Strange: Works, doesn't works, then works

Hello All

This is so odd that I'm hoping the problem has to be obvious.

I have a friend with a new Gateway laptop with "g" wireless and NIC cards.

She just got a Linksys WRT54G. The NIC works fine, but we could NOT set up the wireless using either the Linksys CD wizard or the Windows wireless setup. We WERE able to get the wireless going by switching over to the NIC card, visiting the Linksys web site and running that Easy Connect program. Then the wireless works great ... UNTIL we shut down the computer. Then, the only way to get it going again is to go back to the web site and run Easy Connect again (actually, I think it shows an "excellent" connection between the laptop and router but no Internet connection until we run Easy Connect.) We've done this several times. Obviously, it's a real pain having to run Easy Connect every time we want to go wireless.

This is very strange .. that it keeps becoming non-functional when we restart that the Linksys CD can't get it going while the Easy Connect program can.. Anyone have an idea what gets lost or messed up when we restart the machine. (Yes, we are starting the wireless card. The laptop wireless light is lit).

Thanks for any thoughts.

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni
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Assumption, the mother of all screwups. See below:

Which model Gateway, which operating system, what model Linksys NIC card? Be sure to include the hardware version number on the NIC card. I'll assume it's one of the Linksys PCMCIA cards, but from your description, the wireless could be a MiniPCI card inside the Gateway. The Linksys config programs won't work with a non-Linksys client card.

Are you setting up the WRT54G (version what?) router or are you setting up the client in the laptop? I'll assume v3.0 as it's the latest hardware mutation of the WRT54G.

Ok. Easy Connect will work with the WRT54G but will do nothing for the client adapter.

Are you by chance also shutting down the router?

Divide and conquer. Connect a wired CAT5 LAN cable between the laptop and the WRT54G. Never mind wireless for now. Go to: the router the way you want. Save your settings on each page. Power cycle the router, reconnect, and make sure your settings are saved. Go no further until you're sure that you have saved your settings. (There are some issues with flushing the browser cache that may create problems. Please advise if you apparently cannot save your settings).

Next, pull the plug on the ethernet cable and try the wireless. I have no clue what wireless client your unspecified Gateway model is using. If it's Linksys, they provide a suitable setup utility. If it's built into the Gateway, there should be instructions and software for that. If the laptop is running XP SP2, then you can also use "Wireless Zero Config" to setup the wireless client. Any or all will work.

Hint: Please avoid using the word "it" unless you are sure the reader can deduce what "it" is.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

LinkSys has an online automated site that will set up and configure your Wireless router. I had to use it with my new WRT54GTX and then it worked just fine.

formatting link
click on net set assistant

Hope this helps you with getting it set up and working.

William Lee

Reply to

Thanks for the reply.

That's the problem. We go to the site. IT configures the machine, and everything works until we reboot. Unless we can fix this, my friend's only option is to plug in the NIC card and go back to that site and reconfigure the machine every day. That seems a bit extreme.

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni

you /are/ doing obvious things, like logging off the website, saving your config, logging off the Pc rather than powering down etc ? You /do/ have local admin rights on the PC? It sounds like for some reason the config isn't being saved.

Reply to
Mark McIntyre

Thanks Jeff and everyone.

Jeff, I'll try to answer your questions as best as possible. 1) I am not at my friend's house right now and won't be again until Sunday. So I can't see the computer. 2) Still being on dialup, I am not an expert on NIC or wireless

First, we in fact MAY HAVE shut down the router. We were moving a lot of cords around. Does that mess up stuff? Should she leave the router and cable modem on even when the laptop is off? We were restarting the machine a lot.

It IS internal PCI NIC and wireless cards - not PCMCIA. I won't be able to check the brands until I return to my friend's house Sunday.)

She has Win XP personal edition. I'm pretty sure it IS SP2, but I'm not 100 percent. The computer did ask us if we wanted Windows to set up the wireless connection. IT tried, but then came back saying it could not successfully set it up and advised us to use the CD that came with the router instead. We just got the laptop new off the shelf. I forget the Gateway model number. I think it was retail model - 7320GZ. It is identical to the 7326GZ except for a slightly slower Pent IV.

How can I tell which version of the WRT54G she has? Again, I'll have to wait until I go back to check.

