Thursday, March 12, 2009

Netbook no workie

So I've spent 2.75 hours trying to get my netbook wireless internet to work properly, no dice.

This is what I bought:
http://www.jr.com/acer-computer/pe/ACE_AOD1501920/

Cute, huh? It knows it's cute, and that's the problem.

And this is the wireless adaptor: Atheros AR5007EG.

So, the wired internet works just fine.

Wireless doesn't work properly.
It finds my wireless router and connects. (For some people, they weren't able to reach this point. So I'm apparently ahead of the curve, though it doesn't feel like it.)

But it has trouble loading pages.
I either get:
a. "IE is unable to connect"
or
b. It connects, part of the yahoo page loads (text and some but not all images/graphics). I try to navigate to another site, it may do either a or b.
c. It just thinks and thinks and doesn't load.

I went to Power Save and shut it off (some people reported that changing the setting from "maximum" to "off" fixed the problem for them), even though it's plugged in. Rebooted, still no difference.

I rebooted between the wired connection and wireless--and again, it finds the wireless router, but is unable to display pages or only displays parts.

I don't like IE, so I installed Firefox with the wired connection.
Went through the above, but with firefox I similar things to above.

I googled to find a solution. TONS of people have written about their problems with the wireless in Acer netbooks and their solutions or lack thereof.

I tried a few (find the latest adapter through Windows--well, I do that, it thinks for quite a long time, then says what I have is the latest adapter--oh, it's 8/14/08 datestamped)

I downloaded the latest adapter from atheros.cz dated November-something 2008, version 7.6.1.184 ('cuz atheros.com doesn't have the adapters for my card).
I reboot.
I turn off power save mode (even though it's plugged to the wall...).
I try again.
Well, this time the first 2 pages load (text, graphics, etc) but then it fails to load the next page or anything thereafter.

I downloaded the latest adaptor from the acer.com site. It turns out to be the 8/14/08 one, version 7.6.0.260, so not as new as the one I just tried, but whatev, I'll give it a shot, uninstall, reinstall...reboot, turn off power save (still plugged in to the wall).
I try again.
This time THREE pages load (all text and graphics (google, google maps, yahoo home page) but it fails to load the next page (katie holmes's hair extensions) or anything after.

I tried the "troubleshooting" button (makes me laugh, it's a button but you have to double click on it...see the tester coming out?) and it really didn't help at all.

Then I see someone said that their acer netbook didn't work with DLink routers but worked with other routers? So I check, and mine is a DLink router. So I might try bringing the netbook to Panera or some other place with free wireless and see if it works there. While there are other wireless networks in range here at my house, they are all secure except for one, which doesn't even have one bar.

Oh, and McAfee (which was pre-installed) was turned off the whole time. The netbook was plugged in the whole time. Yes, I rebooted after every uninstall/reinstall of the adaptor. And the wireless works on my 4 year old laptop the whole time. I turned off the wireless on my old laptop in case there was some fierce competition going on, but it didn't make a difference.

Someone said the only way to solve their problem was to buy a completely different wireless card for $33 and install it themselves.

I filled out Acer's online tech support form more than 24 hours ago, haven't heard a peep, and yes I checked my spam filter and no their response is not there.

So I thought, maybe I'll just return this and buy the HP mini that's at Best Buy down the road even though the battery life is 2.5 hours instead of 6-7 hours and the hard drive is 60 instead of 160.

So I google "HP mini wireless problems" and there's just as many people with problems about that...

I should have gone to bed an hour ago!

Any ideas???

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