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Wireless Access Points Won't Connect Devices Unless Rebooted

Posted on 2013-10-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
We have 5-6 access points across a large building. The access points are cheap mismatching brands that have been setup over time as needed. Each one is plugged into our LAN and configured pretty basic. Each has the same SSID, DHCP disabled, and works.

The problem is at varying times I will get a call from users who can't connect to one. When they connect it doesn't give them an IP address on the network and gives the old 'limited connection message' (DHCP is configured on our Domain Controllers) unless I go and reboot the access point, then all works fine. It happens to each brand of access points we have setup. I've checked our DHCP server and we still have plenty of addresses left in the pool.

Does anyone have any ideas or solutions, could it be a switch gone bad somewhere? Any troubleshooting steps?
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Question by:MikeC7
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by:Patricksr1972
ID: 39592195
Hi Mike,

I have experienced this in our enviroments many times, all of those times there was a DHCP conflict (someone plugged in a WAP with DHCP enabled) so you might look into this.
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by:MikeC7
ID: 39592200
Thanks Patrick, typically if that happens the DHCP server will start throwing errors though. I've seen this happen on small clients I've helped before.
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smckeown777 earned 500 total points
ID: 39592440
What make/model AP's are you using? Smaller 'home' Ap's/routers aren't up to the task of wifi in larger environments - meaning if you've a large number of users connecting...or transfer a lot of data over the wifi etc...they will always drop due to load and rebooting is the only way to fix...

But again depends on the AP model...in our locations we use the Netgear WAP102 models and they never drop...cost a bit more than the standard home version but worth the extra spend...might be the issue
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by:smckeown777
ID: 39592450
Another way to troubleshoot this is ping...

Has each AP a unique ip? If so can you ping that ip(from the server or a workstation on network cable) during the dropout? If not then its what I described...AP has 'fallen over' and needs a reboot...

If however you can ping them - can you login to their interface? From there you might be able to see something in the logs etc...
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Author Comment

by:MikeC7
ID: 39727545
The only thing I could determine in the end is that the hardware was not good enough for our environment. Replaced the APs.
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Author Comment

by:MikeC7
ID: 39727790
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for MikeC7's comment #a39727545

for the following reason:

replaced access points.
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by:Patricksr1972
ID: 39727554
Good find! Glad you got things under control.
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by:smckeown777
ID: 39727691
Should I not have got a good answer for my comment?
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Wireless/Q_28274133.html#a39592440

Think it reads 'hardware not up to job'...

For the record what models had you and what did you replace them with?
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