My laptop keeps disconnecting from internet then reconnects.

by 21 comments
I wonder if someone here can help..

I have a laptop that constantly disconnects the internet and then immediately tries to connect again. This process goes on just about all of the time I am online with the laptop.

I bought this refurbished from Laptop Exchange and this has happened from the start and I brought it back to the store and they tried it and of course it didn't happen to them and they said it depends on the strength of my internet service, well I have cox cable at the highest level available.

I have a desktop computer also that is wireless and it doesn't happen to that computer. My husbands computer is connected direct to the router.

The laptop is an IBM thinkpad and is old...probably about 5 years old.

Any suggestions what I can do or is this related to the age of the laptop or my service or what??
#off topic

  • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
    when they are talking about 'strength of your service' they aren't really talking about what speed your internet is, they are talking about the strength of the signal from your wireless router.

    Lots of things can disrupt wireless signal. walls, flourescent lights, serious magnetic fields..etc.

    It could also be that your wireless card ust needs fresh drivers.
  • Profile picture of the author jlady
    How can I tell what wireless card I have in here?
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
    Originally Posted by jlady View Post

    How can I tell what wireless card I have in here?
    look in the device manager, it should tell you there
  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    I once had a PC that did that.

    I read somewhere that the problem was that the PC wasn't powerful/fast enough to handle the wireless encryption.

    Sure enough, if I didn't use encryption on the wireless side (which is a bad idea) it worked fine.


  • Profile picture of the author jlady
    Originally Posted by Michael Motley View Post

    look in the device manager, it should tell you there
    OK...where would I find the device manager. I can't find it in control panel.
  • Profile picture of the author automoversny
    click start
    right click on my computer
    click manage
    find device manager
    under wireless

    worst case scenario , find the driver in device manager uninstall it and reinstall new ibm driver, should do the trick
  • Profile picture of the author css
    Look, if it works some of the time then it works. Do you own a wireless router?
    You already took it to the techs and they said there is NO problem. That means it is you. Do you own a wireless router? If not, then you leach source is to far away. Go buy a router.
  • Profile picture of the author jlady
    yes we have a wireless router and no we are not leeching off the neighbors.
  • Profile picture of the author TJ Cox
    It could also be a duplicate IP issue if you have other computers or devices that use IP addresses in the house. Maybe a Tivo or printer for example. Usually Windows informs you of this issue but sometimes the notification process does not work. (You may get the Windows error for a duplicate IP on one machine and not the other.)

    Basically two devices can't use the same IP at the same time.

    That being said it is most likely your wireless router. This is a little techinical but try changing the wireless channel it's using. Out of the box many of wireless access points use the same channel and only the new versions can adjust this on the fly.
    Usually the router has a web page where you can adjust the channel settings. You probably used this to configure the router initially.

    What happens is that everybody and their brother has a wireless router these days and that some channels can get congested. Especially if you are in a apartment or some other type of area where you are close to your neighbors.

    Just keep changing the channel until you find one that works well.

    To test if the wireless router is truly the issue- you can plug directly into the back of your wireless router with an Ethernet cable. If you don't get disconnected when you are connected by wire then you have your answer.

    I hope this has been helpful in some way.
  • Profile picture of the author david.adodis
    Just check your device drivers are working proper are not.
    I like to tell what automoversny replied.

    Thank you
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
    If it were a matter of duplicate ip's, you would get a message saying 'THERE IS ANOTHER MACHINE ON THIS NETWORK WITH THE SAME ADDRESS'

    bypass the router, plug straight into the modem if you stay connected, the problem has to do with the router.

    how far away are you
    whats between you and the router
    have you tried just rebooting the router and modem
    update the drivers
    does the router have firmware available
    have you called the router manufacturer

    I have worked for countless internet service providers and there is one thing that you will find with all ISP's. I dont care if their building is on fire or their service is imploding whatever issue you are having is not because of them. its always because of your router, your computer or your operating system. ISP's are great at passing the buck.
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned

    I had the SAME problem with one computer though, sadly, can't recall what it was.
    Michael is right about MOST of what he said, but this CAN be a wifi NIC.(Think of the router as a server, and the NIC as a client)

    As for COX? Well, I have comcast and they SEEM to have gotten better. For ******YEARS****** after @HOME went bankrupt, they could NOT get their act together. To the best of my knowledge, there were really only TWO cable ISPs Road runner, and @HOME. I believe COX had @HOME, JUST LIKE COMCAST! So they may have had, and may have, the SAME problems.

    BTW the NIC is dependant on MANY things! You can MAYBE trust the signal strength monitor on your PC, but NOTHING else! There are just too many variables.

    BTW Higher bandwidths tend to make the networks LESS reliable. Just look at the distance/bandwidth tables on routers. As the bandwidth goes up, the effective distance goes DOWN! So don't think that faster always means more reliable in this case. Ironically, it often means the OPPOSITE!

  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    One thing I did once was got a little USB NIC for my computer. Not only did it work better, but I could put it closer to the signal. NOW, they also make amlifiers and antennas for routers.

  • Profile picture of the author ScottyM2
    Are you using Firefox? I never thought a particular browser would cause this, but such was my case. Running it in "safe mode" (option from start menu) will eliminate disconnects. Also, check that whatever your browser you are using has had all recent updates.
  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    Try reinstalling your wireless network adapter drivers. If that doesn't do the trick then just get a cheap USB wireless adapter and connect using that.
  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    So glad I found this post - My laptop just kept connecting- disconnecting - connecting every minute or two. Went through all the techy forums and completely overwhelmed myself with fear

    Someone here suggested just unplugging the router and re-booting.
    BRILLIANT!! - Sfter 2 days of frustration it really was that simple

    Thanks Warriors - rescued again - Pete.
  • Profile picture of the author okhealthy
    I used to make things right so
  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    Reboot every device and have your laptop connect first to the router. If it still disconnects then try to connect it to the router with a the rj-45 cable. If everthing is normal if connected with the cable then chances are there might be an incompatibility between the router and the wireless adapter in your laptop. Just purchase a usb wireless adapter to use with your laptop.
  • Profile picture of the author nelspetty924
    I think maybe it is your laptop that makes you disconnected to the internet connection, because as you said desktop never suffers the same situation. You could also check the connection set up.
  • Profile picture of the author krialex
    you have a problem with the network card drivers.

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