Windows 7 Wireless Network Random Disconnects Fixed Yet?
As long time readers of Best Hubris know, I have had a running battle with Microsoft operating systems and wireless networking problems. Yes, by now I may have spent less time and energy by running out and buying a bunch of brand new hardware, but I don’t think that I should have to buy all new electronic gadgets just because Windows is now too bloated and complex to ensure complete reliability. In fact, I completely understand that there are going to be issues in any operating system as powerful and feature filled as Windows 7, especially when you are constantly pushing the limits of what it can do. Add in the fact that I like to download, install, uninstall, re-install, and tweak software all the time, and you get a recipe for difficulty.
What is NOT acceptable is being unable to find solutions or workarounds for your problems. More specifically, what is not acceptable is being told that rebooting is a fix, that running in safe mode is a fix, or that disabling your firewall and security software is a fix. If those things are causing a problem, then we need to know WHY and then either adjust them, or the OS so that we can run secure computers. It would be one thing if Microsoft was telling you to disable third-party security software, after all, they can’t fix everyone else’s problems too, but when they are telling you to turn off the Windows Firewall or Security Essentials, that is not acceptable.
Wireless Network Disconnect Problem
While I have thought I have solved the Windows wireless networking issues both Windows XP Wireless Connection Randomly Dropping and Windows 7 Wireless Connection Problems, these issue keep rearing their ugly heads. The odd thing is that I have over time indeed purchased and installed new hardware. I have a new netbook for writing, I have a new PC upstairs (in the same room as the wireless router), and I even have a new wireless router (Baby Smashed!). Still I experience from time to time the dreaded random wireless networking disconnection in Windows 7.
Just to be clear, I have already done all of the standard troubleshooting, including updating all drivers, bios, and firmware. In addition, my wireless network DOES WORK. It connects without fail every time I boot my PC. I can go entire days, and sometimes even several days without a single hiccup. Other times, it seems that I lose my Windows 7 wireless network every 10 or 15 minutes.
Trying to nail down the circumstances under which the wireless connection drop is kind of difficult because I multitask extensively and let the computer do many things in the background. After all, that is the whole point of computers, letting them take care of tasks that so that we can focus our energies and resources on other things. However, over time, it seems that the there are three common scenarios that seem to proceed wireless network problems. Unfortunately, none of these 3 circumstances results in wireless trouble every time. In addition, there are times when the wireless connectivity drops when none of these three events is taking place. Nonetheless, to get anywhere, you have to start somewhere.
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Windows 7 Wireless Network Drops – Common Scenarios
Wireless Network Drop Situation #1: During large (and multiple) file downloads via Bittorrent, Rapidshare downloads, corporate server downloads, VPN downloads, etc. particularly when downloading multiple files at once. Possible causes include network overload, too many connections (old XP number of connections limit issue), too many programs trying to use the network too fast, and Windows 7 inability to keep up or manage the resource.
Wireless Networking Disconnected Scenario #2: Returning to the PC after several minutes or longer. This one is more frequent when downloads have been left running while the computer is not being used, however, it occurs frequently enough on its own to not be discounted. Possible causes include power savings settings, timeouts, security settings trying to lock things down, etc. I have disabled Windows 7 ability to turn off devices such as USB ports in order to save power.
Windows 7 Wireless Network Disconnect Scenario #3: Often the network seems to drop late at night when I am wrapping up my day by reading Facebook and playing some of the Flash-based games on Facebook. I often use Google Chrome to read Facebook and hence to play the games on Facebook. I am investigating whether a similar issue occurs while using Mozilla Firefox instead. However, the intermittent nature of the problem makes it difficult to determine if there is no problem when using Firefox, or if there just has been no problem using Firefox YET.
I’ve moved on since then, but sometimes people still end up here. If that’s you, try this official Microsoft hotfix for Windows 7 WiFi issues.