Windows 2000 wireless networking problem - Microsoft Windows

This is a discussion on Windows 2000 wireless networking problem - Microsoft Windows ; I have a PC (actually it belongs to my mother-in-law) running Windows 2000. I just reinstalled the OS and applied SP4 and all available updates. It's using 802.11g wireless networking (or trying to). I've been having various problems with the ...

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  1. Windows 2000 wireless networking problem

    I have a PC (actually it belongs to my mother-in-law) running Windows
    2000. I just reinstalled the OS and applied SP4 and all available
    updates. It's using 802.11g wireless networking (or trying to). I've
    been having various problems with the networking; I'll just describe
    the current ones.

    It has a Netgear WG311 802.11g wireless PCI adapter. The access point
    is a Westell DSL router with built-in 802.11g wireless. I can connect
    to it with my laptop. The signal is weak (the router is upstairs),
    but not horribly so; my laptop currently shows 44% signal strength, 24
    Mbps. My laptop is able to get an IP address from the DHCP server
    (currently 192.168.1.46).

    I've configured the W2K system to obtain an IP address and DNS server
    address automatically. The configuration application that came with
    the Netgear adapter tells me I have a signal. When I run "ipconfig"
    from a command prompt, it tells me my IP address is 169.254.15.43
    (which apparently means it hasn't been able to get a real address).
    When I run "ipconfig /renew", it pauses for a while and then says:

    The following error occurred when renewing adapter Local Area
    Connection: DHCP Server unreachable

    I have gotten a good connection before, and I don't know what has
    changed that might cause this problem.

    Can anyone give me a hint of how to fix this, or at least how to track
    down what's causing it?

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) kst-u@mib.org
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.

  2. Re: Windows 2000 wireless networking problem

    Keith Thompson writes:
    [...]
    > I've configured the W2K system to obtain an IP address and DNS server
    > address automatically. The configuration application that came with
    > the Netgear adapter tells me I have a signal. When I run "ipconfig"
    > from a command prompt, it tells me my IP address is 169.254.15.43
    > (which apparently means it hasn't been able to get a real address).
    > When I run "ipconfig /renew", it pauses for a while and then says:
    >
    > The following error occurred when renewing adapter Local Area
    > Connection: DHCP Server unreachable
    >
    > I have gotten a good connection before, and I don't know what has
    > changed that might cause this problem.


    Whatever the problem is, it's sporadic. The connection came back
    (temporarily) after I wrote the above.

    Is there a way to get a stronger antenna for the adapter? (Or is that
    a question for a ifdferent newsgroup?)

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) kst-u@mib.org
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.

  3. Re: Windows 2000 wireless networking problem


    There are replacement antennas (very expensive) that are higher gain than standard antennas. You might be able to increase the received signal by reorienting the antennas. They don't have to be vertical. The transmitting and receiving antennas should be oriented so that they are parallel, e.g. if one is directly above the other the antennas should be horizontal. Reposition the PCs so that the signal is not blocked by the PC case.

    Keith Thompson wrote:
    >
    > Keith Thompson writes:
    > [...]
    > > I've configured the W2K system to obtain an IP address and DNS server
    > > address automatically. The configuration application that came with
    > > the Netgear adapter tells me I have a signal. When I run "ipconfig"
    > > from a command prompt, it tells me my IP address is 169.254.15.43
    > > (which apparently means it hasn't been able to get a real address).
    > > When I run "ipconfig /renew", it pauses for a while and then says:
    > >
    > > The following error occurred when renewing adapter Local Area
    > > Connection: DHCP Server unreachable
    > >
    > > I have gotten a good connection before, and I don't know what has
    > > changed that might cause this problem.

    >
    > Whatever the problem is, it's sporadic. The connection came back
    > (temporarily) after I wrote the above.
    >
    > Is there a way to get a stronger antenna for the adapter? (Or is that
    > a question for a ifdferent newsgroup?)
    >
    > --
    > Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) kst-u@mib.org
    > San Diego Supercomputer Center <*>
    > We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.


    --
    Mike Walsh
    West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

  4. Re: Windows 2000 wireless networking problem

    Mike Walsh writes:
    > There are replacement antennas (very expensive) that are higher gain
    > than standard antennas. You might be able to increase the received
    > signal by reorienting the antennas. They don't have to be
    > vertical. The transmitting and receiving antennas should be oriented
    > so that they are parallel, e.g. if one is directly above the other
    > the antennas should be horizontal. Reposition the PCs so that the
    > signal is not blocked by the PC case.


    Thanks, that could turn out to be useful. (I can't get to the access
    point right now, but I'll try it later.)

    How important is line of sight? The PC and the access point are in
    the same house, but on different floors; the signal has to go either
    down the staircase or through the floor/ceiling.

    The PC's antenna is on the back, facing the outside wall, away from
    the transmitter. Would it be helpful to put some aluminum foil on the
    wall behind the PC to help reflect the signal, or is that just silly?
    (If the foil doesn't work for the PC, I can always make a hat.)

    Anything "very expensive" isn't going to be an option.

    This is getting to be off-topic. I don't know how picky this
    newsgroup is about that kind of thing; if off-topic posts are strongly
    discouraged, can anyone suggest a better newsgroup? (I see two
    newsgroups with "wireless" in their names, but neither seems
    appropriate.)

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) kst-u@mib.org
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.

  5. Re: Windows 2000 wireless networking problem


    Keith Thompson wrote:
    >
    > How important is line of sight? The PC and the access point are in
    > the same house, but on different floors; the signal has to go either
    > down the staircase or through the floor/ceiling.


    Line of sight is not necessary. The signal will go through wood or drywall relatively easily. The biggest problem is metal. Insulation with metal foil will bock most of signal. Walls, floors and ceilings can contain metal studs, pipes, wiring, even nails, that can reduce signal.

    > The PC's antenna is on the back, facing the outside wall, away from
    > the transmitter. Would it be helpful to put some aluminum foil on the
    > wall behind the PC to help reflect the signal, or is that just silly?
    > (If the foil doesn't work for the PC, I can always make a hat.)


    A reflector would help, but it must be the proper size and distance from the antenna to be effective. I have not tried it and don't know what the dimensions should be.

    --
    Mike Walsh
    West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

  6. Re: Windows 2000 wireless networking problem

    Mike Walsh writes:
    > Keith Thompson wrote:
    >>
    >> How important is line of sight? The PC and the access point are in
    >> the same house, but on different floors; the signal has to go either
    >> down the staircase or through the floor/ceiling.

    >
    > Line of sight is not necessary. The signal will go through wood or
    > drywall relatively easily. The biggest problem is metal. Insulation
    > with metal foil will bock most of signal. Walls, floors and ceilings
    > can contain metal studs, pipes, wiring, even nails, that can reduce
    > signal.


    Ok, thanks. I've managed to improve the signal by turning the
    computer so the PC itself isn't blocking the signal as badly. I'm now
    having some other problems, but they're off-topic here so I won't go
    into details.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) kst-u@mib.org
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.

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