Loss of access, Disable/Repair NIC fails. 802.11g / b compatibility?

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by DC, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. DC

    DC Guest

    I have a problem similar to the one reported in "Repeated Loss of Internet
    access" (28 Dec 2005) , with a twist.

    I just got a new whitebox PC, installed WinXP SP2 on it. Also installed a
    TrendNet TEW-423PI card, a wireless PCI card, 802.11g, following all
    instructions.

    For an access point, I have a Buffalo Airstation, model WLAR-L11-L , it is
    802.11b. It has 128-bit WEP enabled.

    The computer can contact the access point, and can obtain an IP address, no
    problem. I can browse the internet, send and receive email, everything
    works. Then, *at some later point* the wireless access just goes away.
    The interval varies, could be 2 -3 hours. Never more than about 4 hours,
    I'd say. The IP address is still the same, the radio signal strength
    looks to be good, but all internet connectivity is gone. Unlike some of
    the others on this thread, my access does not get "slow", it goes away
    completely.

    Other machines on the LAN can still get to the internet. Other machines
    that connect through that AP have no problems.

    Here's the twist.
    After having this problem, if I try to Repair or Disable the wireless
    network adapter, it does not work. It just waits forever and ever. No
    error message, no timeout, nothing. If I try to shut down the machine,
    same thing, it never shuts down. I have to physically power off the
    machine to restart it. After restarting the computer, it again can reach
    the internet.

    If I try to repair or disable the network adapter BEFORE this problem
    happens, it works. If I try to shutdown or restart the pc BEFORE the loss
    of the wireless network, it works.

    1. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this? I am guessing the radio
    communication between the computer and the AP is getting into a odd
    situation, but ... how can I check this? how can I fix it?

    2. any suggestions on how to forcibly bounce the NIC? I tried devcon.exe
    and it also hangs. netsh also hangs.


    The computer that is being replaced has an older 802.11b network card, by
    the same manufacturer. It worked fine, for years, using the 128-bit WEP.
    It still works. I am going to try the old card in the new computer, and
    will report back.

    But I am hoping someone will be able to steer me right.

    Isn't 802.11g gear was supposed to be compatible with 802.11b gear?
    I am also considering replacing the PCI NIC with a USB-wireless NIC. Anyone
    used any of these? Any recommendations?
     
    DC, Dec 29, 2005
    #1
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  2. DC

    Jeff Guest

    Could it be something to do with the latest XP update?

    I am exploring a possibility that it has to do with the latest version of
    Firefox 1.5. Are you using Firefox?

    Jeff

    DC wrote:
    > I have a problem similar to the one reported in "Repeated Loss of
    > Internet access" (28 Dec 2005) , with a twist.
    >
    > I just got a new whitebox PC, installed WinXP SP2 on it. Also
    > installed a TrendNet TEW-423PI card, a wireless PCI card, 802.11g,
    > following all instructions.
    >
    > For an access point, I have a Buffalo Airstation, model WLAR-L11-L ,
    > it is 802.11b. It has 128-bit WEP enabled.
    >
    > The computer can contact the access point, and can obtain an IP
    > address, no problem. I can browse the internet, send and receive
    > email, everything works. Then, *at some later point* the wireless
    > access just goes away. The interval varies, could be 2 -3 hours. Never
    > more than about 4 hours, I'd say. The IP address is still
    > the same, the radio signal strength looks to be good, but all
    > internet connectivity is gone. Unlike some of the others on this
    > thread, my access does not get "slow", it goes away completely.
    >
    > Other machines on the LAN can still get to the internet. Other
    > machines that connect through that AP have no problems.
    >
    > Here's the twist.
    > After having this problem, if I try to Repair or Disable the wireless
    > network adapter, it does not work. It just waits forever and ever. No
    > error message, no timeout, nothing. If I try to shut down the
    > machine, same thing, it never shuts down. I have to physically
    > power off the machine to restart it. After restarting the computer,
    > it again can reach the internet.
    >
    > If I try to repair or disable the network adapter BEFORE this problem
    > happens, it works. If I try to shutdown or restart the pc BEFORE
    > the loss of the wireless network, it works.
    >
    > 1. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this? I am guessing the
    > radio communication between the computer and the AP is getting into a
    > odd situation, but ... how can I check this? how can I fix it?
    >
    > 2. any suggestions on how to forcibly bounce the NIC? I tried
    > devcon.exe and it also hangs. netsh also hangs.
    >
    >
    > The computer that is being replaced has an older 802.11b network
    > card, by the same manufacturer. It worked fine, for years, using the
    > 128-bit WEP. It still works. I am going to try the old card in the
    > new computer, and will report back.
    >
    > But I am hoping someone will be able to steer me right.
    >
    > Isn't 802.11g gear was supposed to be compatible with 802.11b gear?
    > I am also considering replacing the PCI NIC with a USB-wireless NIC.
    > Anyone used any of these? Any recommendations?
     
