Router disabled Security, now can't reconnect PC

  funkey_monkey 01:04 20 Oct 2008

Our wireless router (Linksys WRT54G) diconnected its security setting somehow over this weekend. It was enabled with WEP protection.

I have now sorted that out and increased the protection to use WPA-Personal as I think this might be more secure.

However, my desktop PC will not connect to this network - I have noticed that on reboot it takes a significantly longer period of time to become ready for use and that it continuously loops trying to connect to the network with no success. The wireless adapter (Linksys WMP54G) seems to be working, but I just can't get it to connect.

I got a laptop running Vista (SP1) to connect first time but the desktop (running XP SP3) will not connect.

I've tried numerous reboots of both the PC and the router/modem but all to no avail.

On top of this I have noticed that the speed seems to be noticeably slower than previous when running WEP, is this normal?

I believe that my PC system should be capable of handling WPA encryption, so I can't see what is going wrong here.

I've renamed the SSID from 'linksys' as it was recommended that I do this. I've changed the password on the router incase someone got in and interfered with it - in fact I reset the router and then enabled the security.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what is happening here with:
1. Why the desktop is not connecting?
2. How the router could have disabled its security?
3. Why the connection speed now seems to be noticeably lower than previous?

Many thanks.


  Tech Guy 01:39 20 Oct 2008

What was the last thing you did to the machines, as this is usualy the reason things go wrong.

A router cannot disable the security itself, have you pressed the reset button on the router?

As wep is very weak there is a chance someone has broke in and fiddled.

WPA- PSK is certainly a lot more secure, and yes the Linksys WMP54G uses WPA too.

Keep reseting either router/computer will not fix the problem.

First make sure you can view web pages with an ethernet cable first then go into the network setting and make sure the Pre-shared keys (password) are the same, the router is broadcasting the SSID and the IP addressing on the wireless card is set to automatic.

As for connection speed, they should be the same for WEP and WPA. Would be a good idea to contact your ISP as there may be some setting in the router that needs changing.


  funkey_monkey 08:48 20 Oct 2008

The last thing I done was to rename the router and set an access password. I can get access to the router wirelessly using this laptop.
I had not pressed the reset button on the router prior to last night.
I am not 100% about anyone else. It would have to be a determined effort to do so, as you must hold in the button for about 5s for it to take effect.

How do you check the IP addressing on the wireless card (this is on the XP machine)? Why has the XP machine almost ground to a halt?

Thanks for the reply.

  Tech Guy 11:35 20 Oct 2008

To check IP address is set to auto:

Start> Control Panel> Network Connections> Right click on wireless card> Properties> Scroll down to Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)> Properties> Under general tab the "Obtain an IP address automatically" should be selected> OK

Make sure the router is broadcasting its SSID, as XP likes to receive it before connecting all the time. Does your machine pick up routers' name when selecting Choose a wireless network?

Make sure PreShared keys are the same. If you have a complicated one change it to a simple one: 123456789 just to rule out passwords.

The machine itself should not be running slow, this could be a sign that you have a virus. Do virus check, if still running slow - Restore your PC to a month ago. Then do another virus check on restored machine.


  setecio 11:58 20 Oct 2008

Did you re-scan for networks and put in the new WPA key on the desktop. You might have to delete the old wirless settings/profile on the desktop and then re-scan and enter the new WPA key

  funkey_monkey 12:48 20 Oct 2008

Okay, I will check when I get back home, thanks.

I'll update the psk to a simpler otion and recheck. Another thing I noticed is that my key is roughly 15 characters long, yet when I look at the settings on the latop (which is working) it only shows asterisks indicating about 8 characters - why is this?

setecio, I did remove all wireless settings from my profile (I think) and rechecked for the ne version, but alas no joy.

Is it possible that a virus on my machine knocked the security off the router? Would a virus on my machine be a cause of security disabling, or an effect of an attack on the router?

Finally, do routers automatically perform hardware updates or should I update the firmware myself when fixing this issue?

  Tech Guy 12:58 20 Oct 2008


The router displays the PSK key as less characters - nothing to worry about.

"Is it possible that a virus on my machine knocked the security off the router? Would a virus on my machine be a cause of security disabling, or an effect of an attack on the router?"

Not to my knowledge.

"Finally, do routers automatically perform hardware updates or should I update the firmware myself when fixing this issue?"

It is probably best to fix the existing problem without potentially adding to a problem.

  funkey_monkey 15:48 20 Oct 2008

I take it I can run the virus checks from safe mode?
I have AVG as my main source of protection. I also run AdAware for other intrusions. I hope this is sufficient as it has not been updated since Thursday.

  Tech Guy 16:19 20 Oct 2008

Safe mode OK

Should be fine, I use AVG too.

  funkey_monkey 20:00 20 Oct 2008

IK've ran the virus check in safe mode and also restored to a previously good restore point, but for some reason although I can connect the PC to the router it is dropping out - the indication is constantly toggling from 'Automatic' to Acquiring network address'.

I can't see why this is happening. The laptop is running fine on the same setup, although it is Vista based, not XP.

I can't really think of what else might be wrong. Any ideas, please? Folk in house are starting to get shirty about lack of connection to the 'net!!!

  funkey_monkey 20:14 20 Oct 2008

To confirm, I've restored to a previous known point and am rerunning virus checks as well on this new restore point.

Why does it keep dropping the connection?

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