Strange: Works, doesn't works, then works

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Anthony Giorgianni, May 19, 2005.

  1. Hello All

    This is so odd that I'm hoping the problem has to be obvious.

    I have a friend with a new Gateway laptop with "g" wireless and NIC cards.

    She just got a Linksys WRT54G. The NIC works fine, but we could NOT set up
    the wireless using either the Linksys CD wizard or the Windows wireless
    setup. We WERE able to get the wireless going by switching over to the NIC
    card, visiting the Linksys web site and running that Easy Connect program.
    Then the wireless works great ... UNTIL we shut down the computer. Then, the
    only way to get it going again is to go back to the web site and run Easy
    Connect again (actually, I think it shows an "excellent" connection between
    the laptop and router but no Internet connection until we run Easy Connect.)
    We've done this several times. Obviously, it's a real pain having to run
    Easy Connect every time we want to go wireless.

    This is very strange .. that it keeps becoming non-functional when we
    restart that the Linksys CD can't get it going while the Easy Connect
    program can.. Anyone have an idea what gets lost or messed up when we
    restart the machine. (Yes, we are starting the wireless card. The laptop
    wireless light is lit).

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 19, 2005
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  2. Anthony Giorgianni

    Will-Lee-Cue Guest

    LinkSys has an online automated site that will set up and configure your
    Wireless router.
    I had to use it with my new WRT54GTX and then it worked just fine.
    click on net set assistant

    Hope this helps you with getting it set up and working.

    William Lee

    "Anthony Giorgianni" <>
    wrote in message
    Will-Lee-Cue, May 19, 2005
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  3. Thanks for the reply.

    That's the problem. We go to the site. IT configures the machine, and
    everything works until we reboot. Unless we can fix this, my friend's only
    option is to plug in the NIC card and go back to that site and reconfigure
    the machine every day. That seems a bit extreme.

    Anthony Giorgianni

    The return address for this post is fictitious. Please reply by posting back
    to the newsgroup.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 19, 2005
  4. you /are/ doing obvious things, like logging off the website, saving
    your config, logging off the Pc rather than powering down etc ? You
    /do/ have local admin rights on the PC? It sounds like for some
    reason the config isn't being saved.
    Mark McIntyre, May 19, 2005
  5. Assumption, the mother of all screwups. See below:
    Which model Gateway, which operating system, what model Linksys NIC
    card? Be sure to include the hardware version number on the NIC card.
    I'll assume it's one of the Linksys PCMCIA cards, but from your
    description, the wireless could be a MiniPCI card inside the Gateway.
    The Linksys config programs won't work with a non-Linksys client card.
    Are you setting up the WRT54G (version what?) router or are you
    setting up the client in the laptop? I'll assume v3.0 as it's the
    latest hardware mutation of the WRT54G.
    Ok. Easy Connect will work with the WRT54G but will do nothing for
    the client adapter.
    Are you by chance also shutting down the router?
    Divide and conquer. Connect a wired CAT5 LAN cable between the laptop
    and the WRT54G. Never mind wireless for now. Go to:
    Setup the router the way you want. Save your settings on each page.
    Power cycle the router, reconnect, and make sure your settings are
    saved. Go no further until you're sure that you have saved your
    settings. (There are some issues with flushing the browser cache that
    may create problems. Please advise if you apparently cannot save your

    Next, pull the plug on the ethernet cable and try the wireless. I
    have no clue what wireless client your unspecified Gateway model is
    using. If it's Linksys, they provide a suitable setup utility. If
    it's built into the Gateway, there should be instructions and software
    for that. If the laptop is running XP SP2, then you can also use
    "Wireless Zero Config" to setup the wireless client. Any or all will
    Hint: Please avoid using the word "it" unless you are sure the reader
    can deduce what "it" is.
    Jeff Liebermann, May 19, 2005
  6. Thanks Jeff and everyone.

