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Wifi connection shuts down modem/router

March 10, 2018

Here’s a weird one. When we got the NBN installed in mid-December, part of the deal was a replacement modem/router to allow a VDSL signal. I tested all the things at the time, including my HP Spectre x360 laptop, by opening up a browser window in each device and making sure I could connect to the internet from it. I tested both LAN and wifi connections — all was fine on all devices, though I can’t say that I left the laptop on for any length of time after the test. I only use the laptop when I go away, so it’s rarely on when I’m in the house.

Fast forward to last Saturday. I decided it was time to do all the Microsoft updates on the laptop, in preparation for a trip in a month’s time. (Hint: Don’t try downloading updates via a hotel’s wifi connection.) I turned on the laptop and it autoconnected to my wifi. I went to the Updates area and pressed the button to check for Microsoft updates. After a few minutes, I got a message that the laptop couldn’t contact the Microsoft servers. I checked the wifi connection and it had been lost. Then my husband complained that he had no internet. Hmmm. A quick glance at the modem showed a big red light instead of a row of green flashing lights. After a few minutes all lights started flashing green again, so I connected the laptop again and tried the update process again. And the modem went out again. This happened several times. Somewhere in there I rebooted the modem myself by switching it off for a minute or two and switching it back on. Same story.

I called iinet (my ISP), and they got me to pull the power on the modem for a few minutes. Same story. Then they decided to put me on a ‘stability’ plan to see if that helped. Effectively, what that means is that my download speed went from around 80 Mbps to 60 Mbps. Somewhere in there I decided to turn off the laptop because it was obvious I wasn’t going to update anything if the connection kept going in and out every time the modem rebooted itself. While in stability mode — and after I’d turned off the laptop — the modem lights remained green for the rest of the day and evening, and were still stable the next day.

On Sunday, I decided to try to updates again. I turned on the laptop, it autoconnected to the wifi, I opened a browser, and within 4 mins of turning on the laptop, I lost connection and the modem rebooted itself. Hmmm… Maybe the laptop’s wifi was the culprit? The best way to test that was to turn off the wifi and plug a LAN cable into it. No problems at all. But within minutes of taking out the LAN cable and turning the laptop wifi back on, the modem rebooted. It WAS the laptop’s wifi! I called iinet on Monday to let them know I’d isolated the problem, ask if they’d heard of such a thing (there was almost nothing in a Google search), and ask them to switch us back to our usual speed. The customer support person checked with others and said the only thing he could suggest was doing a factory reset on the modem, which I was reluctant to do (all those customised settings…). He also said he’d return our speed and that the modem ‘shouldn’t reboot’ when he did that, but it did.

Later in the week, I contacted my PC Guru guys to see if they’d heard of anything like this  (one of them had and he thought it might be an incompatibility between the wireless drivers and the modem) and to see if there was some sort of configuration they could do to the wifi connection on the laptop to sort it out. Well, they did! They installed a heap of HP Support updates, and updated the Intel wireless driver on the laptop. One of those fixed it.

My laptop now works on wifi in the house and doesn’t reboot the modem.

So this post is to remind me in future what we had to do in case it ever happens again, and perhaps help anyone else who might have the same problem. There’s no guarantee that updating the drivers or firmware will work for you, but it’s worth a try.

Update, end of July 2018: It did it again! I turned on the laptop after several months of no use, and tried to connect to the wifi on my home network. It kept losing connection, so I went into my home office to see if I could get a better signal, and guess what? The router was in the process of rebooting itself and we had no internet connection for anyone. I turned off the wifi on the laptop, and the router came back online. I then connected the laptop to the network via a LAN cable, went to the HP Support program and did another update. I shut down the laptop and rebooted it later and tested the wifi when no-one else was using the internet. This time it seemed to be fine and didn’t take out the router this time. Crossing my fingers I don’t have to do this EVERY time I want to use my laptop in the house… Interestingly, I’ve travelled overseas a lot with this laptop and I’ve never had a problem connecting to wifi in airport lounges, hotels, or tethering to my phone’s wifi hotspot. Just at home.

 

2 comments

  1. I have the same issue and wasn’t successful in sorting it out but I think it is time I contacted HP support. But presently I am relieved that my Wifi doesn’t reboot quite often. It just happens once in a while


  2. Darn! It did it again (end of July 2018)…

    –Rhonda



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