Problems with wireless connectivity on certain laptops
First, some background.
I've got a set of 5 laptops here [Acer Aspire 5552-3680] and they all have an interesting issue with wireless.
We have about 12 access points around the school, all with the same WPA encryption key and SSID so they look like one large wireless network, and......this isn't the way I'd like but on a very very restricted budget, they're consumer routers with DHCP off and a network cable plugged in from a switch/network jack around the school to one of the 4 LAN jacks on the wireless routers. Since some routers are fairly close in proximity to others, what I've done is changed the channels on all of them between channels 1, 6, and 11, and separating the 1's farthest away from each other, 6's farthest away, and 11's farthest away. So for example, a channel 11 router might be in range of a channel 6 router, but not another channel 11 router. Believe it or not, it's worked fairly well. All laptops are on the domain and require authentication to use, there are no local accounts besides the Administrator account.
Now the problem.
These 5 laptops, for whatever reason, in certain areas of the school, won't log in. Domain not available. I log in locally using the Administrator account and I notice that the wireless adapter isn't connected, but can see the wireless network perfectly fine. If I try to connect [I'm using just the built-in Windows wireless manager], I notice the wireless adapter flip from Acquiring IP Address, to Not Connected. Back and forth fairly quickly [1 to 2 seconds between status change usually]. If I move the laptop down the hall about 10 to 15 meters and try reconnecting, boom, connected. Signal strength is good to excellent in both locations. I've noticed 3 particular places in the school that connectivity seems to be an issue, and I'm not sure if it's these particular laptops wireless adapters, or if it's something else. I notice the issue sometimes with my iPhone too. Is it the way I have the routers configured? Something else?
It's been understandably frustrating for the staff that work with student services and lend a student a laptop to use during class only to find out that in some classrooms the domain connectivity isn't available because their laptop isn't connected, thus the student can't log into the laptop in the first place.
What I'm wondering is if certain laptops and wireless adapters are getting confused at having multiple routers in range. But it should work, and has always worked for the majority of our computers here. Not sure what's up with these ones, and they're the newest.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!