TechSpot

Wi-Fi Blues

By Grey Area
Nov 17, 2003
  1. OK, so into my all-singing, all-dancing new machine, I decided to install a wireless network card, namely a D-Link AirPlus ExtremeG+, part code DWL-G520+.

    And it broke stuff, BIG time.

    Installed as per instructions, so drivers first, then card. Worked okay until reboot. When I rebooted, the "Preparing Network Connections" segment took about 5 minutes, and upon loading, any vaguely "system" related window (e.g. Network Connections, Add/Remove programs, Program Files or even the contents of C:\WINNT itself) were totally blank. I took the card out and the problems went away.

    So next step - put the card back in, problems came back again. So this time I booted into Safe Mode and disabled it there. Now when I boot back into Normal Mode, none of the icons work - I can select them, but can't double click. A friend suggests I clear out my startup menu entirely, and this helps. But now the problem is that my system reboots itself after two minutes.

    To try and get around this I've upgraded to Windows XP, but the only difference is that it now TELLS me it's going to shut down, apparently due to the "Remote Procedure Call service terminating unexpectedly". And before anyone cries out "A-HA!", no, I do NOT have the msblast worm. And just as an aside, Windows XP's ability to auto configure a network sucks ***.

    I am connecting (trying to at least) the wireless cards to a D-Link Router of the same spec - DI-624+ part code.

    A bit more info in case it helps - I originally had the Router set up as DCHP server, with the PC's requesting addresses from it. The router was set to give a specific address to each unique MAC address. Towards the end I changed this and set up each PC with it's own static IP address under the TCP/IP settings for each card. It didn't make any difference to the stability of the system. Some confusion here under XP Pro, as I also have a Gigabit LAN connection built into the motherboard, and for some reason the stupid system was identifying my two Firewire ports as Ethernet connections - even though there is nothing connected to them at all! If I left XP to it's own devices (i.e. used the Network Setup Wizard) it never once managed to get it right. It doesn't help that the concept of bridging is new to me and I don't understand it - as far as I can see it is a very effective method of stopping any given LAN connection from functioning at all!

    My personal opinion here is that I have bought equipment that is waiting for the rest of the IT industry to catch up with it. D-Link's sites outside of the UK do not have ANY information on the "+" versions of this card, and their ftp download site is devoid of ANY support files for it at all. I think it is just to damned NEW. :-(

    I am totally pissed off with this, and currently both DWL-G520's will be winging their way back to the shop as of next weekend. I have until then for some kind soul on here to figure out what the HELL is going on.
     
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    Personally I am no fan of D-Link (they sell older-generation gear).
    For wireless, I would go for Buffalo Airstation, maybe a bit more expensive but definitely top-class.
    I prefer cabling and wired my whole house last year (5 PCs all over the place).
     
  3. Grey Area

    Grey Area TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Strange. I've used D-Link before and I like them because they tend to be stable (maybe BECAUSE it is older tech). However in this case they seem to have gone "next-gen" and so maybe it isn't working for them.

    Given that the whole package may indeed be returned to the store on Saturday, can you recommend actual products from Buffalo? I need a Cable router, preferably that can also act as a wireless access point AND RJ45 hub, and two PCI Wireless cards, preferably as fast as is possible (which I think is the 802.11g standard)

    Thanks!
     
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

  5. Grey Area

    Grey Area TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Thanks for the link. I had a look at it, but as a measure of just how "ahead" this damned router/Wi-Fi Card combo of mine is - my router isn't even listed! They go up to the DI-624, but I have the DI-624+.

    Looks like I will honestly have to either return the cards as non-functional, or hang on to them and wait for a driver update. I may do the latter as I would probably keep the router anyway - that part at least seems to be doing it's job without a hitch.
     
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

  7. Grey Area

    Grey Area TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Hehe, that's a good forum, thanks for the tip. I have to say, if I'd read that a couple of weeks ago, I doubt I'd have bought D-Link. Mind you, I browsed the OTHER hardware forums as well, and I doubt I'd have bought ANY wireless kit judging from the amount of problems with all of them and the fairly poor response from the manufacturers.

    Looks like I'll be putting up with those pretty blue cables running up my stairs for a little while longer yet.
     
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

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