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Laptop with Win Vista won't connect to wireless network


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#1
Tina B.

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Hi all,
I'm at my wits end now. I brought home a Dell Inspiron laptop that has Windows vista on it. It has a WiFi card installed.
I am using a Westell versalink 327w wireless router. I installed my verizon DSL software, using the ethernet cable from pc to router. I can connect to the internet if I leave the ethernet cable on, but once I take it off, my wireless network icon goes red x on me. The computer says a wireless network is detected and it's the proper SSID on it, but I cannot get the computer to connect to the network.
If you need anymore information, please let me know. I have two other laptops that work fine with the wireless network. Is there an issue with windows vista and this model router that I can update somehow? The router is a couple of years old, and doesn't have vista listed on the OS's on the quick start guide.
I tried going to the Westell configuration online but haven't a clue what I'm supposed to do there.
Thanks,
Tina B.
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#2
hfcg

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Hello, and welcome to Geeks To Go.
Please read This and This articles.

Edited by hfcg, 01 March 2008 - 03:26 PM.

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#3
Will_00

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Have you tried it in another hotspot?
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#4
Tina B.

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Hello,
unfortunately I don't have any "hot spots" where I am. Just my westell versalink modem.
I tried to do the suggestions on the sites and those didn't take care of the problem.
I then updated the driver for the Dell wireless WLAN mini-card directly from the DELL site. That caused an error message from Vista that said this program may not have installed correctly. It also caused the Dell wireless WLAN utility program to not load correctly and freeze up to the point that I can't click on anything to add a network or run diagnostics. (Which is where it's at right now, as I tried it again a few minutes ago)
I tried again to install a new driver for the Westell router and the same error message came up that there is no TCP/IP found.

So, I did a restore point from the day I got the computer and tried the Wireless utility to test the Wireless card and all tests passed. Tried again to install Verizon DSL with the Westell router, and it just keeps coming back with error message that there is a problem with the connection, although everything is connected properly.
The other two laptops, with Win Xp pro have no issues with the connections.
I have had no luck trying to find a driver for the Westell modem that will work on Vista OS.
Also, this computer information states it's a 32 bit, not a 64bit....that's too techy for me to understand..but could that cause a conflict here?
So frustrating.
I have a Windows XP pro that I could install...but will it do any good and can it be installed over Win Vista?
THanks,
Tina B.
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#5
hfcg

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Have you used the routers utility program to add the new computer?
With my Linksys router I have to be hard wired to the router to add another computer.
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#6
Tina B.

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HI,
thanks for the idea..but this router doesn't have a utility program that I am aware of, and the 3 computers I've set up in the past have never required the computer be added to the router. I'm going to look though!
Tina B.
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#7
hfcg

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Hello Tinab,
How are things going with your connection issues?
I do not feel that I paid enough attention to your problem so please let me know if you still have issues.
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#8
Tina B.

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Hi, thanks for the response.
Connection issues are still here. I have tried to uninstall and reinstall the drivers for the Wireless Mini-card, and that hasn't worked.Ive taken the card out. Restarted the computer and then shut down and reinstall the card hoping it would reset things correctly. I've reset the router numerous times and re-installed the software for it, and it comes back with an error about my connection. It works fine on the connection to the ethernet. I have also tried to update the driver for the card and that causes the utility for it to not work.
I've been in the configuration to make sure it's on the same channel as the wireless router...on and on.

I can connect with the ethernet cable connected to my router, the connection uses a different adapter for that. I can also connect using dial up. But that danged Wireless mini-card will not see the connection available.
If I use the connection wizard windows vista will look for the connection, and then come back with an error that says it cannot connect because it is a "hidden" network. I have my settings for the wireless network set to broadcast, and to connect even if no broadcast.
When I use the utility for the mini-card, it will show the network in the list to choose from to connect to...but once I try it comes back with the "hidden network" error again.
This is Windows Vista Home Basic.
Router is a Westell versalink 327w
And the Mini-card is a Dell 1390
I have been all over the microsoft site for answers, and typed every configuration of help for connections using windows vista. Either it's too technical with registry changes, or it just doesn't apply to the problem I'm having.
I'm ready to give up on this one. I sure wish I knew if I could just do away with Windows vista on this machine and install Windows XP pro. It was much simpler to do networking on XP for me.
One more thing to note, I tried to update the router driver and it came back with an error message that there was no TCP/IP located on the computer. ?
Thanks so much if you can help. :)
Tina B.
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#9
hfcg

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The router may not be broudcasting, or hidden.
You can go in to your router from a hardwired computer and change this setting (it would be with security).
This may help
Non-broadcast Network Behavior with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (now in beta testing), an additional wireless network configuration setting has been added that indicates whether a wireless network is broadcast or non-broadcast. This setting can be configured locally through the Manually connect to a wireless network dialog box, the properties of the wireless network, at the command line with commands in the netsh wlan context, or through Group Policy. The following figure shows an example of the Connection tab for the default properties of a wireless network in Windows Vista.


The Connect even if the network is not broadcasting check box determines whether the wireless network broadcasts (cleared, the default value) or does not broadcast (selected) its SSID. When selected, Wireless Auto Configuration sends probe requests to discover if the non-broadcast network is in range.

