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network/display issues with Dell Latitude D600

5228 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  beaute

I'm having a few issues with my Dell Latitude D600. These issues seem to be related to my hardware rather than my OS or software choices.

First issue is that everytime I start my laptop, it would load and everything but the Wireless would give me a "limited or no connectivity" note. Everytime I restart I have to disable the wireless, and then enable it again. Sometimes I try to access pages and Firefox would show me that it's loading, however, I receive nothing and get constant Network Error messages trying to request some websites (even Google). When that happens, I monitor the Activity on my Wireless Network Connection Status and I notice that neither the Received or Sent are moving. It's like there's no connection. This would last a couple of seconds then I would be able to access normally. Sometimes I would request pages and it would only half-load. i understand that this usually happens for whatever reasons, but this is happening more than the casual half-load; again, when I check the network activity I would notice received and sent packets not moving. I tried connecting using Ethernet connected to a wall socket and same symptoms occur (no connectivity, half-loaded pages). Stopping, refreshing the page does not work to fix this. Other times, while I'm browsing, the limited or no connectivity message would pop out of nowhere, forcing me to disable and enable the network connection. This did not happen to me before, only recently.

Secondly, I use my latitude to play FFXI. Shortly after I start playing (normally within the first 30 minutes), I would experience lags that would last nearly a minute, then the game would go back to normal. During the lag, the frame per second rate would drop from 30+ to 2, 1, sometimes 0.5, 0.1. Once that first lag starts, then the cycle begins and I would experience the same lag every 10 minutes or so, would last 1 minute each. The computer does not lag, only the game does. I have tested to see if this is a game issue rather than a computer issue (I'm beginning to think it's a network issue), all the online help I found suggested that this is most likely a driver issue. I updated all my drivers, would still get this problem. I checked if I have a process that is turned on during the lag, nothing beyond the norm. I have disabled Kaspersky automatic updates for this purpose only, but would still get the lag. This is not the casual area-too-crowded lag; it has a pattern.

What drove me to think that this is a hardware issue is the series of other symptoms i face while playing. I don't know if they're connected at all, but they might be. For example, although I would run a Windowed mode of FFXI, if I attempt to switch between applications usually using alt-tab but tried it with clicks too (I.E. ffxi and firefox, ffxi and msn messenger..etc), there would come a moment where my mouse and keyboard would just stop responding, sounds stop playing, then a complete computer freeze where nothing works to re-establish control over my computer except force-shutdown (holding down the power key). I called Dell's technician and he advised me to upgrade my memory from 256mb to 1GB which I happily did, same problem. Other than that, I would face a number of FFXI errors about networking cables; it would seem that the network signal (although connected via ethernet) would greatly lower forcing me to loose connectivity to the game, then would connect again. I called my ISP, they refreshed my line, still same error. I seem the only one getting this error in my area.

It is important to note that I had to format my computer four months ago. All errors did not exist before the format (except the lag and low fps rate issue, this has been there all along) so i thought this could be a faulty os installation problem, I reinstalled windows after that TWICE, still same problem. The limited connectivity problem only started appearing like two weeks ago, months after the the format. The freeze thing and ffxi network problem errors have been there after each reformat.

So I'm considering the options: Should I change my hard disk, is it relevant? Should I change my motherboard? What motherboard that is compatible with dell latitude d600 that would give me at least average gaming performance? Suggestions?

On a last note, I can only connect to FFXI at home using the ethernet cable and homeplug system and would experience all of these issues. I cannot connect to FFXI at college because the firewall blocks ffxi ports (even when I managed to access via VPN, it's just too slow so I just stopped trying). The browsing thing, however, happens both at home and at college, wired and wireless.

System Information:
OS: MS XP Professional SP2
Processor: Intel Pentium M Processor 1600MHz
BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Ver. 1.10 A16
Display Adapter: Mobility Radeon 9000
Network cards:
Broadcom 570x Gigabit Integrated Controller
Dell TrueMobile 1400 Dual Band WLAN Mini-PCI Card

I usually connect to the Wireless connection available at college.
At home, I am connected to the internet using an ethernet cable connected to a power socket from develo microlink like the ones featured on this page. I use D-Link router with all port forwarding appropriately configured. If you think the problem could my router could you please suggest another router or homeplug for me?

I know it's long, but I'm desperate. Help! and thanks in advance.
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