    Jeff, Dec 29, 2005
    #2
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  3. Re: Loss of access, Disable/Repair NIC fails. 802.11g / b compati

    Yes, this does sound like pretty much the same problem we have been
    discussing in "repeated loss of Internet access". Though admittedly with a
    couple of new twist. Actually, in our case Internet access does it
    effectively "stop". It gets slower until it is essentially stopped. The
    main difference seems to be the amount of time it takes to get to the point
    where it won't work. In our case, it's only a few minutes. It appears to be
    taking you several hours. Otherwise the problems sound very similar. And
    after the Internet access goes away, in both cases signal strength remains
    strong, IP addresses appear okay, but ability to bring up web pages is simply
    gone. Shutting down and rebooting will enable the ability to bring up web
    pages once again, for a very brief period of time. Also, if we try to
    "repair" the connection, after several minutes of trying, it will fail to do
    so. But whereas in your case you're not getting an error message, we get the
    message "unable to repair -- because unable to connect to network", or
    something very similar to that.

    Jeff, I don't see how it could have anything to do with the latest XP
    update, though I'm probably a wrong. The reason I say that is because all of
    the computers that I have which are working perfectly, all have XP service
    pack two with the most current update.

    I'm starting to think this is a fairly common problem. Surely there is a
    computer guru who knows the answer to this weird problem? Cause I sure don't
    know the answer.
     
    =?Utf-8?B?QmlsbHlCb2I=?=, Dec 29, 2005
    #3
  4. DC

    Jeff Guest

    Re: Loss of access, Disable/Repair NIC fails. 802.11g / b compati

    Mine also goes off after 2-3 minutes, not hours.

    Jeff

    BillyBob wrote:
    > Yes, this does sound like pretty much the same problem we have been
    > discussing in "repeated loss of Internet access". Though admittedly
    > with a couple of new twist. Actually, in our case Internet access
    > does it effectively "stop". It gets slower until it is essentially
    > stopped. The main difference seems to be the amount of time it takes
    > to get to the point where it won't work. In our case, it's only a
    > few minutes. It appears to be taking you several hours. Otherwise
    > the problems sound very similar. And after the Internet access goes
    > away, in both cases signal strength remains strong, IP addresses
    > appear okay, but ability to bring up web pages is simply gone.
    > Shutting down and rebooting will enable the ability to bring up web
    > pages once again, for a very brief period of time. Also, if we try to
    > "repair" the connection, after several minutes of trying, it will
    > fail to do so. But whereas in your case you're not getting an error
    > message, we get the message "unable to repair -- because unable to
    > connect to network", or something very similar to that.
    >
    > Jeff, I don't see how it could have anything to do with the latest XP
    > update, though I'm probably a wrong. The reason I say that is
    > because all of the computers that I have which are working perfectly,
    > all have XP service pack two with the most current update.
    >
    > I'm starting to think this is a fairly common problem. Surely there
    > is a computer guru who knows the answer to this weird problem? Cause
    > I sure don't know the answer.
     
    Jeff, Dec 29, 2005
    #4
  5. DC

    DC Guest

    Re: Loss of access, Disable/Repair NIC fails. 802.11g / b compati

    > Yes, this does sound like pretty much the same problem we have been
    > discussing in "repeated loss of Internet access".


    Yep, I knew it sounded similar but didn't want to highjack your thread.