I will have to try the procedure you recommended - going to to set up the router - on Sunday and will report back (unless I can have her try doing it over the phone with me.) By CAT5 LAN cable, I assume to mean a standard Ethernet cable?

By the way, she went to the Linksys Net Set assistant today, as William Lee suggested. (It looks as if it is the same thing as Easy Connect.) As before, it did reestablish the wireless connection, which is now working. We'll know when she restarts the computer whether things have been corrected. We'll make sure we don't shut off either the Router or the cable modem.. Another friend, who has a computer networking business, thinks the computer is somehow defaulting to the NIC card when it starts (even though the card is not plugged into anything) and is not recognizing when the wireless card is turned on (using FN-F2.) She find it interesting that the laptop shows the connection from the wireless card to the router is "Excellent" but that it shows there is no Internet connection. She's out of state, but also suggests going to to set up the modem. So we'll try it.

Thanks again Jeff and everyone. (Can't this stuff be simple?)

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni

Hello All

Well, we tried going to the router setup page through IE. We have no idea what to write in any of those boxes. The Gateway laptop has a primer on setting up a Links wireless router, but the info that it shows on the router setup page in IE is different from what is actually there. And there is too much on password names, user names, host names, IP addresses - just a lot of junk that regular users should not have to deal with.

Given all this, my friend has decided to give up on this wireless stuff and simply use the NIC card and cable until they get the technology worked out. Everyone we talk to has had trouble setting up this wireless stuff -- and they all have the Linksys brand. We've just concluded that the technology is so in its infancy that it is way too problematic and requires too much user involvement. The idea that the computer can work on wireless one day and not the next makes no sense. We'll return the router and just stick with the NIC and cable until wireless proves itself. My friend doesn't plan to move her laptop around her apartment much anyway.

As for me, I'm just sticking with dialup!

Thank you all anyway!

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni

I think you have WinXP Wireless Zero config taking over on startup from your Linksys adapter software. You have to disable either Win Zero or Linksys utility. Regards, Martin

Reply to

Power cycling the router is not a problem if you've saved the settings.

Leave everything on.

Thanks for disclosing that it's a cable modem. Now, All I have to do is pry out of you the cable modem ISP so I can guess the configuration. Most cable ISP's have a simple setup. Just set the WAN (wide area network) settings to DHCP. If the "status" page shows that you have real live genuine routeable IP addresses on the WAN port, it's working.

OK. That means you were using the Linksys setup thing to setup the router, not the client. Don't bother. Just go to: and do it manually. Literally EVERYTHING you need to do to get an initial connection is on the first page. Again, do it with a LAN cable, not via wireless.

If it's a fairly recent purchase laptop, it probably has SP2.

It's part of the standard starup ritual. It the laptop hears a wireless device, it will try to setup the connection. If you just reset the Linksys WRT54G to defaults, and setup the wireless to connect to the WRT54G, it will probably connect. However, until you do the WAN (cable modem) setup, you won't be on the internet.

Yawn. This one?

formatting link

Flip the router over and look at the serial number label. It will be after the model number. It's either 1.0, 1.1, 2.2 or v3.0.

Yep. CAT5 with RJ45 connectors also known as an ethernet cable. Get the router connected to the internet first, then tinker with the wireless.

Nope. XP SP2 will autoswitch between active connections. If you're not connected via wireless, you'll be connected via ethernet. Run: Start -> Run -> cmd ipconfig If your machine has an IP address of (or something like that), you have a connection (whether via wired or wireless). If it's, you don't.

No. If it were easy, it would be no fun.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Have you successfully connected to the internet via the cable modem? If not, spend your time working on that problem.

As for not having a clue as to the buzzwords, see:

formatting link
use the help button on each page. You should only be concerned with the first page at this time.

I'll try again. Stay away from the wireless until you have a wired connection to the router and a functional connection to the internet via the cable modem.

Good idea.

Sigh. Linksys ships about 10,000 assorted wireless devices per month. If wireless were so horrible, sales would be much lower. Just go to the wireless page and disable the wireless. Now, you have an ordinary ethernet router. I don't think you'll find any of the other routers, with or without wireless, very much easier to setup.

