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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My XP laptop suddenly stopped being able to connect to the internet at a friend's house, either wirelessly or plugged directly into the cable modem. Before that it connected wirelessy just fine for several days.

Nor can it find any wireless networks at all though there are a few nearby (neighbors' apartments etc - which I wouldn't be able to log into, not having the passwords, but still they should show up in list of available networks).

But it still connects just fine at my own house, both wireless or plugged in directly. And, as usual, I see a list of several available wireless networks.

At the friend's house, I tried restarting the computer, unplugging and restarting the router, including waiting 24 hours.

No changes of any kind were made to the computer (such as network connection settings, installing hardware, clicking on suspicious websites or emails etc.)

This is especially perplexing for many reasons:

1) How could I get online just fine at the friend's house, then suddenly not be able to?

2) If it was a glitch between my computer and her ISP, then why doesn't my computer show any available wireless networks at all?

3) How can such a problem only happen at her house but not mine?

Thanks much.. this one has me stumped
 

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Her house is haunted. Stay away before it's too late. :)

I have difficulty thinking of why several wireless networks would suddenly go invisible. I guess it's possible that everybody unplugged their routers or disabled their SSID broadcast. You're positive, at your friend's house, that at least one network is detected by another computer?

Thinking of the ethernet ... You're sure that nobody assigned a static IP configuration? What, if any, non-Windows firewall or security suite do you have? Try disabling it; if that doesn't help try uninstalling it for a test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
>You're positive, at your friend's house, that at least one network is detected by another computer?

Yes, her own computer hasn't had any problems staying online. We tried disconnecting hers and restarting the router, in case it didn't like having both of us online at the same time for some reason (but again, we were both online for a few days)

>You're sure that nobody assigned a static IP configuration?

I know that nobody changed anything involving the router or anything else, but if this is something I should check on, how do I do that?

>What, if any, non-Windows firewall or security suite do you have?

Symantec Anti-virus and Spybot Search & Destroy. Neither of those are firewalls, right?
 

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... her own computer hasn't had any problems staying online.
Sorry to get picky, but staying online is not necessarily the same as detecting a wireless network. If the SSID broadcast is disabled presumably she has a profile defined that will connect to it anyhow, but another adapter will show nothing or detect a "hidden" network. I doubt this is the case, but it's the only thing I've imaged so far that could cause you to not detect wireless there but be able to at home.

Those apps you mentioned do not include a firewall, but if any of Spybot (including Teatimer) is running continuously it can do strange things. Low probability, but could be causing a problem.

Please show the following for your computer while connected (or trying to) both ethernet and wireless. At your house is OK, because I'm looking for possible static IP or something unusual that could be an issue.

Start, Run, CMD, OK to open a command prompt:
(For Vista or 7 type CMD in the Search box after Start)

Type the following command:

IPCONFIG /ALL

[Note that there is no space between the slash and ALL.]

Right click in the command window and choose Select All, then hit Enter.
Paste the results in a message here.

If necessary use a text file and removable media to copy the results to a computer with internet access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry to get picky, but staying online is not necessarily the same as detecting a wireless network.
Thanks for the reply, and by all means, please be picky! It's necessary for troubleshooting and helps me learn.

I don't know whether her computer detects networks other than her own. I'm, uhh, fairly certain that mine picked up others in addition to hers when I was able to connect, but I didn't pay much attention since I only needed hers, obviously. Anyway, as I recall, Windows' list of 'Available Networks' seems to remember network names it has picked up in the recent past, regardless of whether they're currently detectable ( - right?)

...

Will try disabling Spybot, Teatimer, Symantec when I'm back at the house of demon network next week.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ipconfig results:

Thought I read somewhere that these numbers shouldn't be posted for security reasons ( - true???)

So I replaced each one with a unique dummy number with same number of digits and decimal points as the original. Wherever you see a dummy number repeated, that means the ipconfig had the identical number in multiple fields.

I did save the original 'uncensored' ipconfig results and can post if you need the actual numbers.

IPCONFIG FOR WIRELESS CONNECTION: -----------------------------------------------

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Richard>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : mycomputer
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : yale.edu
its.yale.edu
cis.yale.edu

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 3:

Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : National Semiconductor Corp. DP83815
/816 10/100 MacPhyter PCI Adapter
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 11-11-11-11-11-11 [same for both wired and wireless connection]

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection 5:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : NETGEAR WG111v2 54Mbps Wireless USB
2.0 Adapter #2
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 22-22-22-22-22-22 [different from above Physical Address]
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 33.3.3.3
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 444.444.444.4
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 55.5.5.5
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 55.5.5.5
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 55.5.5.5
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, August 15, 2009 4:29:38 PM

Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, August 15, 2009 8:29:38 PM

C:\Documents and Settings\Richard>ipconfig /all

END OF IPCONFIG FOR WIRELESS CONNECTION: -----------------------------------------------

IPCONFIG FOR WIRED CONNECTION: ----------------------------------------------

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Richard>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : mycomputer
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : yale.edu
its.yale.edu
cis.yale.edu

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 3:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : hsd1.ct.comcast.net.
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : National Semiconductor Corp. DP83815
/816 10/100 MacPhyter PCI Adapter
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 11-11-11-11-11-11 [same for both wired and wireless connection]
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 66.666.66.666
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 777.777.777.7
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 88.888.88.8
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 99.99.99.99
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : AA.AA.AA.AAA
BB.BB.BB.BBB
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, August 15, 2009 4:44:14 PM

Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:35:18 AM

C:\Documents and Settings\Richard>

END OF IPCONFIG FOR WIRED CONNECTION: ----------------------------------------------
 

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Windows' list of 'Available Networks' seems to remember network names it has picked up in the recent past, regardless of whether they're currently detectable ( - right?)
I've used XP's WZC so little that I really have no idea.

I was mostly looking for "Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes" so your output looks OK. But, if there are future requests, post the real thing. The numbers you posted are pretty useless. If you are behind a router than the IP addresses are all private, and the router acts as a natural firewall, so there is zero danger. My router's address is 192.168.2.1 and all my computers, printers, etc., have 192.168.2.x addresses.

Even if you are connected directly to a modem and have a public IP address it doesn't matter. If you are firewall protected (including Windows' firewall) you are protected. There are people who constantly run programs probing random IP addresses (something like a telemarketer's dialer) for vulnerabilities, so if you are directly connected and don't have firewall protection you are already infected.

I can't think of anything else now.
 

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Remove ALL the stored wireless profiles and search for the network as a new network and enter the correct encryption key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Remove ALL the stored wireless profiles and search for the network as a new network and enter the correct encryption key.
There aren't any profiles to remove. The list is empty both in my adapter's own setup window (Netgear), and in Windows' own list, under Network Connections > right-click 'Wireless Connection' > View Available Wireless Networks.

This 'Available Wireless Networks' window is mostly grayed-out: the empty profiles list as well as the 'Advanced' button below the message "Click on Advanced if you are having trouble connecting to a wireless network".

AFAIK this graying-out is normal when the adapter's not connected, but the Windows taskbar lists it as connected.
 

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Hold the Windows key and press R, then type CMD to open a command prompt:

In the command prompt window that opens, type type the following command:

Note that there is a space before the /ALL, but there is NOT a space after the / in the following command.

IPCONFIG /ALL

Right click in the command window and choose Select All, then hit Enter to copy the contents to the clipboard.
Paste the results in a message here.

If you are on a machine with no network connection, use a floppy, USB disk, or a CD-RW disk to transfer a text file with the information to allow pasting it here.
 
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