802.11b connection dropping randomly

695 pts.
Tags:
802.11 networking equipment
802.11b
802.11g
Data Management
WEP
Wired Equivalency Privacy
Wireless
Wireless Access Points
Hi all, I have a Linksys WRT54G set up at home. I have one wired LAN port going to a D-Link switch, the Internet port going to a Terayon cable modem, and the WLAN is active in B/G mixed mode. I also have a Dell Latitude D600, equipped with the Centrino chipset, and can connect to the Linksys box via 802.11b; WinXP shows the signal strength is Very Good or Excellent when in the next room from the router. The router has WEP enabled. At random intervals, the Dell will suddenly lose the signal from the Linksys box, for no apparent reason and with no warning. The interval is completely random, and does not happen during any particular time of the day; sometimes, I can go a day or two without having any problems. It does not appear to be related to weather, either. I've moved the Dell to sit *right next* to the Linksys, just one foot away, and have the same problem happen. Sometimes the connection is reestablished within a few seconds, sometimes minutes, and sometimes I have to reboot to get it to reconnect. When the connection is lost, sometimes I can have XP scan for SSIDs and see mine (but usually can't get it to reconnect), sometimes not. I can occasionally see another SSID that is not mine, but can't connect to it. I wondered if perhaps interference from the other SSID was imparing my conenction, but this can also happen when I'm a foot away from the antennas. I'm stumped. I'm frustrated, because the dropped connection kills my VPN connection, which screws up work in progress. Can anyone please help? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Cheers.

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What service pack on the laptop?

Had the same problem with Windows XP SP1, it went away after upgrading to SP2.

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  • Madkahuna
    I have the same problem using a Cisco Airnet 1200 wireless access point and I have XP SP2 installed on my computer. I have found this to be most problematic when the wireless card monitoring software is active and Windows Wireless Zero Configuration is started as well. If I run only one of the two then the drops are less frequent but still happen. This happens on all wireless networks whether or not they have some sort of encryption enabled. Anyone have any ideas on this.
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  • Sonotsky
    Running XP SP1 w/ most of the recent patches. Can't upgrade myself to SP2, it's the company's machine and I believe they're going to be rolling out a customized version of SP2 (going to include ZoneAlarm instead of the useless MS firewall, plus some other changes). To the best of my knowledge, only Windows Wireless Zero Configuration is running. Any other ideas? Please?
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  • Musicmikem
    I had the same problem with a DLink. I disabled the XP wireless program and I am using the Dlink program instead. No problems since I converted.
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  • Bobmanw
    a friend ao f mine had a similar problems with a US Robotics router, the problem was due to the fast that it had some interference with some other surrounding devices, for one, it was on a second floor, close to the electric wire line outside the window, detected about 4-5 other surrounding networks,...anyhow, try putting the router in another room, upgrading the firmware, force MAC address connection
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  • Musicmikem
    A 900mghz cordless phone will do it. I had to change the channel on my router to like 10 or 11 to keep it from dropping whenever we were on the phone. Most 900mghz phones operate on channel 1 and 2.
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  • Simbrial
    Try taking the wireless card out, uninstall the current driver for the wifi card. DISABLE Microsoft 0 configuration, reinstall the driver for your wireless card and search for wireless networks. Make sure to save the profile for your wireless network after finding it. I had the same problem at home sometimes I still get dropped. This is a characteristic with wireless anything. Also make sure you are not not using a cordless phone on the same frequency a lot of cordless phones are now on the 2.4 GHZ frequency that will interupt your signal also. If your neighbor has a wireless phone on that frequency this will also cause you heartache. I live in a major city where concentration is high and the potential for interference is a great possability. Hope this helps..
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  • Larrythethird
    I agree that interference is the most likely reason. My corporate Airespace wireless network get the same issues. There are many factors. Monitors are the biggest causes of interference. Too close to a monitor can cause loses. Also, make sure the driver for the wireless card is the newest available. Older drivers can cause dropouts, also.
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  • 2LTL2L8
    I had the same issues with my modest setup at home. DSL to Linksys WRT54GS two wireless laptops (XP SP2) one with Linksys WPC54GS and the other with Linksys WPC54G. I disabled then removed the linksys config utility on both laptops and run only the MS Zero Config. I also ran through each of the channels until I got the best signal connection (currently ch 6). I also monitored my connection quality while using the 2.4GHz cordless phone to ensure I wasn't getting any interference. I have not had ANY dropped connection issues since. I believe removing the client machine linksys utility and running only the XP SP2 MS zero config setup is the best route to try.
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  • TScannell
    802.11 is a fickle technology. The signals tend to eminate in all directons at once, and signal strength is not necessarily related to proximity (which means you may get a stronger signal and connection when you are farther away from an acess point, than closer, depending on surrounding electronic equipment and the building environment). You might try moving the AP around a bit, even slightly, to get a better signal path. There are also signal boosters and antenna extenders you can purchase as well. Finally, if you are mixing b and g 802.11 technologies under the same netwrk umbrella, be aware that transmissions default to the slower b network when there is an 802.11b card in operation. Personaly, I might add I had the same problem with D-Link equipment, and finally replaced everything with Netgear stuff. No problems since then...
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  • Jaylenox
    try updating your wireless drivers. also, do you have any devices like a wireless phone that could be infering with 2.4ghz frequency? jaylenox@yahoo.com
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  • Sonotsky
    Hi all, Thank you for the tips and suggestions, it's greatly appreciated. OK, here's the scoop: I've updated the WLAN drivers on the Dell laptop, moved the router about 3 feet, and changed to channel 10 (which I thought I had tried already, but nothing ventured, nothing gained). So far, and I'll knock on wood when I say this, I haven't had a dropped connection on the Dell from the next room in 3 days. I'll keep an eye on things, and let you all know how it turns out over the weekend. Once again, thanks for all your help, folks!
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  • Sonotsky
    Sorry for the lack up updates, folks. I'm happy to say that since I made a few changes, I've only had *one* dropped connection, and even that was recovered quickly. I think that if I play with the channel that my Linksys is using, I'll eventually find one that no one else is using in my area, and I'll have a connection that never dies on me. Thank you, one and all, for your feedback and suggestions!
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