Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WiFi Problem Resolved

I never realized how convenient wireless was until my laptop's wireless connection broke last week.  Unfortunately my work schedule requires a lot of after hours work which I try to do in between cooking, laundry, time with my son etc. I may even need to connect on the road. Anyways , my trusty IBM Thinkpad T60 suddenly dropped it's connection in the middle of working and never returned. 

Weird thing is that it could see all the SSID's out there and establish a link but after the password, nothing worked. It just said "Not Connected", but sometimes it would flip over to "Connected" but no IP address was ever assigned so it was no use to me.

I tried the following without luck :
  1. Change BIOS setting
  2. Fn-F5 key (hot key toggle for WiFi)
  3. Flipping WiFi hardware switch (located practically under the laptop, in fact I didn't even know it existed until my buddy Sarwar told me about it)
  4. Reloading all versions of drivers from 2005-2008
  5. Uninstalled device and drivers at least 20 times
  6. Selected Network Repair option*
  7. Buying a PCMCIA WiFi card (Any one need one?)
  8. Installing third party Wireless management software (including one made by Atheros Communications. IBM does not make it's own WiFi btw)
I must have read at least 100 postings about similar issues and nothing recommended worked for me. So giving up,  I put an order in for a new T61 laptop since I can't waste any more time playing with this Windows garbage.

Tonight something worked for me though. What I noticed is that if I did 'ipconfig.exe' to display the network adapter settings , nothing appeared for the WiFi device. I knew something was wrong with Windows' ability to see the device. I removed all protocols except TCP/IP and selected Repair network. After doing that, ipconfig showed the wifi network interface and I was back in business.

Hopefully some poor soul with the same problem finds this blog helpful.

What a total waste of time. Thanks Microsoft.