    Jeff, I'll try to answer your questions as best as possible. 1) I am not at
    my friend's house right now and won't be again until Sunday. So I can't see
    the computer. 2) Still being on dialup, I am not an expert on NIC or

    First, we in fact MAY HAVE shut down the router. We were moving a lot of
    cords around. Does that mess up stuff? Should she leave the router and cable
    modem on even when the laptop is off? We were restarting the machine a lot.

    It IS internal PCI NIC and wireless cards - not PCMCIA. I won't be able to
    check the brands until I return to my friend's house Sunday.)

    She has Win XP personal edition. I'm pretty sure it IS SP2, but I'm not 100
    percent. The computer did ask us if we wanted Windows to set up the wireless
    connection. IT tried, but then came back saying it could not successfully
    set it up and advised us to use the CD that came with the router instead. We
    just got the laptop new off the shelf. I forget the Gateway model number. I
    think it was retail model - 7320GZ. It is identical to the 7326GZ except for
    a slightly slower Pent IV.

    How can I tell which version of the WRT54G she has? Again, I'll have to wait
    until I go back to check.

    I will have to try the procedure you recommended - going to to
    set up the router - on Sunday and will report back (unless I can have her
    try doing it over the phone with me.) By CAT5 LAN cable, I assume to mean a
    standard Ethernet cable?

    By the way, she went to the Linksys Net Set assistant today, as William Lee
    suggested. (It looks as if it is the same thing as Easy Connect.) As before,
    it did reestablish the wireless connection, which is now working. We'll know
    when she restarts the computer whether things have been corrected. We'll
    make sure we don't shut off either the Router or the cable modem.. Another
    friend, who has a computer networking business, thinks the computer is
    somehow defaulting to the NIC card when it starts (even though the card is
    not plugged into anything) and is not recognizing when the wireless card is
    turned on (using FN-F2.) She find it interesting that the laptop shows the
    connection from the wireless card to the router is "Excellent" but that it
    shows there is no Internet connection. She's out of state, but also suggests
    going to to set up the modem. So we'll try it.

    Thanks again Jeff and everyone. (Can't this stuff be simple?)

    Anthony Giorgianni

    The return address for this post is fictitious. Please reply by posting back
    to the newsgroup.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 19, 2005
  7. Hello All

    Well, we tried going to the router setup page through IE. We have no idea
    what to write in any of those boxes. The Gateway laptop has a primer on
    setting up a Links wireless router, but the info that it shows on the router
    setup page in IE is different from what is actually there. And there is too
    much on password names, user names, host names, IP addresses - just a lot of
    junk that regular users should not have to deal with.

    Given all this, my friend has decided to give up on this wireless stuff and
    simply use the NIC card and cable until they get the technology worked out.
    Everyone we talk to has had trouble setting up this wireless stuff -- and
    they all have the Linksys brand. We've just concluded that the technology is
    so in its infancy that it is way too problematic and requires too much user
    involvement. The idea that the computer can work on wireless one day and not
    the next makes no sense. We'll return the router and just stick with the NIC
    and cable until wireless proves itself. My friend doesn't plan to move her
    laptop around her apartment much anyway.

    As for me, I'm just sticking with dialup!

    Thank you all anyway!

    Anthony Giorgianni

    The return address for this post is fictitious. Please reply by posting back
    to the newsgroup.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 20, 2005
  8. Anthony Giorgianni

    Martin² Guest

    I think you have WinXP Wireless Zero config taking over on startup from your
    Linksys adapter software. You have to disable either Win Zero or Linksys
    Martin², May 20, 2005
  9. Power cycling the router is not a problem if you've saved the
    Leave everything on.

