Author Topic: Daughter's router issue  (Read 1994 times)

Offline Cobra951

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Daughter's router issue
« on: Thursday, June 19, 2008, 03:54:04 PM »
I think its transmitter is dead, plain and simple.  But I want to ask about any other possibilities.  She suddenly couldn't see the wireless LAN at all from her laptop.  She was blaming the laptop, but nothing she did with the network settings/wizards made the network visible.  Hole in the ether.  So I asked her to try her old, dying laptop to see if it could connect.  Nope.  It can't see the wireless point at all either, and it does see a weak network somewhere in the neighborhood.  So it's receiving, just nothing from their router.  I had her check the router settings, power-cycle the router, and even change the broadcast channel from 6 to 11.  Nothing.  Router says "I'm working fine!" even under the Wireless tab.  Everything else says "you're full of shit."  This is a Linksys WRT54G.  Anything I might be missing here?

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Daughter's router issue
« Reply #1 on: Thursday, June 19, 2008, 06:27:09 PM »
Unbelievable.

I spent over 90 minutes on the phone with her.  I had her try out 2 different laptops, both of which couldn't see the wireless point at all.  One saw a faint network elsewhere briefly, so I concluded that radio interference was not the culprit.  They had a 2nd WRT54Gx laying about, which took a while to find, so the first conversation ended.  After it was found, I get the 2nd call while I was outside taking a walk.  They got the spare router from some random client of her mother's, so she had no idea what the login name and password were.  (Not admin/admin.)  Had her look up how to reset the router completely.  Did that.  Then tried to set it up.  By then I was back at the house, so I started walking her through all the different pages in the web applet for the modem.  No way would it see the external IP address, so ended up using the setup CD, which did the trick.  After all that, same problem!  Wired internet works.  Wireless is a hole in the air.  Nothing!  No network detection.

Then as an act of desperation, I suggested she turn on the Nintendo Wii and enable Connect 24, to see if it could detect the wireless point.  The system wouldn't turn on.  Why not?  It was unplugged.  I asked why it's unplugged.  Because the plug it was using was now taken up by the new wireless camera security system.  When was that installed?  Today!  FUCK!

So, bad logic in an early diagnostic step.  IT WAS radio interference.  Nothing is wrong with the original router.  Had her start going up the channels from 1.  2 did the trick.

Problem solved.  Goddamn.  For a geek, I sure hate technology.  And I didn't even mention the phone conversation getting cut off when the install CD told her to unplug the modem.  They have IP phone.   ::)

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Daughter's router issue
« Reply #2 on: Thursday, June 19, 2008, 06:37:27 PM »
Haha, man, that's a pain.  I'm sure we all feel your pain.  Technology can be infuriating on many levels, even when you're as close to it as we are.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Daughter's router issue
« Reply #3 on: Thursday, June 19, 2008, 07:08:53 PM »
At least I got to talk to her for a long while.  She was so upset.  She started crying at one point.  After we got it all sorted out, I mentioned it wasn't as bad as all that, right?  "Yes it was!"  I told her that now she knew how to deal with router issues from scratch--setup to security, so it wasn't a waste of time.  I also told her the original router is a perfect spare, and it's already set up the exact same way.  She seemed willing to accept that, or maybe she was just happy she could finally get on the internet on her own computer.  Either way, she was happy, which made my day.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Daughter's router issue
« Reply #4 on: Thursday, June 19, 2008, 08:59:42 PM »
Well, that's how one learns.  That's how I learned everything I know about computers... from my computers screwing up and me having to figure out how to get them fixed.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline scottws

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Re: Daughter's router issue
« Reply #5 on: Friday, June 20, 2008, 04:44:44 AM »
I can't believe the people that installed the wireless security cameras didn't say anything about it potentially or probably interfering with your 802.11 home wireless computer network.  Wireless networking is pretty pervasive these days in homes.

Edit:  I read this thread again, and I find it humorous since my job right now is tech support.  I deal with the same kind of thing on a daily basis, where a very key piece of information is omitted because the caller just doesn't know any better.  You'll spend an hour trying to figure out something out and it just isn't making sense why it's not working and then they'll say, "We had someone out messing with the wiring in the store this morning, do you think that might have something to do with it?"

The worse I ever had was trying to figure out why a store was getting a modem error when trying to sent their sales information over the dial-up link.  I did everything: cycled the power on the modem, rebooted the computer, reseat all the modem's connections, try the modem in a different phone line, tried a different data cable, tried a different phone cable, resent all the modem's init strings, reinstalled the modem driver in Linux, restarted the ppp0 interface, verified the correct DIP switches were set... All this took like an hour and a half.  It wasn't the modem itself because they happened to have two for some reason and we tried both.

Finally, exasperated, I said, "What lights are lit on the modem right now?"  Answer?  "None of them."  I bolt up: "Have you seen which ones were lit earlier?  What were they?"  "I don't think any of them were ever lit."  There is always at least one light lit if they have power.  The power cord wasn't plugged in.

You learn real quick from stuff like that.  I always check lights first to make sure they have power.  I always make sure that if I talk about the computer that I quickly specify that the screen is not what I'm referring to when I say "computer."  I always make them replicate the error and read it verbatim rather than letting them generalize what they thought the error was.  I always ask if anything has happened somewhere around the time the problem started happening.
« Last Edit: Friday, June 20, 2008, 06:36:10 PM by scottws »