes it? More
importantly,
how to eliminate it?

Typically, the behavior you describe is caused by interference from
outside sources of RF energy. This isn't consistent, however, with
your
report that you experience the same problem in different locations. by
changing wifi adapters, you also seem to have eliminated factors such
as
a failing adapter or bad antenna connection.

The only other thing that I can suggest is to check to make sure that
any power saving feature of the wifi adapter is turned off. Check the
properties of the device for both a "power management" tab and for a
"power save mode" on an "advanced" tab.

As Lem posted, look at the Power Saving (Card Configuration Menu) and
get
the card out of the POWER Saving Mode.
You can also try to Disable Windows Wireless Zero Configuration and
Install
the original vendor's Wireless utility ( http://www.ezlan.net/wzc.html
).
Otherwise, XP is very friendly in refreshing the OS. I.e., you can
reinstall/refresh XP without losing any thing of the current
configuration.
Refresh XP Installation.
Boot from the XP original CD. Skip the first screen that offer Console
Repair, and continue as though you install a New XP.
After you Agree etc., the new install screen will come on and would
detect
the current XP installation.
You would have an option to Press R for Repair.
Use it, would take about 45Min. and you would have a Refresh
Installation of
XP while keeping all your data and XP configuration.
P.S. If you made changes to WinXP Security setting (Like Firewall
special
permission), you have to look over them after the refresh since they
might
revert to the Default.

I have a Tenda TWL541C(P) network card on my Win2000 desktop PC. I
also have another combined network/sound card which is connected to
broadband. I share the broadband internet connection with a linux
laptop (EEEPC) via wireless network.

A problem is that the wireless connection stops working after the PC
goes on standby, and I need to reboot to get it to work again. I've
got the latest Tenda drivers and software installed.

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