Odd wifi problem

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Llamarama, May 26, 2012.

  1. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    Hello everyone, not sure if this is off-tipic or not but I thought I'd share it and see if anyone's seen it before.

    I have an old Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop that can detect other people's wifis, but not my own. I've had it working on this laptop before when It was using both XP and Ubuntu. It can see other wifis of the same type, encryption and even brand router, but it point blank refuses to even see mine, even when it's literally only inches away.

    It's a standard Sagem router supplied by Sky and works fine with my other computers running Windows 7 and XP as well as iPhones and android phones and tablets.

    The only thing that would make sense would be if my laptop was somehow "blocked" from connecting somehow. Can anyone offer any suggestions? I'd bring it up with my supplier, but I don't fancy a 2 hour phone call at £0.50 a minute like they tried to charge me last time. Many thanks :)
     
  2. electronis whiz

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    519
    27
    It could be a number of issues such as.
    1. Mac filter on the AP/router
    2. Incompatible WIFI versions E.G. if the router is 802.11G and the laptop is A they wont work. Because A operates in the 5 GHZ frequency, whereas the others are 2.4 GHZ.
    3. It could be security but it sounds like you ruled that out.
    4. As odd as it sounds some laptops (not sure caused by OS or hardware) will not work with certain brand routers. So far the only time I have heard of this is laptops connecting to netgear routers.
    5. It could be DHCP find it odd that would fail to work though on the client. Do other systems get the DHCP from the router/AP? Try assigning a static on the same subnet if you don’t get in ip. To see if you have an ip open command prompt do ipconfig it should get a DHCP from the router with the same network address as the router/ap.
    When I have problems like this I will usually if possible change to the most basic settings E.G. ssid broadcast enabled, no security, no Mac filters, DHCP enabled. Else you should be able to try and reset it. Usually done by a button on the bottom or back usually a paperclip trips this switch
    hope that helps
     
    Llamarama likes this.
  3. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    I think the most likely problem is number 1, I was running XP using the WiFi fine, then i switched to Ubuntu and it was fine until about a month ago when it just refused to see my WiFi at all, even when I switched back to XP still couldn't see it. I'll give those a shot when I get home.

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  4. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    What do you mean by can't see?

    Can it detect the wireless transmission?

    Or do you really mean it can detect the transmission but not connect?

    If it can't detect the transmission it could be that the channels are set wrongly eg your Dell may be set to channel 13 and your Sagem to channel 1.
    If this is the case reset one or the other.
     
  5. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    If open the network utility that displays the available networks on my laptop and my brothers laptop, then they can see about 6 networks, mine sees my neighbors but not mine, my brothers sees all of them.

    The only way I can describe it is as if my laptop has been blocked from seeing my router for some reason. Both my laptop and router are set to channel 6.

    It is worth saying that I can see other Sky wireless networks, with identical settings. I'm at a loss with this one.
     
  6. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    Start>run>typein "cmd"

    In the blackscreen that opens typein

    "ipconfig /all"

    You should see something like this

    What does it say for default gateway, DNS and DHCP?
     
  7. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    I'm afraid I don't get any of those items displayed at all, here's what I get.
     
  8. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    Are you able to make a temporary connection with an ethernet cable?
     
  9. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    start>network settings

    edit sorry

    start>network connections

    You should see a window like the one in the background, with the ethernet (called Local areas connection) and wireless (called wireless network connection)

    The local area connection in mine has a red cross, because it is not in use.
    The wireless network connection is shown as active.

    right click on the wireless network connection and chose properties.

    The left hand window grey will open

    Scroll down to intenet protocol and click the properties button

    The right hand grey window will open.

    Make sure it is set as mine. (Both automatic)

    These windows are where further configurations settings are made so make a note of how to get to them for the future.
     
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  10. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    Yes, I ran ipconfig /all again and got these results

    I'm able to connect to other wireless networks with this laptop, and this network with other devices, just not both at once.
     
  11. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    So it's a question of plodding through the settings until you find the :mad: one.

    At least your last ipconfig screen shows you don't have the dreaded DNS changer virus!
     
  12. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    Ok, Ive done a few hard-resets at the router itself. 1st go, no change, 2nd go, no change, 3rd time, as it works! Problem solved, thanks for all your help, i'm now free to roam :) Many thanks :)
     
  13. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    That's good luck.
    These things happen.

    ;) :)
     
  14. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    It's almost like my router enjoys setting me challenges every month or two... Oh well, thanks anyway though :)
     
  15. coldpenguin

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    165
    9
    I have seen a similar issue. My router works with all channels, 1-13, however one of my devices only works 2-11.
    If I leave my router set to auto channel, it tries to find a channel with the least interference from the rubbish bt homehubs in my area.
    If it decides on 1 or 13, the device which doesn't work on those channels can't see it, however my other devices work fine.
    So, if it happens again. before doing a full reset, choose a fixed channel.
     
    studiot likes this.
  16. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    Now it's permanently set to channel 6, problem solved :) thanks again.
     
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