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Windows 7: Laptop connection problems - please help

22 Nov 2010   #1

windows 7 Professional
 
 
Laptop connection problems - please help

Ive been having the same problem for some time now I can't find a solution.
I have a new samsung r530 laptop with windows 7. Ive connected to my home network as normal but my laptop disconnects when I use it in the garage. My old HP laptop worked fine in there and its meant to have an inferior WLAN card.
I have an Atheros AR9285 WLAN card in my samsung and it can pick up my network intermittantly in the garage with a maximum 2 bars but it will not connect. I have the latest driver ( 8.0.0.366 ) installed.
Why did my old broadcom device find it easily in win XP but my new one cannot in Windows 7.
Do I need to replace the card of get a usb device for it? Do I need a better router ( I have a sky netgear DG834GT with the latest firmware.
Or is there a network setting I need to change to pick it up.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Nov 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Once you get down into the 2 bar range the connection can go either way, sometimes it works ok, other times not so well.

I had a weak signal out in my garage also and ended up installing a Dlink access point under the eves of my house pointed towards the garage which got me a really strong signal.

It might be worth while to check and make sure you are using a clear channel for your wireless connection.
I use the Xirrus wifi inspector for this. You may need to make an adjustment to your routers channel after finding one that isn't being used. Usually 1,6, and 11 are used the most.
Xirrus: The Leader in High Performance Wi-Fi - Advanced IT Wi-Fi Networking Tools
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

There are many things can impact wireless performance. Proximity and ambient interference as well as encryption levels creating more overhead and causing poorer performance. Try experimenting with the encryption you are currently using on the router. Windows 7 seems to like WPA2 / AES, so if your router supports that you might start there. Some people have reported less then optimal performance with Windows 7 machines using WEP so you may want to make whatever adjustments you can to help diagnose the problem.
Improving Wireless Range: Tuning Equipment
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Nov 2010   #4

windows 7 Professional
 
 

It might be worth while to check and make sure you are using a clear channel for your wireless connection.
I use the Xirrus wifi inspector for this. You may need to make an adjustment to your routers channel after finding one that isn't being used. Usually 1,6, and 11 are used the most.
Xirrus: The Leader in High Performance Wi-Fi - Advanced IT Wi-Fi Networking Tools[/QUOTE]

Thanks for that. Ive already changed the channel so I have an independent one to neighbours but that hasn't helped. Problem is I don't want to have to install a new BT phone point unless I cannot resolve this.
I have ordered an extendable antenna for my router to see if the signal improves. Obviously moving my access point nearer the garage would help but Im trying all other possibilities first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #5

7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Has anyone put up a new 802.11n network in your area? If so, that would most likely be your culprit. They hog the airwaves like you wouldn't believe.

We just got the new Netgear WNDR37AV and I put up all FOUR 802.11n networks (2 2.4GHz bands and 2 5GHz bands - one of each type is a Guest Network). As soon as I did that, everybody else's 802.11g networks dropped by about 2 bars (on my available connections list anyway). Still trying to figure out how to tone that down a smidge, to be courteous...

Anyway, check that out and see if there are any 802.11n networks listed - it will tell you when you hover over them. If there are, there is NOTHING you can do about it. At least if that's true, then you will know it isn't your hardware to blame.


If not, I would highly suspect your Router. In the case of drop/dead zones it is usually always the router's fault, not your NIC's fault. You can test that out with another wireless device connected to your network. If that one also has difficulty in the same places, then it's 100% your router's fault. If not, then you can point the finger at the NIC - but not until clearing your router's name first lol.

I'd say a new router or else getting an inexpensive "repeater" router is your best bet, if it is proven to be your router's fault. If you want to go the super-cheap route, a CAT5 LAN cable from the router to your garage will most definitely solve the problem.


Good luck and I hope you resolve this soon!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

I don't know what your feelings are regarding powerline adapters but I've used them to fix specific issues like this. I'm not a fan of wireless, it has great potential but there are issues, like the one you're experiencing. If I could go wired everywhere, I certainly would - Cat 6 and gig speed rule!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pwimpenny View Post
Thanks for that. Ive already changed the channel so I have an independent one to neighbours but that hasn't helped. Problem is I don't want to have to install a new BT phone point unless I cannot resolve this.
I have ordered an extendable antenna for my router to see if the signal improves. Obviously moving my access point nearer the garage would help but Im trying all other possibilities first.
What might also help is going to a USB adaptor with one of the extendable antennas. They come with about 3 feet of extension but you can add a USB extension cable and move the adaptor even closer to the router or to a better location.

I did both, added the AP outside the house and extended the USB adaptor another ten feet closer from my garage machine. It worked great with a 300Mbps connection, now I can easily stream movies from my media center machine out to the garage with no problems.

Wireless is only as good as you make it, no special tricks other than getting the best signal possible and using wireless 802.11N with the correct security and encryption which is WAP2 and AES. I'm also using channel bonding "broadcasting over two channels" for extra bandwidth which is something that hardly anyone even knows about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2010   #8

windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by patwhatsthat View Post
There are many things can impact wireless performance. Proximity and ambient interference as well as encryption levels creating more overhead and causing poorer performance. Try experimenting with the encryption you are currently using on the router. Windows 7 seems to like WPA2 / AES, so if your router supports that you might start there. Some people have reported less then optimal performance with Windows 7 machines using WEP so you may want to make whatever adjustments you can to help diagnose the problem.
Improving Wireless Range: Tuning Equipment
shame but my router does not have the option to use WPA2 encryption. Thanks for the pointer though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2010   #9

windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by EvilOzzmess View Post
Has anyone put up a new 802.11n network in your area? If so, that would most likely be your culprit. They hog the airwaves like you wouldn't believe.

We just got the new Netgear WNDR37AV and I put up all FOUR 802.11n networks (2 2.4GHz bands and 2 5GHz bands - one of each type is a Guest Network). As soon as I did that, everybody else's 802.11g networks dropped by about 2 bars (on my available connections list anyway). Still trying to figure out how to tone that down a smidge, to be courteous...

Anyway, check that out and see if there are any 802.11n networks listed - it will tell you when you hover over them. If there are, there is NOTHING you can do about it. At least if that's true, then you will know it isn't your hardware to blame.


If not, I would highly suspect your Router. In the case of drop/dead zones it is usually always the router's fault, not your NIC's fault. You can test that out with another wireless device connected to your network. If that one also has difficulty in the same places, then it's 100% your router's fault. If not, then you can point the finger at the NIC - but not until clearing your router's name first lol.

I'd say a new router or else getting an inexpensive "repeater" router is your best bet, if it is proven to be your router's fault. If you want to go the super-cheap route, a CAT5 LAN cable from the router to your garage will most definitely solve the problem.


Good luck and I hope you resolve this soon!
I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Ive been running the insidder network monitoring application and there is a 300n hogging the airwaves. Im not sure whether they began transmitting about the time I got the new laptop but I certainly can't get the signal in my garage anymore. Maybe I will have to match him and go supersonic. Can you recommend a good router to use with sky broadband? Will your Netgear WNDR37AV work with sky?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 8 Professional
 
 

Your "wirelessN theory" sounds correct but just so you are aware not all wireless adapters are made equally. Also, just because it is newer doesn't mean it is designed better. Your new laptop may have its antenna positioned in a poor location inside of the laptop. This could affect the signal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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