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Wireless connection drops intermittently

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Crash77, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. Crash77

    Crash77 Thread Starter

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    I have 2 PCs (HP desktop and Dell laptop), both running Win XP Pro. I'm using a Linksys WRT54G router. The HP is using a Linksys wireless PCI modem and works like a charm.

    The Dell has a USB WUSB54GSC adapter and does not work like a charm. I was using a Linksys PCMCIA wireless card but it gave me the same kinds of problems. But it was older and no new drivers available to make it work better with the router, so I bought the new USB adapter.

    I searched through the threads but didn't find anything that matched my situation. Once I'm connected to the router things work fine. But over time I see the connection strength fluctuate from 54Mbps to as low as 24Mbps. The machine is about 50' from the router, but there is a long hallway that takes a couple of turns. Eventually I lose connection altogether. It doesn't always happen when the signal strength is low, although that is the more common scenario. Once the connection is lost it will not reconnect unless I reboot. However, in the process of rebooting I will get a error message related to a RUN32.DLL file. Once I acknowledge the error the system hangs. I have to manually power off and then power on. The system reboots fine and runs well until at some point I lose the connection again.

    Is this strictly an issue with the distance from the router, or is it related to an error in some file? I posted on another thread about wanting to upgrade to a stronger router, which I'll probably do anyway, but I wanted to find out if there is an additional problem that needs to be resolved.

    Thank you.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Sounds like a plain low signal strength and/or wireless interference.


    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. Crash77

    Crash77 Thread Starter

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    Okay - hopefully this is what you're looking for. Thanks.
     

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  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    For reference: the other thread.

    I assume that your network is PLwed..., but if it's Richwood1 try channel 11 to avoid that almost as strong signal.
     
  5. Crash77

    Crash77 Thread Starter

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    Yes, I'm PLwed042608. Besides Richwood1, there is another network in the neighborhood that pops often and I believe they were using Ch 6. However, I don't know strong their signal is.

    I was always under the impression that it was the channels that could create a problem, not the signal strength. So is it both that I need to consdier?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Yes, both. See the attached channel overlap diagram. Assume that you are using channel 6. All channels except 1 and 11 can interfere; 2 and 10 very little, but 5 or 7 nearly as much as 6 will. The stronger the other signal is relative to your strength the greater possibility of interference.
     

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  7. Crash77

    Crash77 Thread Starter

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    Okay, I see now. That being the case I probably need to stay on Ch 1. There are two networks in my neighborhood on Ch 6, and another on Ch 11. They're operating at various times so if I use those channels I'll likely get interference. I don't that I can do anything about the signal strength.

    My question now is why my network drops like it does and won't reconnect, as well as generating two errors when I try to reboot: RunDLL32.exe and Session Counter. As long as I force a reboot the problem clears, unfortunately it just comes back.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You mentioned that the nominal connection speed fluctuates (54 Mbps to as low as 24 Mbps); does the signal strength also?

    Make sure you have the latest driver for the wireless adapter, as a bad driver is one thing that can cause the varying speed.

    Don't know about those other errors. Could be driver issue or some other software problem with the machine. But, if I remember correctly from your other thread, if you are near the router with this same computer/adapter you have no such problems. Correct?
     
  9. Crash77

    Crash77 Thread Starter

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    That is correct. I'll check again but I believe I have the correct drivers. Also, the signal strength tends to stay in the excellent to very good range. It's when the speed drops down to 24-18 Mbps that I start to see the problems occur.
     
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