willow_red: (Evil Willow)
[personal profile] willow_red
Am thoroughly perplexed by the current status of my laptop. Wifi quit on me this morning, so tonight, I messed with the cable modem until it started working again. And this is where things got strange. My iPod Touch can see the wifi network, but my laptop cannot. This led to the fun experience of reconfiguring my wireless network settings on the iPod. Everything's pretty much back to normal again, but the laptop still can't see the wireless network, even though it's explicitly allowed to connect (note that it couldn't see the wireless network even after everything got reset to defaults).

The other incredibly weird part is that it detects other networks (my neighbors'), but the GUI to select which network I want to connect to has changed. This makes no sense to me. I haven't made any significant system changes that I know of. The only recent changes made have been to install McAfee (to get rid of a trojan I picked up a couple of weeks ago) and BOINC. Note that both of these software packages were installed and working without problems for over a week before this.

Also, my laptop quit playing sound a couple of weeks ago, which it does from time to time, but it usually comes back, and it hasn't yet. Anyone have any ideas? Google is failing me on this one, and it would be nice to know if I'm simply going crazy. Laptop is running Windows XP SP 2.

Edit: Now the iPod sees the network, connects to it, and claims not to have Internet access, despite three bars.

Date: 2009-12-04 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abelits.livejournal.com
The variables that you could overlook:

1. Location of the laptop relative to the access point. And yes, wifi is easily blocked and reflected by things like wiring panels, fridges/stoves/reinforced concrete walls/..., and produces weird-looking interference patterns near those things.

2. Channel that access point uses, and presence of other networks on it (or on the previous/next channel that overlap with it).

Date: 2009-12-04 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] willow-red.livejournal.com
1) I tried putting the laptop < 3 feet from the AP with the same results, so it can't be any physical blockage.

2) How do I check/change the channel?

Date: 2009-12-04 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j-b.livejournal.com
OK, the fact that it sees your neighbors networks is a good sign.

Before Windows XP SP2, the original XP WiFi system drivers were different, and there were some known bugs (which is why they overhauled it all with SP2).

Because of this, many wifi card vendors, along with their own drivers, install -their own- entire control panel for wifi, that duplicates the system's own.

What I'd do is try to find the list of known wifi networks, and delete the entry for your home network, so it will (hopefully) see your own wifi as a "new" network the way it sees your neighbors. I don't have WinXP immediately handy, so I can't give you exact steps -- sorry. :|

Date: 2009-12-04 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] willow-red.livejournal.com
Interesting...I will try this when I get home tonight. Thanks for the suggestion!

Date: 2009-12-05 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nickhalfasleep.livejournal.com
Also, an option I tend to use is remove / close every WiFi configurator that isn't the XP one, and just use that. You need to close any toolbar gizmos besides the native Windows XP one.


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