Too complex. Perhaps carrier pigeon would be more conservative.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

"it" again. I still cannot tell if she is using the Linksys web pile to setup the WRT54G router or the XP laptop client. I guess there is some value in repeating what doesn't work several times, but methinks some other approach might be more useful. Since it works for a time, my guess(tm) is that whatever the Linksys web pile config is doing, is not getting saved on either the router, the client config, or both.

Yes, that will probably verify absolutely, for sure, without any doubt, beyond any need of additional verification, that doing what hasn't worked 4 times in the past, will not work again. What you both lack lack in imagination and experience, you both certainly make up for in persistence.

So, try a slight modification to the non-functional proceedure. When it's all working and functional, do NOT power cycle, and connect to: to the first page and save the settings. Go to the wireless setup page, and save the settings. Then, when you're sure you've saved all the settings, power cycle the router only, and see if it still works. It should. That means the router is fine and setup correctly. Since the Linksys online web pile config only works with Linksys hardware, you can then stop using it. Move your attention to the XP SP Wireless Zero Config setup, and figure out what's not working there.

Another guess might be that when the laptop is being rebooted, Windoze decides to connect to some neighbors wireless access point instead of your own. That can easily happen as I'm sure your SSID is probably still set to the default "Linksys". I strongly suggest you change the SSID in the router wireless config to something other than "Linksys" so the XP SP WZC can identify the correct router.

Also, you might find it useful to drag the laptop to a free wireless hot spot (coffee shop, etc) and see if the wireless can be convinced to work there.

Calling support might be a good idea. The web pile config method probably can be made to work as I suspect one step (saving) is being left out.

I can only offer technical support. Moral support and fortitude will need to come from elsewhere.

Luddite. I like my goose quill pen, abacus, and Etch-a-Sketch. Works great without any electricity. Who needs computahs anyway? I once wrote a story on what might happen after all the computers crashed as a result of Y2K bugs, where the GUM (great unwashed masses) revolted against runaway technology:

formatting link
has mostly to do with the personalities in a local newsgroup, but you might the techy part of interest. Yeah, I scribble Sci-Fi.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Thanks Jeff

Yes, we have connected through the cable modem and Ethernet card just fine. It took no time to set that up. Plugged the cable into the NIC and it worked in an instant. It also works using the cable from the router to the NIC. The only problem is with the wireless. She went back to the Linksys site yesterday and let Linsys remotely set it up. It went well but, as before, this morning the wireless is not working again. I guess if she never boots the computer she'll be fine. We may take one more shot at it. I'll check out your reference stuff and we'll also try calling Linksys. But again, this is too much effort.

I'll report back.

Hey, I like my dialup. Works during a power outage!

Thanks again. You have been great.

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni

Thanks Jeff

I guess it's "it" because we don't know how to distinguish between piles and anything else. We didn't even know there ARE piles. Let "it" for now and for all time equate with "wireless connection." Let it (oh well) be so; let it be written.

We will try your suggestion when I go back Sunday, and see what happens. I'll report back.

As far as Luddite, I like to think of myself more precisely as a "troglodytic Luddite" Even better for the skin.

As for your musings, perfectly enjoyable. I would be well in favor of impeaching Pres. Gates and being installed as Director of Simplification, maybe even czar.

It's not lack of techno-prowess or even willingness ("It's" referring not to "wireless" but to "The issue is." Sorry). It (again not a reference to wireless, wirelessness or lesswirelessness) IS that my consumer journalist background is simply telling me the computer industry has turned the whole concept of implied warranty of merchantability on its head. We've become the guinea pigs (Geeze, can't I think of a less hackneyed metaphor?), and I feel that the line of grim-faced ferret-like creatures jumping off the "I CAN'T GET THIS DAMN WIRELESS THING WORKING" precipice is just too long for me to get on and still feel .. feel .. well, human and like the consumer adviser that I am. As someone I know once wrote: "Mankind will be better prepared to control the monster and not let it run him instead."

But I AM currently doing a piece for a major not-to-be-identified consumer publication on using newsgroups (especially the MS ones) and message boards as a way of getting free and even better tech support. So this will be useful. I'm not THAT much of a troglodytic Luddite. After all, I do use Irfanview, Gadwin, Yankee Clipper, Exifer, AVG and all the other cool goodies. And I was doing Basic programming on Tandy Model 100s for computer journalism way before the term computer-assisted reporting was invented. Behold....

