View Full Version : WiFi network help, please!
9th Jun 2012, 15:38
One for the network gurus - Laptop Dell Inspiron 8100, XP Professional, 3Com WiFi card. Boot up and WiFi reception is shown as Good or better. My Network Places shows connection is Good. Try to log on with PlusNet and get dialogue box saying unable, address not recognised. Address is correct. Attempt to login on 192.168.1.1, to check and fix the router and get same dialogue box!! Select Repair function in the 3Com details box and get "Repair failed due to not able to renew IP address".
I have got the IP address and the Subnet Mask details but have no idea how to fix the problem. Anybody, any helpful suggestions, please?
9th Jun 2012, 15:48
PC isn't getting an IP address from the router
have you tried turning the router on/off?
if that fails, reset the router to defaults and then set up all the networking again
what make of router? are you using WEP or WPA encryption?
9th Jun 2012, 18:35
9th Jun 2012, 18:39
Thank you, Milo.
Router is a Thomson Gateway and it is working perfectly with two cable connected desktops.Encryption is WEP. Have switched the router off and on (with long delays) several times. When I try to get into the router setup via its address, I get the same failure indication as for the Web.
Is not the default 192.168.1.254 or have you changed it?
9th Jun 2012, 20:17
A Thomson is normally 192.168.1.1 - unless its one of the old Speedtouch models supplied by BT
To the problem
You're using WEP
WEP can be either "open" or "shared". Its an option under the advanced settings tab in the windows wireless network setup tool. However often with third party setup tools you don't get the option and it defaults to "open" and can't be shared
Set the PC up to use the Windows setup tool - not the 3Com one and try using the "shared" option
Also if you can get access to the router via a cable, try to change the channel its running on. Some network cards don't like running on channel 1 or 13 - even though these are the only two channels which don't overlap into another
If that still wont fix it then press the reset button (usually hidden in a pinhole), to set the defaults and then reprogram it. Make sure you have the ISP user name and password before you try this (who is the ISP??)
9th Jun 2012, 20:24
Thanks again, Milo and BOAC - yes 1.254 it is. The most frustrating bit is that it is getting excellent WiFi reception but just won't use it!:* Will try channel changing from the desktop and see if that works.
Confused now - where did 192.168.1.1 (post£1) come into it?
9th Jun 2012, 20:40
same here - I thought it WAS 192.168.1.1. for one of those
No chance the gateway has been manually set incorrectly on the PC?
CJ - yes 1.254 it is. T - it's Saturday night where I am - can you put us out of our mysery and tell us what happens when you enter that in your browser? 'Channel changing' WAY down the line.
10th Jun 2012, 08:08
Are you saying you also cannot connect to the router management portal? What does ipconfig/all show? Switch off any firewall maybe.
Attempt to login on 192.168.1.1, to check and fix the router and get same dialogue box!! - that is what this is all about.
10th Jun 2012, 09:56
Just checking! Ipconfig/all shows what gateway address?
10th Jun 2012, 10:03
Apologies for the confusion chaps:O The .1.1 address I tried initially 'cos that was what I was directed to by the help line a year or so back. All wrong, of course!! The correct address IS 1.254! However, the response to that is still the same - to the effect that the address is not recognised. Pinging the Beeb via the cmd route gives a similar reply. The 'Repair' function in My Network Places brings up the 'failed due to unable to reset IP addresss.
Having a think about it (there's a novel concept!) if I mess about with the router (reset, etc.,) it will affect the two desktops which are working fine so I reckon the answer is to save the MyDocs contents from the laptop to a card and then do a total rehash back to factory settings and start again. Drastic, possibly, but, at least it shou;d 'clear the tubes' so to speak.
Thanks again everyone.
CJ - if you follow that suggestion, NB it is ipconfig /all (with a space)
10th Jun 2012, 10:19
have you tried changing the laptop network settings from open to shared?
10th Jun 2012, 10:24
Well it's either this or pulling cleavers from the flower beds. Damn this sun. Resetting the laptop sounds way to drastic. Network card config ok, autonegotiate on? If you connect by cable is it ok? Any firewall running?
10th Jun 2012, 11:12
Again apologies to all. I'm having some difficulty getting my head around some of these options - e.g. removing the WEP protection, 'cos I can't access the £$%"*** router to modify anything at all. The router itself is working fine on the other two machines so I'm assuming that the fault(s) lie with the lappie. It has worked in the past but I have no idea when , or which operation, caused the problem. I've done the My Docs transfer and there's nothing else on the machine of consequence so the rehash is looking increasingly favourite - it's more in line with my (lackof) skill base!!
