wifi suddenly doesn't work in some public sites?

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by zmunson, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. zmunson

    zmunson Guest

    Okay, so I have a home wifi network like lots of folks, as well as a
    laptop I routinely use at home on the network as well as-- until very
    recently-- using it at lots of public wifi hotspots, hotel wifi, etc.

    Recently, however, I can't connect to many of the hotspots I once used
    regularly. My laptop can't even see the networks; it simply reports
    that nothing is there. This isn't just my laptop lying to me. I know
    because I've tested it by bringing another laptop and confirming that
    the access points are alive and kicking in these locations. The funny
    thing is, my laptop continues to consistently connect in my home and in
    at least one public hotspot. It just doesn't work anywhere else!

    I've done a lot of digging on this. At first I thought the trouble
    might be traced to a recent installation of OpenSSL. I tried
    uninstalling it, which didn't help. I also tried reinstalling Windows
    XP Pro from scratch. No dice.

    I'm on a IBM Thinkpad T30 which comes with software called "Access
    Connections" to manage wifi configurations. I've tried using Access
    Connections rather than letting XP manage my connections without
    success. I've tried the reverse without success. I've also tried
    uninstalling Access Connections. No help.

    I've tried using ZoneAlarm, Windows Firewall, and no firewall at all.
    It doesn't work under any of these options.

    So what can I do?! I've got to believe this is a software/config
    problem and not a hardware problem given that wifi still works fine in
    a couple of places. I've run out of things to try, though.

    I should say that all of the wifi spots in question are free, public
    sites not using WEP or any other kind of security. My system is a
    ThinkPad T30 with built-in wifi running XP Pro with all the dozens of
    updates installed. I've insured the BIOS on my system as well as the
    device drivers are all up to date.


    zmunson, Sep 12, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. What kind of Wi-Fi do you have at home? Is it 802.11b? Is it possible that
    you don't have your T30 configured to use 802.11g? Or perhaps it is the
    other way around, you have your T30 configured to use only 'g' and not work
    with 'b'? These are the two most likely things in my mind. If it is a case
    of your home using the same type of 802.11 as the public site then most
    likely it is a configuration problem.

    Opening ThinkVantage Access Connection, and click on | Tools | Find Wireless
    Networks....| Show Details should show what networks are available to you
    and the wireless mode be it a, b, or g.

    Check the location profile you are using under ThinkVantage Access
    Connection, click Locations | Manage Profiles...| Highlight the Profile you
    are trying to use to connect and right click on it, then click Edit... |
    Click on the Wireless (tab) | check that Wireless mode is set to Auto. And
    connection type is set to Infrastructure. Wireless security type should be
    set to none.

    Hope this helps
    David Hettel
    Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices
    David Hettel MVP MobileDevices, Sep 12, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. Seems one thing you haven't done is remove and re-install the driver.
    Why not try that (maybe a couple of times or more)?
    Axel Hammerschmidt, Sep 12, 2006
  4. zmunson

    zmunson Guest

    As it turns out, uninstalling and reinstalling the driver worked. Even
    though I have not idea why it worked-- and it SHOULDN'T have worked (I
    did essentially do it once when I reformatted my HD and reinstalled
    XP)-- it did, in the end, do the trick.

    Thanks for the help!

    zmunson, Sep 14, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.