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Problem Trying to Connect Second Laptop to Linksys Router

Discussion in 'Networking and Wireless' started by Digitus, Nov 12, 2008.

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  1. Digitus

    Digitus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ok, I just bought a WRT110 the other day because it was affordable and I finally got my new lap top and figured I'd probably need something to support all the bandwidth I plan to be using. Before I was using a beat up WRT54G V8 and the day I got my lap top everything was fine, I'd connect, my girlfriend would connect and we could both browse the net just fine.

    My problem is this, I set up the new router and everything was going good, then my girlfriend turns on her lap top and then the connection dies. I have a Dell XPS M1530 with the 1505 wireless N card by Dell. She has a Sony Vaio not sure what it is but I'm pretty sure it has a wireless G card. I read that the WRT110 was supposed to be good for places where both types of wireless exist side by side but for some reason her computer seems to bring everything to a halt and I have no idea why. Its not a bandwidth problem because I had the computer sitting idle and all she was trying to do was connect. The router is set up to a desktop as well and that was also idle.

    I don't think its a N and G incompatibility since they were both working fine with the WRT54G (she was even playing a game and didn't seem affected when I connected). Any kind of insight would be helpful, sorry if theres already a thread like this but I'm about to go to work and don't have much time I'll be able to check in on the thread on my phone though, thanks in advance.
     
  2. gerryf19

    gerryf19 I am the walrus

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    What do you mean dies. Dies permanently, or loses connection temporarily?

    Is the router in mixed mode or did you set it to Wireless N? Wireless G?
     
  3. CyberVisions

    CyberVisions Martian Notebook Overlord

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    He's right - we need more information on just what "my girlfriend turns on her lap top and then the connection dies" means exactly.

    First thing you should do is to reconnect the other router to eliminate your girlfriend's adapter as a possible problem. Electronics have a nasty habit of having problems right when you do something else, making you chase something you're sure is the problem cause when in fact it's something totally different and unrelated.

    Second, if you haven't already done so, tell her to delete the connection profile she used for the other router and to make a new one. Some people try and use the same connection profile and wonder why it won't work.

    Assuming that the dying connection reference isn't complete overall wireless death, there are some things you can check. Gerry is right in that you should check the Wireless Mode - it should be set to Mixed mode when you're using devices with different wireless standards.

    Compatiblity isn't an issue - B, N and G devices both use 2.4ghz as a wireless frequency. The only difference with N (aside from the speed) is that it uses 5ghz (wireless A) as an overlap (MIMO) frequency to get extended range and performance. Dual-Band N systems let you access and use both frequencies.

    Your girlfriend's notebook is probably using an Intel adapter - you can check it by looking at her Dev Manager. Still, I use both in my HDX without any problem - though my Intel is an AGN adapter.

    The easy way around the problem is to get a USB adapter for her system (or a PCMCIA if she has one instead of an Express) or media adapter if portability / power isn't an issue. Much faster speeds with a gaming adapter, but you have to plug it in.

    One obvious question since you've switched access points is whether or not she's using a firewall or not - if so, if she hasn't added the new router on to her "good" list, she won't get a connection.

    Another possibility is one that is actually more common than you might think. If you haven't entered a unique SSID into your router and are broadcasting it, or are using the default "Linksys" SSID, it's easier than you think to try and connect to a neighboring network with the same default SSID and wonder why it won't connect, especially if it needs a key.

    Speaking of keys - If you've got WPA or WEP enabled, try turning it off and see if she can connect. Encrypted security on N devices has caused problems in different areas, which is why I use MAC Filtering instead.
     
  4. Digitus

    Digitus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the replies and sorry for not including all the info. I was trying to be as thourough as I could in 5 minutes lol. But when I say connection dies I mean complete wireless death until she shuts off her computer or puts it to sleep. I was on my comp my brother was playing a halo 3 online on the 360 and she turns her computer on then everyone is disconnected. Even the desk top which is connected by the ethernet cable is unable to go online. I tried connecting her laptop to the router itself and then turning pff her wireless and it still wouldn't connect to the internet. I can't check her card now because I'm still at work but I'm pretty sure it was an intel card when I had checked the device manager.

    I'll double check and make sure my router is set to dual mode I think I might have it on auto. I just think its strange that her computer could possibly have that effect. Then again it could be something else entirely.
     
  5. Noterev

    Noterev Notebook Consultant

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    So she has vista right and you have xp, right?
     
  6. Digitus

    Digitus Notebook Enthusiast

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    she has vista and i have vista also. mine is home premium 64bit hers is 32. also in casse its relevant i have avast antivirus and she has avg
     
  7. makaveli72

    makaveli72 Eat.My.Shorts

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    You might want to try changing her Wireless Adapter's Channel Number. In Device Manager under the Network Adapters section, right click the Wireless Card and browse through the Advanced tab and look for anything that mentions Wireless Channel Number. It might be set to 11; try a different channel, like 6 or something.

    Restart the computer

    If that doesn't work then I would log into the Router's config. pages and make sure it's set to Mixed mode as gerry mentioned and also try a different Channel number on the Router itself as well.
     
