Please help me save some money

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Please help me save some money

Postby heiowge » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:01 pm

My wife wants a new laptop. I do not want to get her one (even if I could afford it).

What's the problem, you might ask? Vista! That's what.

Ok. Every weekend, her laptop refuses to connect to the wifi. My desktop PC (Ubuntu 9.10 / Win XP) has no problems connecting wired, and my eeepc (Ubuntu 9.10 / Win 7) has no problems connecting with wifi when on Linux. On win7, is is a patchy connection.

Therein lies the problem. Her laptop is having the same connection issues. It often fails to connect on startup. I turn off the wifi, shut down, then back on then boot it up again. Still has the problem. I reboot the router and it sometimes sorts the problem. When it doesn't, diagnose and repair fixed the problem once. And once only. :roll:

So why not just use linux? I do. My eeepc hasn't booted win 7 in months. I have no problem with it being linux only. She, however, has made it a point of honour to never use linux. As a result, I have generally been apathetic to her problems, using the problems as a good reason to take the mick about her choice of OS.

...but now it might actually cost me money. So I have to fix it.

Ok, specs.

Toshiba Equium A210 - 1C4 (apparently)
Athelon 64 dual core 1.9 Ghz
2 Gb RAM
Vista Premium (genuine OEM copy) - SP2 For some reason, properties tab thinks it's a 32 bit OS. This surprises me with a 64 bit chip...

Network adapter is listed as Realtek RTL8187B wireless 802.11 b/g. Driver version 6.1144.812.2008 from Realtek.

Router is a Belkin wireless G, FSD 7230-4 connected to a cable modem.


Any help please?
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Postby guy » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:42 pm

Well, first of all I'd point out that both Vista and 7 have the same problem, so clearly it is not a hardware issue. A new Windows laptop will still have the same problem, so there's no point in going that route.

On the other hand, Linux works on the same box where 7 struggles. Therefore, it is worth trying Linux on her laptop, if only to confirm whether it is a problem inherent to Windows. If it works then her problem is solved. If it fails, then maybe your router needs a software update.
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Postby ollie » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:49 pm

What are the laptop specs? Consider purchasing an "upgrade" to Windows 7. You can just do a clean install and wipe everything. I'll be honest, Windows 7 (I've only used 64-bit versions) is the best Windows release yet. There are still some problems but provided you can get the correct drivers wireless networking is 300% better than Vista.

I still use Linux 95% of the time but I do need to prepare lessons for Windows (and Mac OS X for that matter), so I have put it under a bit of stress and it handles application crashes much better than any other Microsoft OS :wink:
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Postby LeeNukes » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:25 pm

Running the latest firmware on your Belkin router?

I recently had problems with a router, Thomson but the solution on that was to force it to a certain channel rather then allow it to automatically search.

I had connections issues and drop outs. It might be worth trying to mess with the router first.
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Postby guy » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:56 pm

LeeNukes wrote:It might be worth trying to mess with the router first.

Surely, trying Linux on the problem PC first is more "sensible"? :wink:
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Postby LeeNukes » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:07 pm

guy wrote:
LeeNukes wrote:It might be worth trying to mess with the router first.

Surely, trying Linux on the problem PC first is more "sensible"? :wink:


I'm balancing the ear-ache costs
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Postby heiowge » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:10 pm

Ok. Time to answer your questions...

Guy, I'm pretty sure it's a windows thing. My win7 has the same issue on a netbook that connects just fine under linux. I will try it on her PC as soon as I can pry her away from it and do it on the sly.

If it works under Linux, she still won't use it. She's being very female about it (no offence to any girlies listening, but guys... you know what I mean!)

Ollie, laptop specs are in the first post. Let me know if there's a detail I've missed that you need and I'll try and find it.

LeeNukes, I've updated the firmware on the router several times, and it still runs the version it always has. For some reason, the update never takes. Go figure. I have considered a replacement, but it's money I just don't have atm. The channels thingy might be worth a shot. Any pointers?
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Postby LeeNukes » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:45 pm

http://www.belkin.com/ca/support/articl ... 6&scid=221

Page 46 (or 48 of the actual PDF but its numbered 46)


It's funny, I have one of these running as a wireless bridge which I've got DD-WRT running on it. I find the Belkin interface migraine inducing.

Also, DD-WRT gave me more flexability. I'm not suggesting you do this though, its not for the feint hearted. Also, if your router is like mine, don't upgrade your firmware. I did that and something broke, I forget what, something on the interface broke I think. Bloody crappy Belkin.

Anyway, change the wireless channel, not difficult and shouldn't effect much. Just avoid Channel 11 which is often used. If you have an ability to scan the local wireless networks around and see what channel they are on, then use one they don't use.
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Postby heiowge » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:53 pm

Thanks. It was on channel 1. I set it to 7. Hopefully that'll do the job. I probably won't know for sure until next saturday morning. It tends to be a problem in the morning on saturday and sunday. It's fine atm.
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Postby heiowge » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:01 pm

heiowge wrote:If it works under Linux, she still won't use it.


She read my post. She says if I won't listen to her when she talks about God (she's been trying to "save my soul" for 11 years now :roll: ), she won't listen to me when I try to convert her.
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Postby MartyBartfast » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:18 pm

heiowge wrote:...God....


Well one thing's for sure, whenever [s]he comes into it all sense of logic flies out the window.

Save yourself some cash and buy her a 2m cable to plug into the wired network, job done & everybody's happy (or not...)

edit for typos.
I have been touched by his noodly appendage.
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Postby heiowge » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:30 pm

Easier said...

She has her laptop in another room to my desktop. I reckon I'd need about 10m at least! I did have a 30m lead, but I used it to route a wired connection to a spare PC (now redundant) upstairs. I could probably re-use the cable, except that I passed it through the wall in 3 places. :lol:
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Postby guy » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:59 pm

heiowge wrote:
heiowge wrote:If it works under Linux, she still won't use it.


She read my post. She says if I won't listen to her when she talks about God (she's been trying to "save my soul" for 11 years now :roll: ), she won't listen to me when I try to convert her.


Well, maybe she'll read this: Wait until he surreptitiously installs Linux. Then equally surreptitiously give it a try. God won't mind - Linux is not a religion (whatever Steve Ballmer might want you to think).
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Postby Rhakios » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:14 pm

Or, why not just install this one, keeps you both happy and gets you out of the hands of the Devil you know.
Bye, Rhakios
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Postby LeeNukes » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:36 am

heiowge wrote:
heiowge wrote:If it works under Linux, she still won't use it.


She read my post. She says if I won't listen to her when she talks about God (she's been trying to "save my soul" for 11 years now :roll: ), she won't listen to me when I try to convert her.


That's a fair point I guess. As long as with God you can't get viruses etc :)
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