Belkin wireless network won't start first time

  Pineman100 18:09 24 Jan 06

A week or so ago I had to move my computer to a new location in the house. So, to avoid having to extend or move phone sockets etc, I bought a Belkin wireless router and Belkin USB wireless adapter.

I followed all the installation instructions to the letter, but it still took a 2-hour phone conversation with their technical support helpline to get the network to function at all. However, since then I have found it impossible to get the network to fire up when I first switch on the computer - the adapter and the router simply won't talk to each other. I always have to restart the computer at least once - sometimes two or three times - before contact is established. Once this happens, the signal is always reported as "excellent".

I have had a lengthy exchange of emails with Belkin, and so far their (unsuccessful) recommendations have been:-

1. Downloaded and install the latest adapter driver software.
2. Switch the setup to a new channel.
3. Change the wireless mode from Auto to Long Range Mixed.

I have done all these things, and they've made no difference at all.

One other matter that I should tell you about is the Computer Management Settings. On Belkin's recommendation I have "Wireless Zero Configuration" activated, with two other settings - "Belkin Wireless USB Adapter" and "Belkin 54Mbps Wireless USB Network Service" both disabled.

Does anyone have any ideas for getting my router and adapter to talk to each other first time, every time, please?

Many thanks.

  Biotech 18:25 24 Jan 06

Have you got a firewall running, may need to put your router's home page in the trusted zone, should be something like 192.168.1.something, the page you use to set up the router. This should happen on its own but had a similar problem on the wife's comp. running Zone Alarm.
May already be in there but would not hurt to have a look.
I thought most people turned off "Wireless Zero Configuration" or am I mistaken.

  ade.h 18:31 24 Jan 06

"Have you got a firewall running; may need to put your router's home page in the trusted zone"

Would not have anything to to with this. Pineman has stated that he cannot access the config page via the ethernet LAN link. Indeed, it is clear that he can get to the router's settings because he has tried tweaking them.

Pineman - USB adapters seem to be a pain in the bum; I have so far not seen one that works 100% reliably and consistently. Some are fine, while most others seem to vary somewhat.

Can you try popping in a PCMCIA or PCI card in a process of elemination? Could you also let me know what the client PC is? Desktop or laptop?

  ade.h 18:33 24 Jan 06

God, my typing is rubbish today; "Pineman has stated that he cannot access the config page" should have read "...has NOT stated...." Sorry for any confusion there.

  ade.h 18:35 24 Jan 06

Also, can you let me know which PC, if any, you have LAN'd to the router for config purposes? Is it permanent, or just plugged in when you need to change a setting?

  Pineman100 18:54 24 Jan 06

Thanks for your responses.

I don't have a wireless PCI card that I can put in my PC (it's a desktop) experimentally, although it is pre-fitted with an ordinary ethernet card. During the setup process I had to connect the router and the PC via an ethernet cable (which worked fine) but the two are now too far apart for the cable to reach. And I can't really afford to buy a longer cable just for testing.

There's just the one XP SP2 PC on the network. The wireless adapter is permanently connected in a USB port.

I hope that answers all your questions, and thanks again for your interest.

  ade.h 19:08 24 Jan 06

Thanks, Pineman. That covers all my queries. Don't worry about trying to test the network with a longer LAN cable; it would defeat the object of the test because it's a wireless issue.

If you don't have a PCI card, there's not much else I can suggest, unless you would be willing to buy one. When someone asks me to have a look at their wifi setup and I see a USB adapter, I groan because I have an idea what I might be in for!

One more question; how are you using the adapter? Driver-supported, plug-n-play or software-controlled? I know of some users who have had success by installing the adapter a bit differently; without software for example. They used only the Network Setup Wizard and a driver if required by the OS.

  Fingees 19:09 24 Jan 06

The address you want for set up page is

post it into address bar of browser.

  Fingees 19:09 24 Jan 06

The address you want for set up page is

post it into address bar of browser.

  Pineman100 19:15 24 Jan 06

I'm not sure that I understand your question about how I'm using the adapter. When I first installed it I used the CD that came with it, and then yesterday (on Belkin's recommendation) I downloaded and installed the latest driver from their website. So I assume that I'm using it driver-supported.

Do I understand you correctly that you feel a PCI card wireless adapter would be much more reliable than my USB one? I'm thinking that - as my router and adapter are only a week old - I could maybe take the adapter back to PC World and demand they exchange it for a card. Do you think that would be worth doing?

Thanks again.

  ade.h 19:38 24 Jan 06

To both the questions in your second paragraph - yes.

With regard to adapter software - have you uninstalled it yet? Before you head back to PCW, try uninstalling all traces of the software and then uninstalling the device itself from the Dev Manager. Then re-install it, running it initially only with the driver. Now, bear in mind that not ALL USB adapters will run without their software, but most will.

As users often find with any USB device - such as cameras, MP3s or external drives - the provided software often turns out to be an enhancement at best. Not necessarily essential.

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