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Old 08-05-2010, 10:02   #1
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Wifi Woes with a Netbook

I bought an Acer Inspiron One netbook last fall to use on our sailboat in the Bahamas....smaller to fly with and lighter to carry to shore for internet. We also have an external antenna mounted on our stern which picks up wifi signals which are then amplified and sent into the computer via an ethernet cable. The first year we had the system it worked fine on my older laptop; however this winter the system would say I had a great signal but I could not connect. We returned to Marsh Harbour in the Abacos where we had purchased the system and they tested the equipment and nothing was wrong. They said it has to be the computer??? This particular model has Vista which may be part of the problem? They suggested buying more memory for the netbook but other computer people have said that this won't help. Can anyone shed some light on what might be happening or not happening?
Thanks
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:43   #2
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An ethernet based system operates independent of the computer. It does not care about the operating system or the amount of memory in the computer.

Some possible causes for not connecting would be a hardware problem in the bridge, a configuration problem with the bridge or the AP you want to connect to is using MAC filtering. You need to provide more details about your system.
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Old 08-05-2010, 14:36   #3
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Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
however this winter the system would say I had a great signal but I could not connect
You need to describe "the system." What part of "the system" is it that tells you "I have a great signal"? Is it a software application on your netbook? Did you attempt to install any software on your netbook to make it work with "the system"? Does "the system" include a wireless router or bridge? Can your netbook communicate with the router? Can you connect your netbook to a shoreside ethernet without a problem?
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Old 08-05-2010, 14:47   #4
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I agree with Bob and Ziggy. But, if you are trying to connect a netbook to the Internet via ethernet through a router/bridge, the first thing you want to do is make sure your netbook's wireless adapter is disabled or turned off.
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Old 08-05-2010, 16:19   #5
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More Info on Wifi Woes with Netbook

Thanks for your responses. We don't have a router and I do disable the internal wifi when I go to use the bridge. The internal wifi worked fine onshore thank goodness or I would have had no internet at all this winter.
The fellow at Out Island Internet in the Bahamas plugged his computer in to our system that we brought to shore and it had no problem connecting but the netbook was struggling. He removed some startup programs that seemed to be slowing the netbook down and said that i should buy more memory when we returned to Ontario.
Both the bridge and amplifier are made by Engenius. To me it is odd that the internal wifi works but this powerful and expensive on board system is giving us grief....such is life on a boat?!?
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Old 08-05-2010, 17:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
The fellow at Out Island Internet in the Bahamas plugged his computer in to our system that we brought to shore and it had no problem connecting but the netbook was struggling.
When you say the "netbook was struggling" was this the case at Out Island Internet? The electronics involved in making a connection are completely contained in the Engenius hardware. If you can get access to the Engenius router and select an AP to connect to then it is not a computer problem if the router does not connect.
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Old 08-05-2010, 20:48   #7
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Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
The fellow at Out Island Internet in the Bahamas plugged his computer in to our system that we brought to shore and it had no problem connecting but the netbook was struggling. He removed some startup programs that seemed to be slowing the netbook down and said that i should buy more memory when we returned to Ontario.
I'm not familiar with the Engenius setup, but I suspect it may involve installing some software on your netbook to configure the bridge and select the wifi network you want to connect to (the alternative would be to configure your bridge using your web browser.) If there is some proprietary software involved, it's possible its either a memory hog (unlikely) or not fully compatible with Vista or not correctly installed. If the configuration and connection is done entirely via a web browser, then I'm at a loss to explain why your netbook should be "struggling"--as far as your netbook is concerned, it's connecting to an ordinary wired local area network.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
The fellow at Out Island Internet in the Bahamas plugged his computer in to our system that we brought to shore and it had no problem connecting but the netbook was struggling. He removed some startup programs that seemed to be slowing the netbook down and said that i should buy more memory when we returned to Ontario.
Both the bridge and amplifier are made by Engenius. To me it is odd that the internal wifi works but this powerful and expensive on board system is giving us grief....such is life on a boat?!?
Go to Control Panel>Network & Sharing Centre>Manage Network connections & right click on LAN adaptor - select Properties/General & right click on "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" at bottom of list. Check that "Obtain IP address" & "Obtain DNS server address" are set to auto.

I assume you choose the WiFi network by typing a specific IP address into your browser to access the Bridge. Check that this works & you can select your required WiFi network.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:33   #9
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Wifi Woes....More Info from Chrissy

Thank you to those of you who are so generous with your time and are trying to help me.

Thought i would share what the computer said when it was hooked up to the ethernet cable on the boat:

Internet Exp can not display the webpage
Diagnostics
-Cannot communicate with primary DNS server
-network diagnostics pinged the remote but did not receive a response

Network and Sharing Centre
-Status
IPV4 connectivity local
IPV6 imited
Media State enabled
Speed 100 mbps

Bytes...lots sent...few received
LA connection properties-all boxes ticked
Client for Microsoft Network properties
Name service provider...blank
Network address...blank

I don't know if all this makes sense to anyone but i am at a loss and unfortunately now we aren't on the boat to try anything else with the system. We will re returning in Dec and had hoped it was a computer problem and it could be fixed by then...???
Thanks again for trying?!?
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:43   #10
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Sounds like you are not getting an IP address assigned hence no communications. When you have the chance check that IP & DNS server assignation is set to auto.

When its working you should see a valid IPv4 address showing up under Status>Details after right clicking on your LAN adaptor.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:46   #11
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Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
.... We returned to Marsh Harbour in the Abacos where we had purchased the system and they tested the equipment and nothing was wrong. They said it has to be the computer??? This particular model has Vista which may be part of the problem? They suggested buying more memory for the netbook but other computer people have said that this won't help.
Thanks
When they "tested" the equipment, was your computer part of the test?

If you are home now, and you have internet in your house and you have a router or some other device that gives you internet access with a PORT on the back that you can plug your internet into, then try to connect your computer with a cable (and wi fi off) to the router. This will help you identify (and correct) the problem that exists with a hard connection.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:30   #12
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i use the acer aspire with a sprint dialup broadband card...works well when there is a cell tower--and free wifi in other places--havent had any problems with the card other than is sprint lol......
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:47   #13
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I deal lot with network issues with my job. Run from command window "ipconfig". It will tell you what address your card has been assigned. If you can find out what the ip address you trying to connect to are the same. Try to ping it.

I hate vista !!!!!!
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:22   #14
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I hate vista !!!!!!
Me too.

Has the Acer ever been connected by ethernet to something other than your bridge? If not, then now is a good time to try it. If the Acer has trouble connecting by cable on your friend's whatever network, try:

1. Go to the Acer web site and see if there is an updated driver for the Lan adapter.

2. Right click on Local Area Connection and select Properties. Select Microsoft TCP/IP version 6. Click Uninstall.
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Old 12-05-2010, 13:16   #15
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Thanks for the info....what do i do after I uninstall version 6? Please advise. thanks : )
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