    > I'm starting to think this is a fairly common problem. Surely there is a
    > computer guru who knows the answer to this weird problem?


    a further update.
    I did not try the older Wireless NIC in this computer, as I said I would in
    my previous post. Instead I cranked the AP down to 64bit WEP and so far so
    good. No dropped connections that I am aware of, after 10 hours of mnixed
    use. previously, the connection would drop whether the PC was in use or
    not. I say "that I am aware of" because other family members have been on
    the PC and I don't know if they had troubles.

    I am thinking the cause might be a weird race condition that happens in the
    protocol when you mix equipment of different manufacture or different
    standards (g vs b). In the bad old days wireless NICs that were compliant
    to the 802.11b standard didn't necessarily interoperate with wireless APs
    that supposedly conformed to the same standard. Maybe we have a twist on
    that idea. If so upgrading all your equipment would solve it, but who wants
    to do that?

    I'll post another update tomorrow.

    -DC


    "BillyBob" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Yes, this does sound like pretty much the same problem we have been
    > discussing in "repeated loss of Internet access". Though admittedly with
    > a
    > couple of new twist. Actually, in our case Internet access does it
    > effectively "stop". It gets slower until it is essentially stopped. The
    > main difference seems to be the amount of time it takes to get to the
    > point
    > where it won't work. In our case, it's only a few minutes. It appears to
    > be
    > taking you several hours. Otherwise the problems sound very similar. And
    > after the Internet access goes away, in both cases signal strength remains
    > strong, IP addresses appear okay, but ability to bring up web pages is
    > simply
    > gone. Shutting down and rebooting will enable the ability to bring up web
    > pages once again, for a very brief period of time. Also, if we try to
    > "repair" the connection, after several minutes of trying, it will fail to
    > do
    > so. But whereas in your case you're not getting an error message, we get
    > the
    > message "unable to repair -- because unable to connect to network", or
    > something very similar to that.
    >
    > Jeff, I don't see how it could have anything to do with the latest XP
    > update, though I'm probably a wrong. The reason I say that is because all
    > of
    > the computers that I have which are working perfectly, all have XP service
    > pack two with the most current update.
    >
    > I'm starting to think this is a fairly common problem. Surely there is a
    > computer guru who knows the answer to this weird problem? Cause I sure
    > don't
    > know the answer.
    >
    >
     
    DC, Dec 29, 2005
    #5
  6. DC

    DC Guest

    Re: Loss of access, Disable/Repair NIC fails. 802.11g / b compati

    Mmm,

    sorry, I take it back.
    Shifting down to 64-bit WEP did not affect the problem.
    My wife had been rebooting the machine.

    False alarm.

    I'm gonna try a different NIC.



    "DC" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> Yes, this does sound like pretty much the same problem we have been
    >> discussing in "repeated loss of Internet access".

    >
    > Yep, I knew it sounded similar but didn't want to highjack your thread.
    >
    >> I'm starting to think this is a fairly common problem. Surely there is
    >> a
    >> computer guru who knows the answer to this weird problem?

    >
    > a further update.
    > I did not try the older Wireless NIC in this computer, as I said I would
    > in my previous post. Instead I cranked the AP down to 64bit WEP and so
    > far so good. No dropped connections that I am aware of, after 10 hours of
    > mnixed use. previously, the connection would drop whether the PC was in
    > use or not. I say "that I am aware of" because other family members have
    > been on the PC and I don't know if they had troubles.
    >
    > I am thinking the cause might be a weird race condition that happens in
    > the protocol when you mix equipment of different manufacture or different
    > standards (g vs b). In the bad old days wireless NICs that were
    > compliant to the 802.11b standard didn't necessarily interoperate with
    > wireless APs that supposedly conformed to the same standard. Maybe we
    > have a twist on that idea. If so upgrading all your equipment would solve
    > it, but who wants to do that?
    >
    > I'll post another update tomorrow.
    >
    > -DC
    >
    >
    > "BillyBob" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Yes, this does sound like pretty much the same problem we have been
    >> discussing in "repeated loss of Internet access". Though admittedly with
    >> a
    >> couple of new twist. Actually, in our case Internet access does it
    >> effectively "stop". It gets slower until it is essentially stopped. The
    >> main difference seems to be the amount of time it takes to get to the
    >> point
    >> where it won't work. In our case, it's only a few minutes. It appears
    >> to be
    >> taking you several hours. Otherwise the problems sound very similar. And
    >> after the Internet access goes away, in both cases signal strength
    >> remains
    >> strong, IP addresses appear okay, but ability to bring up web pages is
    >> simply
    >> gone. Shutting down and rebooting will enable the ability to bring up
    >> web
    >> pages once again, for a very brief period of time. Also, if we try to
    >> "repair" the connection, after several minutes of trying, it will fail to
    >> do
    >> so. But whereas in your case you're not getting an error message, we get
    >> the
    >> message "unable to repair -- because unable to connect to network", or
    >> something very similar to that.
    >>
    >> Jeff, I don't see how it could have anything to do with the latest XP
    >> update, though I'm probably a wrong. The reason I say that is because
    >> all of
    >> the computers that I have which are working perfectly, all have XP
    >> service
    >> pack two with the most current update.
    >>
    >> I'm starting to think this is a fairly common problem. Surely there is
    >> a
    >> computer guru who knows the answer to this weird problem? Cause I sure
    >> don't
    >> know the answer.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    DC, Dec 29, 2005
    #6
  7. Re: Loss of access, Disable/Repair NIC fails. 802.11g / b compati

