I recently got a Sony VAIO laptop (VPC-CA3C5E) for my wife, and I'm having problems with my Wi-Fi connection that I don't know how to troubleshoot.
This is the information I can think of:
- The laptop works well, and the Wi-Fi seems to work well, but every now and then (every 10 minutes or so), web requests will start to fail, and a few seconds later, the Wi-Fi connection will show the yellow warning sign ("No Internet Access"). After that, sometimes it reconnects all by itself within a minute, sometimes you need to disconnect and reconnect, and all continues to work.
- The router is the crappy default wireless router/modem that Virgin Media gave me. I'm not thrilled with it, but besides rebooting it every couple of weeks, it works well.
- Signal "power" is quite high where we're using the latop. (4 out of 5 bars).
- We have other 3 laptops, 1 desktop, and 3 cell phones connected to the same WiFi, and they all work perfectly. Many times when this disconnection happens, I'm sitting next to her with my own laptop and my connection keeps working perfectly.
- This is not highly scientific, but it seems to happen more often when on battery than when plugged in. It did happen at least once while plugged in, though.
- Another non-scientific one... It seems to happen more often in the bedroom than in the living room (where the router is), so this could be signal-power related. However, it gets 4 out of 5 bars in the bedroom, so that shouldn't be it
- We returned the laptop and had it exchanged for a new one (exact same model, though). It is a different one, different serial number and all. Same problem. Again, this has not happened with any other device I've had in my house.
- Nothing seemingly related shows up in Event Viewer, except for one "Name resolution for the name xxx timed out" from Source "DNS Client Events". This seems more the effect than the cause.
- There don't seem to be updated drivers that I can download.
- Trying it out in the Sony shop itself, it worked well. I haven't had the chance to test it thoroughly with other wifi's (since this is an intermittent problem, it's kind of hard to reproduce sometimes)
The adapter shows in Device Manager as "Atheros AR9485WB-EF Wireless Network Adapter"
UPDATE: I got a Linksys E3000 router, in case the Virgin Media router had something weird in its wi-fi. All the other devices in the house keep working perfectly. The VAIO laptop keeps doing exactly the same.
Any ideas how to diagnose and hopefully solve this? This is very annoying, and frankly there's not much I can do with Sony themselves, since "it works" when you're on the shop, and they've actually already exchanged it once...
I know I'm not giving you enough of the right information, these are all the things I can think about right now that I know about the problem. Please let me know what kind of info I should include.
Thank you! Daniel