10 Goto 20 20 Goto 10 Rem: The Basic building block of life

And besides, if we go forward on it (the genuine "it") now, perhaps we spend too much time on "g" just as "n" is about to pop up over the horizon - sending us back into a technological encounter with death, which is how I'm sure Nietzsche would characterize it, or perhaps Dostoyevski. After all, she IS in an apartment complex and 2.5 gig is getting, well, close. And then what about "q," "z," "gg," "jfru?" That last one will require complex insertion into the cerebral cortex, no? Who posts here or phones tech support if that doesn't work?

But that's what you get when one trades imagination for perseverance.

So I'll let ya know (wasn't that Scotty as he ran off to try Klingon brandy or something in "The Trouble With Tribbles?" )

In any case, in the meantime....

Spock out.

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni

It's the plural of "web page". More than one web page equals a web pile. You can thank me for adding that to the muddle.

Seriously, I'm having trouble determining whether you're refering to the Linksys WRT54G router, the Gateway laptop, or something else. Instead of using "it" could I trouble you to use something more specific?

The original quote was from C.B. DeMille's version of the 10 Comandments, where Charelton Heston plays Pharoah and decrees to the assembled scribes: "So it is written, so shall it be".

One must suffer before enlightenment. That means you need to beat your head against the wall, read the manual, download fixes, search the internet, and call support on the phone, before the answer can be found.

Well, you do qualify. It's not enough these days to be a conservative. Being a reactionary is becoming popular. I'm just waiting for the US government to screw up the economy, precipitate massive unemployement, and then blame "mismanaged" technology as the cause. Obvious, government micro-management of technology is the answer to all problems. Never mind that uncontrolled technology has save our collective asses many times in the past. Yeah, you might qualify.

Have you actually read your warranty? Most of them declare the manufactory free and harmless if it fails to be "suitable for the purpose" which is nice way of saying that if you misinterpret the specs, screw up the install, or make it do something disgusting, it's covered under the warranty. It's only the dealers interest in having you as a continuing customer that allows liberal warranties and exchanges. As for implied warranty, you can take the manufactory to court for failure to deliver on a product being "suitable for the purpose intended" but will have trouble collecting damages.

Sure. You want it good, fast, or cheap. Pick two. You're getting the latest and greatest acronyms delivered in a package so cheap that I can't even buy the parts for the cost of a completed wireless router. Just one problem. Because it's delivered fast and cheap, it's not going to be very good. Want reliable?

I feel your pain. If you feel that the wireless gods have conspired to destroy your weekend, I suggest using a time honored method of appeasing the wireless gods. Sacrifice and burnt offerings have worked for many centuries. Find an old 386 motherboards, and barbeque it on a hibachi. Usually, things work better afterwards.

Well you'll be happy to know that your question and style are typical. I'll spare you my traditional rant. If you want effective answers, simply supply:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish?
  2. What do you have to work with? (Hardware, models, versions, numbers, etc)
  3. What have you done to get into this mess? What have you tried? What works, what doesn't?

Lots of other things are useful, but methinks the number are the most important. If you read this snoozegroup, you'll find that these basics are seriously lacking. Many people simply assume that one can deduce the hardware, or that it's not important to supply the needed numbers.

Incidentally, I don't ask too many questions in the MS newsgroups. However, last year, I was stuck and asked a rather messy question on XP client security defaults. I got 8 answers. 4 were totally wrong.

2 were variations on RTFM. One was a great answer to a totally different question. Fortunately, one was right on. Try asking a question where you know the right answer and see how you do.

When usenet was in fashion and there were only a few newsgroups (while I was running BNews 2.11), I was answering techy questions. An instructor at the University of Mexico printed one of my discussions as an example of how to get answers via usenet, complete with my email address. For the next 2 years or so, I was innundated with tech questions from students trying to take a short cut on class assignments and just emailing me instead of learning to post to usenet. Most were in Spanish. If you do the same to me, I'll build a clone of your computer, shove pins into the motherboard, and by sympathetic voodoo, your computer will die a horrible death.

