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Wireless Problem

easyqueenie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 03-08-2009

Wireless Problem

Hi,
I need some help with a wireless problem driving me and my husband up the wall.  We started with Plusnet last week and got the wireless Thomson TG585 router.  Took ages to get it running but seems to be fine now.
We have 2 computers, a laptop downstairs and a desktop in one of the bedrooms, the router is in a different bedroom – the closest phone point to our desktop which is the main family computer.  The laptop is having no problems at all, turn it on and it connects to the wireless and stays connected the whole time we’re using it.  It’s quite an old laptop now (maybe 2005) and is connecting using a Belkin PCI slot card and the Belkin wireless networking utility that came with it.
The desktop however is driving us both nuts.  It will not hold a connection to the net no matter what settings I’ve tried.  It’s got a Belkin PCI card and is also using the Belkin wireless networking utility (although I’ve tried using the windows software too with no more luck.)  PlusnetWireless is nearly always in the list of available networks but the desktop just won’t connect to it, or if it does, will only stay connected for a few minutes before dropping the connection.  If I do the repair process on the windows utility it will generally get the connection back but again, only for a few minutes. 
I can’t figure out what on earth is going on as the Belkin software often shows me being connected to Plusnet but with “no connection to the internet” but when that is the case I can’t even access the router, however if I bring the laptop over, it will connect fine to the router/internet despite being in the same room as the desktop.
Any help with this will be hugely appreciated as I’m not at all technically minded when it comes to things like this!  The only other information I can offer is that both computers are running on XP and I had a message flash up on the desktop that “the network did not assign a network address to the computer” and that’s what it says on the support tab of the windows wireless connection info thing.
Thank you!
25 REPLIES
Moderator
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Posts: 17,346
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Wireless Problem

Welcome to the forums Smiley
Have you tried changing the channel on your router? That can sometimes help in situations like these.
Will Moderate For Thanks
easyqueenie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 03-08-2009

Re: Wireless Problem

Yes we tried it and it made no difference, still had the same issues. Thanks though
Moderator
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Posts: 17,346
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Wireless Problem

Does the wireless signal have to pass through any walls?
Will Moderate For Thanks
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Wireless Problem

I have a feeling that the Thomson router may not get on well with the Belkin adapter. Would there be another one you can test with to see if that does make a difference?
Moderator
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Wireless Problem

Considering it's a PCI card with the antenna at the back of the PC could the PC itself be shielding the antenna from the signal.?

Customer and Forum Moderator.

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,768
Thanks: 102
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Wireless Problem

Given that you have tried  the router at the closest phone point to the desktop and not really got the wireless link to work, can you try the router somewhere else?  Your problem might not be so much distance as what is in between the router and the wireless adaptor (as Strat & Adiewoo suggest).  The other possibility is that your wireless adaptor is just plain faulty.  I find the best wireless adaptors to use are the USB type on the end of a long USB extension cable as this allows you to experiment with what position gives the best signal.
easyqueenie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 03-08-2009

Re: Wireless Problem

adiewoo: Yes the wireless signal does have to pass through walls to reach both computers, it also needs to pass through the floor (decidedly thicker than the walls as this is a new build house with paper thin walls) in order to reach the laptop which it does with no hassels.  The laptop is normally further from the router than the desktop but will maintain connection anywhere, including sat on the desk beside the desktop.
orbrey: I don't know anyone else with wireless broadband so I don't have access to any other adaptors without paying out for one.  Would the fact that the desktop is on a different type of Belkin adaptor make that much difference?  Both the adaptors were bought on the same day and so are equally old but the laptop, also on a Belkin adaptor, is fine.
Strat: It may be blocking it but all last week we were waiting for a desk to be delivered so the desktop was sat on a table with an almost clear view to the router down the hallway, not even any doors or walls in the way and the problem didn't get any better or worse when it was moved into the corner on the new desk yesterday.  The Belkin utility can "see" the plusnet wireless and has a generally good signal strength to it (3/4 out of 5 bars) but it just can't connect.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 247
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Wireless Problem

Quote from: easyqueenie
I don't know anyone else with wireless broadband so I don't have access to any other adaptors without paying out for one.  Would the fact that the desktop is on a different type of Belkin adaptor make that much difference?  Both the adaptors were bought on the same day and so are equally old but the laptop, also on a Belkin adaptor, is fine.

As a quick test, would you be able to try switching the security on the router to WEP, rather than WPA?

Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Wireless Problem

At risk of starting an argument  Grin In my opinion the best type of wireless adapter for relatively trouble free operation is a PCI card (no special drivers required) with the aerial on an extended lead like this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edimax-EW-7128G-Wireless-802-11b-Ralink/dp/B000KLNRBS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid...
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 247
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Wireless Problem

No arguments from me there, I've always preferred PCI cards to USB adapters... although the need to install drivers might depend on the version of Windows you're using Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,768
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Wireless Problem

I believe there are big advantages to having an aerial on an extended lead, however you accomplish it.  But given that the signal strength is good, there are problems even when there is a line of sight between router and adaptor and the laptop works fine, I would say the adaptor is almost certainly faulty.
easyqueenie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 03-08-2009

Re: Wireless Problem

I couldn't get a connection of more than 60 seconds on the desktop so I accessed the router from the laptop downstairs and changed from WPA-PSK to WEP encryption.  As soon as I hit apply I lost all connection on the laptop, neither computer could see the router.  I had to bring the laptop into the bedroom and connect it to the router via ethernet to access it and switch back, soon as I did that I got connection back on the laptop, desktop is the same as always.
Just remembered that the day we got Plusnet I initially set it all up on the laptop and then did the desktop.  For the first day (last Weds) we had perfect access on the desktop too, no drop outs.  It wa sonly the next day we started getting these problems. 
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 247
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Wireless Problem

Thanks for trying that, sorry it didn't help.
Since the desktop worked ok initially, I wonder if Windows Update may have downloaded an "improved" driver for the desktop adapter?
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,768
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Wireless Problem

Quote from: easyqueenie
For the first day (last Weds) we had perfect access on the desktop too, no drop outs.  It was only the next day we started getting these problems. 

Faulty
Quote from: Andrew

Since the desktop worked ok initially, I wonder if Windows Update may have downloaded an "improved" driver for the desktop adapter?

No, Windows Automatic Updates do not include hardware drivers (XP).  You can find optional  hardware driver downloads on the Windows Update web site but these are only installed by explicit request.