new network card can't see available wireless networks

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new network card can't see available wireless networks

Postposted on Sun May 15, 2011 12:46 pm

Hi Experts,

As with everything computery, this seemed like it should have been a simple upgrade. My old Vista desktop which I've put aside for the family (HP pavilion - Q6600) had a built-in wireless b/g adapter. Since it has recently been put into a room a significant distance from the router, the wireless connection is pretty meager (2-3 out of 5 bars reception). I thought I would finally fix this by purchasing a N-adapter (D-Link xtreme N: DWA-552) which should get much better reception and connection speeds. Yesterday I installed it in a spare PCI slot and everything seems to be working properly, but the card can't detect any available wireless networks.

Through the hardware manager/network connections control panel, I've tried disabling the built-in adapter and no luck. Can't find anything. With the built-in enabled and the D-Link disabled it can see my own network plus a couple neighbours'. I've never had much luck with diagnosing networks... There are too many different settings. But to the best of my abilities I'm pretty sure that all the settings are identical for both of these adaptors. I have a feeling that somehow the new card is in conflict with something and isn't working properly (in spite of what the hardware manager tells me).

Are there some simple ways to determine if the new card is in conflict or not being accessed properly by Windows? There doesn't appear to be any way to disable the built-in adapter with the bios, and it cannot easily be physically removed (there are serious access issues with the HP case). Can anyone suggest a few simple tests/procedures I should try that could help me figure out the problems?

To make everything even worse, my wife actually asked me if we would have these problems if we were using a mac!! How embarassing...

thanks for any help,

dave
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Re: new network card can't see available wireless networks

Postposted on Sun May 15, 2011 2:04 pm

Do a quick dummy check and make sure your antennas are attached properly if it has them. Out of the box, if you haven't changed settings, there's not many things that can be wrong other than you have a dud card. You need not disable the onboard card in BIOS, so long as you have disabled it in the "Network Adapters" folder. Is Window's managing your wireless network or is there software included with the card that is taking care of it? After disabling, you can eliminate a software conflict by making sure you have uninstalled the drivers for the onboard card.
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Re: new network card can't see available wireless networks

Postposted on Sun May 15, 2011 7:05 pm

Thanks for the help. It has three antennas, all screwed on tight. I'll try to remove the D-link network manager software and see what happens. The new card will require some drivers... will Windows be able to supply those for me if I remove the manufacturer software?

There was one other thing that may have complicated the process. There was a Hauppage TV card in the PCI slot prior to the new network card. The TV card was never used during the many years that I had the computer, and I'm not sure if there is even any software for it installed. A quick look through the installed programs doesn't show anything labelled 'Hauppage'.

Anyways, I've got to go watch the Canucks beat the Sharks (on TV). But I will try the software removal after the game... :D

dave
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Re: new network card can't see available wireless networks

Postposted on Sun May 15, 2011 11:54 pm

Do you have your access point secured (hidden SSID, WPA, etc)? Is it set up to allow new clients to associate with it (not filtering by MAC address, not limited in the IPs it hands out via DNS, etc)?

What model access point / router are you using? The 5GHz band that 'N' uses (in addition to the 2.4GHz band that is also used by b/g) tends to have less range, particularly through walls/obstructions, as is typical for higher frequencies of RF.
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Re: new network card can't see available wireless networks

Postposted on Thu May 26, 2011 1:30 am

Thanks for the advice. Sorry I took so long to put it into action and then report back. I did try removing the software. It seems that MS had some built-in Vista drivers that were able to recognize the card and after a couple reboots (after disabling the other onboard NIC) it seems to be working!! So, I appreciate the help. Glad I didn't have to return the card.

dave

**Edit** I almost forgot to mention the very exciting advancement of the Canucks into the Stanley Cup finals!! Long time fan...
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