10th Jun 2012, 11:17
Sorry for not paying attention but if its working ok from the cabled pc's why can't you change the router from there? Are all machines xp?
CJ - possibly the last attempt from me - what happens if you type in 192.168.1.254? If nothing works, I reckon your wifi is knackered in the router. Cannot see it as problem for the lappie. Have you tried another wireless PC?
10th Jun 2012, 11:47
Indeed so, Mr O. - Unfortunately, when I try to make contact from my desktop, I get a request for User Name and P/W and the standard admin/admin isn't accepted :sad:
Ther is a certain amount of time constraint on this 'cos SWMBO is off on her travels until tomorrow and I can spread my domestic confusion unhindered! :E
10th Jun 2012, 11:51
Ah!!! BOAC - now there's a thought! ... could well be. Anyway, the die is now cast - rehash in progress and we shall see if that has any improving effect. Will report back and many thanks to all. The suggestions made may well be useable for other members with similar problems.
10th Jun 2012, 11:55
that last comment of yours rather reinforces the suggestion that the router is the problem
10th Jun 2012, 12:02
Ah. If its any consolation the local Fun Prevention Officer has found a social conscience and gone off to do something community spirited. It's just a coincidence that it involves sitting down talking to other women is it? And in the meant I am left to tackle a hawthorn hedge armed with nothing more than seceteurs and a spirit of hope. Ok well usually the default ip address is on a sticker on the thing but a Google search should get you the default password and username and reset procedure. Is it locked to BT ? Using ipconfig from one of the pcs should get the actual gateway address. For name/password try blank/blank, admin/admin, admin/Admin......Someone on Google will have been through this already.
Oh, too late!
Unfortunately, when I try to make contact from my desktop, I get a request for User Name and P/W and the standard admin/admin isn't accepted - crikey - this is worse than trying to get blood from a stone!
Do we NOW understand that 192.168.1.254 reaches your router wirelessly or wired or not?? If so, your router wifi is ok. Answers on a postcard?
If we are talking wired and you cannot get in, do a factory reset on the router and use the default u/n and p/w
10th Jun 2012, 12:47
Too late. Rehash in progress, presumably reset of laptop from recovery partition?
BUT it is not the laptop, is it? On the other hand, perhaps the lappie 3com card is knacked. We may never know, without the third degree.:)
10th Jun 2012, 12:55
but from my reading of things he can't log into the router from the machines which are cabled, so he still can't check the wireless settings on the router.
I think even after the laptop has been reloaded the router is still going to have to be reset to defaults before we can make any sense of this
It would help to know the exact model of the router and the ISP - as these are sometimes supplied with fixed settings for the ISP
An issue here is that the OP has got confused by too many of us chipping in with ideas and has stopped listening, or else has just decided to listen to what he fancies
As Donald said "We don't know what we don't know":) I reckon C J would have been an excellent secret agent and resisted all interrogation methods.:ugh:
10th Jun 2012, 13:02
...but we were all saying the same thing!
Let me summarise two pages:
We don't know which IP address he is using to connect to the router by cable or wireless
We don't know whether the router has been reset to factory and default used.
We don't know details of the router.
In my opinion, laptop reset etc is a waste of time at the moment, as is ipconfig /all
Still, it is raining here and I cannot get out to the Amberley Gardens Festival.
10th Jun 2012, 13:51
Now threatening rain here too. Wouldn't ipconfig off a pc have at least given us the gateway address? Then check laptop set up to receive dhcp address or stuff in a static address.Then check card config. If OP confesses to router details then can find router reset process and defaults. Only fly in the ointment is suspicion of BT involvement.
10th Jun 2012, 13:54
I'd agree with that summary from BOAC, except its sunny here
As to using IPCONFIG, the problem is we don't know if he's using a fixed IP address or DHCP
10th Jun 2012, 14:06
...suspect we'll hear shortly.
10th Jun 2012, 14:49
Gosh chaps, I really am most grateful for all your help - just need a better brain to understand it!
Update ... Have, at last managed to login to the router:ok: Helps enormously if the password is entered correctly!!! Anyway, have completed a reset plus resetting the networking setup and the result is - zilch. The only new thing is that when I try to connect to the Plusnet wireless net (which is visible and strongly received) is a message something like "Windows is unable to find a certificate to allow you to connect to this network" or some such. Have no idea what this means ... any suggestions, please?
