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Windows 7: Win7 ofice AD Domain machine on home WLAN

13 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
Win7 ofice AD Domain machine on home WLAN

I have two office Win7 Pro 32bit laptops (member of the office Win-Server2003 AD Domain) "Dell-A" and "Dell-B"

Home WLAN was recently changed from WEP (hidden SSID) to WPA-PSK/TKIP (broadcast SSID)
Both Win-7 machines have worked perfectly on the home WLAN using DHCP under the WEP setup for a year.
Vista machines, Logitech Squeezbox etc connect to home WLAN (WEP and now WPA) with no issues.

Dell-A was the first to be connected to the new home WLAN WPA setup.
Everything worked fine for around 40 hours then internet connection stopped yesterday afternoon (nobody in the house so it wasn't a user action). After I got nowhere thrashing around with reboots, I tried to connect Dell-B: not even the 40 hours grace period - no connection.

Here are the symptoms now shown by both machines:

Manually configure IPv4 to something in the WLAN subnet...
Network center shows the WLAN as home network (clickable blue) with an internet connection.
I get decent pings to anything on the WLAN and to the external world e.g. ping (but not ping Google since I have no DNS). Web browsers happily connect to a typed IP (but not URLs since I have no DNS).

Switching IPv4 to DHCP...
Network center shows the WLAN as unidentified network (un-clickable black) without internet connection
IPv4 switches to the dreaded
No pings, no browsing, no nothing.

Switch back to manual IPv4 works again
(i.e. SSID/PSK/Channel etc are all correct)

Throughout all this, I continue to listen to jazz radio from the internet on the Squeezebox whilst typing this into the forum on my Vista machine --- the WLAN is working fine!

I suspect something to do with these two machines belonging to the office Domain.

Thanks for your thoughts.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
additional info (a workaround)

IPv4 Config:

"General" tab = DHCP

"Alternative Config" =
IP = something in the subnet but outside of the DHCP range
NetMask =
Gate = the firewall IP in the subnet

DNS1 = IP1 from my ISP
DNS2 = IP2 from my ISP

...then everything works just like it should.

But I would still prefer simple DHCP to work without the "Alt Config" maintenance hassle (auto-getting DNS from ISP rather than the manual entries which may change).


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

First you should reset the router using the little internal push button on the side of the router. If you havn't updated the firmware on your router you should do so.

In the routers settings create your SSID and go with DHCP, use WPA2 with AES encryption "not mixed" and also designate the connection type 802.11 G or N "not mixed" use which ever one your network adaptor uses preferibly N.

When you set up the wireless connection on the machine itself use the manual wireless set up and use the same settings as you used on the router, don't use the mixed settings.

It's also wise to designate a wireless channel in the routers settings rather than letting the router find one for you.
The Xirrus wifi inspector is good for finding unused channels in your area.
Xirrus: The Leader in High Performance Wi-Fi - Advanced IT Wi-Fi Networking Tools
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit

Thanks chev65,

It is not possible to follow your recommendations!

WLAN is using ADSL >> Firewall >> Switch >> Access Point >> Range Expander to overcome some serious reinforced concrete between where the WLAN users sit and where the ADSL line enters.

The WRE54G range expander I'm using is a strange beast:
- in principle RE divides the 802.11G 54Mb/sec by around two and in reality by around 4 ...but 10Mb/sec is faster than my internet connection.
- RE gives some erratic ping times: not unusual to see a ping batch to the firewall like 9, 2, 1, 60 msec. I can live with it.
- RE is old (ie 3 years old!!!) and with latest available firmware (as of 2 days ago but dating back to end-2007) for that model can only handle WPA (not-2) ...perversely and undocumented, the RE will not work with WPA-mixed, only with WPA-G

RE is currently set to 802.11G but stuck at WPA-PSK/TKIP (it's a couple of days since I played with the WLAN config so I don't remember if AES is an option, but WPA2 is **definitely not**)

Do you reckon WPA2 + AES is the magic cure? (especially given that Dell-A and Dell-B can now connect easily with the "Alt Config" fixed-IP + fixed DNS setup).

Do you have any links to show WPA-TKIP won't work with Win7?

Tomorrow night I will be on another "home" WLAN that uses WPA2-PSK/AES (has always been mixed, but I can easily reconfig to G if it fails) - it will be interesting to see if Dell-A and Dell-B can connect happily to that WLAN (they have done so in the past 12 months up to 10 days ago when I was last there).

Thanks for your "food for thought". Chris
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

I can tell you that WPA should be fine and AES encryption "not mixed" consistantly works better with Windows 7. You would also need to designate those settings in Windows 7 using the manual wireless setup.

Your connection speed will be limited using wireless G. If you really want to see some improvments then going to wireless N is much better but you would need to update both your router the AP and your wireless adaptors to wireless N capible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit

I neglected to respond to a couple of your suggestions:

I will not reset FW, AP, RE: they are delivering WLAN to two Vista boxes and the Squeezebox via DHCP **AND** to the two Win7 boxes when using fixed IP "Alt Config".

But not on the router or AP. The hardware FW is responsble for DHCP in the house (...and delivers IP/DNS to Vista boxes, Squeezebox, and a couple of wired clients)

I'm squatting Channel 11 and the only other two WLANs in range are both on 7 (their problem not mine - maybe I'm halfway between them and they can't see each other).

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit

...typing at the same time.

OK - subject to the results of my weekend experiment with the other "home" WLAN, I will see if the antique WRE54G will handle AES and try that.

G speed is not an issue for me - WLAN is **ONLY** for internet access, nothing is shared.


...I'm tempted to add the iTunes CD collection on one of the wired PC's to the Squeezebox but it is not a priority so far, and if it doesn't work I've always got the CDs.

Thanks for your suggestions & info. Chris
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

Do you have iTunes installed on either of the Windows 7 machines?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit

no sir.

iTunes is on a wired Vista power-tower in the basement.

(Did you ever try loading 500+ CDs into iTunes - it's not something you volunteer to do three times, so this time - the second attempt - it is on a big box with RAID 1 disks and an external backup. We lost the first attempt when my son's need-for-speed RAID-0 threw a few sectors in the bin).

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

I'm not sure if the Domain connection is causing the problem or not but usually to get Windows 7 machines to work with server 03 you need to relax the lanman server settings on the Windows 7 machines.

Normally this only causes sharing problems with the server so I'm not sure if this has anything to do with your WLAN problem or not but it's worth a try.

Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Local Security Policy

Local Policies - Security Options

Network security: LAN Manager authentication level
Set to Send LM & NTLM responses only

Set the Minimum session security for NTLM SSP
Disable Require 128-bit encryption

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win7 ofice AD Domain machine on home WLAN

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