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Major problems roaming between access points

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Anonymous
September 8, 2004 12:27:05 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

I have a problem similar to the KB article
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;828940 ; when I go to
my campus and connect to one access point, the connection usually sticks.
But, if I put my laptop to sleep and go to another access point, I am unable
to connect to the network at all (although I am assigned an IP through DHCP
successfully, no hostnames resolve).

Often, rebooting does not help the problem, and in the rare event the
connection is successful, I am usually kicked off a few seconds or minutes
later. While I'm not sure, I believe this may have started after I installed
SP2 (this is a clean installation of Windows XP Professional).

When I try disabling the internal wireless connection, I am denied access so
I cannot even attempt the listed workaround in the KB article.
Anonymous
September 8, 2004 2:26:59 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

Filburt,
This strongly seems like a driver issue. A great percentage of the problems
that we find in troubleshooting wireless networking problems is the fact
that there are less-than-fantastic network card drivers out there.

In your scenario, you are most likely not getting a _new_ DHCP address after
roaming to a different WiFi network, but rather holding on to the old one
that you were given, because the card is not telling the OS that is has lost
connectivity with the previous network. I would highly recommend that you:

1) Update to the lastest version of the manufacturer's driver via their web
site.
2) Update your Windows installation to SP2. SP2 improves the visual and
connection information presented to the user and works around various
wireless networking problems found in SP1. There is much better security
features in SP2 as well, which makes it worth your time.

As to the problem of not being able to disable your network card, are you
certain that you are using an administrator account? I am not sure if
normal users can enable/disable interfaces.

Please let me know if this works for you. I hope I can resolve your problem.

Brian Wehrle
bwehrle@online.microsoft.com
Software Test Engineer/Wireless Networking
Microsoft Corp.

"filburt1" <filburt1@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:73E23755-EAF6-4B80-88C3-A70CBD888F22@microsoft.com...
>I have a problem similar to the KB article
> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;828940 ; when I go
> to
> my campus and connect to one access point, the connection usually sticks.
> But, if I put my laptop to sleep and go to another access point, I am
> unable
> to connect to the network at all (although I am assigned an IP through
> DHCP
> successfully, no hostnames resolve).
>
> Often, rebooting does not help the problem, and in the rare event the
> connection is successful, I am usually kicked off a few seconds or minutes
> later. While I'm not sure, I believe this may have started after I
> installed
> SP2 (this is a clean installation of Windows XP Professional).
>
> When I try disabling the internal wireless connection, I am denied access
> so
> I cannot even attempt the listed workaround in the KB article.
Anonymous
September 8, 2004 2:43:09 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

1. This is a laptop component and I'm running the latest drivers from the
manufacturer (Fujitsu), but I will search for generic drivers as well. It is
a MiniPCI card by Intersil, for the record.
2. I am running SP2 already.
3. My account is not THE administrator account, but it has administrator
permissions. The error message states that the device is either not capable
of being disabled or is not in a state that allows it to be disabled.

Today I will also try using another adapter that I have (USB 802.11b by
Gigafast). Also, it may be worth noting that the network with which I am
having problems uses a Vernier login system (i.e., any request in a web
browser displays an HTML login page which must be completed before any other
web pages load or other applications can connect to the Internet).
Related resources
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 2:59:17 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

Filburt,

I think that your idea of trying a different network card is an excellent
one; when you do roam, open up the View Available Networks window for your
adapter and check to make sure that the adapter doesn't still think that it
is connected to the previous network. When you roam, or wake-up the system,
this Window should show that you are no longer connected, and the Wifi
network that was in range before should not appear on the Available Networks
list.

I understand what you are saying about the type of WLAN you are connecting
to. It does DNS spoofing in order to take advantage of web page login.
This should not affect the situation after you have disconnected from that
network. I believe, and check this out with a different card, that the card
is lying to Windows and hanging on to that last network for too long.

As for the enable/disable problem, this appears to be a driver issue. You
will also be able to test this when you use a different Wifi card.

Please let me know what you learn from these small tests,
Brian
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 3:25:06 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

The USB adapter seemed to work, at least initially. I was able to enable and
disable it (and it worked physically because the LED on the adapter went
out). I happened to be on the fringe of a network so it was acting
unpredictably, but in a couple hours I will be in a room that has a
consistent Wifi signal so I should be able to find out how any changes I made
work (or don't).

I also happened to install a driver from Fujitsu for a PCI to ISA bridge--a
fix they suggested for removing an "Unknown Device" from the Device
Manager--which might have coincidently done something.

I can't tell if I am still "connected"--but not really--to the last network
because the SSID of each access point is the same. If there is a way to get
the connected MAC ID of the AP then that might work.

I cannot find any drivers for the card other than Fujitsu's. The card is an
Intersil PRISM-powered MiniPCI 802.11b card. The device manager doesn't give
me any more information and Intersil's site doesn't have anything useful.

I want to avoid using the USB adapter, though, because other than it jutting
out of the side of the laptop quite far, it also gets hot and takes a good
hour off of the laptop's battery.