10th Jun 2012, 15:05
The wired in pc can or cannot get online(irrespective of laptop)? Think there is a setting in xp to override the certificate issue-MM will know.
Heard of Google? Let me google that for you (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=a+certificate+to+allow+you+to+connect+to+this+network)
First hit:ugh:You just never know.
10th Jun 2012, 15:17
Fix “Windows was unable to find a certificate to log you on to the network” (http://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/windows-was-unable-to-find-a-certificate-to-log-you-on-to-the-network/)
Beat me to it....
10th Jun 2012, 16:50
Thank you chaps - Whoops of joy followed by ashes!! the 'certificate' message no longer appears but still no wireless internet:sad: One slight change is that using ipconfig generates the autoconfig address and the subnet mask. I then tried ipconfig /renew. It activated (I think) but no change.I now have wads of paper covered with indecipherable scrawls but no progress to report. Ain't pooters wunnerful!:yuk:
10th Jun 2012, 16:57
you're both trying too hard. Its unlikely to be the 802.1x issue
The problem now is that he's using WEP not WPA, and in most cases XP cannot autoconfigure a WEP connection. You have to do it by hand.
This is a standard problem with WEP but rarely documented
Details here on this helpfile from Netgear
Unable to connect to network: Validation and Certificate Errors in Windows XP and Vista (http://support.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/7334/~/unable-to-connect-to-network%3A-validation-and-certificate-errors-in-windows-xp)
note that you may still come across the issue of whether the WEP has to be "open" or "shared" - that can be changed here at the same time. If one fails, try the other
10th Jun 2012, 17:36
:O it's not often I am accused of that!
10th Jun 2012, 18:04
As a techie ignoramus, the last time that one of our family lappies refused to recognise the modem/router, I took the lappie to the modem router, attached required cable, did not a lot and it worked. Then, having looked at the domestic network through that link, after a while - patience required - and patience is not my strong point -, said router acknowledged the lappie as both a hard wired and a wifi goodie. Lots of turning things on and off required. In fact, the router has a memory much better than mine about what has/has tried to connect........
In the end, lappie did respond. (All were configured with the same security), but lappie had forgotten security......
Which is bloody wierd as junior daughter's lappie is seldom here, but has a great memory for this stuff.
10th Jun 2012, 18:17
Thank you Milo - did that sequence - wouldn't allow the configuring as it said that connection was already configured, so added a 2 to the connection ID (Plusnetwireless2) and it accepted that. However, when I checked for valid IP addresses, ... ZILCH , or, rather, "invalid address"
Interesting comment from AO - I have connected the lappie via ethernet cable and it is quite happy with that - just this ^%&"*** WiFi thing has problems :*
10th Jun 2012, 18:34
delete ALL existing wirelesss connections that may be there and create it from afresh. Simply amending the failed connection will not work
network name has to be exactly the same as its broadcasting
whats happening is that the existing failed connection is blocking your attempt at creating a new one
10th Jun 2012, 19:47
Thank you again Milo. I can see the reasonong there. Will give that a whirl but just as an update, I dug out a second laptop and a different WiFi adaptor, fired it up and all same, same:*!!! If I get any joy out of either, will report back. G'night all and muchas gracias.:ok:
10th Jun 2012, 21:36
as you connecting to the same WEP network you SHOULD get the same error
12th Jun 2012, 13:26
Update - This is being posted from the subject laptop!!! What happened, what was done???
I have absolutely no idea what the magic solution was!!
During the last three days I have consulted, questioned, rehashed, rebooted without count, re-installed windows XP, twice, then XP Pro, once, changed adaptors three times, consulted my ISP twice, reset the router twice, reconfigured the wifi connections at least five times, ... all with the same result - ZILCH, VERY strong signal reception and TOTAL failure to connect. Finally, searching through my collection of "It'll come in handy someday" items, I found a third adaptor BT Voyager 1060 Laptop. Nothing terribly different with this item as compared with the others but nothing to lose, so yet another install. Result? ... This thread input. What happened, what changed? Not a clue - certainly nothing in the reams of troubleshooting advice I've read in the last three days suggested trying another adaptor. Ain't computers absolutely marvellous?