Quantity is not a good replacment for quality. However, brute force and trial and error sometimes triumph over following instructions or asking for help.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Memory fault. That was Yul Brenner's line as Pharoah. Charleton Heston played Moses.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

I am so glad you posted that clarification, Jeff.

I honestly was picturing myself as Yul Brenner when I wrote that and thought, from your initial reply, that it was just one more thing I got wrong. Now I can safely and confidently continue with the head-shaving.

Also, much thanks for the pile explanation.

I shall concede the rest but for:

1 - MS newgroups. Lots of good is done there, especially when the MVPs reply. 2 - Warranty. Actually it is interesting that a bunch of states, including my own Connecticut, have modified 42a-2-316 of the Uniform Commercial Code to prohibit disclaiming the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose for new and sometimes even used consumer goods and services.

Likewise, those states prohibit merchants from putting limits on consequential and incidental damages (and no one allows exclusion of liability for personal injury anyway). Thus, consumers get to go after the retailer, and it's the same for the manufacturer, at least for the duration of any express warranty (per federal Magnuson-Moss) and perhaps longer in states that do not require vertical privity (direct relationship between manufacturer and consumer).

Thus, further warranty reading reveals: "You may have other rights which vary from state to state. Some states do not allow exclusion of ... damages."

But your points are well-taken, and we'll give it a another shot Sunday and see. I can't do this with my friend over the phone. Too complicated. And she'd be more inclined to paint flowers on the router, cable modem and laptop than fuss with any mechanics. She is REALLY ready to settle for the corded NIC and chuck the rest into the trash. Mr. Router may not even make it to Sunday!

Thanks again.

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni

Whats wrong with site, that being the word used in the rest of the world.

Hmm.... :-)

Reply to
Mark McIntyre

Site refers to the URL, which can have many web piles and pages under it. Site is also a bit vague as it implies a single location while a real web pile can be scattered all over the internet on many web servers.

The tree hierarchy is:

One web page. Many web pages is a web pile. A collection of web piles is a web site. Many web sites are usually located on a web server. Many web servers, at a given location, is a server farm.

Y'er suppose to thank me, not hummmmm....

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Eh? It has exactly one 'pile' under it, the one pointed to by the root url.

Come on, own up: this is just an affectation, like spelling computer 'computah'. There's no actual meaning attached which differs from site, except now, when you're trying to justify the neologism. :-)

Reply to
Mark McIntyre

Hello All

After five exasperating hours with three different tech support people from Linksys and one from the cable company, here is the answer:

Gateway had installed a second wireless configuration utility on the new laptop - one from Broadcom - that was conflicting with the Windows wireless setup program. Both we enabled and set to start with the computer. Apparently what was happening after the Linksys Netset software setup the wireless and the computer was shutdown was the Broadcom program would come back on during restart and interfere with Windows' efforts to establish the wireless connection. The result apparently was creation of conflicting IP addresses or something like that. When the wireless worked, the wireless address using the Ipconfig /all cmd was 000.000.000. When it wasn't, it read

169. something - which is apparently the default windows XP one. Blah blah.

Why we have different programs, conflicting programs and all this to do one simple thing seems to me to be just one more example of how this computer tech stuff is too far in its infancy. Imagine if we had these problems when we got our new car home --- "If you are having trouble making the car actually go, make sure the duplicate transmission shifting strategy corresponds to the selected engine. Please open the engine diagnostic hatch and disable the Cruxmulch overdrive modular drive lockout and reposition the crank engine piston ring slave to the lowest groove. Then close the hatch, crack the engine three times and reinstall the rubber modulation connecting band. NOTE: The stock random pressure relieve valve installed in this vehicle may not work with the selected drive train. If not, please contact your engine manufacturer for the installation ID certificate read diagnostic utility. Once you download and obtain the tray installation manifest, contact the transmission manufacturer using the numbers listed on the transmission identification placard located behind the dashboard on the left side of the firewall. Ask for instructions for disabling the alternate upload shift regime. After removing all the fuel from the gas tank, press the reset button. If this does not work, call Chile."

Well... at least I got to spend the day talking to people in Rhode Island, the Philippines, Argentina and another place I forgot to ask. The laptop starts up now all nice and wirelessly connected. We now have to interest in or energy for using it.

Thanks to Jeff and to everyone for your assistance.

Reply to
Anthony Giorgianni Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.