Limited Connectivity, but not as you know it

By semick
May 4, 2008
  1. Alright - Heres my situation - any help would be hugely appreciated.

    We have our home internet hooked up through a Belkin Router.

    We have 3 PCs connected to it through ethernet direct cabling, and 3 laptops that connect via a wireless connection (yes, it can easily handle more connection if needed).

    All the ethernet connections work fine. The wireless connections have worked fine for 6 months. About 3 weeks ago one of the laptops got a limited connetivity message - I fixed that eventually by uninstalling and reinstalling the wireless adapter through the device manager. 2 weeks ago a second laptop had the same issue - which I have been unable to resolve, and now the 1st laptop has the same issue as well - Limited Connectivity. The laptops send packets but dont receive any.

    The 3rd laptop (also connected wirelessly) has no problems at all (even my phone, which has wlan, works and the PS3 connects wirelessly no probs, but not 2 of the laptops). Its really annoying and confusing. Been trying for 2 weeks to fix it - have tried everything I could think of, friends could think of, and google could find for me.

    Yes - all settings are identical on the laptops. And yes - I have tried the XP SP2 patch, the PCHell limited connectivity sollution, manually assigning ip addresses, single connections to the router. Even borrowed a friends usb wireless adapter to see if it was wireless network cards - but that worked on the pcs and laptop that was ok, failed on the other 2 limited connectivity laptops. So its a problem on the laptops I'm picking.
    Fully nuked one of the laptops and reinstalled XP on it - no help.

    Anything else worth trying? And yes - the laptops do work via an ethernet connection, but more wiring isnt really an option.

    So please - any advice other than destroying the laptops would be greatfully received.
  2. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    My next step would be to look at the Belkin router. Have you applied the latest updates to its software?
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,145   +597

    update the WiFi drivers on the laptops?

    If you use MS Autoupdate, it could have replaced the OEM drivers with the MS versions,
    which is not a good idea. Go to the OEM site and get their drivers!
  4. semick

    semick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the tips - have tried them all now... still no luck.
    Drivers are the latest (even tested with some older versions I found just in case).

    Borrowed a friends router last night to see if its a router problem - still the same issues. Firmware/drivers are up to date for that also.

    I'm not sure about the transmitter cards - have sent one in to be checked by the manufacturer - that will be back in a week max.
  5. xXxZxXx

    xXxZxXx TS Rookie Posts: 77

    It's not the router or most likely not the cards. Try doing this and see what happens:

    Click Start > Click Run > Type CMD > Click Ok > Type netsh winsock reset > Restart your computer

    Let us know what happens.
  6. semick

    semick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well - heard back from Toshiba (the laptop people) and the laptop has no errors. Works perfectly for them :(

    Also tried the winsock reset - to no avail. Leaning towards giving up...
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,145   +597

    get a copy of Network Stumbler. You can then find ALL WiFi systems near your laptop.

    Object is to see how many and what channels are they using -- you choose something else :)
  8. semick

    semick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Have set it up so that each device is on a seperate channel whiule experimenting for fixes - didnt help, but I'll get a copy of that and give it a go.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,145   +597

    OOPS! That's not how it works.

    The channel is set in the router, the systems then find all channels and report the SSID of each.
    You then select the correct SSID to connect to your router.
  10. semick

    semick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ya - tried the ssid settings. no joy :(
  11. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    Intermittent interference from an external source is my bet.
    You've ruled out the actual laptops as being faulty, the router seems fine.
    Obviously, i'd assume your laptops are in different geographical locations, so i'd say its down to intermittent and random signal strength.
    Could be the routers wireless transmitter is randomly faultering and the signal only reaches the odd laptop when it does because of their location compared to the others. But if you say you've tried a friends router then, that rules that out.
    Could well be 3rd party kit, microwave, other 2.4GHz wireless technology, like a wireless AV sender your neighbour may have.
    I had this issue and changing channels didn't make a difference.
    I assume you've double checked that none of your router settings have defaulted or been altered to allow for a smaller DHCP lease pool, thus kicking one or more devices out?
  12. semick

    semick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So many good ideas coming through, but infortunately none have worked so far. I wish they did.
    Settings are good. Have even tried it with every other adive turned off and the laptop next to the router - no joy, so that rules out interference too :(

    Any more ideas will be appreciated :)
  13. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    is it seeing the router but just not collecting an ip address? Or does it not see the router in your 'wireless networks' list?
  14. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    I have to admit that this is a puzzler since you seem to have ruled out any laptop or router issue. It almost has to be some sort of interference that suddenly cropped up a few weeks ago. Any new neighbors or electrical/construction work being done in your neighborhood?
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    which PC have you made the master browser?

    Master Browser----connects to all PCs on the work group or domain
    Put the file into your C:\windows folder
    open cmd
    type: browstat - status

    what you'll get is a message saying which system on the net is your master and if you have one setup to be the backup browser it will report it. I figure you have a problem, or can you networked wired and wireless devices see each other?

    Also give the wireless laptop a static IP instead of using DHCP. These problems do pop up and normally it's a matter of encryption password is not being see for the device.

    Have you ever seen it where the wireless laptop doesn't even see your network but it does see other's wireless network? There is a fix for that also.
  16. semick

    semick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tried all of the above, but to no avail once again.

    Think its time to give up :(
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