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Networking Problem


moonlit
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Ow. My brain's hurting...

I have a networking problem that I'm hoping y'all might be able to help me with and it goes a little something like this:

I bought a USB WLAN stick for my PC and a PCMCIA (PCCard) WLAN card for my laptop. I connected everything, installed the relevant/supplied drivers/set the PC's stick to run as an Access Point (SoftAP mode) and all worked great - reasonable speeds, stable connection and just perfect everything. Until...

The laptop had Win98 installed. I thought that this was a little outdated, even to me being a classic-Windows freak and I wanted to install some apps that worked only on Win2k and above... great, I thought... I'll just install 2k, reinstall the drivers and we'll be in business - but no, no can do;

Installed 2k (Pro), went ok... usual install stuff, you know how it goes and when it came to the WLAN drivers, all seemed fine - but I couldn't find my AP (my PC acting as AP)... Win98 + drivers from CD worked fine... same CD installed 2k drivers won't do it... now, being the stubborn person I am, I don't want to go back to 98 for a million reasons but I do need my WiFi...

I tried NetStumbler on it - card is detected and supported fine, drivers seem to be ok - NetStumbler can see my AP for a second or so every so often but it can't see it for longer. I know this can be just the way NS works but the supplied app for wireless network connection (came on driver CD) needs the connection to be present for longer than 1 second - so it can't see it at all... the PC still seems to be ok acting as AP but since neither side gives me any errors except for 2k telling me that the network cable is unplugged (duh it's wifi...)

The card is a Cable & Wireless 54G Wireless LAN (very descriptive, huh? - Model Number: USBA10CW3) and the PCMCIA one is also Cable & Wireless 54G Wireless LAN (they seem to like naming their products like this - Model Number: NC10CW3)

Both are 802.11b/g compatible and seem to be based on the RaLink RT2500 chipset (which it seems does have problems of its own...)

Any help would be much appreciated!

Cheers, MOONLIT

Edit: apologies for the long post!

Edit 2: Oh, and the very first time I installed this lot with 2k on the lappy, I was able to connect to the AP for about 10 seconds... then it dropped the connection and I haven't got it back again since.

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Other good questions may be...

1. Do other pcmcia cards work on your Win2K setup (it may be a pcmcia slot issue)??

2. Do other network devices work on your Win2K setup (it may be a TCP/IP issue)??

Ben

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Could you try it with XP rather than W2K? I always believed that W2K was the server that wasn't too keen on funky peripherals whereas XP has that area solidly covered.

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Windows 2000 can be a bit wierd with some devices like with a Skymedia card I had for my internet. Firstly are you using drivers that say they support 2000? 2000 really doesn't like drivers not designed specifically for itself when it comes to certain hardware. As has already been suggested XP might be a possibility? If your worried about it being slow then you can always turn off themes and all the other stuff and it runs more or less like 2000.

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Since Moonie doesn't appear to be able to respond at the present time, I'll field your questions for the time being...

XP is most certainly a no-go on this lappy, it can barely cope with running 2K, let alone XP.

Moonie, I'll give it a fiddle tommorrow if you wouldn't mind, I've got a few ideas, but they're probably stupid. Gah, I hate having a cold, is stops me from thinking.

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Cheers all (esp. Techno) - As Technologique said, XP is certainly not gonna install on this lappy - even to the point I tried installing Whistler betas to get at least some XP functionality but it made little difference since it's based on the 2k core...

The drivers are apparently 2k specific and seem to install fine - even the supplied networking app detects and can control the card but it just can't seem to find the access points - it's like it only detects them momentarily so it can't fix on one long enough to connect to it...

I have only tried this and a modem card as far as PCMCIA devices go, I could try my USB dongle in it but the disadvantage I'd have there is that since my desktop machine doesn't have PCMCIA, I'd have nothing to try and connect to...

Also haven't tried any other net devices (except USB ADSL modem some time back on a prev. install - that seemd ok)...

I haven't tried any service packs yet 'cos it's a pain in the ass trying to feed this lappy files w/out a network connection but it's certainly an idea...

Cheers again all, MOONLIT

Edit: Downloading Service Pack 4...

Really should be at college, but...

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I was under the distinct impression that XP was less resource-intensive than W2K because W2K is a 'professional server OS' whereas XP is something for the lowly consumer. Just make sure you set it to optimize for speed so that most of the fandangled eye candy is turned off. I think it'll cope.

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Now when you say you setup the desktop as an AP are you saying using special AP software that does infrastructure mode or do you have them both in adhoc mode?

They are both set to Infrastructure mode with RaLink's networking software (which is the same for all RT2500 chipset cards - have tried many versions/sub-versions and retarded/rebranded versions)..

This software can run the card(s) as software controlled APs which the other card(s)/machine(s) should connect to just like any other AP... and that's how the desktop's USB stick is configured...

Not that I'm sure of its significance, but I had noticed that the USB stick (acting as AP) can be worked as an AP but the PCMCIA one doesn't have that option (same driver versions, same chipset, different method of connection)...

I'd love to get it going in 2000 but I'm going to partition/install Win98/2k dual-boot tonight and install the drivers on both - that way, I can still use wireless on that lappy, just not in 2k - but hopefully if I find a solution I can apply it to the 2k install :)

Oh, and cheers for that CD Techno ;)

Edit: Choosing to install Whistler Beta Build 2257 instead of 2k - it's still heavily based on the 2000 core but it's a little tweaked and slightly unusual ;)

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Driven crazy by my laptop not co-operating, I finally flipped...

I'm forcing an install of Longhorn Build 3718 on the poor thing.

I think the specs should hold up:

Intel Pentium II @ 233MHz

32MB RAM

2MB Graphics Memory

24x CDROM Drive

Perfect... I'll report back with the destruction soon :D

*walks away muttering 'minimum spec, my a....'*

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I bloody did it!

It works! It's alive! It boots!

I have Longhorn 3817 on the laptop with the above spec!

As for the networking, it kinda works... I'm dual-booting LH w/Win98 atm, so I at least have some networking - LH's Zero Config Wireless do-dah seems to only run sometimes... not sure why, could be related to a RAM shortage...

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I was under the distinct impression that XP was less resource-intensive than W2K because W2K is a 'professional server OS' whereas XP is something for the lowly consumer. Just make sure you set it to optimize for speed so that most of the fandangled eye candy is turned off. I think it'll cope.
nah, not really. maybe 2kServer, but definitely NOT regular old 2kPro (which is very similar to XP without all of the fancyness)
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nah XP is without a shadow of a doubt more resource-hungry than 2k... I have tried 2k and XP Pro on many machines and 2k is always many times more usable - definitely faster...

(looks better too, IMHO... but Whistler when it was still in 'I used to be Windows 2k' stage looked ok)

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I bloody did it!

It works! It's alive! It boots!

I have Longhorn 3817 on the laptop with the above spec!

As for the networking, it kinda works... I'm dual-booting LH w/Win98 atm, so I at least have some networking - LH's Zero Config Wireless do-dah seems to only run sometimes... not sure why, could be related to a RAM shortage...

hahahahahahahahah lmfao!!! i need to get me a copy of that :P

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