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Wireless Networks Thread, Acer unable to fully connect to WLAN - cannot acquire IP address in Technical; Help! A friend asked me to look at one of his laptops that was not working properly on his network ...
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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Acer unable to fully connect to WLAN - cannot acquire IP address

    Help!

    A friend asked me to look at one of his laptops that was not working properly on his network (wired or wireless).

    I brought the laptop home and sure enough I could not connect it to my own WLAN (Buffalo AirStation, WPA-PSK(AES)) so decided to do full reinstall.

    I did a factory reinstall, after which it was able to connect to my own WLAN with not problems. I let Windows Update do its thing and approx 72 updates were downloaded and installed. Finally, it downloaded and installed SP3 which I let it complete overnight. The following morning, no WLAN again. The wired NIC works fine.

    Main symptom is that the WNIC appears to connect to the WLAN but is unable to obtain an IP address. I've tried allocating static IP and this makes no difference so I don't think it's a DHCP issue per se.

    Laptop is an Acer Aspire 5002WLMi. WLAN chipset is Broadcom 4318. Driver is latest available from Acer website (3.100.46.0) dated 21-Dec-2004.

    I have now tried connecting to a nearby unsecured WLAN and this works.

    Tried re-entering the WLAN key to no avail.
    Tried switching between Windows and Broadcom utilities - no change.

    Any suggestions?

    EDIT - I may have been wrong about WLAN working OK following factory reset. I tried this again and WLAN will now not connect to WPA AP.
    Last edited by ajbritton; 19th May 2010 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Correction

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    what encryption do you use?. Some wlan cards do not support wpa very well, so even if the box says that it works it will still be flaky.

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    ajs
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    Just out of interest, if you try and connect to the WLAN when you've got a wired connection, does DHCP work then?

    I'm only asking cause I had an Acer laptop presented to me a while ago that would only connect to a secured WLAN once it had seen a working wired connection. As long as the laptop wasn't turned off for more than a few minutes then everything continued to work.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose View Post
    what encryption do you use?. Some wlan cards do not support wpa very well, so even if the box says that it works it will still be flaky.
    I learnt the hard way that Acer are the worst offender for this as they put there own version of the firmware on the cards which can screw the whole thing!! Perhaps finding the latest wireless firmware for the card and install that and you may have better luck!

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajs View Post
    Just out of interest, if you try and connect to the WLAN when you've got a wired connection, does DHCP work then?

    I'm only asking cause I had an Acer laptop presented to me a while ago that would only connect to a secured WLAN once it had seen a working wired connection. As long as the laptop wasn't turned off for more than a few minutes then everything continued to work.
    DHCP worked for the wired connection but the WLAN still did not pick up an IP address.

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    Will it connect to an unencrypted WLAN?

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    We had a couple of acers with this problem. As we don't have an official WLAN, the reliable work around we found was giving the wireless nic a static IP. Once that was set it always connected. Don't know if thats possible in your situation though...

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pscott View Post
    Will it connect to an unencrypted WLAN?
    Yep. No problem.

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsanger View Post
    We had a couple of acers with this problem. As we don't have an official WLAN, the reliable work around we found was giving the wireless nic a static IP. Once that was set it always connected. Don't know if thats possible in your situation though...
    Tried that but it still did not work. I don't think it's an IP/DHCP thing. That's just the first sympton. For whatever reason, Windows thinks it's successfully 'associated' with the AP, but the encryption is just not working.

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    ajs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajbritton View Post
    DHCP worked for the wired connection but the WLAN still did not pick up an IP address.
    Well that's not good - I was hoping you'd have the same problem and would then fix it so I could steal the solution :-)

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    Has it still got Acer's own WLAN management (interfering) software installed? Can't remember what its called now, but all our Acers have come with a load of utilities that reinvent the wheel. We always get rid of them and let windows just work. If the driver is built into the utility, we'll uninstall the hardware, and during reinstall point the wizard to the inf file rather than reinstalling the full util.

    Is an OS upgrade an option?

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    I've restored to factory settings to see if I was dreaming that the WLAN connected OK initially but the broke following Windows Updates. Bad news. Following a factory restore to XP SP2, the WLAN will not connect to WPA protected AP. Am now trying to load XP SP3 and will follow up with WLAN driver downloaded from Acer support site (even though driver version is same as is already installed).

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsanger View Post
    Has it still got Acer's own WLAN management (interfering) software installed? Can't remember what its called now, but all our Acers have come with a load of utilities that reinvent the wheel. We always get rid of them and let windows just work. If the driver is built into the utility, we'll uninstall the hardware, and during reinstall point the wizard to the inf file rather than reinstalling the full util.

    Is an OS upgrade an option?
    No, there's not too much bloatware here. WLAN driver appears to be working with Windows as normal.

    OS upgrade possible, but would require RAM upgrade. Think its probably cheaper just to give with 10 WiFi dongle that will support WPA. Something like one of these.

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    I've logged a call with Acer UK to find out if this laptop can support WPA-PSK(AES) or not.

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