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USB Wireless Adapter Randomly Stops Working

This is a discussion on USB Wireless Adapter Randomly Stops Working within the Cabling and Network Cards forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hey y'all, I've been using an 802.11 b/g USB wireless network adapter card with my computer to use in conjunction


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Old 09-03-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Hey y'all,

I've been using an 802.11 b/g USB wireless network adapter card with my computer to use in conjunction with an AT&T 2Wire router, which is about 20 or 30 feet away off in another room.

After about 10 minutes on average, the adapter will stop transferring data suddenly, and it will stay that way for a while. If I do nothing, then sometimes it will start up again after several more minutes, but instead of waiting, I usually will select "Repair" from the Wireless Network Connection pop-up menu, which also works to get it started again. The problem though, naturally, is that after another little while, like about 10 minutes again, it will short out all over again. Sometimes, very rarely, it will stay working for up to maybe an hour, and sometimes, it can short out yet again within a few seconds.

I don't think this is an overheating problem, because I believe the adapter works fine on another computer, although I could try it again on that one just to be sure. But also, I would think that if this was indeed an overheating problem, then I wouldn't be able to continuously re-start the unit over and over again and have it still work for about the same amount of time all the time, no matter how long I keep the computer on and continue to do this. I would think that over time it would just stop working altogether if it really were to get too hot.

Anyway, I do, however, suspect that this might have something to do with either my computer or the router periodically blocking the IP address that I'm using, and me having to re-register it, or something. Anyway, I'm not sure. Does anyone have a possible answer for this?

Thanks for reading.

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Old 09-03-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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Hi. It would be nice to know how other devices connected to this network behave, before we get to accusing the adapter. If it's the DHCP lease time (set on the router) that expires fast (highly unlikely), then it would affect all devices. Another thing could be power management settings on your pc, that is, the power management settings of the network adapter and the usb root hub it's connected to. By default, the USB root hubs are set to be automatically turned off to save power. Take a look in Device Manager for the root hubs and the network adapter too. It could also be solely the power management settings for the adapter. This you can also take a look in the adapters Properties in Device Manager, under the Advanced tab. There are more other power management options if you are running Win 7, but i' assume you are running XPSP3 as shown.

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Old 09-03-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the fast reply.

Two other devices perform flawlessly with the router. One is connected through an ethernet cable, and the other is a wireless laptop, with the wireless components built in.

The "Power Save Mode" on my adapter is set to "Disabled," and the alternative settings are "Dynamic," and "Maximum."

The Power Management on the USB Root Hubs were set to allow for the turning off of the device, so I'll uncheck that and see what happens.

Also, even when the adapter is not transferring data, the LED light on the adapter that indicates whether or not it has power is still lit. And, interestingly to me, even while this stoppage of transfer is going on, the Properties for the wireless connection will still say that the Signal Strength is, e.g., "Excellent," or whatever other state it said it was in before the data stopped flowing, and the Status will still say "Connected," all as if nothing is wrong.

I forgot to mention before that one way I've learned to deal with this situation better, from reading about it from someone else, is that I go into the Command Prompt, and I ping the IP address of my router using the "-t" option to see the results on an ongoing basis. This is how I'm able to know when the adapter is working and when it isn't. Of course, when it isn't, the message will come up repeatedly that says "Request timed out."

Another update soon.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:57 PM   #4
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Welcome to TSF,

Might be an interference, we can't tell exactly until we see a Xirrus snip capture, see instruction here:
Pre-posting Requirements - for both Wired and Wireless Connectivity Issues

Also, are you using any wireless manager or wireless utility or just the native windows WLAN?
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
...I believe the adapter works fine on another computer, although I could try it again on that one just to be sure.
Have you indeed tried the adapter on another pc? This could really help us rule out the possibility of the adapter "dying". The timeout error during ping proves the adapter actually "freezes" at that particular moment, and so does the led indicator remaining lit, still showing it's previous state just before it froze. Well, could be many things, including a nasty in your pc, some failing service, corrupt drivers, security software etc.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:30 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot for everyone's help.

These are the answers to the basic questionaire:

Who is your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?: AT&T

What type of Broadband connection are you using?: DSL

What is the exact Make and Model of your Modem, Router or Modem/Router Combo: AT&T 2Wire Gateway, 2701HG-B

What is the Name of the Anti-Virus, Security or Firewall Software installed from the problematic computer: None

And this is what I came up with from the ipconfig:

"Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : gateway-ljpwjsd
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : NB 802.11g Wireless LAN USB Adapter
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-60-B3-B5-53-5B
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.70
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.254"

Attached are two screenshots, the first is from when my connection is running smoothly, and the other is from right after it has cut out. I noticed that it was probably just around 8:00 on the dot when it cut out, which I suppose might be important.

Also, shortly after the second screenshot was taken, after about another one or two minutes, the connection clicked back on, all on its own, which is not unusual, but usually it doesn't happen quite that fast. Also, as I was just typing that last part, the connection cut out yet again, just to illustrate the point. This time it was about 8:19.

And now, it has clicked back on again, at about 8:22. I suppose I could go on. I really didn't notice any kind of a pattern to the time before. This might just be a coincidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xg View Post
Also, are you using any wireless manager or wireless utility or just the native windows WLAN?
I didn't set up anything special as I was establishing this connection, so I suppose it's just the native windows WLAN, but I'm not sure.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for the all the information provided, quite helpful indeed.

4 things that I'd like you to do:
- I see that your neighbors are also using the same Channel yours, please change the Channel to 11.

- Change your WLAN settings to Auto IP or DHCP. Here's a Tutorial.
Any reason why this is on Static or Manual IP?

- Your security is very vulnerable to outside unknown threats, if your router and all Wi-Fi adapters support WPA2 with AES encryption it is the best option for your network.

-Download, install and run these Free programs to protect your computer - SuperAntiSpyware Free Eidtion and Avast Free Anti-Virus. It's not a safe practice at all not having any protections.

Another update will be nice. I may not be able to reply promptly due to my job.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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I'm still in the process of completing all the tasks that were listed in the last post, but I thought I would send out an update for right now. For the past hour or so, my wireless connection has held up much better than it usually does by far. And so far, I've only changed the frequency channel to 11. I have still seen 'Request timed out' messages, but they have been coming in one or two at a time at the most, and then it's right back to the connection as usual. I'm hoping I'm on at least the right track.

I will continue to work on the other tasks listed, and will provide another update soon! :)
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:24 AM   #9
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Hey everybody,

I'm done installing the new programs recommended.

I couldn't find a setting for WPA2 with AES encryption for this adapter, but I did see a network authentication of WPA, or WPA-PSK, with AES. Is that enough?

I actually set my WLAN settings to manual when I first started using the adapter because it wouldn't work at all when it was automatic. I think there was a conflict between the IP that was being used and another one that was using the router.

The adapter right now is still working like I mentioned before. It seems to be holding a connection for longer than it was before, but it still times out sometimes, and when it does, it doesn't always click back in right away.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #10
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Sorry for the delay reply, you may setup your adapter to WPA and matched with your router setting, this will also affect all the wireless devices in your network bec. they will have to be changed to WPA also with the correct pass-phrase.

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