Again thanks to all - unlikely, but this MIGHT just be of help to some other Windows 'victim'
12th Jun 2012, 15:53
Is the wifi access point broadcasting on "auto" channel or up at channel 13 by any chance? as you'll possibly find the beaconing is picked up by the card but the channel is unavailable as the card or drivers think you're a Yank.
12th Jun 2012, 16:36
Thanks Mike - as indicated above, it is ,for the moment at least, sorted. No idea how or why! What this little saga has shown, yet again, that info on WiFi problems requires a depth of knowledge of 'techie speak' which I don't possess:sad: It seems (to me) quite extraordinary that a PC function which, nowadays, is almost totally essential, continues to be presented in a form which is almost unintelligible to non-geeks, As to fault finding, as I now know, the process requires a familiarity with PC gobbledegook which exceeds anything I have gained from some 20 years of building, using and swearing at the things. Methinks there is a little fortune to be made by the first person to write an automatic check and fix program(me). .. or the manufacturer of a fool-proof system!!
13th Jun 2012, 09:28
It seems (to me) quite extraordinary that a PC function which, nowadays, is almost totally essential, continues to be presented in a form which is almost unintelligible to non-geeks, As to fault finding, as I now know, the process requires a familiarity with PC gobbledegook which exceeds anything I have gained from some 20 years of building, using and swearing at the things. Methinks there is a little fortune to be made by the first person to write an automatic check and fix program(me). .. or the manufacturer of a fool-proof system!!
There are two alternatives:
1) Learn more about IT
2) Pay people like myself who have spent decades designing, refining, and productionising systems such as wifi to figure it out for you
If you're unwilling to do one of these, then you need to do the other. Why as a software writer would I cut off my livelihood simply because you unreasonably want things to be 100% reliable?
Wifi problems, such as the channel 13 issue above, are the result of governments (specifically the US Govt) reserving a chunk of the radio spectrum for their military and banning wifi manufacturers from using it. It's not a problem created by us "IT geeks" yet you want to sit back and demand a noddy system? It'll be a long time coming.
13th Jun 2012, 15:23
Fascinating viewpoint, Mike, and undoubtedly valid (from your perspective). However it is rather claiming special privilege for IT as against any other technical product. As an analogy, one buys a car and decides to fit an accessory - say a towbar. One would therefore have to take a course in garage mechanic-ing in order to do so?? plus the manufacturers of said towbar would generate unclear terminology for the components in order to force customers to employ garages to carry out the work - this in spite of the fact that all cars have the fixing points already installed to allow simple attachment. Not an exact comparison, perhaps but covers the generalities. Additionally,. why is the WiFi arena so littered with 'geek speak' and traps for the unwary when the basic computer build is relatively straightforward and 'Lego-like' in concept and execution? Just to provide employment for the techies?
I would have supposed that far from cutting off your livelihood, designing a piece of software to automate what ought (in tnis day and age ) to be simple, would give you an income stream for a life of leisure!!:D
13th Jun 2012, 15:46
To expand on your towbar analogy, consider this:
- The towbars wouldn't be fitted with the fixing holes in the same place for cars manufactured in different countries because the fixing holes are mandated by the local governments, although there's a fair amount of standardisation been attempted
- The towbars could be made of cheese and you would be able to fit it to your car, but only when you tried to use it would you realise why you needed a steel one
- Towbars in themselves and the towing of cars is quite a good analogy. Your stance is that anyone should be able to fit one themselves and tow anything without referring to a specialist, yet: Towbar Legislation Car Tow Bars Regulations Law Commercial Standards (http://www.solent-towbars.co.uk/towbar-legislation-law.html) shows the laws surrounding towing.
The bottom line is, that if everything in IT was a simple as towbars then IT support wouldn't exist. It isn't, so we do. Wifi is a munge of international standards, drivers written to a price by whomever the supplier can get that's cheapest, all sitting on top of something that needs to work cross-platform to a 1960s design whilst providing adequate protection from automated and highly targetted attacks from those who are less scrupulous than most you find on PPRuNe.
I think a fairer way of saying it would be: "If nobody wanted to hack you, we'd be able to make systems which worked a lot more of the time"
13th Jun 2012, 19:23
Of all my struggles to get free internet last summer, doing what milo said, and wiping the slate clean was often the only way to get it going. When finally I got a good signal and WEP typed in carefully . . . nothing. Get rid of the list, and away it went. Happened several times.
This forum introduced me to inSSIDer 2.0 , a freebie for which I'm often very grateful. If nothing else, it will give you the lowdown on which channel to use.