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XP and wireless

Steve Bate

Novice Member
I'm in the process of trying to setup a LAN @ home and have my AV Server, HCPC connected into a 5 port hub together with a wireless access point. All fine, I then tried to connect my "Home office" PC up via a Wireless PCI card, followed all the instructions and spent over 1 hour on the 'phone to tech support at D-Link (their PCI card) the problem appears to be that I do not have Wireless Services on my PC :confused: I did a fresh XP install and did not decline anything in the install process so where is my wirelss services?

Am I missing something? In the setup for the card it suggests going into "Network Properties" and selecting "wireless" but it isn't there :confused:

Anyone any suggestions?

Steve
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
We've installed a wireless network for a customer recently and the "wireless area network" was setup in the network properties by running the installation disk that came with the pci cards.
It all worked 1st time on any computer that was running W98 and above (it just wouldn't work in Win 95)
 
K

kertofer

Guest
Does your wireless card show up in the Properties page of "My Network Places"? If so you can look there to see if it is seeing your wireless network at all. If not then you will have to manually put in the SSID and WEP key, if used, and that should allow your machine to see the network.

Hope this helps.
 
B

bernmc

Guest
I had endless problems with d-link wireless kit when I tried to use the DHCP facility. Changed everything to static IP addresses, and it all works perfectly.

A default XP install should give you all the services you need, so I doubt it's an XP problem.

Did you install the d-link drivers/software before you installed the card...?
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Interesting.

I'm just about to get my laptop and am wondering about networking my desktop to the laptop.

I've very briefly found D Link as mentioned above for a 22Mb wireless network option. Seems straight forward. But what 'exactly' do I need? A card for the laptop and a pci card for the pc? Configure as Ad Hoc as I've read? Do I need anything else to allow sharing of my printer and broadband just between these two pc's?

I'm trying to learn it as fast as possible.:)
 

Steve Bate

Novice Member
Originally posted by General Skanky
Interesting.

I'm just about to get my laptop and am wondering about networking my desktop to the laptop.

I've very briefly found D Link as mentioned above for a 22Mb wireless network option. Seems straight forward. But what 'exactly' do I need? A card for the laptop and a pci card for the pc? Configure as Ad Hoc as I've read? Do I need anything else to allow sharing of my printer and broadband just between these two pc's?

I'm trying to learn it as fast as possible.:)
Guy,

You also need an access point, this is basically a receiver that the wireless card transmits to, this can then be connected either to other wireless PC's or to a "hard wired" ethernet LAN.

I'd do some serious researching before parting with the folding stuff. I can just about get a signal that drops and reconnects every minute and I'm 10' from the Access Point only through 1 wall and celing. So much for 100' plus :( :rolleyes:

Steve
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Thanks for that. I am a bit surprised by the lack of range. Normally when say 100m is quoted, you'd get to say 50m. So in my house I'd have expected it to be ok.

I was hoping to avoid too much expense, but looking into it a bit, an access/router point and a card for the laptop would be about £150 give or take. D Link do an all in one version (access/router) I think, which can be wired to my main pc and route to the laptop wirelessly to do all I want.
 

Gerbil

Novice Member
You also need an access point
Err, no he doesn't. That's what Adhoc mode is, wireless LAN without an access point.

A PCI card for the desktop and a PC card for the laptop should get you up and running. You'll need Internet Connection sharing or something similar to get your broadband connection shared out to the laptop.

Steve, I think something is not quite right with your setup. You should be able to get a better connection than that I would have thought. I have a Linksys access point upstairs wired into the LAN and two wireless devices, a laptop with a Buffalo PCMCIA card and my HCPC with a Sitecom USB Wireless adapter attached. Both of them get adequate connections even through two walls and a floor at about 25' range. Most of the time the connect speed is reported as 11Mbps and the signal strength as low, but they work. As most people report you'll never see 11Mbps actual throughput, most of the time you'll be lucky to get 5Mbps because of the protocol overheads etc.

