Finding a cure may mean looking elsewhere

Fred langa By Fred Langa

Sometimes, what seems to be a networking problem is actually caused by the actions of a totally different PC subsystem.

By making simple adjustments to that second system, you can often resolve the networking problem.

Network just stops, for no obvious reason

Jim Boyer has some questions regarding my Oct. 14 Top Story, “Simple change in settings pumps up Win7 networks.”
  • “I read with great interest your lead article about network slowdowns. But I have been experiencing a different problem: the network doesn’t slow down but gets lost completely! Let me explain.

    “I have a Win7 machine and so does my wife. I also have two older XP machines on the network. Because of the XPs, I never set up a homegroup in Win7. The problem is that sometimes my [Win7] computer will no longer ‘see’ my wife’s machine or one of the XPs, even though it did earlier.

    “The strange thing is that I can go over to the other computer (be it my wife’s or the XP) and immediately access mine over that network. One minute I was connected, the next not — but only one way. I conclude that the network is OK, it’s just that there is something that’s losing the connection.

    “What’s going on?”

I’ve seen the same sort of thing, Jim. Believe it or not, this is often a power-management issue! When the network cards on the affected machines are in a low-power state, they can’t be accessed from outside. Any user activity on the PCs restores normal power to the network cards, letting them work again.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2010-11-11:

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.