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Diagnose Problem with Wireless Connection..PLEASE

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Nalapombu, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

    Oct 21, 1999
    Spring, TEXAS....USA
    Hey all,

    A buddy has a problem that we are trying to figure out and I need the help of you all who are far more experienced with this than I am.

    SORRY in advance for the length of this post, but I needed to give you background info..

    Buddy buys a NEW DELL Laptop with XP and is going to use it in his business. Main reason is that most of his suppliers are doing stuff on the Internet and via Email so he is giving in to technology. He wants to be able to use his machine and connect to the Internet anywhere in his shop. He tells the Dell person and his notebook is so equipped that way when he gets it. Now he calls a local place and gets a DSL modem installed and he tells them his needs and they tell him he needs a Linksys Wireless router. He makes sure that it can be done with just a SINGLE laptop and that he doesn't have to have a main Desktop, they assure him NO PROBLEM. All equipment is in, installed and ready to go.

    I call and ask about it and he tells me that they are unable to connect to the Internet. I ask him why but he is a real novice so he is unable to explain it to me. I thought since he is really new at this I would stop over and get it running for him. I am pretty good at working on stuff and getting them going, but I have had NO experience with wireless stuff.
    I stop over at about 4:30 and his other employee, who is prettydarn good with a computer, has also been working with it for about 3 hours to no avail. I come in and take over to see if another pair of eyes can solve it.
    I see that the notebook is recognizing the connection. In the system tray it tells me that there is a Wireless connection and that the speed is 54MBs. So far so good. I then try to go to Internet Explorer to see how it is configured and it seems to be OK. I try to connect and get nothing. I then start going through all the stuff I know to do like using the setup wizard, manually setting up the network and NOTHING works. The connection is still visible, but NO Internet. I nose around trying different things for a while and can do no good at all. I then decide to go back to square one and pretend as if we are installing this stuff for the 1st time. Linksys has a quick start guide and I follow that to the letter. So far so good and then I come to Step 2 and that's where it ends. It asks me to type 198.???.1.1 in the addy bar and that would bring up the configuration routine and then to proceed with that. When I try it NOTHING comes up.
    I then decide to call Linksys adn ask for help. The gal has me physically plug a network cable in the laptop and into one of the network ports on the router. Then click IExplorer to see if I get anything. Still Nothing. Then she has me unplug it from the router and plug it directly into the DSL modem and try IEXplorer once more. NOTHING AGAIN. Her answer is that the Internet company has to set up your account on THEIR end. The problem is on THEIR END, not yours. Call and tell them and if you still have a problem call us back. She had me trying to connect to the Internet without configuring ANYTHING on the mahcine. Just plug it into the DSL modem and click Internet Explorer and by not getting anything she diagnoses it as a problem on their end. I have never seen or tried to make a connection like that and I thought you had to configure the system before trying it and she said that you should be able to connect without doing that.
    That brings me to here. What end does it sound like the problem is on to you? If you had to guess, what would you say is the problem?
    Thanks for the help and advice.

  2. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    The address was probably, but maybe not. You absolutely need to enter the config for the wireless router....until you do it won't have connectivity.

    It depends on several things....

    Is the laptop's network set to use DHCP or is it set to use a fixed IP? Did you set up the DNS and IP addies the ISP gave you?

    Did you set the drivers for the WL card in the laptop up properly?

    Is the router configured to access the Net?

    You can see the access point, so the laptop's card probably isn't the problem...

    Did you use a browser to enter the AP and set it up as well? That is where the comes in real handy....

    Likely that will get it going. Let us know what all you've done besides what you posted.

  3. 0100010

    0100010 Millennium Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    Don't let wireless scare you, as compared to ethernet. Besides a couple peices of extra information needed for wireless, the connections and settings are exactly the same as ethernet.

    The only additional peices of info needed for wireless is the SSID (name of the wireless network) and maybe a WEP key (local encryption).

    Is the laptop pulling an IP at all via DHCP from the modem when connected on ethernet?

    Is the laptop pulling an IP at all via DHCP from the router when connected on ethernet?

