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A couple days ago, I started having some serious problems with my laptop's connectivity. Everything would work just fine for a few minutes (usually 5-20 minutes) and then with no warning, I become unable to connect to anything. All IP requests (not just web browsers; IM, Telnet, games, everything) fail. The blackouts tend to last for about a minute or two, and then the connection starts working again as spontaneously as it stopped. The whole time, the wireless connection icon in the system tray indicates that I'm still connected.

  • I did not recently install any new software, including Windows Updates. (Or hardware, for that matter.)
  • My virus scanner says I'm clean
  • Rebooting has not helped
  • Taking the laptop to a different physical location and connecting to a different wireless router does not help
  • Task Manager does not show any unexpected processes running.
  • If I use ipconfig/release and ipconfig/renew during a blackout, it doesn't fix it; I'm still unable to connect until whatever's causing this decides it's tormented me long enough.

I'm just about at my wits' end here. I'm running Windows 7 64-bit Home edition. Anyone know how I might be able to fix this?

share|improve this question
Need more (and more specific info). Are you also using a bluetooth device? When you say that you take the laptop to a different physical location and connect to a different wireless router... are you talking about an office setting, a school setting, connecting to a neighbor's wireless? Are you close enough to a neighbor that their cordless phone or microwave oven could be interfering (since bluetooth, cordless phones and microwave ovens all operate on the same frequency as 2.4ghz WiFi). Can you go into YOUR router, and change the broadcast channel? – Bon Gart May 12 '12 at 15:31
@Bon: No bluetooth devices. The other physical location is at work. Being close to a neighbor might explain it, except that it also happens when I'm at work, and it's never been like this until just a few days ago, and I haven't moved. And no, I'm not able to get into my router settings (forgot the username/password) but since the same problem occurs on different routers, I don't think that's the source of the problem. – Mason Wheeler May 12 '12 at 16:09
Could be wireless interference, change the radio channel in the router to something else, keep changing it until you find a stable channel. – Moab May 12 '12 at 16:52
Well, the fact that it happens at home and at work (assuming you don't work in a shop on the first floor, and live on the second floor) pretty much confirms that it has something to do with the computer itself. Try downloading a copy of a Linux LiveCD like don't install, just boot to the disc, and see if you can get stable wireless connectivity. If you can, you know it is your installed OS and/or drivers. If it is the same with the LiveCD, you can assume it is hardware (wireless card, mini-pci bus, etc). – Bon Gart May 12 '12 at 18:19

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