Windows XP / Networking

My computer drops its connection

It does not happen often, but a wireless network connection can occasionally disappear for no obvious reason. This disappearance could be caused by a very brief burst of radio interference, an intermittent failure at the base station, or some other short-lived problem. There is always a reason, but it is often easier to simply restore the link than to spend hours searching for the cause. Windows offers a quick fix for this kind of problem. To restore a dropped connection, try this method first:

  1. From the Control Panel, open Network Connections and then Right-click the icon or listing for the connection profile that failed. For a Wi-Fi connection, the name is probably Wireless Network Connection.
  2. Click Repair from the pop-up menu. Windows will clear anything that remains from the failed connection, turn off the wireless adapter, and try to establish a new connection.
  3. Try connecting to a website or some other Internet destination.

If the Repair command solves your problem, you can go back to what you were doing before you lost the connection. If you still can't connect to a nearby Wi-Fi hot spot or to your broadband data network, there might be some residual junk programs running on your computer that interfere with the wireless connection. To clean out the junk, try rebooting the computer: Shut down Windows (or any other operating system), turn off the computer, wait 10 seconds, and then turn it back on again.

When I move to a different access point, the adapter loses the connection

In a Wi-Fi network with more than one base station, wireless adapters are supposed to detect all nearby access points and automatically shift their association to an access point with a clean, strong signal when you move from one place to another. However, the transfers don't always work properly. Sometimes an adapter will just drop the network connection when the signal from the nearest access point fades out. If that happens, try connecting again. If that does not work, try rebooting your computer.

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