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Windows Thread, wireless laptops - domain xxx not found in Technical; This is an ongoing problem that is about to drive me to insanity. I work in a training centre where ...
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    gwendes's Avatar
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    wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    This is an ongoing problem that is about to drive me to insanity.

    I work in a training centre where we have 30 wireless laptops. Since I started working here in July there has always been the problem that some laptops just drop the connection and cannot find a domain controller.

    The only solution, albeit temporary, is to reconnect the laptop to the domain with a patch and reattach to the domain.

    I have recently upgraded every wireless card from Ralink 2500 chipset to the Intel 2200BG which has improved things slightly. This week, back feeling positive after xmas, I find we have eight laptops not connecting. I had started reattaching them this afternoon but if I have to keep doing this every couple of weeks I think early retirement might be the only option

    We connect to the main school site over a 1.2Gbps fibre - thinking that 30 laptops logging on together was too much for the DC at the other end I installed a DC into the switch here.

    We have an Aruba wireless switch and above 5 access points in the building.

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    Maybe adding 1 or 2 more access points may help. You don't say whether the laptops are used throughout the building or lumped together in one room.

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    What security settings are you using one the laptop to connect to the access points?

    Ben

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Maybe adding 1 or 2 more access points may help. You don't say whether the laptops are used throughout the building or lumped together in one room.
    In just one room. That room has an AP and there are another 3 or 4 that computers in that room can connect to. Before changing the cards I kept a log of which computers failed and it seemed to reoccur on the same laptops.

    Quote Originally Posted by plexer
    What security settings are you using one the laptop to connect to the access points?

    Ben.
    The laptops all use WZC and WPA/TKIP PEAP

    The settings are fine as I can login (with cached creds) and the connection is established wirelessly with no issues. Only a user that has not been 'seen' by the DC will have a issue - until connection with a patch cable.

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    Why not use machine authentication only rather than user that way the wireless connection is set up when the machine is preparing network connections and most of the time by the time the user is presented with a login screen the wireless is connected.

    Ben

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    Beat me to it plexer :P

    another option is to bridge the APs. Each AP will usually struggle with 10 connections - depending on the logon script. The laptop will then search for another AP and so on, eventually it gives up and says bugger it I can't find a DC. By bridging you increase the chance of the laptop finding a DC at the first attempt.

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    As I haven't got access to the PoE switch until Monday I'd like to try the machine authentication option. Is that done on the DC? I've never set that up before, can you point me in the right direction?

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    Start Up group policy management console

    right click gpo containing your wireles policy and select edit.

    go to:

    Computer Configration
    Windows settings
    security settings
    wireless network policy
    right click on your policy and select properties
    preferred networks
    select the one you want
    click on edit
    go to ieee 802.1x tab
    make sure authenticate as a computer is the only one checked.
    change computer authentication dropdown to "computer only"

    Ben

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    I've done that - there wasn't an existing wireless policy in place. I noticed that there weren't any settings for WPA/TKIP PEAP so I've just removed the tick from WEP. Is this right?

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    Depends on what security is being used by your access points etc...

    All though I've just re-read your original question and you say you have an aruba wireless switch am I right in thinking this is the device that actually controls the access to your wireless network?

    You must have to set things up via the aruba program but I don't know as I don't have one.

    Some on here does have an aruba setup though.

    Ben

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    mmm, that's what I'm not 100% on. It's not a system that I've setup or used - just inherited and the tech that knows the most about this is out today. He has said that the blame must lie with these laptops (Uniwill) - PDAs and other laptops in the school (Toshiba and Dell mainly) don't seem to have this problem. As I cannot pin it down to hardware or software in any way then I am inclined to borrow some power tools from technology and... well... massacre is a word that springs to mind!

    Wish that this wasn't one of those intermittant, unrepeatable problems.

    I'd love to blame the switch or access point over here and get Aruba in to sort it out but once a machine has dropped it fails to establish a connection with any of the other switches in the main building. All the way through this I've been convinced it's a Windows bug that prevents the laptop from even looking for a connection if it fails a certain number of times or the load is too high on the AP...

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    What make and model laptops are they?

    Windows will only retry a dropped connection 3 times I think it is then you have to log off and possibly reboot the machine.

    There are some M$ guides on troubleshooting wireless with some debugging info too.

    Ben

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    They are Uniwill 259 chassis from Novatech. Other laptops around the site don't seem to have the same problem - much as I would like to blame ms. Rebooting doesn't help, you need to connect the laptop with a patch cable or admin with cached credentials needs to log in wirelessly and reattach the laptop to the domain. Then it's ok for a random amount of time.

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    What wireless cards are in them and what access points are you using?

    Ben

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    Re: wireless laptops - domain xxx not found

    Aruba AP 61 access points - 5 in this building. Usually 4 are visible from each room.

    The wireless cards have all just been upgraded from generic Ralink cards to Intel 2200BG in an attempt to solve this issue.

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