Connection problems with new laptop

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Alder
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Connection problems with new laptop

Postby Alder » Mon May 14, 2012 12:15 pm UTC

So...

I bought my first brand new laptop about a month ago. I really like it, I spent *slightly* more on it than I intended to so since I took such a shine to it, but it has one peculiar problem, which seems to be getting slightly worse with time, and I am really not technically minded, so I have no clue how to fix it, or even what's wrong.

Every now and then - sometimes it'll go a couple of days without doing it, but the last few days it's been several times through the day - it will start losing its internet connection. If I click on the wee 'signal' icon down on the bottom right of the taskbar, our wireless network will have disappeared, then some seconds later (between 3 and about 20 at the most) it will reappear, and the laptop will reconnect to it. If I do 'open network and sharing centre' and try to run a diagnostic, it doesn't have *time to complete* before it has reconnected. In fact, it's done it already as I was typing this out - however, I have my old laptop open next to it, and when New Laptop had its little orange * on the icon showing it had dropped out again, Old Laptop was fine.

I find that my browser (firefox/chrome) stops responding a few seconds before the signal icon shows that there's a problem. I've also noticed that when I was talking to someone on Steam, sometimes it reconnects quickly enough that Steam doesn't notice it was gone, but other times it disconnects me from that too. (I was having a conversation with someone yesterday and got disconnected 10 times over about 40 minutes). Even watching a video on Youtube is a pain, because nothing buffers properly when it's doing this.

I wish I had more useful information! But my first problem seems to be *getting* the information, 'cause the diagnostics don't have time to kick in.

Does anyone recognise this, or know how to get more data so they can help? I'm freaking out 'cause in addition to the laptop being new, I can't find my receipt to return it if this is a serious problem. (Why I didn't put it somewhere safe I don't know, I'm usually more careful with that stuff. <facepalm>)
Plasma Man wrote:I might have to get rid of some of my breadbins.

Kulantan wrote:I feel a great disturbance in the Fora, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and then kinda trailed off to a grumble.

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semicharmed
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Re: Connection problems with new laptop

Postby semicharmed » Mon May 14, 2012 7:30 pm UTC

What brand of laptop is it? And what kind of wireless adapter? This sounds like a problem one of my roommates had (3+ years ago, on a Windows laptop running Vista so this all might be hopelessly outdated); the wireless adapter came with its own software - made by Intel, I think? but the details are fuzzy, it's been a while) and the wireless was unreliable because of a conflict between the Windows and the adapter's software. Windows kept trying to manage the wireless device, and the Intel software kept yanking control back.

Uninstalled the custom software and everything was fine. At least until our $20 wireless router died and we didn't replace it.

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Alder
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Re: Connection problems with new laptop

Postby Alder » Tue May 15, 2012 12:18 pm UTC

The laptop is a Samsung, and I've no idea what kind of wireless adapter. Where would I find that out?

(I really am pretty inept at this stuff. It's like driving a car - I can make it work, and I know the spark plugs, for example, are important, but I don't know where the spark plugs are, or how to check them!)

I've managed to sneak a diagnostic in last night during a longer disconnect, and it seemed to be trying to 'reset' the wireless adaptor, but that didn't help any. This morning I managed another, and it said the same, plus "A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken." But I checked the cables yesterday...and it worked perfectly all last night and a couple of hours this morning before starting to pull the same stunt again about 20 minutes ago. I'm at the "so frustrated I could cry/scream" stage today...
Plasma Man wrote:I might have to get rid of some of my breadbins.

Kulantan wrote:I feel a great disturbance in the Fora, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and then kinda trailed off to a grumble.

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Shamino
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Re: Connection problems with new laptop

Postby Shamino » Wed May 16, 2012 2:41 pm UTC

Is it just this laptop or other devices as well?

If it's other devices, you may want to reboot, diagnose or replace your Wi-Fi base station/router.

At my home, I've found that many (but not all) of my devices occasionally stop communicating until I toggle their Wi-Fi off and on again. It appears to be a known problem with the Actiontec router Verizon provided for my FiOS service. My plan (when the problem gets annoying enough or when I decide I have the spare money) is to buy a new access point and disable the built-in Wi-Fi interface.

Of course, if all your other devices are fine and it's just that one laptop, then its internal Wi-Fi interface may be bad. Since the unit is only a month old, see if you can get a warranty repair. Depending on the specific model, where you bought it and your warranty terms, they may have you mail it away for service, or they may send you a replacement along with installation instructions.

