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Thinkpad High Rate Wireless LAN mini PCI Adapter III won't receive home signal

Discussion in 'Networking' started by johnandsuz, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. johnandsuz

    johnandsuz Thread Starter

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    I have an IBM Thinkpad with a High Rate Wireless mini PCI adapter III radio inside. My router is a D-Link DI-524. I'm currently connected through an ethernet cable (DSL).
    I have a separate computer connected to the router as the main connection. (I do file and print sharing, but i doubt that effects the problem I'm having.) This laptop (the one with the problem) occasionally connects to the same router through an ethernet cable, but should also be able to connect wirelessly.
    The problem now is that my wireless connection does not show up (or rarely shows up) as an available network on my list of available networks. If it does, it's intermittent as to whether I can connect to it. For a while it seemed as though it could only connect to the wireless network if it was also connected by cable. If I can connect it lasts less than a few minutes, before the network disappears as an available network.
    At the same time, my neighbors' networks do show up as available. They are protected, so I can't see if I can actually connect through them. I brought in a separate laptop which didn't have any problems connecting through my wireless. Furthermore, I borrowed a wireless usb adapter and was able to see and connect to my wireless and this computer that way. I'd rather not have to use an external advice though if possible.
    These problems all started when I installed AVG (firewall and virus protection) about a month and a half ago. I've gone back and forth with them on changing the settings, disabling the firewall, etc, to no avail. I finally just uninstalled AVG yesterday to confirm that it was causing the problem. No luck yet.
    The settings on the wireless router are to transmit in "Mix" mode rather than "G" only. If I understand correctly, my internal wireless receiver is 11.b. I'm new to this site, so I don't yet no how to publish .jpg files, but I will if needed.
    I have taken off any encription or protection to my router for now until I can connect wirelessly. As I'm typing this, I discovered that even though I did uninstall AVG, my windows firewall was running. I just turned that off and was able to see my wireless as available, but still unable to connect to it.
    Any help would be much appreciated. Another member, AusGuy09, seemed to have an identical problem but I couldn't tell if it ever got resolved.
     
  2. johnandsuz

    johnandsuz Thread Starter

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  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    My top suspects are loose antenna connection or a failing or loose adapter.

    A non-Windows firewall can block a connection, but it will not block the ability to detect the network.
     
  4. johnandsuz

    johnandsuz Thread Starter

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    Thank you for your response. OK, a couple more symptoms. You might be right on a bad adapter/antenna, although it's odd that I can see my neighbor's signals.
    I notice that my own signal doesn't show up on the Windows "view wireless networks," but it does show up when I use IBM Thinkpad's "view wireless networks" software. However, when I try to connect, it says "waiting for IP configuration" and then eventually, "connection failed".
    When I hit "try to fix this," I go to a new window that says "the DHCP server failed to respond to the request your system made for an automatic IP address configuration. To force another request, click repair. . ."
    Clicking repair gives the same message. This window has tabs, one of which is "IP Configuration," originally when I did this tonight, it gave me the IP of my wireless adapter, but now it shows0.0.0.0. Finally, when I hit repair one last time, I got a message that the signal was very weak and I need to move closer to the signal. I'm about 1 foot away from it. Do all these things continue to suggest it's my internal wireless receiver?
    Lastly, every now and then on the Windows "view wireless connection" list, my home SSID shows up, but instead of an unsecured wireless signal, a secured computer to computer icon pops up. Perhaps that's my home network? I guess since all this trouble started when I originally added firewall software (uninstalled now) that I think it's something to do with my settings, but maybe that's just a coincidence.
    Any further response would be much appreciated.
     
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Sometimes a firewall does prevent getting an IP configuration from the Dhcp server, but I think it never makes the wireless signal disappear or change apparent strength. Try Safe Mode with Networking to have a "purer" test of the hardware and driver.

    If multiple wireless utilities (IBM's and XP's) are running you can get all kinds of trouble, including what you are seeing. Whichever one you are using or testing, make sure the other one is not running. When using IBM's the Startup Type of XP's Wireless Zero Configuration should be 'disabled' (Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services).

    Also make sure you have the latest wireless driver from IBM's (Lenova's) web site. If you already have the latest driver, use Device Manager to uninstall the driver; Restart and let Windows reinstall the adapter.
     
  6. johnandsuz

    johnandsuz Thread Starter

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    OK, I disabled the Windows Wireless Zero. Then I restarted in safe mode with networking. I couldn't get Thinkvantage to run. That was the other software I'd used to check connections before. I went back in and reenabled the Wireless Zero at startup, then I restarted in safe mode. This time, my connection does show in the available networks and the bars are fully lit up suggesting a strong signal. However, once again, when I try and connect, it tries, but doesn't and my network disappears from the available networks. When I research for available networks, it shows up again.
    Prior to this I did download the latest High Rate Wireless LAN mini PCI adapter III driver from Lenova. It took several attempts at "Repair" to get rid of the yellow warning flag next to the adapter. However, when I've uninstalled it and restarted, it looks like it is using the original driver, or at least a slightly earlier addition to the one I'd manually updated.
    One last thing. I can't seem to refind it now, but somewhere, in one of my settings for the radio it had been listed as peer to peer instead of access point. Now it says access point which I think is why my signal is now showing up in the windows search networks field. I still can't connect to it though. Any more ideas?
     
  7. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Oh; I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "peer to peer instead of access point," but in WZC and/or Thinkvantage find the profile for your network and delete it. Then when you scan for your network and connect you will be creating a new, correct profile.

    I forgot that WZC has to be used in Safe Mode with Networking. Sorry for the omission. But, in normal mode, you need to be careful that only one wireless utility is running.
     
  8. johnandsuz

    johnandsuz Thread Starter

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    wow, quick response on a Sunday, yet. thanks. Can you remind me how to open up WZC? Normally I have an icon, but in safe mode it's gone. To view wireless networks, I've been going into "network connections" tab and searching for networks there. Somewhere there's a list of all the profiles I've used, but I can't find it.
    Lastly, I noticed that when I searched in safe mode, my signal showed. In normal mode, it didn't, then again in safe mode it didn't at first, but now does. I did pull up the ip address for the router through the internet before it showed up the second time.
     
  9. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I think it's time to replace the wireless adapter or get used to using an external one.
     
  10. johnandsuz

    johnandsuz Thread Starter

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    I finally did switch to my external D-Link AirPlus G. It drives me crazy that I couldn't pin down the problem, but it works great now with the new adapter. Perhaps it has something to do with the internal being 11.b instead of g in combination with an XP service pack upgrade. Completely guessing. Like I said before, I never had trouble until I installed AVG firewall. Oh well. I really do appreciate your help and input. Should I mark this solved or just leave it open?
     
  11. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    If it were me I'd just leave the thread sit open until/if something new develops. While I'm pretty sure the 11.b adapter has failed, the only way to prove that would be if an exact replacement worked fine. So, the problem is not solved.

    And, since it is 11.b I wouldn't advise replacing it. If IBM/Lenova says there is a 11.g integrated adapter that will work in your machine it would be worth getting.
     
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