    Thanks for disclosing that it's a cable modem. Now, All I have to do
    is pry out of you the cable modem ISP so I can guess the
    configuration. Most cable ISP's have a simple setup. Just set the
    WAN (wide area network) settings to DHCP. If the "status" page shows
    that you have real live genuine routeable IP addresses on the WAN
    port, it's working.
    OK. That means you were using the Linksys setup thing to setup the
    router, not the client. Don't bother. Just go to:
    and do it manually. Literally EVERYTHING you need to do to get an
    initial connection is on the first page. Again, do it with a LAN
    cable, not via wireless.
    If it's a fairly recent purchase laptop, it probably has SP2.
    It's part of the standard starup ritual. It the laptop hears a
    wireless device, it will try to setup the connection. If you just
    reset the Linksys WRT54G to defaults, and setup the wireless to
    connect to the WRT54G, it will probably connect. However, until you
    do the WAN (cable modem) setup, you won't be on the internet.
    Yawn. This one?
    Flip the router over and look at the serial number label. It will be
    after the model number. It's either 1.0, 1.1, 2.2 or v3.0.
    Yep. CAT5 with RJ45 connectors also known as an ethernet cable.
    Get the router connected to the internet first, then tinker with the
    Nope. XP SP2 will autoswitch between active connections. If you're
    not connected via wireless, you'll be connected via ethernet. Run:
    Start -> Run -> cmd
    If your machine has an IP address of (or something like
    that), you have a connection (whether via wired or wireless). If it's, you don't.
    No. If it were easy, it would be no fun.
    Jeff Liebermann, May 20, 2005
  10. Have you successfully connected to the internet via the cable modem?
    If not, spend your time working on that problem.

    As for not having a clue as to the buzzwords, see:
    or use the help button on each page. You should only be concerned
    with the first page at this time.
    I'll try again. Stay away from the wireless until you have a wired
    connection to the router and a functional connection to the internet
    via the cable modem.
    Good idea.
    Sigh. Linksys ships about 10,000 assorted wireless devices per month.
    If wireless were so horrible, sales would be much lower. Just go to
    the wireless page and disable the wireless. Now, you have an ordinary
    ethernet router. I don't think you'll find any of the other routers,
    with or without wireless, very much easier to setup.
    Too complex. Perhaps carrier pigeon would be more conservative.
    Jeff Liebermann, May 20, 2005
  11. Thanks Jeff

    Yes, we have connected through the cable modem and Ethernet card just fine.
    It took no time to set that up. Plugged the cable into the NIC and it worked
    in an instant. It also works using the cable from the router to the NIC. The
    only problem is with the wireless. She went back to the Linksys site
    yesterday and let Linsys remotely set it up. It went well but, as before,
    this morning the wireless is not working again. I guess if she never boots
    the computer she'll be fine. We may take one more shot at it. I'll check out
    your reference stuff and we'll also try calling Linksys. But again, this is
    too much effort.

    I'll report back.

    Hey, I like my dialup. Works during a power outage!

    Thanks again. You have been great.

    Anthony Giorgianni

    The return address for this post is fictitious. Please reply by posting back
    to the newsgroup.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 20, 2005
  12. "it" again. I still cannot tell if she is using the Linksys web pile
    to setup the WRT54G router or the XP laptop client. I guess there is
    some value in repeating what doesn't work several times, but methinks
    some other approach might be more useful. Since it works for a time,
    my guess(tm) is that whatever the Linksys web pile config is doing, is
    not getting saved on either the router, the client config, or both.
    Yes, that will probably verify absolutely, for sure, without any
    doubt, beyond any need of additional verification, that doing what
    hasn't worked 4 times in the past, will not work again. What you both
    lack lack in imagination and experience, you both certainly make up
    for in persistence.

    So, try a slight modification to the non-functional proceedure. When
    it's all working and functional, do NOT power cycle, and connect to:
    Go to the first page and save the settings. Go to the wireless setup
    page, and save the settings. Then, when you're sure you've saved all
    the settings, power cycle the router only, and see if it still works.
    It should. That means the router is fine and setup correctly. Since
    the Linksys online web pile config only works with Linksys hardware,
    you can then stop using it. Move your attention to the XP SP Wireless
    Zero Config setup, and figure out what's not working there.

    Another guess might be that when the laptop is being rebooted, Windoze
    decides to connect to some neighbors wireless access point instead of
    your own. That can easily happen as I'm sure your SSID is probably
    still set to the default "Linksys". I strongly suggest you change the
    SSID in the router wireless config to something other than "Linksys"
    so the XP SP WZC can identify the correct router.