Just a thought, but how old is your "Home office" PC? The reason I ask is that the PCI Wireless cards are notoriously fickle. Most of them are little more than a PCMCIA to PCI carrier card with a normal wireless PCMCIA card shoved in it. The data sheet for the DLink PCI card mentions it needs a PCI 2.2 compliant motherboard so I'm guessing it falls into the same category although the packaging appears to carefully hide this fact. I may be barking up the wrong tree, but if your home office PC is more than three years old it may be the source of your problems. I certainly had no end of problems using a Buffalo wireless PCI card in an older Pentium II PC.
 

zap

Active Member
I Have been using the D-Link kit without problems. I did find the latest drivers better. I also get a full signal and am 25m away using a PCI card and access point. My PC is Windows ME.

Paul
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
I have a wireless access point and a pcmcia card in my laptop and can happily run remote desktop on the laptop taking over my desktop upstairs and run broadband internet and outlook quite happily through 2/3 walls and a ceiling but my house was only built this year so the walls are not very thick compared to older buildings.

For a living, part of what I do involves wireless burglar alarm systems and we have found mixed results depending on the construction of the building. You can get no signal in one position and move a detector 2 inches and get 6 out of 10, all to do with wall thickness, reflected signals, hidden pipework, radio and enf interference etc.. We did one installation in a 14th centuary building with 1metre thick walls where the signal would not travel the 1m through the wall.

Radio signals are normally quoted as distance in free space, the more obstacles in the way the less distance they travel.
 

Steve Bate

Novice Member
Originally posted by Gerbil
Err, no he doesn't. That's what Adhoc mode is, wireless LAN without an access point.
D'oh, didn't read the question prperly and assumed Guy wanted to just put in a PCI Ethernet card and a wireless card for the remote!!

Sorry Guy, nearly misled you there!!

Just a thought, but how old is your "Home office" PC? The reason I ask is that the PCI Wireless cards are notoriously fickle. Most of them are little more than a PCMCIA to PCI carrier card with a normal wireless PCMCIA card shoved in it. The data sheet for the DLink PCI card mentions it needs a PCI 2.2 compliant motherboard so I'm guessing it falls into the same category although the packaging appears to carefully hide this fact. I may be barking up the wrong tree, but if your home office PC is more than three years old it may be the source of your problems. I certainly had no end of problems using a Buffalo wireless PCI card in an older Pentium II PC.
Home office PC is about 2 year old and reasonable spec, you're right about fickle!! It's taken me weeks of playing with drivers and rebuilds just to get it to "see" the wireless card. It is a PCMCIA card in a PCI "caddy". I have got to agree with the fact there has got to be something wrong somewhere but :confused:

When it is up(ish) it says it's attached but I cant see the other PC's, I can ping them but they do not show up when I try to "explore" the LAN I'm seriously p****d off with wireless and tempted to try and route an ethernet cable to it (major nightmare)

It definately isn't for the fainthearted!

Edit: Just a thought, what position is the aerial supposed to be? On the Dlink AP the unit either sits vertically or can be wall mounted and as such it comes with a swivel aerial that can rotate through 90degress, should the aerial point vertically (current position whilst free standing) or horizontally? Will this actually make any difference?

Steve
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
Edit: Just a thought, what position is the aerial supposed to be? On the Dlink AP the unit either sits vertically or can be wall mounted and as such it comes with a swivel aerial that can rotate through 90degress, should the aerial point vertically (current position whilst free standing) or horizontally? Will this actually make any difference?
It will make a difference which way it is but there is no exact right or wrong, each position may reap different results taking into consideration the other factors I outlined.

If you want predictable then wires are the way;)
 

Gerbil

Novice Member
When it is up(ish) it says it's attached but I cant see the other PC's, I can ping them but they do not show up when I try to "explore" the LAN I'm seriously p****d off with wireless and tempted to try and route an ethernet cable to it (major nightmare)
You've probably already tried this Steve, but since you can ping the other PC there doesn't sound too much wrong.