Thanks for the help thus far. :) 
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 3:31:55 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

I also forgot to note in my previous post that while DHCP may not be giving
me a new IP (which is actually understandable on many DHCP networks), the
lease time and lease expiration time are both updated--the lease is the exact
date and time I attempted a connection to the WLAN and the expiration is
exactly one hour ahead of that as the web login page states ("You will need
to login again in one hour...").

Also, the new Wireless window in SP2 that displays wireless networks and
their statuses occasionally locks up when I disconnect from or reconnect to
the WLAN, and when it does, it brings explorer (the Taskbar and desktop) down
with it, although explorer restarts on its own.
Anonymous
September 10, 2004 4:45:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

The USB adapter is definitely more stable than the internal. I haven't been
dropped off the network once except for signal dropoffs, at which point I was
able to automatically reconnect without problems.

Here are two screenshots for the internal wireless:
http://www.turtletips.com/status.bmp and http://www.turtletips.com/error.bmp .
Anonymous
September 16, 2004 4:55:30 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

Filburt,

I have inquired about the "goodness" of this card. There are some cards
that are not very good. I have not had trouble personally, but the way
things work now the cards have a lot of control over what is going on. If
the card stays connected and refuses to disconnect from a SSID, then there
is a real problem. (I assume that this was the screen shot that you send me
in which the card reports staying connected for over 1 day. Or was that
screen shot showing the fact that the USB nic works exceptionally better?)
What you are describing is a special case where the SSID is the same, but
the network is different (or not), but essentially the card needs to handle
these funny situations and notify Windows that things have changed. If
windows is not being notified, the rest of your network functionality will
start to not behave correctly.

If the USB NIC appears to work much better, I would reccomend that you go
with that one. For a lower power solution, spend $20 and get a good PCMCIA
card that is reliable and does not have the power problems of the USB card.

--
Brian Wehrle
bwehrle@online.microsoft.com
Software Test Engineer/Wireless Networking
Microsoft Corp.



"filburt1" <filburt1@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:6764E47A-DC00-4745-A19B-10AA721A17CB@microsoft.com...
> The USB adapter is definitely more stable than the internal. I haven't
> been
> dropped off the network once except for signal dropoffs, at which point I
> was
> able to automatically reconnect without problems.
>
> Here are two screenshots for the internal wireless:
> http://www.turtletips.com/status.bmp and
> http://www.turtletips.com/error.bmp .
Anonymous
September 16, 2004 5:43:03 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

The screenshots were for the internal wireless (after the screenshot, I
renamed the connections so they are more intuitive now). So, the SSID is the
same but the AP is not. Obviously I was not sitting there on my laptop for
over a day, so I suppose the drivers are at fault.

My USB WLAN was free after rebate (the only reason I got it) so I'll just
stick with it for now, but I may also soon be replacing this laptop with a
Toshiba Portege M200 tablet (Centrino) which would certainly fix the problem.
;) 

Thanks very much for all the help.
Anonymous
September 17, 2004 7:41:09 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

Filburt,

If you would be willing, it would be a great favor to me if you would run a
simple test and mail me some information. We here are working on a list of
bad hardware. We also have someone from Interstil to whom we can forward
these problems. So, if you don't mind here are the steps:

1. Open command window
2. type: netsh ras set tr* enable
3. Go to the first cyber cafe and connect to the SSID.
4. Make sure you can use the same command window and type: ping
www.microsoft.com
5. Now close the laptop
6. Go to the second cybercafe (same SSID, like you said) and open up the
laptop
7. Now, try to sign-in, etc.
8. Try doing the same ping command again
9. Mail me the c:\windows\tracing\wzctrace.log file.

That would be very helpful. I'm glad that your problem was finally
resolved, but unfortunately it was not the best experience for you, because
the OS could have helped you out a little more. If you have future
problems, please post again. You can also try the "Repair" option on your
wireless network connection, as there are more repair capabilities in SP2
than before.

Brian

P.S.
Regarding enabling/disabling a driver, you can sometimes do this better by
using Device Manager. Run "devmgmt.msc", find the device and disable it
from there.

-
Brian Wehrle
bwehrle@online.microsoft.com
Software Test Engineer/Wireless Networking
Microsoft Corp.



"filburt1" <filburt1@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:788664C3-9C53-4A31-82B4-FA1C081D652B@microsoft.com...
>I also forgot to note in my previous post that while DHCP may not be giving
> me a new IP (which is actually understandable on many DHCP networks), the
> lease time and lease expiration time are both updated--the lease is the
> exact
> date and time I attempted a connection to the WLAN and the expiration is
> exactly one hour ahead of that as the web login page states ("You will
> need
> to login again in one hour...").
>
> Also, the new Wireless window in SP2 that displays wireless networks and
> their statuses occasionally locks up when I disconnect from or reconnect
> to
> the WLAN, and when it does, it brings explorer (the Taskbar and desktop)
> down
> with it, although explorer restarts on its own.
Anonymous
September 18, 2004 12:13:01 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

It's possible that I won't have the laptop that long, but if I do, I will
follow your procedure.
!