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Why is my wireless connection dependent on my desktop power status?

Posted on 2012-09-05
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I have cable dsl running to a Linksys wireless router.  My desktop is not connected by cable to either the ISP's equipment or the wireless router, as I just purchased an exteral usb wireless adapter for the desktop, however, if the desktop is either in sleep/hibernation mode or powered off, so is the wireless/internet connection.  This occurs either with the wireless adapter, or directly wired to the router.  Why does the power status of my desktop have any bearing on my wifi/internet if it isn't directly connected, only by a wireless usb?  Even wired?  It's almost as if the desktop is acting as the router in this scenario...ideas/resolutions?
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Question by:scottishlass78
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by:deshaunstyles
ID: 38369097
First of all, I recommend going into power options and setting your machine to NEVER go into hibernate/sleep mode.  That will fix the problem.  Or if you just want to fix the wireless settings go into power options and go to the advanced option.  From there you can edit individual component settings.
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by:scottishlass78
ID: 38369154
I don't want to leave my desktop running constantly either, the connection stops if I shut the PC down completely as well, not only in sleep/hibernate modes.  I've already set those modes to "never".  I don't even use the desktop, but have to leave it on to have an internet connection for all of my household laptops, and I want to avoid that completely.  The desktop shouldn't even be in the connection equation...
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by:deshaunstyles
ID: 38369823
I realize that I misread your first post my apologies.  I thought you were saying that your wireless adapter on your desktop was shutting down.  But you are saying that your entire network is shutting down correct?
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by:scottishlass78
ID: 38370614
Yes, there is no connection when the desktop is in a powerless state.  The wireless signal doesn't display availability in those powerless states either.  The connection is dependent on the desktop being powered on constantly.
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by:deshaunstyles
ID: 38372050
Did you install the router through the wizard that comes on the disc?  Or did you manually log in and configure your settings?  I would suggest a hard reset of the router and reconfigure manually.
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Author Comment

by:scottishlass78
ID: 38372128
I did it manually because I didn't have a disc, I will try to completely redo the setup this weekend when I have more time and will check back then :)  Thanks for the advice :)
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 38379308
DSL requires an old fashioned login name and password (ala dialup) and that is usually set in the DSL modem; but, if it isn't, it may be the desktop which is logging you in abd that would explain things.
What are the makes and models of the DSL modem and the router?
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 38403050
I am interpereting your post in two different ways. So, I have to ask these questions:

Is it the desktop NIC and Wireless that hibernates/goes to sleep? If so, this is an easy question to answer. Go into the ADVANCED power configuration modes of the computer (found in Control Pannel) and disable the NICS from going to sleep when hybernating. This must be done for a Wake-on-LAN scenario.

The second interperetation is the entire Wireless LAN craps out on you. If the desktop wired nic is plugged in as well as an active Wireless connection, you could cause an L2 Loop and a protocol on the switch or router/switch combo can shut a link down to prevent from a broadcast flood. That protocol is called Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). Spanning tree will knock down one leg of the loop with the lowest matric (the Wireless AP to switch/router link).

This too is an easy solve. If this is a domain (with domain controller) you can create a site policy. The policy will DISABLE the wireless when plugged into the wired side (hence, breaking the loop). If unplugged, the wireless connection will be re-enabled. If this is a workgroup environment, this policy will need to be per machine.

One last thought:
Speaking of a Workgroup environment, enabling HOMEGROUP requires an IPv6 compatible router. IPv6 is not often enabled by default on a DSL router. So, your computer is now attacking your router with data it can't process. That's a lot of overhead on a DSL router. In this situation, you would most likely cause a denial of service on anything the router touches (wired and wireless).
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Author Comment

by:scottishlass78
ID: 38405471
To answer your above questions:

Is it the desktop NIC and Wireless that hibernates/goes to sleep? If so, this is an easy question to answer. Go into the ADVANCED power configuration modes of the computer (found in Control Pannel) and disable the NICS from going to sleep when hybernating. This must be done for a Wake-on-LAN scenario.

-It's neither.  Whether the computer itself is in sleep/hibernation, or simply powered off the connection halts.

The second interperetation is the entire Wireless LAN craps out on you. If the desktop wired nic is plugged in as well as an active Wireless connection, you could cause an L2 Loop and a protocol on the switch or router/switch combo can shut a link down to prevent from a broadcast flood. That protocol is called Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). Spanning tree will knock down one leg of the loop with the lowest matric (the Wireless AP to switch/router link).

-I do not have it linked both wired and wirelessly, only wirelessly with a wireless USB adapter, so there is no chance of a loopback.  The DSL modem is connected by CAT5 cable to the wireless router, all of my laptops and desktop connect wirelessly to that router, but if my desktop in a sleep/hibernate mode or shut off, I lose my internet completely, hence, I have to leave the desktop powered on continuously.  I have set the sleep/hibernation settings to "Never" and I have to keep my monitor shut off to keep my desktop turned on for internet connection, and that is what doesn't make a bit of sense, what does my desktop have to do with whether or not my internet connection works?
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 38407715
Assuming this is a Windows 7 laptop and this is not a domain computer administered by a domain administrator:

Go into the Control Pannel>>Power options>>"Change Plans" link>>"Change advanced power settings" link.

Select the "Wireless Adapter settings mode" >> "Power Saving Mode" and change it to the lowest possible value.

Apply your settings changes and OK out of power configuration settings.

-If not a Win 7 OS, what is this desktop OS?
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 38407865
Geeze Louise!

The only explanation for your problem is that the desktop has a "Brodband Connection" in its network connections (Manage Network Adapters in the Network and Sharing Center) and it is where the login name and password for the DSL is.  If you shutdown the PC, the DSL disconnects.

The way it is supposed to be is that the login name and password are stored in the DSL modem.  The most common way to setup the modem is to go to http://192.168.254.254 in a browser and click on the PPP link.  You may have to use the wire from the modem and plug it directly into one of the PC's for that to work; but, once the modem has the login info, you won't disconnect if you power down the PC.
What is the make and model of the DSL modem?
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Accepted Solution

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scottishlass78 earned 0 total points
ID: 38413544
Nipped this one in the bud...the power source that all of my equipment was plugged into, which was a power saver power strip, seemed to have been dependent on the pc being plugged in or powered on, if the pc was powered off, or unplugged from the power strip, nothing had power...  When I replaced the power saver power strip with a regular power strip, everything is now dependent on the strip itself...I still don't know how or why that happened, but I can safely turn off my desktop and still have internet access (wireless) throughout the house...still...a weird case.  Thanks for all your input!
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Author Closing Comment

by:scottishlass78
ID: 38427956
None of the other comments were solutions, they were geared more toward the DSL, or PC internet connection state or settings, when in fact, it was the power strip and its relation to the PC that was causing my issue, a solution I came upon on my own.
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