  8. Digitus

    Digitus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ok so I got home and realized I hadn't tried doing this the other way around and turned off my laptop and then connected on my gf's and she was able to connect this and like I predicted turning on my computer took out the wireless connection and the desktops wired (to the router) connection. I think it might be a router setting issue but I can't be sure. I'll try messing around with a few more things before I go to sleep, its 5:30 am
     
  9. gerryf19

    gerryf19 I am the walrus

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    If connecting a wireless device kills the wired lan, you have got to have a router issue. A wireless connection should have no impact on the wired.

    Check the event viewer for the computers that are disconnected and see the results.

    What is the gateway in ipconfig whenyou are connected?

    I would like to try disabling dhcp and setting up the machines ip addresses manually for a moment to see if that makes the problem goes away,

    The only possible impact a wireless laptop coming on can have on a network with wired devices that I can thnk of off the top of my head is it causes a master browser election...that should not kill the entire network
     
  10. Digitus

    Digitus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yea I know its weird. Weirder still is the problem doesn't go away when I log off or turn off the wireless adapter, I have to physically shut down the computer. I'm starting to think this is some kind of firewall defect in the router itself but I don't know very much about these things in particular. I might just give up and buy a completely different brand later this afternoon. How can I check the event viewer and how do I manually set up a machines IP after I disable DHCP? Also on this router I'm not sure where I'm able to set it to mixed if I can even do so, It didn't seem to be under wireless settings.

    Hm, scratch that shut down part. After turning off the adapter I just have to restart the router and it broadcasts again
     
  11. blue68f100

    blue68f100 Notebook Virtuoso

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    What you describe is well documented on Smallnetbuilders site. When he test routers one of the test he runs is mixed mode. ALL have some problems some greater than other. The 11n will kill 11g till its finishes before 11g will come back. The only fix is to setup the router for G Only, till a firmware corrects the underlying problem.
     
  12. Digitus

    Digitus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Are there routers that can handle both without this issue? I set the router to MAC filter and it was able to support all 3 while the second laptop is connected by ethernet but if this router can't do what I need it to do then I'd be better off buying another one. If all N/G routers are like this can anyone suggest a G only router that could support 2 laptops a desktop and a game console all online at the same time reasonable well for around 99.99. If none exist then maybe something better than a WRT54G

    Edit: I found just the list I was looking for on the website. Well I guess this is all figured out, thanks to everyone who posted, I'll probably be returning this router later this afternoon and getting one of the ones on the smallnetbuilder cheap for under 100% list (lol)
     
  13. blue68f100

    blue68f100 Notebook Virtuoso

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    There will continue to be problems till at least 6mo after the spec is finalized and the router has been certified 11n. Most 11n routers you can force to 11g only and they work OK. The same applies to the wireless cards installed in the NB's. There are dual band, dual radio 11n routers out there. These are currently expensive and since there sharing a cpu there are some performance issues with them. The best setup for me would be 2 seperate AP's, (1 11g, 1 11n). This way they are not share resources. My current setup is like this but I have 2 11g AP (routers) connected to my SMB Class router and GigE switch. This way the router cpu is only handling the WPA2 encryption and transmit/receive. You will get a better performance, and this is the way Larger business setup their wireless with roaming capabilities.
     
  14. Noterev

    Noterev Notebook Consultant

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    Try this.

    There's a broadcast flag issue with Vista. Vista is constantly sending out a broadcast flag (DHCP discovery) through it's wireless device and keeps your router from issuing it's ip's (DHCP) to the rest of the network. That's why you can only connect when that Vista laptop is out of the picture. Just like people, you can't talk and listen at the same time.

    Two methods:

    If you know the router or the non-Microsoft DHCP server does not support the DHCP BROADCAST flag, you can set the following registry entry as follows instead of using the DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle registry key.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{GUID}

    Value name: DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag
    Value type: REG_DWORD
    Value data: 0
    Note A data value of 0 disables this registry entry. You can use this registry entry to prevent Windows Vista from using the DHCP BROADCAST flag. After you set this registry entry, Windows Vista never uses the DHCP BROADCAST flag.

    Method 2:

    1. Click StartStart button, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then click regedit in the Programs list.

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.

    2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{GUID}
    In this registry path, click the (GUID) subkey that corresponds to the network adapter that is connected to the network.

    3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    4. In the New Value #1 box, type DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle, and then press ENTER.

    5. Right-click DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle, and then click Modify.

    6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

    7. Close Registry Editor.

    For reference: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928233

    If it doesn't work and you're worried about the registry changes you made, just undo it.

    Alternatively, you could eliminate DHCP altogether and configure the router for hard ip's and then go on to assign each computer their corresponding tcp/ip address, but that's a drag and you'd have to do that to everyone that wants in on your network.
     
  15. gerryf19

    gerryf19 I am the walrus

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    Intriguing idea but I don't think that applies here since other machines are getting knocked off the network when they are already attached.

    The computer renews its IP address once and then retains it for at least half the life of the lease--it doesn't keep asking the DHCP server if it can keep it.

    If it was doing things as you suggest, there would be an awful lot of needless network traffic
     
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