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Dell XPS laptop network connection issues

Posted on 2013-11-18
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G'day guys,

A client's PC is having intermittent issues connecting to WiFi networks (at home, work, etc) ever since a recent trip to east Africa.

Here's what happens and what I've done (with result):

When the client connects to a wireless network since their recent trip, they are ALWAYS told that they are connected to the wireless network with limited connectivity.

Going to Device Manager, uninstalling the wireless adapter (disabling doesn't work) and searching for changes doesn't produce a result either.

Because the wireless network was showing as PUBLIC each time (and greyed out in the Network and Sharing Center so that it couldn't be changed), I went into gpedit.msc and changed the settings to allow for the user to adjust the connection type (home/ work/ public). Reconnecting then connected as a Work network (what we wanted), but still with limited connectivity.

The only result which has given us some connection is uninstalling device from device manager, then downloading and installing driver from Dell. However, as this client has an Ethernet-to-USB adapter which came with the machine, every time we connect this in, disconnect the wireless network, then reconnect the network, we are back to square one where all the tried methods of connection above fail. As the user used both connection methods prior to his trip, I'd love to know how we can get things back to normal again.

I will run a malware/ virus check with the clients ESET Smart Security, but trust that it won't find anything as it's a pretty amazing product (from years of experience), though I know there's no such thing as a perfect antivirus.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts...
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Question by:Servant-Leggie
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Jason Watkins earned 2000 total points
ID: 39659397
It sounds like mal-ware, or some kind of connection hijack. Could you use System Restore to roll Windows back to a date before the East African trip? Make sure you make backup copies of any important data before doing so.
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by:Servant-Leggie
ID: 39664713
Firebar, I don't know why running a system restore never comes to mind unless prompted, but I certainly should try that!

As you said, I'll definitely have all data created since then backed up.

Will advise on progress once restoration compete and tested.
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by:Servant-Leggie
ID: 39679866
Hi Firebar,

Turns out a system restore wasn't necessary (at least, everything is working well so far, days out from me implementing a fix).

Turns out the ESET NOD32 (not it's big brother, Smart Security) was running on the machine and, as you suggested it may, it was infected with a nasty which impeded wifi connectivity.

So, after running a full ESET Smart Security scan, removing it and restarting the PC, it works like a new one!

Thanks for your suggestions with system restore, too, as I think I needed a bit of a gentle memory jog that the feature was a good fall-back.
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