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Can't use existing wireless network with a new laptop

I use a Toshiba A105-S2716 laptop running WinXP Home Edition to wirelessly connect to the internet through a Westell VersaLink 327W modem.  I recently purchased another Toshiba laptop, a Satellite L35 running Windows Vista Home Basic.

I switched the wireless switch on and entered the modem information to enable the Satellite L35 to access the internet.  The problem is that I only get limited connectivity.  Sometimes I can get on the Web with the L35, but this connection never lasts more than minutes.  I have no problems accessing, or maintaining access to, the internet with my A105-S2716 laptop.

What is the problem and how can I solve it?
1 Solution
see if Toshiba has a firmware update for your wireless card, or viceversa....
endlessAuthor Commented:
How can I find out the firmware version of my wireless card using Windows Visa?

Can I look on the Web to see whether there are any updates to the "firmware" on my wireless card?

I just acquired my Toshiba Satellite L35.  It seems unlikely that the firmware on my wireless card is so outdated that I can't access the Net.

Here is some information I recorded from Wireless Network Connection Status:

IPv4 Connectivity                    Limited

IPv6 Connectivity                    Limited

Media State                             Enabled

SSID                                       (There's a combination of letters and numbers.  I don't think you need
                                                these.  Tell me if you do.)

Duration                                 38:25  (at that second)

Speed                                    54.0 Mbps

Wireless Network Connection Properties

Connect using Atheros AR5005G Wireless Network Adapter

Client for MS Networks                                            checked
QoS Packet Scheduler                                             checked
Internet Protocol Version 6  (TCP/IPv6)                    checked
Internet Protocol Version 4   (TCP/IPv4)                   checked
Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver    checked
Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder             checked

Do you also want information from Network Connection Details?  If so, please tell me what specific information you need.

If you have security on your network set to WEP 64-bit, that may be related to the problem.  I just purchased a Toshiba Satellite A135-4527 (not a machine that impresses by virtue of its specs, but at only $539, perfectly sufficient for keeping up on email, web site maintenance, and code-writing while on the road) and spent a number of hours establishing a wireless connection.

First, I assume that, if your network is set up to allow limiting connection to only those wireless devices whose MAC addresses are specifically listed at an applicable area of your network configuration settings, that the address of the Atheros adapter has in fact been added.  If not, do this first as you don't stand a chance of connecting if the adapter doesn't have explicit permission to access the network.

IAssuming the MAC address isn't the issue, turn off security on your network and see if you can establish a connection without difficulties.  If so, I expect your problem may be the same I was having:  for some reason, the four keys aren't being properly locked in under 64-bit WEP security.  I changed to 128-bit WEP, which uses only one key, and that change resolved the issue.  (Before switching to 128-bit WEP I tried WPA-PSK, but found that that also didn't work.)

I don't know if it's a Toshiba issue or an Atheros issue or a Vista issue, but I wouldn't be surprised if Vista isn't part of the problem.  With any other wireless configuration utility I've used (Netgear, etc.) there are separate fields to enter the four separate 10-character keys, whereas with Vista there's only one field to fill in and you have to change the key identifier from a dropdown box before entering the key.  Even while doing it it didn't feel right, and somewhere along the way there is definitely a problem.  Switching to 128-bit requires just one 26-character string, so the drop down box isn't an issue.

Did SP1 for Vista fix this problem?

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