06-27-2008 03:51 PM
Just received a new X61 that seems unable to maintain a conistent broadband connection, either via wifi or direct ethernet cable. Wifi signal is good and strong, icon sometimes indicates internet access, sometimes not. If I reset the adapter I can get actual internet access for a few minutes before it goes out again. With a direct ethernet cable connection it does not seem to get internet access at all. Running diagnostic sometimes brings up firewall error 'Query User', sometimes DNS error. Dial-up seems to work fine.
Machine is running Vista Business Edition, w/ Intel WiFi link 4965AGN. So far I have updated wireless adapter driver, installed Vista sp1 + all other updates, tried disabling Windows Firewall, and upgraded the firmware on my wireless router (Linksys WRT54G). All other computers are connecting to this network with no problems. Also spoke to Lenovo tech support -said they don't resolve network issues (they suggested de-installing ThinkVantage connection app, that hasn't helped either). If anyone out there has even the vaguest clue what could be causing this any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
06-30-2008 07:30 PM - edited 06-30-2008 07:45 PM
Hi! Welcome to the forums!
Seems rather perplexing. Troubleshooting time!
A few questions before starting:
- did you ever have networking capability on the laptop at all?
- did you make any changes in the BIOS that could affect networking?
- did you have networking capability before installing SP1 on Vista?
- did you check the power settings in Vista for your ethernet card and wifi card? (Device Manager, networking card, properties). If any you find that the settings are in "power savings" mode, turn those off in the options, reboot the machine and try connecting again.... If this works, then disregard the rest of this post.
Off-hand, it's rather difficult to know where to start with a diagnosis before knowing the history of your networking woes. One could take a stab at trying to figure out what the problems are, but there are a few variables that require attention first ... is this possibly hardware related (router or laptop)? or software related (Vista)?, but we need a starting point.
A few points I'd suggest, is to verify the following:
1) Press the blue ThinkVantage button to recover/diagnose networking.
2) check your BIOS settings to ensure the ethernet port is enabled and that there are no glaring irregularities in the BIOS.
3) check the ethernet first (LAN) bypassing the router thus verifying whether the router is the one causing the issues,
4) pending result of 3), check Vista networking settings (did you tweak anything in the OS)?
5) bypass Vista entirely to verify connectivity and ethernet port functionality
So! ... Step 1)
- If you still have the factory installation of Vista on your hard drive, the ThinkVantage blue button should be fully functional on boot-up and you'll have access to networking diagnostics. If you installed a fresh copy of Vista and reformatted the whole drive, then the above option is no longer valid.
Step 2) ...
- make sure all the BIOS settings check out (take a look at the BIOS settings, even if you never modified anything just to be certain), then if everything seems right -> on to step 3.
Before going on to step 3), disconnect the router from the cable/adsl modem and reboot the modem to make sure everything's set to default. There usually is a reset switch for this purpose, or just unplug the modem's power cord for 30 seconds and then plug it back in to reset it.
Step 3) ...
- as alluded above, use an ethernet cable to connect the modem directly to your laptop. If you do get an IP, then the ethernet port is working fine - then it's time to troubleshoot the router.
Step 4) ...
- If step 3) didn't solve the issue, it could be hardware issue (let's not panic yet), but it could also be a Vista configuration issue (more likely). If you get no IP by connecting your laptop directly to the cable/adsl modem, then try running Vista's "networking diagnostic" while plugged in directly to the modem to see if you can get an IP from your cable/adsl modem. If you do, then it's time to troubleshoot the router. If you're still not getting an IP address, then it's time to check Vista's configuration more closely.
Step 5) ...
- You could also bypass Vista altogether in a different and (very) easy method to check whether or not there is a hardware/software issue with your laptop/Vista - and that is to try a different operating system altogether. It's rather simple to do and free as well. You can download any "live CD" of any linux distribution (like Ubuntu, or Knoppix, or Fedora... burn the ISO to a CD and boot from that). You don't have to install anything to test the networking of your laptop, you don't even have to know anything about linux, you don't even have to like linux.... What this does is give you an opportunity to put to rest any qualms about hardware failure on your machine. What a "live CD" does, is to start linux on your machine in full GUI mode (you get a nice desktop) and access to firefox or other browsers (opera, konqueror - depending on the distribution you pick) to check ethernet functionality... These "live CDs" boot off the RAM in your laptop without ever installing anything!
Just follow the step 3) above connecting your laptop directly to the cable/adsl modem, boot a live CD of any linux distribution you chose, follow the on-screen instructions (usually just type in "live" or "liveCD"), then once it's all up and running, open up firefox and see if you can visit any website. If you can, then you're assured that your laptop's ethernet port is working just fine.... Something's up with Vista and/or the router.
Try the above first, and then we go to the next step of checking Vista, the router and wifi issues.
Hope this ultimately leads to a path of success.