pc won't connect any more with router

Hi. I have a PC that usually connects to my wireless router just fine, but for the past few months it goes out for no apparent reason. Usually restarting it would help, but now it doesn't. My Linksys software on there, WLAN Monitor, says it can see the signal fine, so I click on "connect" and it tries, then it stops, says "disconnected". I went into TCP/IP properties and "find ip address automatically" is checked. I tried changing it to my IP address but it didn't work.

Linksys' live chat is not working for some reason. When I try to register for their forums for asking for help, I click on the "register" link and it takes me back to the login page. I tried phoning their 24/7 support, but they said I would need to pay $40 to get their help. :(

More details: I have three computers on this network. I did not set this network up, I hired a guy to do it years ago (maybe as much as 6 years, not sure). One computer is connected to the modem via ethernet cable (wired, not wireless). It has windows xp. My laptop and this other pc are connected wirelessly. The other PC, the one with the problem connecting, has Windows 98. The laptop also has XP. Both the wired pc with Xp and the laptop with XP are working fine and can connect to the internet.

I will also say that they all three used to be able to connect to each other and I could transfer files, but that hasn't worked for a while, either. I was able to connect to the windows 98 pc with my laptop and transfer files, at least, until the windows 98 pc stopped being able to get online.

I am thinking it is problem some software thing and not the adapter or router since it says it is seeing the signal just fine, but I really don't know that much about these things.

And, no, I can't upgrade the computer with windows 98 and I do need it to keep working.

Thanks for any help...I did email Linksys so we'll see if they will ever answer...

Suzanne Lanoue

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This could be a long shot for you, but I did have a mysterious problem that appeared to have been caused by an update by my AVG Anti-Virus software. I totally removed the AVG and installed AVAST Anti-Virus and it works perfectly. For good measure I also removed my old SYGATE Firewall and installed Zone Alarm.

I my case I could only connect the wireless in an open non-secured mode. As soon as I enabled the security WPA I could no longer connect. So, if you happen to use AVG or SYGATE, temporarily disable them and try again.

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Any particular model number Linksys wireless router? Extra credit for the hardware version (on the serial number tag).

The reason will be obvious AFTER you fix it. If nothing else has changes, it's possible that a neighbor has arrived with a wireless network on your channel. The interference will cause problems, although they're usually not connection problems. The worst are wireless video extenders, which operate continuously. Also municipal wireless networks and other sources of interference. See list of possible culprits at:

Changing the channel (1, 6, or 11) on the router might help.

That can also be a mangled WEP or WPA password. Depending on your operating system, you may need to re-enter the password or pass phrase. I don't want to list procedures for every version of Windoze from Win98 to Vista. (Vista is especially a PITA if you change the password).

I don't think you will be able to get much help beyond the usual:

  1. Update the firmware.
  2. Reset the router to defaults and reconfigure.
  3. Reinstall your operating system (not a great idea).

If the Linksys wireless router is 6 years old, it's probably a BEFW11S4 or early WRT54G. Both of these have their problems. Both have gone through numerous firmware updates in the last 6 years, some of which were to fix Windoze wireless compatibility issues.

Duz it work when connected via a wired CAT5 connection?

Problem. Windoze 98 will probably only support WEP. WEP has serious security problems. It also has problems converting from an ASCII WEP key to a hexadecimal WEP key. The Hex key always works. The ASCII (text) key sometimes fails. If you're stuck with WEP, use a Hex key.

If you can't make a wireless connection, you will not be able to transfer files.

With all due respect, methinks you're out of your depth here. If you want to do it yourself, it might be easier to spend $60 on a new wireless router and start over. You'll still have to update the firmware, but at least you won't be fighting old bugs. The Windoze 98 machine is going to be a problem no matter what you do (due to WEP). With the number of computahs involved, it might also be best to hire someone to set it up for you. However, this time, pay attention, record the settings, make a backup of the router configuration, and understand what's happening. I would say you were fairly lucky to have things work fairly reliably for 6 years without updates, fixes, tweaks, reloads, and all the horrors of modern computing.

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Jeff Liebermann

I had a friend with a similar situation, where she had a Win98 system in the mix but wanted to run a flavor of WPA rather than WEP. I gave her a WRT54GL with dd-wrt set to Client Bridge mode. Problem solved. The WRT54GL was connected via Ethernet cable to the Win98 PC, and connected wirelessly to her existing router running WPA2. Of course, all of the advice about recording settings, saving configs, and generally understanding what's going on always applies.

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Char Jackson

At the moment (2:50 pm, Sun 11/16),

is not reachable. Even wireless.navas.us results in a 404 Not Found error

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Not Found error


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Well, it was working when I posted the message. I'll notify J.N. about the problem. Meanwhile, the old web site is still up:

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Jeff Liebermann

DD-WRT will do multiple SSID's, each with its own encryption method. I have two SSID's setup at home. One with WPA2-AES encryption. The other with WPA-TKIP for those machines that have problems with WPA2-AES. I could easily add a 3rd for WEP. Unfortunately, DD-WRT can't adjust the routing for each SSID. That would make it easy to setup a "public" SSID, that allows only access to the internet. Also unfortunately, DD-WRT doesn't provide any easy way to enable/disable the WEP or "public" SSID from a script, based on time of day. It may be possible to do these things, but I haven't figured out how. (I also haven't figured out what the bridged/un-bridged mode choices do on the wireless basic settings page).

Using a WRT54G as a client bridge, transparent bridge, or WAP bridge/client/repeater, is a good way to avoid the Windoze 98 lack of WPA encryption problem. I've recently run into a pile of assorted WRT54G style routers. The v5, v6, and v8 routers only run the micro version of the firmware and are (IMHO) only good for client radios and WAP bridge/client/repeaters. The others become routers and AP's.

Using a client ethernet bridge is quite usable for a home user, but won't be too useful for a road warrior style laptop.

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Jeff Liebermann

On Sun, 16 Nov 2008 14:55:13 -0500, Ulysses wrote in :

Indeed. [sigh] My hosting provider broke the server configuration, and isn't doing a good job of getting it fixed. :(

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John Navas

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