    Also, you might find it useful to drag the laptop to a free wireless
    hot spot (coffee shop, etc) and see if the wireless can be convinced
    to work there.
    Calling support might be a good idea. The web pile config method
    probably can be made to work as I suspect one step (saving) is being
    left out.
    I can only offer technical support. Moral support and fortitude will
    need to come from elsewhere.
    Luddite. I like my goose quill pen, abacus, and Etch-a-Sketch. Works
    great without any electricity. Who needs computahs anyway? I once
    wrote a story on what might happen after all the computers crashed as
    a result of Y2K bugs, where the GUM (great unwashed masses) revolted
    against runaway technology:
    It has mostly to do with the personalities in a local newsgroup, but
    you might the techy part of interest. Yeah, I scribble Sci-Fi.
    Jeff Liebermann, May 20, 2005
  13. Thanks Jeff

    I guess it's "it" because we don't know how to distinguish between piles and
    anything else. We didn't even know there ARE piles. Let "it" for now and for
    all time equate with "wireless connection." Let it (oh well) be so; let it
    be written.

    We will try your suggestion when I go back Sunday, and see what happens.
    I'll report back.

    As far as Luddite, I like to think of myself more precisely as a
    "troglodytic Luddite" Even better for the skin.

    As for your musings, perfectly enjoyable. I would be well in favor of
    impeaching Pres. Gates and being installed as Director of Simplification,
    maybe even czar.

    It's not lack of techno-prowess or even willingness ("It's" referring not to
    "wireless" but to "The issue is." Sorry). It (again not a reference to
    wireless, wirelessness or lesswirelessness) IS that my consumer journalist
    background is simply telling me the computer industry has turned the whole
    concept of implied warranty of merchantability on its head. We've become the
    guinea pigs (Geeze, can't I think of a less hackneyed metaphor?), and I feel
    that the line of grim-faced ferret-like creatures jumping off the "I CAN'T
    GET THIS DAMN WIRELESS THING WORKING" precipice is just too long for me to
    get on and still feel .. feel .. well, human and like the consumer adviser
    that I am. As someone I know once wrote: "Mankind will be better prepared to
    control the monster and not let it run him instead."

    But I AM currently doing a piece for a major not-to-be-identified consumer
    publication on using newsgroups (especially the MS ones) and message boards
    as a way of getting free and even better tech support. So this will be
    useful. I'm not THAT much of a troglodytic Luddite. After all, I do use
    Irfanview, Gadwin, Yankee Clipper, Exifer, AVG and all the other cool
    goodies. And I was doing Basic programming on Tandy Model 100s for computer
    journalism way before the term computer-assisted reporting was invented.

    10 Goto 20
    20 Goto 10 Rem: The Basic building block of life

    And besides, if we go forward on it (the genuine "it") now, perhaps we spend
    too much time on "g" just as "n" is about to pop up over the horizon -
    sending us back into a technological encounter with death, which is how I'm
    sure Nietzsche would characterize it, or perhaps Dostoyevski. After all, she
    IS in an apartment complex and 2.5 gig is getting, well, close. And then
    what about "q," "z," "gg," "jfru?" That last one will require complex
    insertion into the cerebral cortex, no? Who posts here or phones tech
    support if that doesn't work?

    But that's what you get when one trades imagination for perseverance.

    So I'll let ya know (wasn't that Scotty as he ran off to try Klingon brandy
    or something in "The Trouble With Tribbles?" )

    In any case, in the meantime....

