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Wireless connection drops

Posted on 2009-02-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We have a wireless cable modem/router -- Netgear CG814M -- connected to Comcast. For the most part, it works fine, but because of the age of the town's cable system, we will occasionally see our connection drop. Not a big deal; it comes back, and were it not for one lousy program I use a lot, my desktop and laptop both reconnect right away.

The problem is with my wife's laptop -- a Toshiba Satellite running Vista home. If she tries to reconnect to the network, Vista tells her there are no wireless networks within range -- even though she's all of ten feet from the router. The only solution she has found so far is to do a shutdown/restart -- which is obviously a royal pain.

I've been through configuration files for the network, for the internal wireless card in her laptop, and for the router, and can't find anything that looks out of the ordinary or different from what I see on a Win2K machine or an XP machine... but I'll admit to not being very familiar with Vista.

Can someone point me in the right direction so I can set up her computer to automatically look for our home network?

Thanks!

ep
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Question by:Eric AKA Netminder
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13 Comments
 
LVL 59

Assisted Solution

by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 496 total points
ID: 23688185
This page from Netgear is about Vista compatibility for its products:

http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/n101649.asp#vista_wirelessrouter

Yours is not listed.  There are some routers that have trouble with Vista, as detailed in this MS article:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;928233
Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-Microsoft DHCP servers

Also:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;932134
An outdated network router may not function correctly when you use it together with new networking features in Windows Vista
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Assisted Solution

by:Cobra25
Cobra25 earned 496 total points
ID: 23688365
Have you given this tool a try:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/using/tools/igd/results.mspx

It helped a few people i know with their wireless issues on Vista.
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Author Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 23688486
Lee,

There's SOME relevant information there; adding the registry key might work. The problem isn't that the computer can't find the network in the first place, but rather, that once the network drops and resets, the Vista computer doesn't see that the network exists at all unless the hardware is reset.

Does that make sense?

Cobra,

I'll give it a shot (assuming she lets me touch her computer), and will report back.

ep
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Assisted Solution

by:agamal
agamal earned 496 total points
ID: 23688531
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Author Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 23688683
agamal,

The first link is apparently about an adapter card; in this case, the wireless modem is internal to the laptop, so I don't think it's relevant.

The second link has a couple of things that might be relevant, though. It seems like I saw that her modem was looking, by default, at channel 11. I can certainly reset the router to a different channel (or reset her computer to look on channel 6, which is what the router is set to at the moment)... but it seems like the computer finds the router/network easily enough when she turns it on; it's only when the connection to the cable system drops for a moment that she has the problem.

Do you think that could be a factor?

ep
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Bob Stone
ID: 23689049
Are you using any sort of IPSec or Mac filtering on the router?

What encryption level are you using on the wireless connection?

Do you have IPv6 enabled on the Vista laptop?
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Expert Comment

by:Bob Stone
ID: 23689055
To be more clear, turn off Mac filtering, don't use WEP128, and disable IPv6 on laptop.
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LVL 15

Author Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 23689109
"...Are you using any sort of IPSec or Mac filtering on the router?..."

None.

"...What encryption level are you using on the wireless connection?..."

Minimal. We're too far away from anyone so why bother. In fact, that's part of the reason the cable connection keeps dropping, at least, according to the Comcast techs. In any case, it's not an issue.

"...Do you have IPv6 enabled on the Vista laptop?..."

Not unless it comes that way by default. I'll have to check.

ep
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LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
Bob Stone earned 512 total points
ID: 23689141
To disable IPv6 see http://www.microsoft.com/technet/network/ipv6/ipv6faq.mspx

Q.      How do I disable IPv6 in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008?
      
A.      

Unlike Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, IPv6 in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 cannot be uninstalled. However, you can disable IPv6 in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 by doing one of the following:
"      

In the Network Connections folder, obtain properties on all of your connections and adapters and clear the check box next to the Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) component in the list under This connection uses the following items.

This method disables IPv6 on your LAN interfaces and connections, but does not disable IPv6 on tunnel interfaces or the IPv6 loopback interface.
"      

Add the following registry value (DWORD type) set to 0xFFFFFFFF:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Parameters\DisabledComponents

This method disables IPv6 on all your LAN interfaces, connections, and tunnel interfaces but does not disable the IPv6 loopback interface. You must restart the computer for this registry value to take effect.

For additional information about the DisabledComponents registry value, see Configuring IPv6 with Windows Vista.

If you disable IPv6, you will not be able to use Windows Meeting Space or any application that relies on the Windows Peer-to-Peer Networking platform or the Teredo transition technology.
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LVL 15

Author Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 23689179
Yeah, one of the links posted by agamal suggests that in passing. But if it works... what the heck. There's another link I found that has details on a registry edit too; I can't remember if it's the same one.

ep
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Expert Comment

by:agamal
ID: 23691725
test it and see if solved then WAAAW if not we will find you the registry editing page ;)
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LVL 15

Author Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 23693015
Thanks; I can find the registry editor. It's windy today, with storms in the forecast, which means we'll probably see the signal from Comcast drop at least once... *grin*

Thanks!

ep
0
 
LVL 15

Author Closing Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 31549081
Thanks to all. I'm still stepping through this, but so far, the results are promising, so I'm confident about closing this question.

ep
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