Wi-Fi Connection Dropping

I consider my self pretty tech-savvy but i have a serious problem that has me stumped and pulling out my hair. Me and my mom both have laptops with vista x84. They both connect to my network perfectly fine and have never, ever had a problem with the wireless internet in our house. My new desktop, which is upstairs initially had a linksys WMP54G wireless PCI-Card and booted Windows XP MCE SP3. My network is secured with WPA-2PSK. It could not maintain a connection for more than 5 mins. It constantly dropped the connection, couldn't find the adapter, and couldn't get an IP even when it could. All this while my laptop right next to it working fine. I then bought a EDIMAX EW-7128G PCI Wireless Card based on some recomandations; same problem. I installed Windows XP Professional which still didnt fix theproblems. Ive tried removing the wireless security, using the included software, and repositioning the antennae. Nothing works, it still cant maintain the connection. Im starting to think the problem lies at a very deep level: either the motherboard itself, or some motherboard/chipset driver. Or maybe "upgrading" to vista will work.
Anyone with any ideas please help!

My home network is wireless b/g
My laptop is an Alienware M15x with a T9300 @ 2.6 Ghz, 4Gb of Ram, an Nvidia 8700m GT, and an Intel 4965AGN WiFi link internal adapter
My problematic desktop has an AMD X2 2.6 Ghz overclocked to 3.16Ghz, 2 Gb of Ram, an XFX 8800 GTS XXX OC Edition, and the two previously mentioned wireless adapters.
5 answers Last reply
More about connection dropping
  1. Most wireless problems come down to reception and interference. You've made the right choice going for a PCI adapter.

    But your new computer may be closer to a source of interference that others in the house. Use your wireless adapter's utility (or download something like NetStumbler) to analyse any neighbouring wifi and choose a new channel 5 stops away from the strongest neighbours.

    Also relocate cordless phone base or video sender etc away from computer or router.

    Alternatively it's feasible that the reception in the room you have your desktop is weaker than elsewhere -- could be house construction materials.

    Try raising the router above furniture level. If possible, locate computer and router near windows on same side of house.
  2. Netstumbler for some reason isnt working. It says no AP's available. I have tried changing the channel to 1 which didnt work.
    What can cause interference because the only thing i can think of is a wireless phone on the other end of the house. Id like to stress that my laptop is placed right next the desktop and has never had wireless problems. How can a small wireless laptop card be better than two different desktop PCI cards with a much bigger antennas?


    The netstumbler view for both shows no interference but ridiculously intermittent. The purple bars represent dropped connections, but i have no idea what the blank gaps can mean. The external antenna for the Ralink card is on my desk pointing up and has the slightly more powerful connection. The Linksys adapter is pointing down towards the basement where the router is. This is driving me absolutely insane as im typing this from my laptop on my bed 5 feet away from this with no problem. Interestinly enough, netstumbler on my laptop displays no AP's active.
  3. NetStumbler only shows sources with IP address (or MAC ID ?) -- so doesn't show all sources of interference which these days can be anything from a baby alarm to remote temp sensors, music streaming and doorbells. So may be worth experimenting with different channels.
  4. My Family only has a single wireless phone which is not in the way and almost never used. Around the computer there is an alarm clock, a monitor, harddrive, speakers, and a phone; could any of these cause any interference?
    But i will try other channels and am updating the chipset and pci card drivers.
  5. I take your point about your domestic arrangements -- if you live in a detached house in the suburbs you're probably right -- but I live in London and can detect 33 wireless routers in surrounding apartments plus two wireless music streaming systems. So I tend to assume that interference is from neighbours.
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