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XP Desktop Wireless vs. Vista Laptop Wireless

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Scou, Dec 8, 2008.

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  1. Scou

    Scou Thread Starter

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    Hey, I've been working on this problem for a little bit, so I hope I can find some help here.

    My internet is pay by the month wireless. Use the name and password they give to log in threw a browser to get internet. I'm not sure this matters since my issue is with wireless connectivity, but I figured I'd through it out there.

    I have two computers. One is a self built desktop running XP Pro and using a WMP300N wireless card. The other is a Dell XPS M1330 running Vista Business using a Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG. (Let me know if more system specs are needed).

    The wireless connection that is offered isn't the best out there. Signal strength usually isn't too high, and every now and then its non-existent. The thing is, many times when its non-existent on my desktop, its there on my laptop. Or my desktop will drop connection every now and then or, like its doing today, it will loose and quickly re-establish connection about every 5 to 10 minutes. But again, my laptop has no issues. And my laptop works no matter where it is, and its usually right next to my desktop.

    My best guess is it's either something with the wireless cards or the operating system, cause I can't see anything else really effecting it. The one thing I do notice is that when I look at my wireless connection on Vista is it will show multiple connections. While XP just shows "Network Name" Vista will show "Network Name", "Network Name 4", "Network Name 9", and "Network Name 16" for example. But again, I'm just guessing.

    Any help would be great, let me know if any more information would be usefull.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd try repositioning the antenna and updating to the latest drivers for that WMP300N. That card should be able to do at least as well as the Intel 3945ABG in the laptop.
     
  3. Scou

    Scou Thread Starter

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    Working on the drivers, they don't seem to want to download, though I'm pretty sure I've got the latest (never hurts to be sure though).

    I have tried moving the antenna around a bit, but it generally doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Also, I have used the laptop sitting inches from the antenna and it will work fine. But I'll mess around with it some more.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    The adapter may be defective, I can't imagine it being weaker than the laptop.
     
  5. Scou

    Scou Thread Starter

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    Ya, that's why it seemed weird to me. All though sometimes, like its doing again today, I can't tell if its actually loosing the signal or not, cause it keeps getting disconnected, but it comes right back within 10 seconds every time. It kinda seems like I'm getting kicked off or something. But I dunno.

    Do you know of a way I could test the adapter without just going out and buying a new one? Because not only would that be hard for me here, but I'd have to let it sit for like a month to be sure, cause sometimes the wireless isn't bad for a while, or at least I'm not here when it is.

    Also, I'm still wondering if Vista connecting to multiple channels or whatever it does is making a difference or not. I'm reasonably knowledgeable with tech, but I haven't really done much with wireless before, so I don't know much about it (except that some networks can be cut out by a microwave, but that's a different story). Thanks again for your help.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd clearly be looking for any sources of interference, and also changing the channel on the router to see if that has an effect. Even though one machine connects with no issues, there could still be wireless interference.
     
  7. Scou

    Scou Thread Starter

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    Sadly, I do not have access to the router. The people that run the network just place routers in the buildings, I'm not even sure exactly where its at.

    As for interference, I've looked and I'll look some more, but I haven't seen anything that stands out to me yet. Again though, I don't know what people have next door, or on the floor below me. I would hope that even if there was interference, if one computer was working I could figure out how to make the other one work. But I'm just guessing, since I am new in this area.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    If you are using a Linksys utility (monitor?) to manage the connection on the desktop make sure XP's WZC is 'disabled.' (Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services - check Wireless Zero Configuration)

    If you are using WZC make sure there is no other wireless utility running.

    If you are using WZC, try the Linksys utility.

    You can use NetStumbler to look for other wireless networks or signal to noise ratio.
     
  9. Scou

    Scou Thread Starter

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    Thanks. I am using the Linksys utility. I have tried just using WZC, but it didn't seem to matter that I could tell. WZC was set to 'automatic' but it wouldn't start if Linksys did, but I changed it to 'disabled' anyway.

    I'll check out NetStumbler, thanks.
     
  10. Scou

    Scou Thread Starter

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    I'm trying NetStumbler on both my computers. On my desktop it came right up and listed a bunch of connections, mostly different channels of the main wireless I'm on and one other thing that I'm not sure what it is.

    But on my laptop I can't get it to come up with anything. It just says there's nothing there, which is dumb cause I'll be on the internet so there's obviously something there.
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    NetStumbler isn't compatible with all wireless adapters. FWIW, to get an accurate picture of your environment, run NetStumbler with your wireless router turned off. What you want to know is where all the other wireless networks are so you can pick the best channel for yours.
     
  12. Scou

    Scou Thread Starter

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    Unfortunately, its not my router. The company that provides the wireless has access points set in each building, all we can do is connect to them. So I have no control over the router. All I can do is try to find out what makes my laptop better and see if I do whatever I need to make my desktop the same.
     
  13. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Make sure the desktop's antenna connections are tight.
     
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