Because configured wireless networks are now explicitly marked as broadcast or non-broadcast, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008-based wireless clients only send probe requests for wireless networks that are configured for automatic connection (the Connect automatically when this wireless network is in range check box on the Connection tab) and as non-broadcast. This behavior allows Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008-based wireless clients to detect non-broadcast networks when they are in range. Therefore, even though the wireless APs are not broadcasting the name of their wireless network, they will appear in the list of available wireless networks when they are in range. Because the wireless client detects whether the automatically-connected, non-broadcast networks are in range based on responses to the probe request, Wireless Auto Configuration now attempts to connect to the wireless networks in the preferred networks list order, regardless of whether they are configured as broadcast or non-broadcast. By only sending probe requests for automatically-connected, non-broadcast networks, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008-based wireless clients reduce the number of situations in which they disclose their wireless network configuration.

Additionally, users can configure manually-connected, non-broadcast wireless networks and control exactly when to send probe requests. Manually-connected, non-broadcast wireless networks are always displayed in the list of available networks, allowing users to initiate connections as needed.

Despite the improvements in non-broadcast network support in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Microsoft recommends against using non-broadcast wireless networks due to the security and privacy concerns described in the “Why Non-broadcast Networks are not a Security Feature” section of this article.

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Connecting to Non-broadcast Wireless Networks from the Connect to a Network Wizard in Windows Vista
Windows Vista allows users to connect to non-broadcast networks from the Connect to a network wizard. When the wireless client receives a Beacon message with a NULL SSID, Windows Vista adds the wireless network to the available network list with the title “Unnamed Network.”

If a user attempts to connect to the “Unnamed Network,” they are prompted to type the name of the non-broadcast network. After the user enters the network name, Wireless Auto Configuration sends a probe request for the wireless network with the provided name. If the provided network name matches the SSID of the non-broadcast network, the wireless AP sends a probe response and the wireless client and the wireless AP continue the wireless connection process.
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#10
hfcg

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Here is a link to the manual for your router.
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#11
Tina B.

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Okay, here's an update:
I did go to the site with the information you sent on your March 4th post before I was here. That tutorial gave instructions, but the windows that came up on my computer to configure did not match what was there on that site.
The wireless router user guide does not address this problem clearly.
I have determined my TCP/IP using the cmd command and ipconfig, so I believe I have the correct information on that now.
Now the error message coming up when trying to connect is that there was no communication from my wireless router. {{sigh}}
So here are a few questions that maybe someone can help me with.

My Dell 1390 wireless untility in programs has an option to right click and get to another window that I haven't been to before. You can do advanced settings apparently(I'm thinking maybe that's where the channel being used is hiding), but everytime I try it says to check the box to use as administrator..which I do...then it just does the same thing over and over. I have allowed all users to have full control and still can't get it to give me administrator access.
Does anyone know how to get in there? I am logged as admin on my computer. I did not originally install this utility and have tried twice to uninstall it and then install from Dell's site with the result being that the utility option freezes up and won't allow anything to open.

Also:
Am I correct in reading that the wireless card and the router (Westell versalink gateway 327w) have to be using the same channel, if so...where do I determine which channel the wireless card is using? The router is using channel 6. And if I do have to change the channel on the router admin, will that affect connectivity for the other two laptops working with the router fine using Windows XP?
The router is not set for WEP. it is set for open. I'm trying to knock things down one at a time.

Thanks if you can help.
Tina B.
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#12
hfcg

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Hello,
Let us address one thing at a time.
You can log on as a full admin a few different ways. One way is to simply unhide the true admin logon in a cmd.

click the start menu.
In the bottom search bar type cmd (don't hit enter)

cmd will show in the list on top .. right click on it and click to run as administrator

the command panel will open
type this command exactly as it appears here.. or just copy and paste it in the cmd panel

net user administrator /active:yes

hit enter and it should tell you it completed successfully.

close the cmd panel and log off of windows.


When you log back on you should have a new Admin log on.

Log on as admin and try to run your program that way.

It might be a good idea to keep your regular user logon and use that for normal functioning.
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#13
Tina B.

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Thank you! That worked for giving me an administrator log-in.
I managed into the advanced settings on the utility tool, and there is nothing there that is helpful. Just stuff about users and folder sharing. SO on to the next move?
I really appreciate your help here. :)
Tina B.
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#14
hfcg

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Let us try this,
How to get Vista to network with XP

Click Start, and then click Network. (Or you can click Start, type ncpa.cpl into the search box, and press ENTER).
2. Click on the Network and Sharing Center, and then click Manage Network Connections.
3. Right click on the Local Area Connection or the connection you are using.
4. Select the Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
5. Click the Advanced button under the General tab.
6. Click the WINS tab.
7. Click the Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP button.
8. Click Ok.
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#15
SRonin

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Just for reference: I have XP on the exact same type of computer with the exact same type of wireless router and I'm encountering the exact same issues. My husband does tech work for our ISP and I have more than eight years experience with IT and we haven't been able to make it work, either. I hope it's just something we've overlooked...

Thanks,
Sarah
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