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Wifi Issue

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Summer Deep
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:19 pm
Location: Greater Manchester, UK

Wifi Issue

#1 Post by Summer Deep » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:35 am

Here's an issue I've been encountering when using the internet on certain older Thinkpads, such as the T23, T60 and T61. It doesn't occur with newer Lenovo laptops or other makes.

What happens is that the internet connection fails, and I get a message like 'Server not found' on all websites. The weird thing is that this problem can then be found to have been transferred to some of my other machines, but it's not the same ones every time. For instance, my Windows 8.1 Acer E1-572 was affected for the first time this morning, and on another occasion the internet connection on a dual-booting Dell Latitude was down on the MX Linux OS, but fine on the Windows 7 system. This problem can be fixed by rebooting the router, but sometimes one or other of the affected machines needs to be disconnected from wifi then reconnected. This can happen several times in a few hours, or may not occur for several days. Although it seems that any laptop or desktop machine can be affected in a 'secondary' sense, the problem only ever originates with the ones mentioned in the opening sentence.

This wouldn't be too bad if it were a very intermittent problem affecting just those latter machines, but it's a real pain when it can knock out much of my wifi ecosystem several times in an afternoon or evening. Anyone got any ideas about this? I should add that my knowledge of the working of such things as routers, DNS, IP addresses, wifi cards and so on, is pretty much non-existent, so I'd appreciate it if people could stick to basic explanations and potential solutions, as far as is possible.

axur-delmeria
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Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: Wifi Issue

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:16 am

What's the exact brand and model of your wifi router?
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Summer Deep
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:19 pm
Location: Greater Manchester, UK

Re: Wifi Issue

#3 Post by Summer Deep » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:42 am

It's a BT Home Hub 5 - Type A. I think they were introduced five or six years ago.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
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Posts: 2630
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: Wifi Issue

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:41 am

The router doesn't seem to be an old model.

Then again, the problem appears to be on the router itself rather than the laptops. It may be overworked (from having to handle too many connections), as it's apparently a DSL modem as well (based on a quick google search on the model name).

On the other hand, it's possible that it's a mismatch between the wifi cards of the older Thinkpads and the router.

Does the T23 have a WiFi B card?

The T60 probably has WiFi G (most likely an Intel 3945BG), while the T61 is usually equipped with the Intel 4965ABGN which is a draft N card.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Summer Deep
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:19 pm
Location: Greater Manchester, UK

Re: Wifi Issue

#5 Post by Summer Deep » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:15 am

Thanks for the reply.

I don't know enough about the wifi cards to say with any certainty what sort they are. The best I could do was to look in Device Manager, then scan the laptops with PC Wizard and Speccy. All I found was:

T23: Broadcom 802.11 N Network Adapter

T60: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection

T61: Intel Wireless Wifi Link 4965AG

Not sure if any of that will help. Anyway, I thought initially that the wifi cards in the three old Thinkpads might not be 100% compatible with the router, but then again I've been using the T60 from time to time for around two years, and it has only begun to give this problem within the last two months or so. I've also wondered about the router being overloaded, but in that case wouldn't using the other machines cause the wifi to crash as well? :?

I've read that some of these older cards can be affected by interference from other electrical devices - might that be a factor?

RealBlackStuff
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Re: Wifi Issue

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:28 am

Try this:
switch your BT-router settings to become just a modem, leaving the DSL cable in.
Put an ethernet cable in one of the 4 outlets and connect that to the WAN-port of another/newer router.
Check that the new router transmits properly on both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
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