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Wireless Network Troubleshooting


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#1 Marshall

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 19:06

Looks at Budman :shiftyninja:

Recently my sister bought a new laptop and I cleaned all the bloatware off before she went to college with it. At this particular college, she had to turn her computer in and they installed firefox, AVG, and supposedly 'configured' her computer to hook up to their network, which is wireless.

The problem is, she complains of extremely slow speeds on the internet, sometimes taking over a minute to load a page. Meanwhile her roommate has a laptop on the same network and has absolutely no problems. Added to this, when she goes over a friends house or uses a hotspot, her computer is fast and has no problems.

So my question is what could possibly be causing this? I have yet to contact their IT department and ask specifics on their wireless network but my sister plans on bringing her computer to me this weekend. I've never encountered such a problem, is their something in particular I should check on her computer?

Thanks in advance.




#2 DPyro

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 19:18

I'm guessing all they did was write down her MAC address and added it to their system. Only thing I can think of atm is to flush the dns cache. Open cmd and type ipconfig /flushdns.

#3 Roger H.

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 19:23

Waiting for BudMan also ;)

But if pages are stalling out then it does sound like a DNS thing but does this happen on all browsers? Since they installed Firefox is that also what she's using or she uses IE or Chrome even?

It's a shot in the dark however and probably totally off because you said she uses it at other places and it works fine. :ermm: Not really sure what else is left to try.

#4 DPyro

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 19:33

Other things I can think of is maybe they added some entries to the hosts file or configured the browser to connect to a proxy server.

#5 +BudMan

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 19:36

Without some actual details its tuff, you said it works fine on other wireless networks.. And other wireless user in the same room not having any issues.

Slow pages often point to dns like mentioned, but I would have to assume she is using the same one room mate is using - so that doesn't make a lot of sense.

I would look to see if she is connecting with say B, and room mate is on N or something.. Some basic details of the school network would help, are they B, G, N -- do they support 2.4 only, or 5 as well?

Could be her laptop/wireless card has an issue with the security being used. Is it WPA, WPA2 with tkip or AES, while room mates laptop has no issues. The type of network and encryption would most likely be different on different networks, so could explain why its fast on those.

Quite often schools use some sort of endpoint security client like cisco, etc. Her machine could be having an issue with that, which again would not be used on other wireless networks.

edit: Proxy thing seems unlikely because room mate should be on same one, etc. But maybe she should be using proxy and is not, or vice versa room mate is not using proxy and she is?

edit: jaredfrost has point about AP, but I doubt they would hard code to use specific one.. But sure she could be different one that is overload while room mate on other side of the room is on different one.. But normally dorm rooms are pretty tiny ;) So that seems odd that they would not be on same AP

But all good points - its very hard troubleshooting something like this without being there and details. There are SO MANY things that could be wrong.

#6 JaredFrost

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 19:36

Generally when you have so many users per floor/class, there are multiple access points, she may be configured to use an overloaded access point, or maybe the wireless NIC isn't jiving with the ecryption used(try updating the Wireless NIC drivers for that)
It could even be the signal strength, since we don't know if the roommate is using the laptop closer to the access point than your sister, or the type of wireless signal the roommate is connecting through (2.5Ghz vs 5Ghz)

These are things hard to troubleshoot without actually being there since you wont be able to see if the problem in action or if it is solved, that's all I can think of right now, good luck.

#7 OP Marshall

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 19:59

Thanks for the replies, someone is supposed to be calling me back from their IT department about giving me information on their network. It doesn't help matters that my sister is computer illiterate, she's one of those people that wouldn't know what to press if you said 'Hit the start button.'

I failed to mention that she's already turned the computer back into their IT department complaining of slow speeds, they returned it with a "We don't know what the problem is, you need to take your computer to a computer tech, it's not on our end" which is completely absurd. Apparently the requirements for an IT there are minimal, I think I'm dealing with some IT geniuses, we'll see when I talk to them on the phone. I'm sure the call will be humorous to say the least so I'll post back what he says. :)

Thanks again!

#8 OP Marshall

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 14:45

The wonderful IT staff at her University have informed me that after having the laptop for two days that they are unable to figure out the problem and they would suggest I send the laptop back to manufacturer due to a faulty network card.

Why is it that I've had the laptop hooked up to at least 4 other wireless networks and it performs flawlessly, while on their's I need a new network card? :rolleyes: I will have the laptop again this weekend, can you think of anything specific I should check? I apologize, networking is not my strong suit in computing, we can't all be wizards like Budman :p

#9 +BudMan

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 16:48

And did we ever figure out what actual settings they are using? Open, WEP, WPA, WPA2, tkip/AES

is it 2.4 or 5ghz -- if N are they 20mhz or 40 or auto?

Some actual details of what network you connecting to and having issues would be of great help in trying to figure out what is the problem

How about the output of "netsh wlan reportissues"

What specific card does she have and what specific driver is installed?



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