Losing Wireless Networking Connection

The last week or so I've developed a problem maintaining my wireless network connection.

I'm running Windows XP on a laptop.  I have an external wireless N connector, along with the built in b/g connection.

At the start of the day, I connect without any problems.  But 2 or 3 hours later, I lose my connection.

My computer shows that the two wireless connections are still enabled and still connected, but I don't have any internet connection.

The problem doesn't appear to be with the DSL modem and wireless router.  

If I reboot the computer, without making any changes or reboots at the modem or router, my connections are restored, for another two or three hours at least.

I've updated drivers for the wireless network adapters.

Any other suggestions?
ddrakewiAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Al JeeCommented:
Have you tried:

Start> Control Panel> Network Connections> Right click the wireless connection & select  Repair  

?
0
timwhite151Commented:
What kind of laptop is it?  Have you tried connecting an external wireless adapter to make sure the onboard wireless card isn't the culprit?  You can go to Start>Run>Type "msconfig".
Click on Services tab
Put check in Hide Microsoft Services
Click Disable All
Click Apply

The tab next to Services is Startup, Disable All, Click Apply, Click OK.

Then restart the machine, if things are acting up when you reboot, just do the steps again, but this time click Enable All to set back the way it is now.
0
ddrakewiAuthor Commented:
Stone:  When I've tried repairing the wireless connection, it doesn't make a difference.  The computer shows that the wireless connection is working and connected, both before and after.

Tim:  I do recall that sometime ago, when I connected my external adapter, the internal wireless connection was disabled.  More recently, but long before I started having troubles, both the internal and external connections show as enabled.

I will try to isolate the behavior to either the internal or external adapters, or both.
0
10 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Did you know that ransomware is the most widespread, destructive malware in the world today? It accounts for 39% of all security breaches, with ransomware gangsters projected to make $11.5B in profits from online extortion by 2019.

timwhite151Commented:
Do you use Windows to manage wireless connection or something else?  If Windows, go to services.msc and make sure that Wireless Zero Configuration is set to Automatic and then restart it.
0
jameso99Commented:
If you said you have 2 wireless connections (one internal and one in the N card) this may be affecting it as well.  Maybe see if your laptop has a toggle switch that you can use to disable the internal one and try running just the N card, and if it's dropping then disable the N card and only try the internal card.  That may help narrow down the problem and maybe tell you if one card is bad.  It's never really good to have 2 wireless connections open at once so you'll want to chose which one to keep and not use the other (maybe you need one for traveling and one for home?).

You might also see if there are other connections to the wireless router that are affecting your connection.  If people have your WPA key or if you have not encrypted your signal (ie neighbors getting free internet) you might just check this.
0
wantabe2Commented:
Go into your wireless NIC properties where it shows the WLANs you've connected to. DELETE THEM ALL. Reboot, & reconnect to your WLAN. If you still have issue it sounds like you may have a neighboring WLAN on or near the same channel as yours. Log into your access point or router & change the channel to 1 or 11. You can download Netstumbler from http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/ & you will be able to see all the neighboring WLANs. This could be your problem the more I think about it.
0
Ravi AgrawalCommented:
Maybe some power save feature of the Wifi nic is kicking in.

Control Panle >> System >> Hardware tab >> Device Manager button >> Network Adapters >> Select your wifi nic >> Right click and select properties >> Power Management tab.

Uncheck any power saving options and check.

Ravi.
0
ddrakewiAuthor Commented:
Update:
Well, after turning off my internal wireless connection, my external connection stayed on for almost two days....but as luck would have it, it crashed again this morning.

1) I did the repair wireless connection routine, with no luck,

2) After the repair, the wireless connection showed itself to be "good", but no connection to the internet.

3) Even as the wireless connection showed itself to be active, enabled and connected,

4) When I did  the ipconfig/rlenew command, I got the error message that the "media was disconnected"

So I'm still confused, if the wireless network icon shows that it's connected, why does ipconfig show that it's disconnected?
0
Ravi AgrawalCommented:
I guess the signals of the two wifi nics were probably interfering with each other and cancelling them out,

Two days without a crash is enough to go. At least I could go with rebooting once every 48 hours.

Moreover, I think that there could be a power (electricity) factor that could have caused the crash. Computers which work on bits and bytes are quite sensitive to power requirements and a small change in power supply could cause a crash.

You are having a stable connection now (crashing after 48 hours cannot be said due to instability). Maybe I am hurting you by saying that but its a practical thing.

Ravi.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
timwhite151Commented:
I have the same thing happen to me on a Toshiba laptop.  It is due to the internal wireless adapter.  I'll just go into services and restart the WLAN service and it's fine until it stalls out, probably due to no activity.  
0
Al JeeCommented:
Is there anything showing up in the Event Viewer for System or Applications?
0
Al JeeCommented:
oops

and does Device Manager show any problems once the connection is dropped?
0
ddrakewiAuthor Commented:
re: Event Viewer

I didn't log the time that my connection failed but I did go back and found two entries that referred to

The ANIWZCSd Service service entered the stopped state.

as well as computer browser service stopped around the time that my wireless connection failed.

I appreciate the perspective of Ravi as well.  In the scheme of things, having to re-boot every couple of days isn't bad.  However, when it's several times a day, it is more aggravating.

Finally, re power...............my wireless adapter is connected to a USB hub that is connected to a docking station.  Would having the USB hub powered help insure against shutdowns?

0
Ravi AgrawalCommented:
I do not intend to divert you by saying this but I too faced an annoying problem with a modem that had a USB port.

It was not the plug and play type USBstick but a Router cum modem. However the modem has 4 LAN ports & one USB port. The USB port when connected with your PC with the proper drivers installed creates a Local area connection in the eyes of windows XP.

In my case, the modem would hang / freeze with the same media disconnected state as in your case when I switched on a fluorescent light near it. A modem reboot always cleared it and the next time I did the same, it would freeze again. I replicated the problem several times. However, much of it came at the cost of poor grounding at my place as an optical USB mouse also exhibited the same behaviour so the modem was not at fault rather the motherboard and power supply.

If you could rule out such issues, it would be worthwhile.

Ravi.
0
swappedsrCommented:
Upgrade the firmware on your route.  Also, sometimes there is a power setting for the wireless card, which turns off the card to save power.  Usually you have to go to the properties of the wireless connection to find it.  
0
swappedsrCommented:
*router
0
swappedsrCommented:
Sorry for the double post, didn't see that GRTraders posted this, follow his instructions and post back.
0
Al JeeCommented:
Wow!  8-0

"my wireless adapter is connected to a USB hub that is connected to a docking station. "  

That can produce all sorts of ghosts.
There are so many variables...

Connecting to major communication devices via USB can be a nightmare.
I have seen systems that have no trouble at all; I have seen systems that just will not work reliably or at all, and I have seen everything in between.

Throwing a docking station into the mix...    whew!

Your problem could very well be USB related as well as a conflict between the two wireless adapter and/or a hardware issue with the docking station.

It certainly will not hurt to use a powered USB hub if you absolutely have to use a hub.

It would be a good idea to unplug everything USB but the wireless and see if the symptoms persist.

It would also be a good idea to bypass the docking station at some point, if the symptoms persist, to see if that fixes things.

I missed seeing if you have tried disabling one or the other adapters.
That should have been one of the 1st things tried.


0
ddrakewiAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the suggestions...I'll continue to monitor the wireless connection, it's been relatively well behaved this week, perhaps it knows I've been talking about it.

Thanks again for all the help
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Wireless Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.