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I am somewhat-supporting a laptop that connects to a wireless router via WiFi. When the laptop is resumed from "sleep" mode, the network connection is often gone. Someone on site has reported that when they go to the router and reset its power (or toggle the switch on the power bar) the network connection comes back instantly. Unfortunately, this solution is not sustainable. The primary user of the laptop is a person with knee and leg problems who does not want to climb the long flight of stairs to fix the router every time they wake up the laptop and the person who "fixed" the problem by cycling the power is not often available so can't be relied on.

I personally haven't seen the problem in this situation but I know that my own computer sometimes takes 10-30 seconds on "wake-up" to restore the network connection (wired connection - not wireless). I am in charge of finding a more permanent solution to this problem, but since I don't normally have on-site access, it's hard to assess.

Is it normal for Windows 7 to take a little bit longer when trying to re-establish a wireless network connection? Should I just say "be patient and wait a minute or two"?

Is there a way to force the OS to re-establish the connection faster? Maybe some button to click on, or a script I could write and install for them?

Should I be looking at hardware problems either with the wireless router or the laptop (it's a very new laptop & router which get very light usage so it's possible there are intermittent hardware problems but not enough history to properly establish a pattern)? How would I repeatably verify such problems (everything is still under warranty so if there is a problem, I'd like to be able to prove it when I take it back to the store)?

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Which mode are the current Windows 7 Power Settings set to? What are the power-related settings on the wireless network adapter configured to? Is the router's wifi setup to broadcast it's SSID? What's is Beacon interval set to? In my experience waiting 30-60+ seconds for a wireless connection to automatically find and (re)connect is not unusual, regardless of OS.. How long is it actually taking (according to the wall clock)? As it stands your question is pretty vague and wide-spread (5 question marks. ;) ). –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 23 '12 at 4:40
    
@techie007: These are all good questions. I'll look into these settings the next time I have physical access to the machine. I don't know how long it actually takes (wall clock time) to reconnect. The primary user is non-technical, and I suspect they immediately try to go online when the laptop is woken up, there's no connection, they get frustrated and complain to us that the internet connection keeps failing. I'd suggested waiting a minute or two before giving up on it as "broken", but I haven't heard yet if that resolved the problem. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 23 '12 at 13:53
    
@techie007: I had a look at this system the other day. The router broadcasts SSID, I couldn't find a setting for interval. Apparently, when it fails to reconnect on wake-up, it NEVER reconnects. I resolved the problem by unplugging the router and plugging it back in. I suspect it might be a hardware issue with the router. Any tips to diagnose and prove it so I can take it back? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jun 8 '12 at 17:50

2 Answers 2

Try to disable "allow computer to turn off adapter for energy saving" in setting of correct adapter in windows 7. There's known issue with having trouble to reconnect to wireless network after waking up laptop from sleep or hibernation mode.

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It isn't usual, but can happen.

There are a few things that can help - I can't really give an order to try as any could just as likely work (or not), but tried to order in how complex they are to try.

  • I recommend you look at the wireless networks and make sure that they are ordered correctly - or simply delete every one other than the one you need.
  • Try updating the firmware for the router and the firmware for your network card.
  • Try using static IPs on your laptop.
  • Uninstall all third party network management/ease of use tools that the manufacturer may have loaded.

I recommend you try all of these - and please let me know how it turns out.

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There is only one network provided by the router, and it's the only network that the laptop is configured to connect to. I'll look into firmware and static IPs the next time I have physical access. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 22 '12 at 21:58
    
I had a look at the system the other day. All settings look OK. I haven't yet tried static IPs though the laptop is the only device on the network. There were not 3rd party network tools installed. Yesterday the problem had re-occured and I resolved it by restarting the router. I am wondering if the router has some hardware fault, but I'm not sure how to positively diagnose it since there's only one wireless device at the site. Any tips for further tracking hardware issues? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jun 8 '12 at 17:53

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