Computer freezes when connected to wireless adapter

I have a client with a Compaq Presario SR1135CL running Windows XP SP2. The computer freezes intermittenly but I have been able to recreate it to the point where it appears to happen when on email or the internet while connected wirelessly. It does not seem to happen (or I can't recreate it) when plugged into the internet with an ethernet cable.

I did a complete system recovery with the Compaq System Recovery tool.
 
I bought a new Linksys USB wireless adapter (the old one was a Zyxel), installed it and was able to immediately recreate the problem.
The computer does NOT seem to freeze if plugged into the internet with ethernet cable. It only appears freezes when connected wirelessly with the USB adapter.

I have run the hardware diagnostics that came with the HP computer. They all passed.
lrthamesAsked:
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PUNKYCommented:
Get a wireless PCMCIA card that is more reliable than any wireless usb devices! You can do a little search and see how many troubles that are from usb.
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Peter HartCommented:
I assume the Compaq Presario SR1135CL is a desktop not a laptop.
Is it USB 1.1 or USB 2.0?  some ofthe wireless USB don't work to good with 1.1
if so buy a USB 2.0 card and slot it in and then try the USB wireless adapter.
otherwise if it is 2.0 usb check at this link fofr the latest drivers for the USB or there maybe a firmware upgrade:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/ProductList.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=135&prodTypeId=12454&prodSeriesId=450249
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Peter HartCommented:
of course given the choice I would use ethernet cable everytime.
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lrthamesAuthor Commented:
Yes, it's a desktop.
The new Linksys USB adapter says it's compatible with USB 1.1 or USB 2.0. I'll go tomorrow and see if I can get either a PCI wireless device or a USB 2.0 card.
I told the client to just use the ethernet connection but she doesn't want to run an ethernet cable from one side of the room to the other. (What horrors! :-) )
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PUNKYCommented:
Oop! so get a PCI wireless card then. I would choose Linksys rather than else.
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Peter HartCommented:
as punky says a PCI wirless card will also do - as its only in the same room - I dislike PCI wireless as the aerial hides behind a metal PC case and tends to have poor signal with a USB you can bring up the device u and away from the metel case and possibly metal framed desk.

Have you downlloaded thelatest drivers for the device and windows is up to date with service packs?
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lrthamesAuthor Commented:
I think the only options for a desktop are USB or PCI for wireless connectivity. Which one is better?
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Peter HartCommented:
as I mentioned I prefer a USB as it can come out from under.
if the PC has an ethernet socket then I also like the 'gaming/bridge adapters' these provide ethernet connectivity using wireless. but the computer thinks its wired.
see:
http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=333
or
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Linksys-WGA11B-Wireless-Gaming-Adapter/dp/B00005JJEO

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PUNKYCommented:
USB devices are easy to hookup and can be placed (with long cable) better position as noted above, but PCI is more reliable. It is up to you, from what I experienced about usb, I really want to avoid infamous issues with usb that can happen anytime.
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lrthamesAuthor Commented:
I bought a PCI wireless card today. It is installed and I am testing by downloading a large file. I will keep you posted. I still like to know why this is happening but I'd be happy just to have it fixed.
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PUNKYCommented:
Regarding the error:
At the time the error occurring, how many usb or external devices attached to computer?
Did you see error in device manager at usb entries?
Did you check event log?
How big your PSU?

We will need more information.
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Peter HartCommented:
has the problem now gone with the wireless PCI Card?
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lrthamesAuthor Commented:
At the time of error, there was no indication of any problem. The only thing plugged into USB was the wireless adapter, mouse, keyboard. The computer just froze. Couldn't do any keyboard or mouse commands. When I look at device manager, all looks fine but I couldn't every debug anything when the crash occurs. The computer would just lock up. The only way out of it was to hold power button until the computer shut down and then restart it.
As of right now, the PCI wireless adapter has been plugged in and I've been messing around on the internet for about 2 hours. No freezes yet.
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Peter HartCommented:
cool - I would say Punky is right about the buggy old 1.1 usb.
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lrthamesAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help. The PCI wireless card has been working since yesterday with no freezes. With USB adapter, I couldn't go 1 hour without a freeze. Still would like to know why the USB adapter made the computer freeze.
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PUNKYCommented:
It is hard to give an answer for what you wanted to find out on usb infamous issues!

Common issues listed below:

- System is underpower and many external devices attached same time.
- Corruption drivers or registry - this can be fixed by remove / uninstall and let windows redects and reinstall.
- Remove the usb stick in incorrect way - while device is still in use, etc.
- USB Device problem - this can be tested on other system see if issue occurring similar.
- Many more .....

I suspect that your system has problem with usb already or the device is faulty. Sort thing out one by one. Test usb device on other PC and use other usb device on system.
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