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Laptop freezes only at apartment

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Steven_B
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I have a Dell Inspiron E1705.
For some odd reason, my computer will freeze sometime while my wireless radio is on, while I'm at my apartment. I have already ruled out a power, memory, or overheating issue. I reformatted and reinstalled XP, yet it still did it. If I disable the radio, my computer doesn't freeze. Also, it doesn't automatically freeze up as soon as I turn on the radio or connect to my network. Sometimes, it may last for awhile, while other times it may only take a minute or two.
Just FYI, I am on the wireless network at my girlfriend's apartment right now. I've been on it for hours, and I've been on her network for days straight with no problems. I've also been on my college's network for hours with no issues either.
At my apartment, I have a linksys wrt54g2 with the latest firmware from the linksys website.
There are a good number of wireless networks in the area of my apartment. If ya need any more info, I don't mind giving it!

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jingda
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Weird problem what has a radio going to do with all this. Did you try at your girlfriend house, bring the radio along and turn it on while connecting to your girlfriend wireless. If your compter freeze it has to do with your radio problem although i am not sure what cause it.

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Steven_B
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Ah... Okay. Maybe I didn't make this clear lol. Wireless-radio. You can turn on/off your wireless device from looking for networks (radio on/off). It is not an actual radio!

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jingda
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You should have say earlier, I thought it was a real radio that cause the problem. LOL:D. Well you still have not answer my question . Did you try at your girlfriend house on the wireless radio and see whether does your pc freeze. And does it freeze only for a moment or a long while. I am still not clears what is a wireless radio anyway and what do you use it for? Listening to news? Please tell me more about a wireless radio so i am able to analyse your problem

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Kraai
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Your computer freezes, or your internet connection "freezes"?

1. If your connection freezes, it means your connection bandwidth is not enough to stream the radio.

2. If your computer freezes, it may be that the program you use to broadcast to your wireless radio are using up all your computer memory/cpu in this case, try to upgrade memory/cpu

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cash1846
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@ Steven B: Steven there is a free program called inssider 2.0 from meta geek. If you download this program using your girlfriends wireless then go home and run the program without connecting to your wireless it may shed some light on your problem.
http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/download/
In an apartment building it is possible that other wireless networks on the same channel as yours may be causing interference with yours. If the program shows several networks on the same channel as you just change to a different channel and try it. Try to stat off the common channels like 1, 6, and 11.
Good Luck

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Steven_B
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Okay. I'm going to try to explain the wireless radio one more time.. The radio of a wireless card/device is what goes out and looks for networks. Typically, if you have a button on your laptop to turn on/off the wireless, most likely it is turning on/off the radio, not the actual wireless card.

My whole computer freezes. It isn't a memory/cpu issue. I don't actually have to be on a network at my apartment for it to potentially freeze. If the radio is on, i.e. my wireless card is looking for networks, it potentially will freeze. It doesn't happen at the same time every time.

Cash1846, I will try your idea. I wonder if it is possible for other networks besides my own messing with my wireless card because they are all on the same channel. Like I said, I didn't have to be on a network for it to happen!

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Kraai
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Ah, that clear up a lot of things. Now, to be able to help you best we can, please provide the name of the wireless network card you are refering to, your OS you are using, and in the mean time, make sure all the drivers for this card is up to date with the newest from the manufacturers website.

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Steven_B
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I am running Windows XP Pro. Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG is the wireless network card. As per driver, I originally had the most up to date driver according to dell, but not intel. Now I have the most up to date period!

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cash1846
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@Steven B If it will freeze even when you are not connected to a network I think the issue may be more complex than I thought before but I am not sure. If your wireless card is disabled does the laptop still lock up/freeze? If yes than a device from home depot to measure general electrical field interference may be needed. If not than I would find a different wireless internet device and test it on your network to see how it does. Please update this post so we can continue to help.

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cash1846
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2 Steven B
I would also log into my wireless router or access point and see if any other devices are connected to it. It could be that a neighbor is trying to use your wireless in a negative way and the tools they are using are causing your computer to freeze up while they are running a scan or discovery of devices on the network.

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jingda
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Agree with cash1846 above. If you wireless is configured with a WPA password, your internet can't be access by neighbour. Have you try using different wireless card?

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Steven_B
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If the wireless card is disabled, it will not freeze. In fact, all that has to happen is the radio to be turned off. No one else's laptop's wireless have issues. Also, I have confirmed a couple of days ago that a freeze has happened without a single computer other than my own on the wireless.

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jingda
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have you tried other wireless card?

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cash1846
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@Steven B I know it sounds far fetched but dells have been known to have mother board problems in your models series. I see from other posts that you have already ruled out memory problems. I might also run a chkdsk/f command to rule out a hard drive problem but I suspect the problem is more complex than that.

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Steven_B
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I've been running WPA on the network because a roommate's dang computer can't do WPA2 for some odd reason.. but as for actually trying a different card in my own laptop, no. Considering the freeze only happens at my apartment, I cannot justify buying another card to try out on my laptop. If my roommate's laptop's wireless cards are interchangeable with mine, I don't know.

Like I said earlier, I did update my drivers to intel's most up-to-date one's. I have not been back to my apartment since friday afternoon, so I'll be able to see if that alone fixed my problem. I will also use inSSIDer and find out what the majority of the wifi channels are using. Most likely, I bet most of them are using channel 6, but either way I'll find the one least used and adjust my network accordingly. However, considering the fact that my laptop will freeze whether or not I'm actually on my network, I doubt it will fix it.

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jingda
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Try your roomate wireless card. If you use your roommate card and have your radio turn on and your laptop does not freeze that shows that your wireless card have problem, if you use your roommate card but also freeze it had to do with your computer problem. First we have to rule out external problems

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Kraai
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Thank you for the info on the name of your wireless network card. You are not alone, it seems that many people have the same issue with it, but different solutions.

The most obvious solution is to make sure that the drivers for this card is up to date and that there are no driver conflict showing up in the driver management. You said that this is all ok?

When a computer freezes, it means that the cpu runs at 100% with some or other process.

What I want you to do, is to check what process is running at 100% or near 100% when your network card is turned on, by going to task manager, and look at the processes tab. Report that back here. Obviously, you must do this as soon as the laptob starts to lag, before it freezes.

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jingda
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Agreed with kraai above. Go and check, most of the times it is idle. The system and the user would not take out much percentage. Tell us the percentage and keeps us update

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Steven_B
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Kraai, I have to disagree with you when it comes to a computer freezing. Usually, that may be the case, but any hardware, being at a low level system-wise, can cause the freeze. My computer did not ever freeze when my CPU was running at 100%. Also, my computer never lagged before it froze; it just happens.

It has been about 30 minutes since my computer has been on and connected to my apartment network. No freeze yet! I shall repeat again that I did update my wireless driver from the latest that dell.com provided to the latest that intel had. I'll report a freeze if it happens again. It still could happen, as I've been on it before for a few hours before it froze.

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