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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    IE dies following wireless NIC install

    I have a friend who I am assisting in setting up a simple wireless peer-to-peer network. Here's the hardware:

    1) WXP Pro desktop system,
    Alcatel SpeedTouch USB DSL modem using Virgin.net 512k ADSL connection (UK ADSL Broadband ISP),
    Belkin 802.11g wireless desktop network card

    2) WXP Pro Laptop (this doesn't figure in the equation of the problem we're having but will be part of the final setup),
    Belkin wireless notebook network card

    The intention is to have simple file/print-sharing as well as sharing the ADSL connection.

    The problem is this: The ADSL connection on the desktop machine works fine until the Belkin WNIC is inserted and installed. From that moment on, IE just will not connect to any web pages. The ADSL dial-up window shows that it connects correctly, saying something along the lines of 'Virgin.net connected @ 576 kbps' from the system tray icon, but we can't go anywhere. I can't remember the exact message shown instead of the desired page, but it's one of those 'The page cannot be displayed...' messages.

    The desktop has McAfee Guardian firewall installed, but this problem persists even if it is disabled. I've checked to ensure Windows Internet Connection Firewall is turned off for all network connections and have installed the most up-to-date drivers for the network card, the Alcatel modem and the motherboard/chipset.

    A System Restore gets the internet connection working again, so long as the wireless network card is physically removed before the next power-up, of course. I have tried establishing a wireless link between the desktop and the laptop and they find each other OK.

    Does anyone have any ideas about this? I've emailed Belkin tech support, but that was two weeks ago with no reply or acknowledgement. I'm losing hair over this <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23>.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: IE dies following wireless NIC install

    I've always wondered how IE chooses the "best" or "preferred" route to the Internet. When I used to connect with a VPN, all packets were routed through the VPN. Why? What if I only want certain packets to go through that high overhead tunnel? Where's the ruleset for this? I never researched it enough to figure it out.

    I suspect that IE is attempting to phone out on the wireless connection, maybe because it was the "most recently added" connection, and needs to be re-routed back to the DSL. If this isn't something that can be set on IE's Connections tab (under Tool>Internet Options), and it doesn't really appear to be that straightforward, I'm not sure where to look...

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: IE dies following wireless NIC install

    Thanks for the reply, Jefferson. I was beginning to get worried that I was on my own with this one.

    Since my previous post, I've tried using the old 56k modem through a connection to a completely different ISP but the connected speed was a ridiculous 9.6kps!! (REN>4???) It was like running through chocolate so I gave up on that one for the night.

    I'll have a look at the connection settings for the ADSL (post NIC install) this evening.

    Thanks again for helping.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: IE dies following wireless NIC install

    Jefferson,

    The "ruleset for this" is called a routing table. You can see your routing table by typing ROUTE PRINT in a command window. Each entry shows a destination and netmask (that specifies a set of target IP addresses), a Gateway and Interface, that specifies how to get to those entries, and a metric which is used to choose between multiple alternate routes to the same address. This is standard IP stuff, it would look the same on a UNIX system.

    When you connect via a VPN it leaves all your existing routes alone and creates new ones with a higher metric, so they are used. You can use the Route Add command to override these and make some addresses go via the external connection. Microsoft has a produect called connection manager that can be used to automate these settings to control which routes use the VPN.

    StuartR

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