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You may be disconnected if either side of the connection is expecting an authentication exchange that fails to occur. This can occasionally happen even when the connection is not currently using any form of wireless security.

Depending on your configuration, you may notice:
    •the wireless client software indicates it is connected, but it repeatedly stops communicating within 5 minutes of the initial connection
    •your client's DHCP request fails, either resulting in no IP address or an OS-assigned APIPA 169.254 address
    •you can see the Access Point in a site survey or listing of available wireless networks, but your client cannot connect to it
    •in the client's or AP's system log, DHCP, TCPIP, or WLAN Association entries repeatedly appear, and rebooting has not solved the problem

The latest and most effective forms of wireless security expect authentication messages to be exchanged within a certain time and order. If this does not happen, the process ends by interrupting communications. Both the client and AP perform this checking on one another, so either one (or both) may be the side with the problem.

These problems sometimes affect wireless products that currently are not configured to use wireless security. A connection may be configured under one security model, but then the AP is reconfigured and the client's configuration is not reset to match. Some wireless products may not tolerate unexpected issues like an AP changing security methods, frequently rebooting, or storing multiple configuration profiles for a single access point. Sometimes, the reason a configuration becomes corrupted remains unknown.

Note: For specific instructions on how to complete any of the following steps using your particular hardware, software, or operating system, please consult your manuals or help files.

    •Turn off any options to hide your SSID from beacon broadcasts.
    •Turn off any proprietary speed-enhancing technologies.
    •Remove all saved profiles for that AP from your wireless computers.
    •Reboot your wireless computers and power-cycle your AP.
    •Find your AP in a site survey and associate with it.

Now test to see if the problem is resolved. If it is, no further action is necessary. However, if the problem persists, the below steps contain additional methods to overcome the problem:

    •On your wireless AP, change your SSID to something that you have never used before.
    •Unplug power to your AP, take note of the time.
    •Remove all saved profiles for that AP from your wireless computers.
    •Reboot your wireless computers.
    •After 65+ minutes from step 2, plug in your router.
    •Using your wireless computers, associate with the new SSID.
    •Leave the client connected for 65+ minutes. There may or may not be indications of up to two brief reconnections during this time. Do not reboot the AP during this time.
    •Shut down or reboot your wireless client computer normally (do not sleep, hibernate, or abruptly power-cycle).

TIP: The 65+ minute wait before plugging in the router may not be necessary for your hardware or software. If you only have one or two clients, you may wish to first try these steps without that wait. If they are not successful, then try all of the steps again with the wait.

EXPLANATION OF WHY THESE STEPS MIGHT HELP: Setting up a new SSID causes the clients to create a new, clean, and correct profile for the access point. Rebooting the hardware is one attempt at clearing authentication failure lockouts. Waiting 65 minutes with the router off is another (in case lockouts are remembered between reboots). Leaving the client online for 65 minutes is to ensure at least one successful key exchange after the initial successful authentication. Shutting down normally allows the software or OS to correctly save configuration information.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Thank you very much, it worked just on the first step of changing the SSID.

    2013-10-24 04:53:35

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by funchords See Profile edited by No_Strings See Profile
last modified: 2005-08-03 18:11:46