What do you get if you try Start->Run then

\\192.168.0.2

Where 192.168.0.2 is the IP address of the other PC. In theory you should see the shares on the other PC

If ping is working then this sounds more like a problem with Windows networking rather than the card itself.

Sorry if you've already tried this...
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
Steve,

Are you on XP home or pro?

A mate of mine has just had a nightmare trying to get wireless ad hoc working on home, could share the internet connection but not see the other PC?? Upgrade both to pro and worked 1st time.

Are you on SP1 as I had a problem with XP changing the IP on its own accord or rather it was delt an odd one from my router which is the dhcp server.
 

Steve Bate

Novice Member
Originally posted by John Spicer
Steve,

Are you on XP home or pro?

A mate of mine has just had a nightmare trying to get wireless ad hoc working on home, could share the internet connection but not see the other PC?? Upgrade both to pro and worked 1st time.

Are you on SP1 as I had a problem with XP changing the IP on its own accord or rather it was delt an odd one from my router which is the dhcp server.
John,

I'm on Home on both and I de-installed SP1 it was a nightmare, maybe I'll look at Pro, I cant get any signal at the moment, maybe it's the cold weather :p

I'll play with Windoze networking a bit more but I really am sick of it now, the horifying task of getting a Cat5 cable to my study is becoming more and more the preferable route :(

Steve
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
Steve,

Cant you move the PC's next to each other so you eliminate a loss of signal or better still connect them up with a short cable so that you can at least make sure the config is correct.

Just reread your original post and I take it that you've managed to install the wireless cards correctly and that they appear in the system hardware list, may not be obvious that they are wireless, may just show as a wireless device. The next thing to double check is that the logon for the machine your connecting from is also on the machine your connecting too, in otherwords set up a user account on both machines.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm trying to teach you to suck eggs but we need to eliminate this 1st.

Regards
 

Steve Bate

Novice Member
One PC is my HTPC and is connected to the AP via Ethernet, this is also "plumbed into my AV rack and would be a major pain to move, the second is remote in my study and is my "office" PCm there's also a couple of others attached to the Ethernet segment but I've not fired these up yet, wanted to get 2 talking before I increase the traffic.

I'm going to try and move the AP right up the the adjoining wall, it's in a loftspace and difficult to manouvre but I'll give it a go.

The wireless card is recognised and when it can see the AP (intermittent) I can ping the AP and the HTPC I just cant see them in Explorer :confused:

I can ping the AP and both PC's from the other.

Steve
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
Try this,

make sure you can ping a computer then

Right click on the start button and select search

in "look in" select my network places

in All or part of a file name, type the name of the computer your just pinged and press search.

What happens?
 

Gerbil

Novice Member
Steve

Have you tried trying to browse the shares on the other PC using its IP address?

If you're having a problem with name resolution then XP will accept the syntax \\ip_address e.g.

\\192.168.0.2

in the Start->Run box to browse the shares on the machine 192.168.0.2 (substitute the IP address of the other PC). This has the advantage of not requiring any name resolution to work.

If you can't browse any shares on the other machine using this technique then either that PC hasn't got anything shared or there's something screwy with the Windows network settings in general (such as the personal firewall being activated etc.)

How intermittent is your wireless connection? try something like

ping ip-address -t -l 500

to ping indefinitely with a packet size of 500. Give it a minute or so then hit Ctrl-C. What percentage of packets are dropped?
 

Steve Bate

Novice Member
WhooooHooooooo!!!

Sorted, now for the embarrasing bit :blush: In trying to reduce the overhead on my HCPC I'd disabled a large chunk of services D'oh!

All working now, I had to move the AP about 3 feet and now have 50% and 11Mbs.

Thanks all for the help.

Steve
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
At least its working!
 

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