Laptop internet problems

  Logov 13:03 07 Dec 2005

I have a Sony Vaio Laptop with XP Home and was once happily using it to surf the net only a few weeks ago via an ethernet cable or usb cable both connected to 1mb broadband. This is the same setup I use for my desktop which has no problems with connecting. Recently and for no reason I can think of, my laptop finds it impossible to go online and tells me that activity/signal is very weak and will not be able to connect. I can't understand this when as mentioned above my desktop, using the exact same setup, connects very happily.

By the way I have tried connecting the laptop to the modem by itself with the desktop disconnected but no joy.

Anything I'm missing not doing that is preventing connection? The laptop is wi-fi enabled but I don't have a wi-fi setup would it make any certain difference if I did?


  mgmcc 13:49 07 Dec 2005

If you are getting an error message in the laptop that the "signal" is very weak, you must be attempting to get online via its "wireless" connection which you haven't set up. A wired ethernet connection wouldn't give a signal strength indication.

<<< By the way I have tried connecting the laptop to the modem by itself with the desktop disconnected but no joy >>>

Unless you are using a router, you couldn't have both computers connected to the modem simultaneously. Only the first computer to connect would get an IP address from the ISP and be able to get online.

  Logov 15:03 07 Dec 2005

I should have chosen my words above more carefully - apologies. I stated that my laptop is wifi enabled when in fact I should have said that my laptop is wifi "able" but has not yet been "enabled" or configured since new. Also, it has a physical switch to turn on/off the WLAN and this has always been turned off.

The bubble I get tells me that there is "Limited or no connectivity" Clicking on this brings up the Local Area Connection Status. This repeats the above but says the speed of the connection is 100.0mbps. This sounds like the speed of a full connection to me and is the same as my desktop when connected.

I've attempted to repair the connection via windows but to no avail. I've also tried uninstalling/reinstalling my ISP's software hoping it my renew/repair the connection. The latter fails with the message: "the installer could not renew the IP address for your network adapter (DHCP)." In addition, I've also restored the laptop to a time when I knew it connected perfectly but again the same problem of limited or no connectivity is still present.

  ade.h 17:14 07 Dec 2005

So your laptop is the client and your desktop is the host - that's the kind of setup that I've just started using. When I had trouble with it, mgmcc took me through the use of ipconfig. Type command in the Run box to open a command line window and then type ipconfig /all into that. Post your findings here.

  Logov 17:50 07 Dec 2005

No - both laptod and desktop connect independently to same modem only at different times.

  ade.h 18:43 07 Dec 2005

Oh okay. I've never tried that, because I have an internal modem. I think it would still be worth looking at the IP settings while the modem is connected to the laptop. Perhaps even compare them to the equivalent settings on the desktop.

  mgmcc 20:05 07 Dec 2005

<<< the same problem of limited or no connectivity is still present. >>>

The "Limited or No Connectivity" message indicates that the connection/adapter has been unable to obtain its IP aaddress from a DHCP server (in this case from the ISP).

What are you connecting to - a Cable Modem? (NTL or Telewest) If so, power off the modem for a couple of minutes when swapping over the connection, so that the modem has to reboot, find a different network adapter connected to it and allocate a new IP address.

If that doesn't work, open a Command Prompt window and, at the prompt, run:


This will display details of all adapters in the PC. The internet connection may be showing a 169.254.x.x address. If so, run the command:


which should release all IP addresses and set them to Now run:


which should renew the IP addresses and let the internet connection get its proper address from the ISP.

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