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sprint wireless cards - internet connectivity issues all the sudden

Posted on 2011-10-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi I had a customer bring me their laptop because they were having internet connectivity issues with the wi fi card. Prior to bringing it to me they called sprint and did a ping test and sprint said everything shows to be ok on their end. So since the customer believed it was a windows issue, they brought the laptop to me. I ran basic spyware apps and deleted anything suspicious it found, then I plugged the card in and still it did not work. I opened IE and I got nothing- no internet not even an error (after several minutes an error came up) but usually when the internet has an issue the error shows up right away.

I removed the card and downloaded the drivers on my laptop, disabled my wifi and plugged the USB wifi card in and after the drivers installed I rebooted my laptop. Logged back into windows, the sprint software I installed gave me a full signal. I tried to go online and the same thing happened- the page tried to load but nothing happened, also again no errors until several minutes later. At that time I told the customer I believe they have a faulty wifi card despite sprints over the air testing which they claimed showed no issues.

The customer went to a sprint store with his laptop, at first it didnt work when they tested it then they pulled his account up and several minutes later they tried it and it worked. He said he thought they changed a setting on his account because they didnt do anything in terms of changing settings on the laptop. So issue resolved (or so he thought), He shut the computer off, turned it back on and then tested it again (at sprint) and it still worked, so he went home. Got home and tried it again, and it didnt work once again!

Went back to sprint the next day and they said they could do advanced testing for 35 bucks, or he can upgrade to a 3G / 4G card, (the U600) and pay $50 for the card and get a $50 gift card so its like getting it for free. He did that and they plugged the new 3G / 4G card into the computer and got it working. He went back to his house and amazingly when he got home he STILL could not connect to the internet (the card was in 3G mode). He switched over to 4G mode and on 4G mode it does connect, but only has 1 bar of reception.

To eliminate poor  reception from being the cause of the problem I asked him to bring his laptop to another location and try it so he tried it at his work (in the city) and it did the same thing- it connects to the 3G but no web pages load, and when he switched it to the 4G he got a full signal once again, and this time it did load his home page (google) and also he was able to log into his godaddy account to retrieve his new emails, however he claimed that some websites that he had saved in his favorites did not work (such as his credit card company’s login page and a few other sites). Since he logged into his godaddy account I assume it cant be a cached web page (loading from prior temp files) it has to be the actual site since he put his login info in and had access to his account. It’s a real mystery to me.

He has windows vista for an OS :-( and I know for a fact that his wifi signal does not automatically connect to the net if reception is available- it has to be manually set (so I know he cant be getting a partial wifi signal that is interfering in any way).  So….any advice or ideas?
Question by:hydrive1902
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

marine7275 earned 300 total points
ID: 36993853
Step 1-upgrade to Win7

Assisted Solution

David11011 earned 500 total points
ID: 36993956
I deal with these damned wireless cards all the time. They are all as buggy as hell. I would start by disabling all network interface except the wireless card then connect to the sprint network in 3g mode. Once you're connected:
 1. open up command prompt and do an IPCONFIG /ALL.
 2. Make sure that your IP address doesn't start with 169.
 3. Check to see that you are getting a proper DNS server listed
 4 Try and ping the computer's IP, Default Gateway, and DNS servers.

Also, I know that marine7275's simple, one line post sounds trite but it may help. Upgrading the person's laptop to Windows 7 is probably out of the question; However, I would try that same card in a laptop that is running windows 7 or Xp and see if you get the same results. Like I said these cards are ALWAYS buggy and usually are more belligerent while running Vista over any other OS.  There may be a compatibility problem that you can do nothing about.
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

Aaron Tomosky earned 1200 total points
ID: 36994055
Does he have any VPN or proxy setup?
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Author Comment

ID: 36994461
Hi, believe or not I did sugest to him to upgrade to windows 7, but he doesnt want to do that unless he knows its gonna work (I could always throw a spare drive in the laptop and install windows 7 on that- if it doesnt work still just reformat the drive and put his original back in).

No VPN / proxy set up.

I will keep this topic open for another day just incase someone has any "magical solutions" and if nothing new is posted within a day or so I will give the points out and close the topic. Thanks for the quick replies!
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 36994715
I use AT&T cards not sprit but on problem laptops I've found that the generic app from the manufacturer (Sierra wireless usually) works better than the AT&T app that comes with it.

Author Comment

ID: 36995275
hmm thats an idea aaron- guess it cant hurt to try that.

I just talked to him and one other odd thing its doing is it is not loading subdomain (?) pages. For example I told him to go to cnn.com.. Cnn.com loads on his screen but when he click a link on that site the screen turns white and it says loading (but never loads). Same with fedex.com, he can get to the main site but he clicked "track a package" and the screen turns white and it says "loading".

I told him to try it on his mac computer (if the drivers on the card are mac compatable then he can install it and try it on that) and see if he has the same issue (connected on another OS besides vista).
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 36995615
Ssl sites a problem? I think fedex at least adds ssl past the first page

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37034534
upgraded to windows 7 and that did it!

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