Wireless Problem (Quite off topic)

October 21, 2008 § 7 Comments

I’m posting this on my blog in hopes someone finds it and can give me an answer because I can’t find an answer anywhere else.

The quick and nasty: I have a MacBook Pro. (I love it, no Apple slandering, please.) What happens is my actual wireless signal—not the reception on my laptop—but the actual wireless signal coming from the DSL modem disconnects and resets constantly. It doesn’t seem to matter what I’m doing or working on, it just does this.

The modem itself is a combo DSL modem+Wireless Router (non-Apple product) and I’ve done the standard “Unplug and count to 10” stuff, but the signal still drops soon after. I’ve also run a virus scan on my computer, but nothing was found.

Really, I have no obvious reason to believe that my computer is causing the problem, nor are other computers in the house, but this problem only cropped up only after I began using the wireless network with my Mac, all of which makes me suspicious (although the wireless signal at the local library is never any problem).

Is there anyone out there who has any suggestions at all or has ever dealt with ths?


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§ 7 Responses to Wireless Problem (Quite off topic)

  • Kris Wong says:

    I had a similar problem with a Belkin wireless router. I am pretty sure it was due to the obscene number of wireless networks in range of my desktop. Have you scanned for wireless networks from your laptop to see how many there are in range and what channel they are using? I wrote a short post documenting my issue and the eventual resolution here: http://codethis.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/whats-with-wireless/.

  • jefftzucker says:

    Hi Kris – Thank you for the reply. There are about 2-5 wireless networks around, depending on where I am in the house. There are three (four, including mine) that show up when standing next to the wireless router. I will try to see what channel they are using…

    Thanks again — Jeff

  • B says:

    Does the router disconnect and reconnect when your computer is OFF? What are the lights on the router doing when the disconnects are happening? Is the actual router disconnecting or is it just your computer? What happens if you connect to one of the other wireless networks in the same location (assuming one of them is unenecrypted)? Do you see the same behavior? What about deleting your local wireless profile, and then recreating it? Have you tried disabling then re-enabling your wireless card? Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling your wireless card?

  • jefftzucker says:

    B – Lots of questions, good stuff. I’ll try to answer each of them.

    As far as I can tell, the router does not disconnect when my computer is off. When the router disconnects, the power is still there, but the actual signal turns off–goes from green to no light, to flashing red while reconnecting and then back to full green.

    It is the actual router disconnecting.

    When I’ve connected to other wireless networks (library, coffee shop), everything seems to be fine—no disconnecting from either my computer or their network.

    I will go ahead and delete and recreating my local wireless profile and see if that helps. Unfortunately, since I’m on a mac, i can only uninstall/reinstall the wireless card by opening up the whole cpu. I don’t really want to get into that.

    I have noticed that this problem does seem limited to when I am using the network on my Mac, not my mom (who’s on a Sony Vaio laptop).

    It is a bizarre problem, one that seems to happen with no rhyme or reason, but when it happens, it happens in batches, like 2-3 times in a 15 minute time span. Really maddening…

    Any thoughts at all? Ever heard of something like this happening?

  • B says:

    Just to clarify, on your router there are three lights. One is power, one is the connection to the phone line/dsl, and the third is the wireless connection to your computer.

    Do you see the phone line/dsl signal light dropping? Or is it only the wireless connection light? Just trying to make sure it’s not your dsl line dropping out.

    You say that the wireless signal disconnects and resets – does that mean you are genuinely connected for some short period of time? Are you sure you are actually connected? Do you have the right password? Perhaps you are just authenticating over and over and don’t have the right login info. If you’re sure you have the right password, then are you sure you’re logging in with the correct method? Perhaps you’re trying to use WEP when you need to be using WPA. Perhaps you’re trying to put in a 64-bit hex key when you need to be putting a 128-bit key?

  • jefftzucker says:

    B – It’s the actual dsl line dropping out. The light that switches off is labled “Broadband Link”. The light labeled “Local Network” stays on (as well as the Power light).

    I’m having no problem connecting my laptop to the router itself. That connection never drops. It’s the actual signal from the dsl provider somehow either disconnecting or getting disrupted. It’s completely random…

    I realize that this could completely be just a problem from my provider, but since I’ve only noticed it happening when I’m using the line, I feel like it could be something virus-wise or some weird Apple compatibility issue…

  • B says:

    I’d say it’s time to call your provider.

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