Problems connecting wirelessly

Posted on 2008-06-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I just bought a laptop with vista hp on and cannot get it to connect to my wireless router.  the broadband was part of a sky package, and even though my laptop can see the router, the connection cycles through
'acquiring ip address' to 'security-enabled network' to 'connected but with limited connectivilty', and ocassionally 'connected' but very briefly before starting the whole process again.  ive tried unplugging the router, removing the device in vista and trying to get it to recognise it again, i even went as far as doing a system restore in case a vista update had upset anything but nothing works.  the thing is that my 8 year old laptop that this laptop replaced, is having no problems whatsoever connecting to the SAME router with xp.  i thought it might have been a faulty NIC but if it can see the router surely this is not the case.  
is there anything i am missing or anything i can do to solve this problem?  any help is much appreciated.
Question by:roosterbooster
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 21758308
Check with router manufacturer/distributor for firmware updates that fix vista secure wireless connection problems.

Author Comment

ID: 21767155
thanks for that ill let you know if it worked.  do you not think though that with the older laptop conecting fine that it may be a problem with the new toshiba one?  i can get the new one to connect at my office, just not at home.
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Darr247 earned 1500 total points
ID: 21769274
OK... I found it... specifically what was changed in vista was use of the broadcast flag on DHCP discovery requests. See

The 'connected but with limited connectivilty' message with an accompanying 169.254.x.x. address is a good indication of the problem described in that KB article.

You should also ensure you have applied SP1 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935791

- - - - below is the response I was just about to send when I found the first KB article above... I'll include it in case the above doesn't help, but that KB article should fix you up if you're unable to update the router's firmware (e.g. using a public hotspot).

I don't remember off-hand exactly what was changed in vista that causes problems with some wireless routers/APs, but there are a few other things you can try. On the vista machine Shift+right-click the Command Prompt link in the 'Start' menu and choose Run As Administrator, then at the command prompt run

netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled autotuninglevel=disabled

That disables Receive-Side Scaling State and the Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level settings.
to see their states run

netsh interface tcp show global

To re-enable the 2 settings the first command disables run

netsh interface tcp set global rss=enabled autotuninglevel=normal

If you missed the part about right-clicking and choosing run as administrator, running any of those commands will probably just give you an error about needing elevated privileges (unless you logon as an administrator all the time).

Still, I don't think that will cure the underlying problem of vista changing the way some things are done, requiring router/AP manufacturers that didn't follow specifications exactly to update the firmware in their equipment so they would work correctly with vista's wireless implementation. Vista actually does improve wireless security and throughput over any previous version of windows, and they did it within specifications, but the way they did some things relied on everyone else following the specs too, when that's sadly not the case here in the real world. :-|

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31465926

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