    Do the LED indicators on the modem show that its synced with the ISP?
  4. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

    Oct 21, 1999
    Spring, TEXAS....USA
    All these questions are things that I could not get an answer for because the ISP was closed and won't be back until Friay at the earliest. I did see a screen talking about the SSID and the guy who was fiddling with it before me tried to go through that said that it still didn;t work when he done it. I did use Internet Explorer to enter the address you posted, I just couldn't remember it.
    I thought that it would be a snap to get running but I'm tellin' ya it ain't, at least for him anyway. I can go into "Networks" in the Control Panel and see the Wireless network listed and it will say "connected" under it. Then under the option to the left there is an option like "show wireless netorks" and when I clicked on it, it returned a message that said "no wireless network" has been found. Very weird. It was getting late or I would've stayed a while trying to get the thing operating via a direct network cable to the router and then the DSL modem. I'll prolly go back over on Saturday or Monday depending how busy he is.
    I thought the whole idea of having wireless is that when you walk in to a place that has it, you should automatically be connected without setting anything up. Like certain bookstores are doing now, can't you just walk in and if you have a wireless card you should be able to connect right up without making any changes to anything right? What would happen if someone else with a wireless notebook walks in my buddy's shop after he gets it going? Will they be able to connect or is there a way to restrict it to just his machine?
    Thanks a lot for the help guys...

  5. chevrofreak

    chevrofreak Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2001
    Billings, Montana
    Start, run, type CMD, press enter.

    type ipconfig /all and press enter

    Look at the Gateway IP and the computers IP. If the gateway IP differs from what is specified in the manual, use that for the browser control panel address thingy. If the computers IP isnt similar to the gateway IP, or it has no IP at all (be sure you're looking at the wireless connection, not the ethernet) it isnt getting an IP lease for some reason.

    Another possibility is that some jackass connected to the router and messed around with the settings, and blocked the laptops MAC address from making a connection.

    If you are unable to connect to the router at all, press the reset button on it.

    Once you get it up and running be SURE you enable WEP and MAC filtering, and if possible, disable SSID broadcast.
  6. chevrofreak

    chevrofreak Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2001
    Billings, Montana
    I just read your last post. No, its not automatic. It is very very unsecure to allow anonymous people to connect to the router, and if the password hasnt been changed, they can easily alter settings.
  7. What kind of DSL modem is it?
  8. No reply yet, so I'm going to give you a couple pointers here. DSL requries authentication by PPPOE. Since you're in Ohio, I'm guessing that your buddy is on, which means that he's either using a 2Wire or Speedstream DSL modem. If he's using the speedstream, the authentication needs to be setup on the laptop. If he's using the 2wire, authentication is setup on the 2wire, which is also a wireless router, and you don't need the linksys. That's about all I can tell you without some more information.
  9. modgun

    modgun CLM

    Nov 15, 2003
    Where you live
    While there could be many different things wrong...

    First forget the router until connected. RIght now you have no internet at all, so wait on the router as it should be easy to fix the wireless once you know whether you have internet at all or not.

    If possible make sure all cables are good.
    Connect direct to modem.

    Try to find out what means what on the lights of your modem (important).

    Turn everything off and hook it all up and install/setup as instructed. Making sure to go to the net conn and properties/change connection and then(in networking tab depending on your OS) highlight tcp/ip then right click properties then select "obtain ip addy automatically" and click ok. Make sure that even if it is already selected that you click ok and let the pc write for a minute. Continue with the setup according to the modem instructions. At this point it will probably mean powering down and restarting everything and trying to connect. Try it. If nothing then you need to look back in the net conn and find the details about you ip addresses. There should be a place that will list your dns servers and ip address. ip lease info etc. (Sorry Im on a ME machine right now or I would tell you exactly how to get everywhere, plus I run XP in classic mode) You need to see that this is all "proper" with appropriate looking numbers. If not, you are not resolving (receiving) an ip address from your isp properly which is most likely their fault if you are set up properly. If everything is kosher looking then there is probably a harware issue.

    Check the lights on your modem and see if the one that indicates "stuff coming from isp" is functioning as it should, is it solid, flashing, off? This light tells you about your connection to the isp and whether you have gotten an addy or not.

    If still nothing, try one last "power cycle." Turn everything off and pull the power to the modem for a minute then repower. Do not turn on your comp until you see the light I mentioned doing its thing. No light no internet. If you get a light try to connect.

    If still nothing, go to start run type cmd then in the DOS window type
    hit enter
    DOS will try to send info to that site and will tell you the results.
    0% loss means you are connected
    100% loss means you arent.

    At this point if you arent online you need the isp.
    Get an isp that you can call 24/7. Even on holidays.
    Have them ping you and see what they say.

    Once you are online the wireless should be so easy, however there is a small chance you may need to upgrade the firmware on the router if its a linksys.

    I havent been on dsl for 3 years but was on it for 3 years. Im a little rusty with the dsl specs but hopefully this helps.

    Someone mentioned pppoe earlier. Unless dsl is different than when I had it pppoe is NOT always neccesary with dsl. I never used it that I know of. Maybe it is an automatic function? You shouldnt have to mess with it at all.

    Make sure you explain to your friend that what he wanted (to just order it all up and then plug it all together) never works.