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XBOX 360 causing LAN problems?

Posted on 2008-09-30
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We've got a client with LAN using a NETGEAR WG614v7 router via VIRGIN internet. When I called to repair a PC I noticed a new HP VISTA laptop lying with a NETGEAR w/l adaptor plugged in so was intrigued as to why it was in use when the laptop has an active WLAN card installed?
I found that the adaptor/conn. was secured with WEP encryption on the VISTA laptop so suggested upgrading it to WPA for security reasons. I set about this and it turned out that I knocked the LAN off & cannot got it back on working properly?
I reset the router & used WPA (TKIP) to secure it & set the latop up to use it. I then set the w/l 360 up which was fine but the laptop then lost conn? since then nothing will work & I've just heard tonight that even though I set the 360 up on WPA it's been dropping it's connection so the client reverted to a cable.

The client maintains that the WEP LAN worked fine via the NETGEAR WG111v2 adaptor but anyone with any knowledge of VISTA will tell you that VISTA doesn't accept WEP as it's unsecure where as VISTA is very secure & demands the same.
I think the client has either been accessing the net via a misconfiguration of ICS or a neighbours LAN via VISTA's option to use another LAN if the preferred LAN is unavailable but I could be wrong. We've tried to set the laptop up on our own LAN via WEP as well as other VISTA laptops without success all day.
My CCNA certified associate & I have put all we know into this today & so far have come up with the fact that the 360's are using w/l controllers which use frequency 2.4 that has been proven to interfere with LAN's using 802.11b &g suggestions seems to point to using w/ band A but the router only supports B & G so that option is a no goer. I also use the same router & tried mine but still nothing so their router is fine.

I just CANNOT fathom as to how they've got away with 128mb WEP on a VISTA laptop using an adaptor, LOL I also wish I'd not been so helpful & left it alone  :/
We're going to the premises tomorrow to try & sort it out once & for all so any ideas are welcome. I'm going to suggest moving the modem & router closer to the computers (all in one room) then try cabling the two 360's & DT PC to the router then giving the laptop access via WPA-PSK AES. This to me would be the best solution but if I can set it up quickly without doing this I'd love an answer?
 
I'm looking for a very experienced 360 user or network expert here, we're both MCP trained and do realise it's an issue with the 360's constant output signal of 2.4khz input to switch it on & we think this is interferring with the w/l signal to the laptop.
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Question by:RightClickFix
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by:evan2645
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the 360 isn't the problem. ALL 802.11 B and G wireless devices operate on 2.4ghz because that is the frequency of wifi. it is other devices, such as cordless phones, that operate on that frequency that cause interference because they are not wifi aware.

furthermore, vista does support WEP. the trick is the difference between a  "passphrase" and an actual wep key. some routers will accept alpha-numerical phrases as a wep key and then convert them into the hex strings required for actual WEP encryption; others take the hex key straight up. vista can calculate the correct string from a passphrase, and also accept the hex key straight up, so it is possible that somehow these two are being confused. an actual wep key will be of a fixed length, while a passphrase can presumably be any length

how did you "knock the lan off" what exactly were you doing when this event occured, and what is it exactly that happened that makes you say it was knocked off? are you able to see the target network at all from the laptop?
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by:evan2645
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PS>> is there firmware available for the netgear
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by:zephyr_hex
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you might also try static IP assignment, and verify that the router's DHCP is configured so that it doesn't hand out addresses in the static range.
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by:RightClickFix
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Thanks for getting back to me evan. I knocked the LAN off by trying to upgrade security to WPA via the router so that the HP laptop could access the LAN without the need of its external USB adaptor as it has its own as explained above.

Yes all w/l is 2.4ghz but apparently the w/l controllers & 360 receiver can have an effect on a w/l b/g LAN & this is news to me? Can you confirm this is not the issue for me please? According to XBOX.com channel A is best but as you know its note there for this router at least!

The clients cordless handset actually rang while I was there & I handed it to the client to answer while I was there so now I feel a little embarrassed as I have had this issue with w/l doorbells previously which was quite amusing :)

I rang the client this evening to report on the status of our research & they gave me a 23 digit passphrase (HEX WEP key) that they found in a drawer (grrr). This is obviously a 128bit key that they've put in VISTA to gain access via their router and the router must've accepted the WEP key from the VISTA laptop?
We've been trying to put HEX keys in all day on our LAN with no results except with limited connectivity. No f/wall intervention or other interruptions either & all services running as normal.

I'll try to set the LAN up tomorrow using their WEP as they had it & with their 23 digit HEX key but I really do feel as though it should be WPA in this day & age of the net & being security concious but I'd give anything right now just to see it work sadly :(
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by:RightClickFix
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cheers zephyr, yes a static IP is an option we've thought about as you can imagine after such an escapade. We thought of giving the 360 on w/l a static IP & maybe via ACL too & its even been suggested that a static IP outside the LAN pool could work (is that what you meant?) & even a 2nd router to give two different bandwidth frequencies but to me this is getting a bit ridiculous given the fact that all these items are meant to be "home user" friendly :/

