Computer Help forum


Computer loses Internet after startup

by peter-03 / March 5, 2013 8:22 AM PST

I've run into an unusual issue where I can access the Internet normally, as long as I don't shut my computer down. Without fail for weeks now, every time I start my computer back up it can't connect to the Internet through the LAN. The wireless appears to function regardless for my three roommates, but the only way I can regain access to the Internet is by restarting the wireless router and cable modem. I've tried changing the DNS, as well as a variety of more traditional troubleshooting methods on my computer, with no success. The problem, as near as I can estimate, started when I purchased a Belkin Belkin N450 wireless router to set up a WLAN in my new apartment, but I'm unsure why my computer is the only one affected.
I'm running a Dell XPS 210, running 32-bit Vista with all the Service Packs and downloads to date. I'm using a Ralink 802.11n Wireless PCI Express Card LAN Adapter to connect to the network. Apologies if I've missed anything.

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All Answers

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Have you checked Device Manager?
by wpgwpg / March 5, 2013 9:02 AM PST

If there're entries in Device Manager with ! or ?, they need the correct drivers. Have you booted to Safe Mode and checked for viruses and other malware? Have you run SFC to check for corrupt system files? Open an administrator command prompt and run SFC if the above doesn't help. Click START, then type CMD in the search box, right-click CMD.EXE and click Run as administrator. Then from the command prompt type sfc /scannow.

Good luck.

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First Encounter With SFC
by peter-03 / March 6, 2013 6:18 AM PST

Thank you for replying so quickly.
I checked the drivers in the Device Manager menu, and all claimed to be up-to-date. I have tried scanning for malware in Safe Mode, but did it again last night to be sure. No malware has turned up on my scans with MSE, Malwarebytes, or Spybot Search & Destroy. I did run SFC as you suggested (and thank you for introducing me to that tool), and it turned up a few corrupt files that it repaired, but none seemed to affect the issue.

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As To Drivers...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 6, 2013 6:32 AM PST

Checking up-to-date status in Device Manager doesn't get it done.. You'll need to visit the network adapter manufacturer's website (or possibly the Dell site), and look for the most recent driver for your device, whether it be wireless or wired.. Install the updated driver and it may make a difference if the manufacturer has fixed the same glitch you have.,

Hope this helps.


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Learning Something New Every Day
by peter-03 / March 7, 2013 11:21 AM PST
In reply to: As To Drivers...

Thank you as well, for educating me regarding the vagaries of drivers. I did as you suggested, but unfortunately this appears to have had no effect.

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Then We Fix That Like This...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 7, 2013 11:32 AM PST

First things first.. Since you didn't tell us about the settings on the wireless router at your place, some wireless receivers, such as the one on your computer, may need specific router settings so it can be found.. First, make sure the SSID is displayed.. (Some disable this setting, thinking it is safer (it's not), and it can be death to some receivers.) Next, try changing the default channel in the router...from the default 6 to 1 or 11. (Interference in your area could be causing an issue.)

If that doesn't get it done....

It's not uncommon for wireless adapters on a computer to fail. Here, we simply remove or disable the previous wireless device, buy an inexpensive USB wireless adapter, plug it in, install the software and things are up and running again.

Since it sounds like your's is faulty, it may be the way to go...

Hope this helps.


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On Routers...
by peter-03 / March 7, 2013 12:45 PM PST

The SSID is displaying. As far as I can tell, any non-Windows machine can still detect the network regardless, and I found it a pain in the *** to get the all-Windows computer on my WLAN to connect after shutting it off. I've actually changed the channel already, in response to advice from another party. It increased the quality of the connection for everyone, but didn't fix the issue of my computer failing to connect in the mornings. I've had the wireless adapter card for nearly as long as I've had my computer, so I suppose that failure is entirely an option. I'm going to start looking up USB adapters, and welcome any advice on that front.
Thank you very much for your assistance.

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Latest Chapter In This Silly Little Tale...
by peter-03 / March 16, 2013 7:25 AM PDT

So, in an effort to fix the problem once and for all, I purchased a PowerLink PL-H5DN-1W wireless USB adapter. I kept the old card and antenna installed temporarily so I could download and install the drivers for the new device. Having accomplished that, I removed the card only to discover that my problems were magnified. For some reason (much to my frustration) I now couldn't connect to the Internet at all. Instead, the WLAN was now considered an Unidentified Network with Limited Access. Upon plugging my old adapter back in, I discovered that /it/ now worked flawlessly, whereas the new USB antenna had extremely limited functionality. While I suppose this counts as fixing the problem, I'd like to get to the bottom of this and figure out what in the blazes is going on with my PC.
Thank you ahead of time.

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