    This sounds like it has some possibilities, though it is a little
    complicated. I can't try any of it since the troublesome computer is not at
    the house. If you guys try any of it and it works, please let me know! Good
    luck!

    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/12948
    Q: Why does my wireless connection repeatedly disconnect shortly after
    connecting? (#12948)
    A: You may be disconnected if either side of the connection is expecting an
    authentication exchange that fails to occur. This can occasionally happen
    even when the connection is not currently using any form of wireless security.

    Depending on your configuration, you may notice:
    the wireless client software indicates it is connected, but it repeatedly
    stops communicating within 5 minutes of the initial connection

    your client's DHCP request fails, either resulting in no IP address or an
    OS-assigned APIPA 169.254 address

    you can see the Access Point in a site survey or listing of available
    wireless networks, but your client cannot connect to it

    in the client's or AP's system log, DHCP, TCPIP, or WLAN Association entries
    repeatedly appear, and rebooting has not solved the problem


    The latest and most effective forms of wireless security expect
    authentication messages to be exchanged within a certain time and order. If
    this does not happen, the process ends by interrupting communications. Both
    the client and AP perform this checking on one another, so either one (or
    both) may be the side with the problem.

    These problems sometimes affect wireless products that currently are not
    configured to use wireless security. A connection may be configured under one
    security model, but then the AP is reconfigured and the client's
    configuration is not reset to match. Some wireless products may not tolerate
    unexpected issues like an AP changing security methods, frequently rebooting,
    or storing multiple configuration profiles for a single access point.
    Sometimes, the reason a configuration becomes corrupted remains unknown.

    Note: For specific instructions on how to complete any of the following
    steps using your particular hardware, software, or operating system, please
    consult your manuals or help files.

    STEPS TO TRY FIRST:
    Turn off any options to hide your SSID from beacon broadcasts.

    Turn off any proprietary speed-enhancing technologies.

    Remove all saved profiles for that AP from your wireless computers.

    Reboot your wireless computers and power-cycle your AP.

    Find your AP in a site survey and associate with it.


    Now test to see if the problem is resolved. If it is, no further action is
    necessary. However, if the problem persists, the below steps contain
    additional methods to overcome the problem:

    STEPS TO TRY NEXT:
    On your wireless AP, change your SSID to something that you have never used
    before.

    Unplug power to your AP, take note of the time.

    Remove all saved profiles for that AP from your wireless computers.

    Reboot your wireless computers.

    After 65+ minutes from step 2, plug in your router.

    Using your wireless computers, associate with the new SSID.

    Leave the client connected for 65+ minutes. There may or may not be
    indications of up to two brief reconnections during this time. Do not reboot
    the AP during this time.

    Shut down or reboot your wireless client computer normally (do not sleep,
    hibernate, or abruptly power-cycle).


    TIP: The 65+ minute wait before plugging in the router may not be necessary
    for your hardware or software. If you only have one or two clients, you may
    wish to first try these steps without that wait. If they are not successful,
    then try all of the steps again with the wait.

