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Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

themastah
Tutor

Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

Our small office has the Netgear WNDR3700v2. We have two SSIDs (2.4 and 5 Ghz) each with separate names.

We have a number of different wireless devices (Macs, iPads, iPhones) including my machine, a Lenovo x201 running Windows 7 (64).

On this machine, I can see many different SSIDs, such as those from neighboring offices. I have no problem logging onto networks at home, at Starbucks, at hotels, airports, etc. But the office has - and this did start worsening lately - some specific challenges.

On my machine, the two SSIDs from our router do not appear on the list of available networks. (Yes, Enable SSID Broadcast is checked for both networks on the router setup screen). I manually added the 2.4 network and am able to connect to it. I manually added the 5Ghz network but have no luck with it. I can't see it or connect to it.

Even when I do connect, I'm finding that my range is ridiculously tiny...like a few feet. And with terrible bandwidth, even given that.

For comparison, in our office, a ThinkPad X61 (running Windows XP) has no problem seeing both SSIDs and connecting to the wireless N version.

On my PC, I've run all the updates, checked the latest drivers, etc. etc. I've adjusted the power settings (Power Options, Advanced, Wireless Adapter Settings, Power Saving Mode - set both to Maximum Performance)

On the router, I've tried changing channels (from Auto to 11), the MTU, the security settings, the mode, but nothing has made any difference. I don't see or can connect to the N signal and I can't get any better signal/bandwidth for the 2.4 signal.

I'm sure I've left off any number of details about settings/config so please ask away and I hope that somewhere here can help.
Message 1 of 8
fordem
Mentor

Re: Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

Is it possible that you are confusing "n" with 5GHz?

Does the Lenovo X201 have a dual band wifi card - if it doesn't you won't see or connect to the 5Ghz network.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 2 of 8
themastah
Tutor

Re: Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

I guess I'm not using the terms (802.11n and 5 GHz) consistently or, correctly, although I'm not sure what I've got incorrect or how it impacts my issue.

Anyway, yes, this laptop has a dual band card, it's an 802.11b/g/n card, RealTek 8191SE
Message 3 of 8
csewell
Aspirant

Re: Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

The RealTek 8191SE chip doesn't seem to have a 5GHz radio, at least according to the Realtek web site. Quote: "Complete 802.11n MIMO solution for 2.4GHz band". No mention of 5GHz.

So if you can only see the 2.4GHz radio, you might want to check if your are using WPA2 to get the fastest speeds.
Message 4 of 8
themastah
Tutor

Re: Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

Okay, that clears up part of it. I don't have 5Ghz so I'm not going to see that signal.

The 2.4 Ghz service is "up to 300 Mbps" and is WPA2-PSK [AES].

FWIW my biggest concern isn't speed, it's range, which of course are related. Every other device in our office gets better speed, further away, I have to be right at the thing. Hmm.
Message 5 of 8
fordem
Mentor

Re: Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

themastah wrote:
Anyway, yes, this laptop has a dual band card, it's an 802.11b/g/n card, RealTek 8191SE


802.11a - 54 mbps theoretical throughput, 5 GHz only
802.11b - 11 mbps theoretical throughput, 2.4 GHz only
802.11g - 54 mbps theoretical throughput, 2.4 GHz only
802.11n - 300 mbps theoretical throughput, 2.4 GHz (5 GHz optional)

FWIW my biggest concern isn't speed, it's range, which of course are related. Every other device in our office gets better speed, further away, I have to be right at the thing. Hmm.


That would suggest a problem with the laptop.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 6 of 8
themastah
Tutor

Re: Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

This is the only laptop that has trouble so that suggests the laptop, but it's also the only network where I have trouble (again, home, Starbucks, airport all work fine) so that suggests the network. Or, maybe more realistically, something about the way they are each configured to support each other? I'm the only Windows 7 laptop in the office so I'm not sure what specific config it may require, etc. etc.

Thanks for the help!
Message 7 of 8
fordem
Mentor

Re: Windows 7 machine not seeing SSIDs (especially N)

Well testing the laptop in another wireless environment is the way the way to verify it that works ...

As far as I'm aware W7 has no specific configuration requirements on the router end - two of my kids are running W7 64 bit editions, and they've been running fine with no config changes.

There is a possibility of an incompatability between the specific wireless card and the wireless router - possible in the sense I've seen it happen before, but I wouldn't want to comment on the probability, when I experienced that it was in the early days of wireless, one new laptop would not work well with my wireless and I had that manufacturer replacing wifi cards & antennas to no avail, and then when a second identical laptop was added to the network, that also gave trouble - the access point tech support were of no help, and I ended up just replacing it.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 8 of 8
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