wireless networks are not detected (Thinkpad X24)

Hello everyone,

I've been having a lot of difficulty with detection of wireless networks with my IBM High Rate MiniPCI Combo Card. Lately, the networks are detected intermittently and I wasn't able to detect what does it depend on.

My hardware is:
Thinkpad X24 (2662)
IBM High Rate MiniPCI Combo Card

When I first got the laptop, there hasn't been any problem. Now, however, when I go into Wireless Network Connection configuration window, no wireless network is detected, while I know there's more than one network available in the same location detected by other laptops.

Yesterday, it detected the networks for a brief period of time and then stopped doing so again after a reboot.

The device manager shows that the card is functioning properly, card status shows that the wireless is on and searching. I've tried removing, installing and updating drivers (the drivers are now latest available - 2.00.09), upgrading firmware (to 1.04) - nothing seems to help.

Is this a hardware or a software problem? Any ideas how to fix this?

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I'd think this is a hardware problem and the card is dying (just make sure the wires for the antennae are connected. If possible, test the card in another PC.
sinexecAuthor Commented:
Actually, it would make sense if the antennae would be become disconnected causing this type issues. How can I check (and reconnect if needed) the antennae?
I would consider buying a PC Card (PCMCIA ) card replacement that handles the newest technology. Netgear is recommended. #25 - $40

I hope this helps !
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If you open the cover to the miniPCI card, you should see one or two smallcables that are attached to the card. This is usually a similar construction to press button connections for clothes, if these aren't connected properly to the card the antennae won't have a good signal.

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Go into your wireless network connections properties and under "this connection uses the following items make sure there is only *Client for ms. networks & *File and Printer sharing & *Internet Protocol TCP/IP no other protocols should be listed as they try talking at same time as TCP/IP is and no one can hear a thing and you don't find your connection. If any other stuff in this box just highlight it and then click ununstall.
Next highlight the Internet Protocol TCP/IP and click on properties and make sure you are set to automatically recieve an IP and DNS.
then click on your wireless device tab and at bottom click on the Advanced button and be sure you have the correct type of Wireless network chosen usually would be the middle one the "Infastructure"
This is what I find to be wrong most of the time and then they are able to get on and dont get booted off or have a slow connection.
Hope this helps ya if not I to would have to say go get a different device try one of the Belkin USB devices that have an extra usb and cord that you can plug in and then set it where ever you want to get the best reception.
Good Luck
Have you considered inteferance?  

My home network drops out if I place my cordless DECT phone base station near to the AP.  I also found that a SCART wireless video sender severely degraded the signal - I no longer use it.

I appreciate that other wireless devices are not supposed to intefere, but fact is that as soon as I switched off the aditional devices around my AP... Full signal was restored.

Wooky JackCommented:
DO you have a button on the laptop that enables or disables wireless networks?  Some laptops come with them for reasons of wanting to plug in hard wire ethernet in which case it is useful to disable the wireless card.  Does your laptop equip this?  If you don't know, what does your laptop manual say about wireless settings?  Have you troubleshooted in the manual as well?

It is pretty easy to press this disable button, I've done it myelf several times!
sinexecAuthor Commented:
1) As far as I understand, most PCMCIA wi-fi cards are much more power hungry than the MiniPCI ones. Plus, network PCMCIA card would stick out of the port quite a bit and that's not really acceptable on my ultraportable laptop..

2) I've checked my network connection settings and there's nothing unusual there, tried setting the card to connect to "Infrastructure" only.

3) As far as interference, yes, I have considered that, but this problem reappears everywhere I go - even with seemingly robust wireless networks (like a university wi-fi network) it sometimes works, sometimes does not. I do have a cordless phone in my room, but disconnecting it doesn't seem to make much difference as far as my router at home.

4) There is no wireless card on/off switch on my model.

One thing I did notice recently that makes me think that there still is a possibility of a software issue is that sometimes the wireless card driver utility status says "Unable to communicate with a card driver", resetting card typically solves the and resores the signal. However, at other times when "No wireless networks were found in range", nothing seems to make a difference. Any other suggestions?
If this is XP, I would go back to a previous restore point where it was working.
Otherise it could be hardware a dying miniPC card, or a bunch of other issues.

IBM normally loads configsafe that allows restoring to previous restore points ( if not XP )

I hope this helps!
I recently had a client with a similar problem: his laptop (Acer) would sometimes detect his network, sometimes his neighbour's, and sometimes no network at all...

I replaced his w/less router, replaced all cabling,  and installed a seperate w/less adapter,  all to no avail.

Eventually I tried moving the router.  Bingo!  By moving it to the other side of the room, it began to operate normally.  The wall it was against originally was an external wall,  and his house alarm box was mounted outside, directly behind where the router was situated.

I would recommend checking the vicinity of the WAP/router for anything that might cause interference,  and experiment with moving the router to a different location...
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