    EXPLANATION OF WHY THESE STEPS MIGHT HELP: Setting up a new SSID causes the
    clients to create a new, clean, and correct profile for the access point.
    Rebooting the hardware is one attempt at clearing authentication failure
    lockouts. Waiting 65 minutes with the router off is another (in case lockouts
    are remembered between reboots). Leaving the client online for 65 minutes is
    to ensure at least one successful key exchange after the initial successful
    authentication. Shutting down normally allows the software or OS to correctly
    save configuration information.
    by funchords edited by No_Strings
    (login to leave feedback on this)




    "Jeff" wrote:

    > Mine also goes off after 2-3 minutes, not hours.
     
    =?Utf-8?B?QmlsbHlCb2I=?=, Dec 30, 2005
    #7
  8. DC

    Lyzon Lightheart

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    This problem with your wireless card losing it's internet connection after a few minutes to a few hours is being caused by faulty or poor software design in the initial flash memory into the wireless card chip set.

    When the wireless card and the access point or router are communicating normally they are sending and receiving data in the the form of what are called "data packets". These data packets are in encapsulated within 7 Networking layers which contain the mac addresses, ip addresses, data, the sender's and reciever's info, the encrypted data, data decryption algorithm, the session info, rtc.

    What is happening here when the wireless card drops the network connection is the wireless card's internal software is going into a standby or sleep mode when there is no data packets being sent or received. This is just fine and is a common feature in most of today's electronic equipment.

    However, the problem with a lot of Trendnet's wireless cards is that their internal software frequently does not sense that there are new data packets to send or receive. This is the point when the the user realizes and discovers that the wireless card has dropped the network connection. Then the user tries to interact with the computer to reset and find the problem with the wireless card, but the wireless card's internal software is still in sleep or stand by mode.

    This is when the computer sometimes locks up and freezes on you. This lock up condition will happen more frequently if your computer is running on a Microsft Windows operating system, than if it is running other operating systems because Windows puts more effort into creating features than it does error handling of it's own peripheral equipment.
     
    Lyzon Lightheart, Jul 23, 2008
    #8
  9. DC

    csd

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Do not make business with TrendNet

    Hi all,

    Here my story:
    I bought 30 TEW-423pi adapters and I tested 3 out of the bundle.
    I performed the test using both Windows Zero config (test 1) and the TrendNet client version 1.20.121.50 (test 2) with the same driver version 5.1102.1120.2007.
    I used 2 different desktops with a TEW-423pi adapter: Asus P5B-VM and Compaq EVO D510
    I used 2 laptops sitting on the same table next to the desktops mentioned above.
    The table is at 25 feet from the access point (Cisco LAP-1142) within a open space room (no obstacles), so I am not even close of the 150 feet of the 802.11g standard.
    I used Pilot with AirPcap from CACE tech to measure the signal strength as well as the utility build in the access point Cisco LAP-1142 managed by a Cisco WLC 4402 (both giving approximately the same measure +/- 5dbm).
    The results:
    TEW-423pi (no matter which desktop/adapter I used): between -64 to -74 dbm in avg. @ 802.11g
    HP NX7400 (Intel wireless 3945ABG): between -47 to -53 dbm in avg. @ 802.11g
    Toshiba Tecra A9 (Intel wireless 4965AGN): between -45 to -51 dbm in avg. @ 802.11g
    The Noise is between -79 to -87 dbm

    I have done the same test at the same location with the same Compaq EVO D510 BUT I replaced the TEW-423pi by a TL-WN851N from TP-LINK. I have got:
    RSSI (min/max/avg): -44/-41/-42
    SNR (min/max/avg): 34/53/49
    Which is the normal values that we should expect at this range.

    I ask TRENDNET to arrange a refund with my vendor? Since I bougth 30 TEW-423pi cards based on the assumption that the should perform within the 802.11 specification. No answer… of course.

    Conclusion:
    1) Most Access Point algorithms will drop (and sometime quarantine like Cisco) wireless clients that are under -70 dBm for a long period of time. Simply because such client is slowing down every wireless clients associated to the same AP. Yep! You now understand why you are losing connectivity after some minutes.
    2) TEW-423pi are not able to respect the 802.11g standard range, actually they are not even close with a range of 25 feet!
    3) TRENDNET knows that and they are still selling this product!
    4) Do not make business with TrendNet.
     
    csd, Sep 18, 2009
    #9
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