Why is my laptop unable to connect to my wireless network, while the desktop pc has no problem.

I have recently installed a Belkin wireless router which is connected to my cable modem. I subsequently installed a USB wireless receiver on my desktop pc (running XP SP2) and it had no problem connecting to the router and accessing the internet.

I also have a Vaio PCG 631M laptop with built in WiFi (also running XP SP2) and although it can see the router it refuses to connect to it, offering no explanation as to why.

I should point out that there is no security of any kind set up on the router as yet. No encryption and no Mac address filtering. I intend to set this up later once I know that everything is working as it should.

Curiously there is also another unprotected wireless network somewhere in the vicinity and the Vaio can see this and will connect to it without any difficulty whatsoever despite it having a weaker signal than my own set up. I think I can therefore rule out any malfunction in the wireless card.

So why will it not connect? I click connect, it goes through the motions but remains disconnected. If I give it half a chance to connect to the other network it does so immediately.

I have tried it with the windows firewall off and on, this makes no difference. I have checked my TCP/IP settings, these are set to automatic as they are supposed to be and and are exactly the same as on the desktop machine.

Could it be some strange incompatibility between the Belkin and the Vaio systems? I would welcome any suggestions.
grigorovskyAsked:
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kstensonCommented:
Just a quick fix I sometimes have to do on my vaio, in the prefered networks section delete all the wireless lans listed then switch on off your wireless with the switch on you laptop. Now try to connect to your wireless network.
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onsitezCommented:
iwhat i would do is cancel your subscription to your ISP and connect to the unprotected WI FI network with all your computers....  he he he , sorry could not resist...  
more than likely you are not getting an ip address from your connection. Connect again to your wireless router
open a comand prompt..... type cmd in the run box on the start menu.  click enter
then type  ipconfig /release ,,, then enter
wait for results
then ipconfig /renew ,,, enter
make sure there is a space between g and the /
if you have any security set in your router turn it off till you connect
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jasfoutCommented:
Is the wireless standard the same(or compatible) between the router and laptop? 802.11a 802.11b 802.11g ?
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jasfoutCommented:
I am not finding the PCG 631M on the sony website...what is the model# on the bottom of the laptop?
what is the model# of the belkin router?
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masnrockCommented:
What kind of card is built into your laptop? You might need to configure your router to use mixed mode. Also, did you make sure that you gave your network name something that shouldn't be duplicated?

(Obviously ignoring comments on security since you've mentioned it's been completely disabled)
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jjoseph_xCommented:
I think that jasfout has the right idea.  Your laptop only supports 802.11b and the belkin is set to only work ing 802.11g mode, it won't be able to connect (but you can change that config on the Belkin).
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CajunBillCommented:
grigorovsky,
Belkin makes several models of wireless hardware, one type is called "Pre-N".
If your new Belkin equipment is that type, then you need the same type (Pre-N) on the laptop end.
CB
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TahzeebhaiderCommented:
you must check wether you are connection your latop with the window wireless settting or with your built in wireless setting there are two type of connectivity mode for wireless connection one is with the wireless care software another is the windows wireless you can right click on my network place---wireless card property---wireless network and see wether user window to confiugre my wireless setting is enable or not if enable if so then add your wireless connection in the botton menue if it is disable then you need to add you wireless connection manual to your built in wireless card through it software.
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TahzeebhaiderCommented:
also would like to mention one thing that in sony vio if your power cable is not connected and you laptop have less battery power it will shut down the wireless card and you will keep trying to connect but it will never connect try putting the power cable also.
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tdietziusCommented:
... and don't forget to disable any "internet security" software.
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tleighton999Commented:
Check the channel that the other wireless network is on is not what your router is on. Belkin routers default to channel 11, and therefore if they are both belkin, it is highly likely that the other router is using the channel. Try changing it to 1, and through the channels to see if your laptop will connect. Also check the wireless switch is ON!!!

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grigorovskyAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for the feedback everyone. I think that Jasfout has the right solution with the answer about the wireless standard. I am unable to check it at present as the laptop is being used elsewhere but I should be able to confirm the serial number shortly and can then check the wireless standard of the Vaio.

