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 Post subject: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:02 am
Posts: 38
Hello Scott...

I was "just" typing this thread when the problem that I'm experiencing with this Acer laptop happened again, and I had to reboot. When I'm online with my WiFi connection using a brand new Linksys E4200 Router (the same thing happened with my Netgear router), I'll lose my WiFi connection, and when I use Window's 7 troubleshooting steps to analyze the connection problem, the laptop freezes. Not even a control-alt-delete will "unfreeze" my laptop. I then have to power off & reboot. I did some research online, and several people have experienced the exact same problem. I'll copy and paste one of these other threads below as it explains my exact same problem. I called Acer tech support, and they are totally WORTHLESS. <g> Any solutions you or the others on this forum would be appreciated. <g> I'll post those Acer photos that I sent and repost those questions tomorrow in a different thread.

Other thread:

Acer Aspire 7745 loses Wifi connection
Hello, I've got an Acer Aspire 7745 and I am finding that it frequently drops the wifi connection. When I start up my laptop, it finds my wifi signal no problem and has no issues connecting to it. After a while (it doesn't seem to have any sort of typical timeframe to happen), it just stops connecting to the wifi signal even though it will recognize that it's available. If I try to connect to it again, it just says "unable to connect".

When I try to troubleshoot, it goes through the process and eventually tries to reset the adapter. It disables it fine, but when it re-enables it, the computer freezes/locks up making force-restart it. If I don't do the troubleshooting method by try and disable the adapter and re-enable it, the same thing occurs.

If I don't do any of that, once the wifi signal is dropped, if I restart the computer, things seem to connect again just fine (until the next time it drops it).

I originally bought the laptop and found this problem, so I took it back to costco where I bought it, and got a new one thinking that it was just a defective particular laptop, but this one has the same issue has the previous one (same make/model).

I don't have any similar issues with any other hardware that uses the wifi signal.

I use windows 7 and there doesn't seem to be any sort of common "program" that I have running each time the signal loss happens.

Anybody have a similar problem or heard of this?


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 Post subject: Re: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 pm
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Location: Stowmarket, Suffolk England
Try updating the driver for the adaptor and firmware for the router, also I use inSSIDer 2 from here :-

http://www.metageek.net/docs/wireless-networking-tools/


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 Post subject: Re: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
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What make/model wireless adapter and driver are you using? The first thing you should try is updating to the latest driver.

Many wireless adapter drivers include unnecessary wireless connection management software (aka client utilities) that can sometimes cause more problems than they solve. When having connection problems I recommend uninstalling any such software, using only Windows built-in wireless management software instead. For example, if you are using an Intel wireless adapter, Intel includes a wireless client utility called PROSet/Wireless with its drivers. If you have this (or anything like it from another mfr.) on your system, then try uninstalling it and using only the mfr. supplied wireless drivers and Windows built-in wireless management software.

When installing or updating drivers I normally recommend avoiding the installation of any included client utilities. For example, if you are using an Intel Wireless-N 1000 b/g/n adapter (one of the optional adapters for the Acer Aspire 7745), then you can download and install the latest drivers manually. Note that Intel has two driver packages for that adapter under Windows 7 x64, one includes only the drivers (that's the one you want), while the other includes the unnecessary PROSet/Wireless utility. Even if you have the package including the PROSet utility, during the install process you can choose to install only the drivers.

On a related note, where possible I normally recommend getting drivers from the actual device or chipset mfr. (e.g. Intel) vs. the system mfr. (e.g. Acer). For example, if you get the Intel wireless driver from Acer you would currently get version 13.0.0.107 dated 04/12/2010, whereas if you get the Intel wireless driver from Intel directly you would currently get version 13.4.0.0 dated 11/29/2010. Not to mention that Acer only provides the full package including the PROSet utility, while Intel supplies a (preferred) driver-only package as well.

OK, assuming you now have the latest driver installed, does the problem remain? If so, then another very common issue causing wireless disconnection problems stems from power management. Frequent disconnections can often occur when the adapter is configured for aggressive power savings (especially when on battery power). In that case the next step would be to change the power management settings for the wireless network adapter to "Maximum Performance" (or minimum power savings) for both AC and battery operation. This may reduce battery life slightly but I'll happily trade that for a stable connection. Try making this change on your system to see if it corrects the problem.

