Home Vista Wireless connection drops unexpectedly

Wireless connection drops unexpectedly


Compaq(HP) C714nr
Vista SP1  (now 2)
Broadcom Wireless b/g


Working on a friend’s laptop for a day now and she’s been having two weird issues.

1. The computer blue-screens (i haven’t seen it yet, but she says it happens)
2. The wireless connection drops.  Sometimes it reconnects, sometimes it’s just plain gone for good.

Preliminary investigation involved testing with Wired connection.  Fine.  Next I looked at the drivers to make sure they are all updated. Fine.  Then I tested the behavior on a break at work.  It stayed connected.  Weird.  I have a brand new Linksys Wireless N router here.  I decided to update to Vista SP2, but kept getting a warning about MSDSM and on the Net people said that they were blue-screening trying to apply the new service pack.  A bunch of internet posts later, I came across descriptions that looked right for the issue…  Apparently KB972036 was the culprit so I uninstalled this update.  SP2 installed.

Meanwhile, I had the laptop at home and it was disconnecting all the time!  Especially when I would access Windows Update site!  I have an older commercial high-power Linksys Wireless N VPN router.

So, at this point I think that it is the Router’s Wireless that’s causing the problem.  This site says that you should try to disable uPNP on the router to stop the router from resetting.  Maybe that is the problem.  I can also try updating the Firmware on the router.
I’m going home now to test the laptop using my Wireless N USB dongle and also to test the UPnP idea and the firmware update.  Between those two things I should find something I can put my finger on.  Another idea would be to install the original wireless card drivers in the laptop NIC.  hmmm…

Update: 8/29 1pm – UPnP was the culprit (under Administration–>Management tab on my router).  Universal Plug and Play is heavily used by Microsoft Vista and unless your router has been Vista-certified, you could run into problems.  Once I knew what was causing the issue, this KB article came to light via a quick search:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953944

I’m actually really lucky that I stumbled on the right offender because as you can see from that list, it could have been any of 6 different things causing the network disconnects.  So, it appears that my work router is Vista-certified and my home one is not. Good to know.

case closed


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