    Spock out.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 20, 2005
  14. It's the plural of "web page". More than one web page equals a web
    pile. You can thank me for adding that to the muddle.
    Seriously, I'm having trouble determining whether you're refering to
    the Linksys WRT54G router, the Gateway laptop, or something else.
    Instead of using "it" could I trouble you to use something more
    The original quote was from C.B. DeMille's version of the 10
    Comandments, where Charelton Heston plays Pharoah and decrees to the
    assembled scribes: "So it is written, so shall it be".
    One must suffer before enlightenment. That means you need to beat
    your head against the wall, read the manual, download fixes, search
    the internet, and call support on the phone, before the answer can be
    Well, you do qualify. It's not enough these days to be a
    conservative. Being a reactionary is becoming popular. I'm just
    waiting for the US government to screw up the economy, precipitate
    massive unemployement, and then blame "mismanaged" technology as the
    cause. Obvious, government micro-management of technology is the
    answer to all problems. Never mind that uncontrolled technology has
    save our collective asses many times in the past. Yeah, you might
    Have you actually read your warranty? Most of them declare the
    manufactory free and harmless if it fails to be "suitable for the
    purpose" which is nice way of saying that if you misinterpret the
    specs, screw up the install, or make it do something disgusting, it's
    covered under the warranty. It's only the dealers interest in having
    you as a continuing customer that allows liberal warranties and
    exchanges. As for implied warranty, you can take the manufactory to
    court for failure to deliver on a product being "suitable for the
    purpose intended" but will have trouble collecting damages.
    Sure. You want it good, fast, or cheap. Pick two. You're getting
    the latest and greatest acronyms delivered in a package so cheap that
    I can't even buy the parts for the cost of a completed wireless
    router. Just one problem. Because it's delivered fast and cheap,
    it's not going to be very good. Want reliable?
    I feel your pain. If you feel that the wireless gods have conspired
    to destroy your weekend, I suggest using a time honored method of
    appeasing the wireless gods. Sacrifice and burnt offerings have
    worked for many centuries. Find an old 386 motherboards, and barbeque
    it on a hibachi. Usually, things work better afterwards.
    Well you'll be happy to know that your question and style are typical.
    I'll spare you my traditional rant. If you want effective answers,
    simply supply:
    1. What are you trying to accomplish?
    2. What do you have to work with? (Hardware, models, versions,
    numbers, etc)
    3. What have you done to get into this mess? What have you tried?
    What works, what doesn't?

    Lots of other things are useful, but methinks the number are the most
    important. If you read this snoozegroup, you'll find that these
    basics are seriously lacking. Many people simply assume that one can
    deduce the hardware, or that it's not important to supply the needed

    Incidentally, I don't ask too many questions in the MS newsgroups.
    However, last year, I was stuck and asked a rather messy question on
    XP client security defaults. I got 8 answers. 4 were totally wrong.
    2 were variations on RTFM. One was a great answer to a totally
    different question. Fortunately, one was right on. Try asking a
    question where you know the right answer and see how you do.
    When usenet was in fashion and there were only a few newsgroups (while
    I was running BNews 2.11), I was answering techy questions. An
    instructor at the University of Mexico printed one of my discussions
    as an example of how to get answers via usenet, complete with my email
    address. For the next 2 years or so, I was innundated with tech
    questions from students trying to take a short cut on class
    assignments and just emailing me instead of learning to post to
    usenet. Most were in Spanish. If you do the same to me, I'll build a
    clone of your computer, shove pins into the motherboard, and by
    sympathetic voodoo, your computer will die a horrible death.
    Quantity is not a good replacment for quality. However, brute force
    and trial and error sometimes triumph over following instructions or
    asking for help.
    Jeff Liebermann, May 21, 2005
  15. Memory fault. That was Yul Brenner's line as Pharoah. Charleton
    Heston played Moses.
    Jeff Liebermann, May 21, 2005
  16. I am so glad you posted that clarification, Jeff.

    I honestly was picturing myself as Yul Brenner when I wrote that and
    thought, from your initial reply, that it was just one more thing I got
    wrong. Now I can safely and confidently continue with the head-shaving.

    Also, much thanks for the pile explanation.

    I shall concede the rest but for:

    1 - MS newgroups. Lots of good is done there, especially when the MVPs
    2 - Warranty. Actually it is interesting that a bunch of states, including
    my own Connecticut, have modified 42a-2-316 of the Uniform Commercial Code
    to prohibit disclaiming the implied warranties of merchantability and
    fitness for a particular purpose for new and sometimes even used consumer
    goods and services.