Bottom line: Install the latest drivers for your specific adapter, uninstall any unnecessary wireless client utilities, and change the power management settings for maximum wireless performance (minimum power savings).

Tools like inSSIDer and Wireless NetView (something I install on all of the systems I build and/or reload) can be very helpful in troubleshooting signal congestion problems in high-density areas and are especially useful for finding the best channel to use. However since these tools depend on the wireless adapter and driver software to function they are often of little use in troubleshooting problems with defective wireless adapters, old or buggy drivers and client utilities or overly aggressive power management settings. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:02 am
Posts: 38
Hey Scott…
I did like you suggested and changed my power settings for the wireless adapter to "maximum performance." I also got the info for my wireless card. It looks like it's a Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter running driver version 5.60.48.35 with a date of 1/21/2010. I couldn't locate the Broadcom download page for this particular driver. Do you know the site where I can check for the current driver? For my regular LAN, this laptop uses the Atheros AR 8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller running version 1.0.0.24 dated 1/18/2010.

Can you tell if these are the latest drivers? In my search, I came across a couple of downloadable exe files offering to "scan" my laptop in order to get the latest drivers. With your expertise & experience, do you recommend any utility program to download & scan the PC to get info for the latest drivers for the laptop? Are these utility programs safe to use "and" reliable? Just curious... I "just" lost my Internet connection as I typed this last sentence... geez!!! <g> I'll save this text, reboot, and post this thread.... thanks Scott...


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 Post subject: Re: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:02 am
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David McMahon wrote:
Try updating the driver for the adaptor and firmware for the router, also I use inSSIDer 2 from here :-

http://www.metageek.net/docs/wireless-networking-tools/


Thanks for the link Dave. I'll download and install inSSIDer 2 before my wireless connection dies on me. <g>


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 Post subject: Re: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Quote:
It looks like it's a Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter running driver version 5.60.48.35 with a date of 1/21/2010. I couldn't locate the Broadcom download page for this particular driver.

That card uses a Broadcom WLAN chipset. The driver you have now is the latest offered by Acer, however newer ones do exist.

Unfortunately Broadcom doesn't provide wireless chipset drivers to end users so you must get them from an OEM or alternate source instead. One of my favorite alternate sources is Station-Drivers. As of this writing, the latest Broadcom wireless chipset driver for Windows 7 is version 5.100.82.34 (11/23/2010), which you can get here. Let me know if anything changes after installing the latest driver.

Wired LAN drivers are much less critical, and would have no effect on your wireless networking problem, but if you want you can get the latest Atheros wired LAN drivers from the Station-Drivers site as well.

Quote:
...do you recommend any utility program to download & scan the PC to get info for the latest drivers for the laptop?

If you had a ThinkPad (hint <g>) you could use the ThinkVantage System Update utility, which is the best comprehensive system/driver updater I've seen. Unfortunately it won't work on non-ThinkPad systems, and there isn't any good free generic system/driver update software I could recommend.

In most cases you have to rely on the system mfr., component/chipset mfr., or alternate sources (like Station-Drivers) for updates instead. This of course requires that you know exactly what specific hardware you have. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:02 am
Posts: 38
Good Morning Scott...

Well... I downloaded the latest Broadcom driver, and so far... so good! <g> I let my laptop run all night online, and I didn't get that dreaded "bang" symbol on my wireless connection. Good call on the driver. I like your "hint" on the Lenovo laptops. <g> My Acer was a gift, so the "next" laptop I get will definitely be a Lenovo. You've converted me. <g> I need to get those photos of the Acer laptop uploaded onto the forum with the thread. Thanks again Scott for your expert advice. I appreciate the heads up too on the driver site. I've already bookmarked that site as "important."


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 Post subject: Re: Acer Aspire 7745 WiFi Freezes...
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 pm
Posts: 1105
Location: Stowmarket, Suffolk England
I updated my Broadcom Ethernet driver with the one on that site, great site

Note that you can't Hotlink on that site, so go to Scott's link and choose/search mfr


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