Today, a reader writes:
My Vaio has been giving me Hell. The WLAN works fine at home, various coffee shops and restaurants, etc., but I’m on vacation at the moment. I stayed at a hotel last night at my halfway point and am now at the final destination, where my WLAN suddenly doesn’t work. I did some… something, at the last hotel… I went through some crap to get
it on the hotel’s network, and it ultimately worked, but now I’m having issues at the new place.
What’s happening is, my laptop is detecting the network; it clearly reads what it is and the signal strength. But when I click to connect, it takes a fraction of a second for it to say it can’t connect, and says it’s for an unknown reason. It’s as though it doesn’t even try to connect.
I’m with family, and other Vista laptops, like this one, are running just fine on the hotel’s network, but not mine, so that narrows down where the problem is to my machine. At most public places, it’s as simple as walking in, booting up, and connecting, and I’m on, and I don’t see why this hotel should be different since that’s exactly what I did to get our other two machines online… so I guess if I knew of a good way to default my WLAN settings or something…
I’m fairly sure my drivers are up to date; I was just on it last night. I don’t think it’s taken any drops and hits, and I’m fairly sure that my network card didn’t take the same week as I did for vacation. I have no wireless profiles; I tend to just walk into places, set it up, and run with it. I don’t know, from the look of things you’re the professional, not me… yet.
Sony Vaio VGN-NR120E (Completely stock)
Running Windows Vista for some reason
LAN-Express AS IEEE 802.11g PCI-E Adapter
Unsecured Hotel Network, so no encryption of any kind to speak of.
I do seem to remember hearing about some Vista notebooks having wireless issues, most of these issues however were fixed with a Windows update however. But there were still some notebooks that continued having the issue – this model of Vaio was one of them. Before tossing in the towel, I would point out that if you are able to connect most places and just not at one hotel – it would likely indicate this is a hotel wireless issue.
While others are going to retro back to XP using this guide as their beacon of hope, let me make a more sane suggestion. Upgrade the wireless driver. Does this sound familiar?
This utility updates Marvell Atheros Extensible Wireless LAN Driver to version 220.127.116.11 to resolve the following issues:
- A low wireless signal level is reported, even when the computer is close to the router.
- The computer cannot connect to the access point.
Yes, this is the patched driver you have been waiting for from Sony. Before rushing to install it, read the instructions carefully first. Enjoy!
Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt!” Please address comments to the comments section above, my email address is for questions – thanks!