I've d/l the l8st f/w for the WGR614v7 router (dated early 07) & will go fully armed tomorrow & check it all out. I'll report back with our findings.
If anyone can pick out anything then please do! its all a learning curve for us anyway :)

cheers,

Andy
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by:zephyr_hex
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"apparently the w/l controllers & 360 receiver can have an effect on a w/l b/g LAN & this is news to me"

this has not been my experience.  i run a 2.4 GHz b/g wireless router in my house, and have no connectivity issues:
two 360's with MS wireless adapters
two laptops (1 Vista, 1 OS X)
the 360 wireless controllers have never interfered.
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evan2645 earned 500 total points
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something that i always try right off the bat when i see problems with encrypted wifi is to disable all security for a day and see if the problem persists. this will verify if the problem indeed lies with the encryption. also check the specs on the wireless card some cards dont support wpa

additionally, i have just found this:
"When Vista tries to connect to a WEP-secured system, it seems to force all generated keys (from the passphrase) to 64 bit."
so, if there is incompatibility or problems with WPA and you want to go back to WEP, then my recommendation is to totally avoid passphrases and go with the hex codes. have you been doing this?
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by:RightClickFix
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Cheers guys, yes I agree that the cordless controllers is a funny one having used my own for years and still am via PS3 on my own LAN without any issues. We found it in a forum somewhere & were clutching at straws to be honest.
I think it has to be the WEP encryption & VISTA as I cannot get the laptop to hook up to the router with it. The laptop hooks up via WPA on other LAN's like my office which is using the identical same router to the clients. The client had been using a 26 digit WEP key which is 128bit & I noticed today on it that ICS had been enabled so maybe they'd messed around until the net worked, LOL

I don't think the issue is whether WEP or WPA are used as all the computers & consoles are WPA capable. The issue is the fact that DHCP seems to break down when more than one device is attached? I took my router along & hooked it up & got the same results which then got me to think on the lines of WEP as that had been working for them.

I'd rather set it up on WPA & am sure all would agree for security purposes its the best but something is stopping DHCP giving out IP's if more than one device is used & my head is done in!  :?
The client just wants me to put it back the way it was with the NETGEAR adaptor in the laptop even though it doesn't need it & its making me look mental, LOL
I've set three other LAN's & routers up this week without a problem so I know it's not me :)

We're going tomorrow morning to hopefully sort it out once & for all. I suggested we put the two 360's & desktop PC which are all together in a small room (conservatory) on a cable to the router & set the laptop up with WPA-PSK AES. This way the w/l conn. will be less hassle for a single mother with 3 kids in the long term. I'll disable all security first which I should really have done so ta for the heads up!
It doesn't get around the WEP problem either which has opened my eyes & I will persue it. Thanks for the 64bit info evan2645 I'll see how it goes tomorrow & report back.

ps: I'll also test all rj45's & disable all AV & F/Wall's & check f/w in router is l8st release. If I've missed anything please jump in, cheers
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by:evan2645
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if you suspect DHCP is a problem then set a static on the laptop. if you still arent able to ping the router after you set the static then the dhcp server isn't the problem

also, i have seen problems with DHCP in linksys wrt54g before. this router is awesome because it is gpl'd, and you can get third party firmware for it which really blows the linksys stuff out of the water, here:
http://dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv3/index.php
this firmware is available in many many different versions and types, so check if the netgear they are using is on the compatibility list. i have seen flashing this firmware resolve very strange problems
if it is supported, find a page with detailed instructions on how to flash that EXACT model, which version to use, etc... it is most definitely worth it, but you must follow the directions carefully...
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by:RightClickFix
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nice one evan I knew about the f/w you mention but have never used it. Their site lists every other WGR614 except v7 bloody typical! maybe its just been overlooked? good for a back up plan anyway. I'll try a similar vsn in my own 614 1st & see how it goes.

I'm going to take my own (TP-LINK 108) router with me from home this morning in case the NG won't play & see if that works.
Wish me luck :)
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by:RightClickFix
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We went in today & moved the modem & router into the conservatory where all the deviced are. Then set the PC & 2 360's up on cables to the router. They all got an IP & worked flawlessly which proved it wasn't a DHCP issue so we set the laptop up on the network with no encryption & it worked fine so we set it up using WPA2-PSK-AES which dropped out so then tried WPA-TKIP & dropped the channel to 1 from 6 (was originally 11 upon 1st visit) as there was about 4 neighbouring networks which seemed to be interrupting somehow? maybe same frequency? This worked a treat & we rebooted the laptop (doing an msconfig along the way) ;) to find it hooked str8 up.

Having set the laptop up & got all devices on the net at once we thought we'd beaten it until after about an hour & a half when the laptop (vista) lost it's globe (local only) after a phone call to the house. A reboot sorted it but it now tells me that there's something knocking the signal off even though the 360's & adaptor have been taken out of the equation?
The signal from the NETGEAR WGR614v7 really belts out a good signal & we got 4 bars in all rooms of the small house despite the router sitting on an outside window sill in the conservatory! (outside)

I now think that something is cutting the signal out. Whether it's the home phone (tested without any problems), fridge/freezer (found this out today that they have caused problems?) or maybe a channel issue but at least it's stabalized, WEP is gone & all kids can play hasppily on-line via cable :)

I personally feel like I've cheated to get a result but for me a cabled LAN in this situation is the best option as it gives the new laptop better on-line security and freedom & no kids moaning about games lost over wireless drop-outs.

I'll take onboard the VISTA - WEP issue & will toy with the info I've been given (thanks guys) and have also bookmark the f/w site for future use. The gr8 thing about computing is the fact that its always a learning curve no matter how much you know 8)

If anyone can pick up on anything from that then please do & question what we've done by all means. I'd rather learn than do half a job!

cheers,

Andy
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by:RightClickFix
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thanks for your input evan, I redid the LAN on cables & laptop worked on WPA but will use the good WEP info which you gave me & which is why I've accepted your reply as the solution.
I think there was also an issue with neibouring channels too which we seem to have resolved :)

thanks

Andy
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