If warranty service is out of the question (which would be surprising for a month-old laptop), then you'll have to do some Googling to determine what kind of Wi-Fi adapter is used, if it is replaceable, how to get a replacement, and how to install it. Be sure to specify the exact model number when searching - it's unlikely that all Samsung laptops will have the same procedure. Depending on what you learn from this searching, and your own personal skill level, you might find it easier to just buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter and disable the built-in one.

Good luck.

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semicharmed
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Re: Connection problems with new laptop

Postby semicharmed » Thu May 17, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

Alder wrote:The laptop is a Samsung, and I've no idea what kind of wireless adapter. Where would I find that out?

(I really am pretty inept at this stuff. It's like driving a car - I can make it work, and I know the spark plugs, for example, are important, but I don't know where the spark plugs are, or how to check them!)

I've managed to sneak a diagnostic in last night during a longer disconnect, and it seemed to be trying to 'reset' the wireless adaptor, but that didn't help any. This morning I managed another, and it said the same, plus "A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken." But I checked the cables yesterday...and it worked perfectly all last night and a couple of hours this morning before starting to pull the same stunt again about 20 minutes ago. I'm at the "so frustrated I could cry/scream" stage today...


What model of Samsung? Also, if you go into Control Panel->Programs (I think that's what it's called, the only version of Win7 I have access to right now is in Russian), do you see anything with either Connectivity/Wireless in the name? It sounds like something is creating conflicts for the wireless adapter, and the most likely culprit is a program installed on top of the Windows network stuff.

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Alder
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Re: Connection problems with new laptop

Postby Alder » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:31 am UTC

So I'm back to this thread. The problem is getting, if anything worse, though still annoyingly random and intermittent. (OH! like right this second, as it happens. Great.) I really need to find out what the problem is, 'cause if I leave it too long and try to go back to the store for help, they'll just point and laugh...

Shamino wrote:
Spoiler:
Is it just this laptop or other devices as well?

If it's other devices, you may want to reboot, diagnose or replace your Wi-Fi base station/router.

At my home, I've found that many (but not all) of my devices occasionally stop communicating until I toggle their Wi-Fi off and on again. It appears to be a known problem with the Actiontec router Verizon provided for my FiOS service. My plan (when the problem gets annoying enough or when I decide I have the spare money) is to buy a new access point and disable the built-in Wi-Fi interface.

Of course, if all your other devices are fine and it's just that one laptop, then its internal Wi-Fi interface may be bad. Since the unit is only a month old, see if you can get a warranty repair. Depending on the specific model, where you bought it and your warranty terms, they may have you mail it away for service, or they may send you a replacement along with installation instructions.

If warranty service is out of the question (which would be surprising for a month-old laptop), then you'll have to do some Googling to determine what kind of Wi-Fi adapter is used, if it is replaceable, how to get a replacement, and how to install it. Be sure to specify the exact model number when searching - it's unlikely that all Samsung laptops will have the same procedure. Depending on what you learn from this searching, and your own personal skill level, you might find it easier to just buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter and disable the built-in one.

Good luck.

1) I don't really have any other devices, so it'd hard to check that.
2) I'm concerned about the warranty, because I cannot find the receipt! :( Though I know the store has a record of my buying it 'cause they've sent me letters trying to sell me an *extended* warranty on the machine, but I don't know what help if any that would be.
3) I have no personal skill level as far as fixing/repairing/replacing things are concerned.
semicharmed wrote:What model of Samsung? Also, if you go into Control Panel->Programs (I think that's what it's called, the only version of Win7 I have access to right now is in Russian), do you see anything with either Connectivity/Wireless in the name? It sounds like something is creating conflicts for the wireless adapter, and the most likely culprit is a program installed on top of the Windows network stuff.

The model is this one: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/samsung-s ... 8-pdt.html NP300E5A

I can't see anything about connectivity/wireless through the control panel. (It doesn't have *that* much loaded up on it so far, with it still being on the new side.) But I am finding it trickier to find things in Windows 7 generally.


Edit: while foutering about with my settings (not changing any 'cause I don't know what most stuff does and I don't want to break anything) I found an area where you can change the settings/configuration of your wireless adaptor.
There is one setting called "roaming aggressiveness". Now, I've googled it, and it *sounds* as though it affects when the wireless adaptor starts looking around for a stronger signal - in other words, if it drops below 'x', it casts about for something better. Does anyone know whether that might be causing it to drop the signal and re-try? And could changing those settings help? Maybe? or is that totally irrelevant...?
Plasma Man wrote:I might have to get rid of some of my breadbins.

Kulantan wrote:I feel a great disturbance in the Fora, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and then kinda trailed off to a grumble.


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