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Laptop connects wirelessly to AP, but not main router

Discussion in 'Networking' started by rdkapp, Jul 10, 2010.

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  1. rdkapp

    rdkapp Thread Starter

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    I've inherited an Acer TravelMate C301CXi from a friend. I did a clean installation of Windows XP Tablet Edition on a new hard drive installed in the Acer, and everything seems to be working fine, except I cannot connect wirelessly to the main router in the house. The wireless adapter on the Acer is an Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI Adapter. My wireless network setup is as follows: AirLink 101 Super G Wireless Router is the main router in the house. I also have a D-Link DIR-615 Wireless N router with DHCP disabled, connected as an Access Point. The Acer connects wirelessly to the D-Link AP without any trouble, and through ethernet cable to both devices, but it will not connect wirelessly to the AirLink router. I have never had trouble connecting any wireless devices to either router in the past. Hopefully, someone can help me, as I cannot use this laptop in certain areas of the house.

    Things that I have tried include: updating the driver on the Intel Wireless Adapter; establishing a static IP address for the Acer laptop; rebooting the AirLink router (numerous times); releasing and renewing the IP address on the Acer laptop numerous times, and I've even tried disconnecting the D-Link AP from the network in hopes that the Acer would connect to the AirLink router if the D-Link wasn't available. None of these resulted in a wireless connection to the AirLink router. I've also checked all of the network settings and services on the Acer and saw nothing unusual or anything that would prevent a connection. Frankly, I am out of solutions. Hopefully, someone has some other ideas or things to try, as I really need wireless access in the areas of the house serviced by the AirLink. Thank you in advance for any ideas.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    What level of encryption are you using? Have you disabled all encryption to see if you can connect that way? Since you have two wireless devices, do you have the SSID and encryption key the same and the channel unique?

    Run this program and post the results here when you're within range of the Airlink.


    Download and run this Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector, click the Networks link on the upper left and paste a screen shot of that screen here. Note that this application requires NET Framework to run. If you get an error about a missing function, download and install NET Framework.


    To post a screen shot of the active window, hold the Alt key and press the PrtScn key. Open the Windows PAINT application and Paste the screen shot. You can then use PAINT to trim to suit, and save it as a JPG format file. To upload it to the forum, open the full reply window and use the Manage Attachments button to upload it here.
     
  3. rdkapp

    rdkapp Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick response, JohnWill. I intended to say in my original post that I have no encryption on either the AirLink router or D-Link AP. The AirLink is on Channel 6, while the D-Link is also on Channel 6. Do they need to be on different channels? The SSIDs are different on the devices. Do they have to be the same? I'm confused by all of this because I've had this setup for several years and I've never had trouble with other wireless laptops and devices.

    If you think my problems will be solved by using different channels or using the same SSID on both units, please post back. In the meantime, I'll run that Wi-Fi Inspector program and post the results. Thanks again.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Have the SSID's and encryption keys the same (if using encryption), and have the two devices on non-interfering channels. Ideally, that would be channels 1, 6, or 11 if they're not in use by close networks.
     
  5. rdkapp

    rdkapp Thread Starter

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    I'm not sure I quite understand your previous post. Currently I have all encryption disabled. I'm not sure I will leave it like that. I used to have WPA encryption on the AirLink, but the Macs in the house were having trouble connecting, so I disabled it awhile back. I'm not aware of any security issues, but I would eventually like to re-enable WPA. I may have to consult with Apple techs to help me get the Macs connected with WPA security in place, but that's another story. I'm guessing the attached screenshot will give you all the information you need to clarify things for me.

    See attached screenshot for Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector. Hopefully this is what you needed. The top 2 are my devices. The SSID's should be evident. One thing that I noticed is that it shows the D-Link on Channel 1, but when I looked at the settings earlier it said Channel 6. I went back into the D-Link setup and it shows Channel 6 (grayed out) and it has Auto Channel Scan enabled, so apparently it can change channels. Could that be the issue? The Acer connects to the D-Link on Channel 1 (apparently) but can't connect to the AirLink on Channel 6.
     

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  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Make sure you have the latest wireless driver from Acer's web site.

    Make sure you have the latest firmware for the router. If you upgrade it then reset the router to factory default settngs and reconfigure it.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Turn off auto channel scan! That causes nothing but trouble for many folks. I like to pick the channel I'm operating on, not have some lame $40 router do it. :D
     
  8. rdkapp

    rdkapp Thread Starter

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    Thanks TerryNet. I had actually updated the wireless adapter's driver via the Intel web site. For grins, I just checked the Acer web site and their update (2004) isn't as current as Intel's (2006).

    Now the firmware on the router is a completely different story. First, let me provide more info on the AirLink router. The brand name is AirLink 101. The model # is AR430W. Now, about a couple years ago, I tried updating the firmware on it (from ver 1.01 to 1.02) and it wouldn't work. I forgot what the specific problem was, but their tech support was assisting me and they told me to go back to firmware 1.01 and they would report the issue to the developers. I did so and haven't had a problem since. I just checked the firmware updates on their website and it looks like they have a more current version 1.02 (uploaded 2/10/10), so maybe the previous issues have been resolved. I didn't update it due to the previous problems and because I wanted to try some other things first, and, as you will see below, I believe I found the solution.

    I turned off auto channel scan, and I'm sure you realized that the auto channel scan was on the dlink, and it didn't help me connect to the AirLink router. Anyway, I looked a little closer at the webpage setups for the AirLink and discovered that it had several modes in the Basic Wireless Settings: (1) Super G; (2) Super G without Turbo; (3) Mixed (g/b); (4) Wireless-11g Only; (5) Wireless-11b Only; and (6) Disabled. It was set on Super G, and I thought that with the Acer laptop being an older model (2002) maybe its wireless adapter couldn't handle Super G, so I attempted to switch it going down the list one at a time.

    The first thing I discovered was that it wouldn't accept the switch because it gave me an error message that it had an invalid SSID. I discovered that the SSID had a space in it and thus it wouldn't let me change the mode. This was strange because the SSID was always the same (with space) since I bought the router, but oh well. After removing the space in the SSID, it allowed me to change the mode and what I found was that the wireless adapter on the Acer laptop will only connect on (3) Mixed (g/b); (4) Wireless-11g Only; and (5) Wireless-11b Only. So, the problem is essentially solved, although I don't know yet what problems that may cause for the other wireless devices in the house that use the AirLink router. I guess the smallest problem may be a reduction in speed, but I never really understood what Super G was in the first place, so we'll see. Any help on what Super G is?

    At this point, I'm going to let this ride for a few days and see what effects (if any) this change has caused to other wireless devices, and if none, I may look into the firmware upgrade for the AirLink. Do you guys think that the firmware upgrade may allow the Acer to connect with the mode set to Super G, or is that not likely?

    Thanks again, and I look forward to your reponses.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Forget about all those "turbo" modes and stick with stock 802.11b/g/n protocols. It's just a proprietary protocol to speed up access to compatible devices. The issue is that many times incompatible adapters get confused by it's presence and can't connect.
     
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