Cisco Aironet, Windows XP, IBM T42 connection drops, deauthenticates randomnly

Posted on 2006-05-08
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
I work for a large company that deploys Cisco Aironet 1200 access points running IOS versions 12.x (12.2 and .3 mostly) and using both internal Intel Centrino NICs and some external Cisco PC NICs.  The issue is dropped connections.  They drop for just a few seconds and then reconnect and reauthenticate.  Some of the apps we are using are very senstive to dropped connections - which causes users to have to log out and back in.  However, the drops do not occur with Cisco cards.  I am suspecting this is a bug in XP and possibly the internal NIC since they seem to work better with external cards, hence the external antennas.  Anyone seen this issue before, work with similar equipment or have any ideas whatsoever?  I am stumped and this is becoming high profile.  Thanks for all of your help.
Question by:cchavis
    1 Comment
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    I experienced this problem last year at one of our clients (by whom I am now employed). We ordered 18 HP laptops and had issues with the connections dropping. Our students also used roaming profiles and they rarely loaded correctly. The connections dropped several times a day and the laptops were pretty much useless (as far as wireless was concerned). We also used Cisco 1200 APs with the latest IOS software. We had 12 older laptops that had Cisco Aironet 350 cards and never experienced problems.

    Eventually, we coerced HP into sending new internal NICs. We installed the internal NICs and have not had a problem in over a year. Since, we have ordered 80 new HP laptops and I have noticed that they contain a Cisco compatible label on the bottom of the laptop. The troubled laptops did not contain that label.

    It may be hard to convince your vendor to ship new wireless NICs. It may be easier to ask for one NIC for testing. If it works, then you have a good reason to ask for a total replacement.

    You will probably need to ensure that XP SP2 is installed on all of your troubled laptops. SP2 has wireless enhancements and could correct the problem you are experiencing. Your supplier will probably require SP2 to be installed before relinquising new wireless NICs.

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