A really weird connection problem

You didnt say if it works with no wep wap wpa.............try it and let us know.

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I'm helping someone manage a wireless connection (done this before) and

have encountered a problem I've never seen before.

The router (Linksys WAP-11) broadcasts fine. It's set up with a WAP 64


One laptop (Win XP SP2) connects to the router, excellent signal

strength, and away you go: browser works, downloads and uploads, etc.

All behaves as expected.

Two other laptops (one Win98, the other XP SP1) connect to the router,

excellent signal strength, yet nothing works: no upload, no download.

IE doesn't work, Firefox doesn't work, eMail doesn't work.

Still, the connection reports a consistent, rock-solid signal.

This problem would make sense if nothing could connect to the router,

or if the key on laptops 2 and 3 were wrong and connection is denied,

but how can the connection be solid and still not allow data transfer.

What am I missing here?

Thanks so much for any suggestions!


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The usual problem is the WEP key. First, try to disable WEP and see if it works. My guess(tm) is that it will work. If so, look for the follwing:

  1. Length of WEP key should be 5 chars (WEP64) or 13 chars (WEP128). Make sure your ASCII WEP key is exactly the correct length as some ASCII to Hex conversion software still manage to screw things up somehow. If desperate, enter the keys in Hexadecimal, again being sure to get the length correct.
  2. Any personal firewalls involved (ZoneAlarm, Norton Internet Security, etc)? They will block traffic to and from wirless connetions unless specifically allowed.
  3. If turning off WEP doesn't work, check if the DCHP server is delivering IP addresses. Start -> Run -> cmd (or command for W98) IPCONFIG If the IP address is 192.168.xxx.xxx, it's working.

If the IP address is 169.254.xxx.xxx, the DHCP client gave up and assigned a default IP addresses.

If the IP address is, give it little more time to either get an IP address, or assign a 169.254.xxx.xxx address.

  1. Sometimes, one gets a proper IP address, but no DNS service. Run: IPCONFIG /ALL and see if there are two lines with "DNS Server". If you have a valid
192.168.xxx.xxx IP address, but no line with "DNS Server" you probably have a computer that was trashed during the removal of spyware. You can cheat and just assign a static IP address to the DNS servers, of try to fix the IP stack.
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Jeff Liebermann

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