    Likewise, those states prohibit merchants from putting limits on
    consequential and incidental damages (and no one allows exclusion of
    liability for personal injury anyway). Thus, consumers get to go after the
    retailer, and it's the same for the manufacturer, at least for the duration
    of any express warranty (per federal Magnuson-Moss) and perhaps longer in
    states that do not require vertical privity (direct relationship between
    manufacturer and consumer).

    Thus, further warranty reading reveals: "You may have other rights which
    vary from state to state. Some states do not allow exclusion of ...

    But your points are well-taken, and we'll give it a another shot Sunday and
    see. I can't do this with my friend over the phone. Too complicated. And
    she'd be more inclined to paint flowers on the router, cable modem and
    laptop than fuss with any mechanics. She is REALLY ready to settle for the
    corded NIC and chuck the rest into the trash. Mr. Router may not even make
    it to Sunday!

    Thanks again.

    Regards via dial-up,
    Anthony Giorgianni

    The return address for this post is fictitious. Please reply by posting back
    to the newsgroup.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 21, 2005
  17. Whats wrong with site, that being the word used in the rest of the
    Hmm.... :)
    Mark McIntyre, May 21, 2005
  18. Site refers to the URL, which can have many web piles and pages under
    it. Site is also a bit vague as it implies a single location while a
    real web pile can be scattered all over the internet on many web

    The tree hierarchy is:

    One web page.
    Many web pages is a web pile.
    A collection of web piles is a web site.
    Many web sites are usually located on a web server.
    Many web servers, at a given location, is a server farm.
    Y'er suppose to thank me, not hummmmm....
    Jeff Liebermann, May 22, 2005
  19. Eh? It has exactly one 'pile' under it, the one pointed to by the root

    Come on, own up: this is just an affectation, like spelling computer
    'computah'. There's no actual meaning attached which differs from
    site, except now, when you're trying to justify the neologism.
    Mark McIntyre, May 22, 2005
  20. Hello All

    After five exasperating hours with three different tech support people from
    Linksys and one from the cable company, here is the answer:

    Gateway had installed a second wireless configuration utility on the new
    laptop - one from Broadcom - that was conflicting with the Windows wireless
    setup program. Both we enabled and set to start with the computer.
    Apparently what was happening after the Linksys Netset software setup the
    wireless and the computer was shutdown was the Broadcom program would come
    back on during restart and interfere with Windows' efforts to establish the
    wireless connection. The result apparently was creation of conflicting IP
    addresses or something like that. When the wireless worked, the wireless
    address using the Ipconfig /all cmd was 000.000.000. When it wasn't, it read
    169. something - which is apparently the default windows XP one. Blah blah.

    Why we have different programs, conflicting programs and all this to do one
    simple thing seems to me to be just one more example of how this computer
    tech stuff is too far in its infancy. Imagine if we had these problems when
    we got our new car home --- "If you are having trouble making the car
    actually go, make sure the duplicate transmission shifting strategy
    corresponds to the selected engine. Please open the engine diagnostic hatch
    and disable the Cruxmulch overdrive modular drive lockout and reposition the
    crank engine piston ring slave to the lowest groove. Then close the hatch,
    crack the engine three times and reinstall the rubber modulation connecting
    band. NOTE: The stock random pressure relieve valve installed in this
    vehicle may not work with the selected drive train. If not, please contact
    your engine manufacturer for the installation ID certificate read diagnostic
    utility. Once you download and obtain the tray installation manifest,
    contact the transmission manufacturer using the numbers listed on the
    transmission identification placard located behind the dashboard on the left
    side of the firewall. Ask for instructions for disabling the alternate
    upload shift regime. After removing all the fuel from the gas tank, press
    the reset button. If this does not work, call Chile."

    Well... at least I got to spend the day talking to people in Rhode Island,
    the Philippines, Argentina and another place I forgot to ask. The laptop
    starts up now all nice and wirelessly connected. We now have to interest in
    or energy for using it.

    Thanks to Jeff and to everyone for your assistance.

    Anthony Giorgianni

    The return address for this post is fictitious. Please reply by posting back
    to the newsgroup.
    Anthony Giorgianni, May 23, 2005
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