Toshiba laptop wireless problems
This is kind of in relation to this thread: http://www.edugeek.net/forums/networ...ly-school.html
I thought I would start another as the two problems are not necessarily related. This is a bit convoluted, but please stay with me!
Background: PFI school with a managed Cisco wireless network using a mix of 1252 and 1121-series Aironet access points and two Cisco 4402-50 Wireless LAN Controllers configured in a mobility group. 600 Toshiba laptops on site - all Tecra models split between M9, M10 and M11 varients. All laptops work faultlessly on our wireless (when the students haven't mucked around with the wireless on/off switch anyway :D )
Over the summer we purchased 120 Tecra R840 laptops to replace the same number of aging Tecra M5s. They arrived, we imaged them as usual using SCCM, and deployed them into their lapsafes. Nothing unusual about that.
The problem: Within days of the start of the year, we started getting calls about the new laptops not working. When examined, it seems that while they connect to our WLAN fine, they either won't stay connected to it, or report such wildly varying signal strength as to be practically unusable. Network access will randomly drop away.
Referring this issue to the reseller's technical support who liaised with Toshiba on our behalf, the first suggestion was to update the WLAN card drivers - which we did (to no effect). We were then told to change the power management settings - which we did as far as we are able as they are set via GP (also to no effect). We even changed some of the lightweight access points with another model to eliminate them being the problem. We put Toshiba's 64-bit Windows 7 Professional recovery image back onto a handful in case there was an issue with our 32-bit image, or the 32-bit drivers we had off Toshiba's website. This made no difference - the laptops continued to perform poorly on our wireless network.
We then took a batch of laptops off to try them on another wireless network - we are lucky enough to have a working relationship with a local place that does large events and conferences, and they kindly let us test a few on their press wireless network. Every laptop tested misbehaved in exactly the same way, confirming that our WLAN at school is not necessarily to blame.
A quick trip through Google highlighted that previously there seemed to be a large number of Dell users who had had issues with the same Intel Advanced-N 6230 wireless card now used in the Tecra R840. We passed this on to the reseller, and Toshiba who were now involved directly themselves.
At this point, Toshiba sent one of their QA engineers out to see us. He bought with him his own R840, but with a different Intel WLAN card in it - an Intel 6300 I think it was. This also misbehaved on our wireless, and he went away "happy" that the fault was with our WLAN despite being told the fault was reproducable elsewhere.
Today we have taken delivery of a Toshiba Satellite Pro - this one fitted with an Atheros WLAN card. Having checked it behaved perfectly on our WLAN, I asked one of the techs to swap the WLAN card with that in the R840 to see what happened.
The Satellite Pro, now with the R840's Advanced-N 6230 card in it, continued to behave impeccably on the wireless network.
The R840, now with the Satellite Pro's Atheros card in it (which behaved fine in the Satellite Pro remember), behaves better - but still reports varying signal strength.
Can I ask at this point, what inference most people here would draw from that observation? I know what I'm thinking right now, but it will be interesting to see if anyone else comes to the same conclusion, has seen similar behaviour and can give some pointers, or can suggest anything we haven't tried yet.
Thanks in advance!