I am pretty sure that the Belkin is indeed set to 802.11g and the Vaio is certainly not one of the newer models so it is highly likely that it is 802.11b.

Watch this space!
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CajunBillCommented:
OK, but remember that there is this other wireless "standard" (Pre-N) that some Belkin models use, as I said in my earlier comment.
Please let us know what the model number is on the Belkin router.
CB
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jasfoutCommented:
if that is the case grigorovsky then you can either set the belkin router to 'b' or mixed mode or upgrade to a wireless 'g' NIC' for the notebook
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onsitezCommented:
grigorovsky   you stated this

"....and although it can see the router it refuses to connect to it, offering no explanation as to why."

so there is not a format conflict , like one device is "b" and the other is " g"  , i still think for some reason you are not getting an ip address, look in tcp/ ip properties and make sure the radio button for " obtain ip adress automatically" is selected and that a static ip address is not there in the format of the other router that you can connect to.
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grigorovskyAuthor Commented:
CajunBill - the router is definitely not Pre-N. It is a Belkin Wireless G Router Part # F5D7231uk4

onsitez - what I mean is that the Windows wireless network window shows that the network is present and available but the Vaio will not connect. As stated previously I have checked my TCP/IP settings, these are set to obtain an ip address automatically and and are exactly the same as on the desktop machine which has no trouble connecting.

My money is on the "b" "g" solution originally given by jasfout. I am unable to check this at present but will get back to you all when this has been done.

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tleighton999Commented:
Regarding the 'b' 'g' thing, on your router check that the wireless mode is set to auto or b and g and not turbomode. Turbo mode just sets the router to g only

Try this instead of checking your vaio, and it might work :)
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masnrockCommented:
grig - alright, let us know on that. make sure that it's set to mixed mode (aka auto).
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CajunBillCommented:
grigorovsky,
If the Vaio is not brand new - in other words if it has been used before - then perhaps it has wireless security set up on it. If so, then even if the Belkin router does not have wireless security set, the Vaio will not connect to it.
CB
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jasfoutCommented:
CB the laptops wireless security is not set until you have made the initial connection to AP


I am sure you will find that the notebook is a pre 802.11g standard and swtiching the router to mixed mode or upgrading the NIC will fix it
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CajunBillCommented:
jasfout - that is absolutely not true.
Take a look at Network Connections, the Wireless Networks tab.  Click "Add".
You can set the security long before you make any initial connection.

What is more, if another wireless network had the same name and was connected to in the past, its setup could still be in the laptop.
CB
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grigorovskyAuthor Commented:
CajunBill - the Vaio is not brand new but don't forget that I have already mentioned that it connects to another nearby wireless network without any problem. I think this rules out any security problem on the Vaio. What is more, I have been through all the network settings and there is no sign of any security settings on the Vaio that could be preventing the connection.

I am still favoring Jasfout's initial thoughts and will let you know the outcome once the Vaio returns.
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CajunBillCommented:
grigorovsky,
Jasfout may well be correct about the 802.11b/g settings, and if so, more power to you both.

But, no, the the fact that it connects to another nearby network does not rule out security problems on the Vaio.
That's because wireless security can be set differently for each wireless network.
You would need to check the wireless network properties under Network Connections/Properties(of the wireless connection of course)/Wireless Networks tab/Preferred Networks list.
By the way, on that tab, is the checkbox checked, "use Windows to configure my wireless network settings"?

Good luck, I hope it is just the b/g thing.
CB
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grigorovskyAuthor Commented:
The security settings on the Vaio are the same for both connections i.e. no security.

The checkbox for using Windows is checked.
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jasfoutCommented:
grigorovsky did that solution work for you?
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tleighton999Commented:
To rule out any problem with the network card, completely UNINSTALL ALL wireless drivers (In device manager, go into network adaptors, then right click the wireless, and click uninstall). Then reboot the machine. It should find the device again, and reconfigure it. This time, keep the wireless hardware switch OFF (if you can) until you are ready to connect to your network. Then turn on the wireless switch, find your network in windows, and connect.

Just a last thought

Tom
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grigorovskyAuthor Commented:
Many thanks to all for the suggestions. Jasfout you were spot on so the points are yours.
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jasfoutCommented:
Thank You
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