Scott Hanselman

IBM Laptop Wireless Adapter Turns Off Automatically Without Asking

April 08, 2006 Comment on this post [8] Posted in Musings
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IBMSoftwareInstallerI updated all the IBM (Lenovo) ThinkPad Craplets with the IBM Virus Software Installer this week. Mistake.

My wireless adapter started turning off every 3 minutes. Not losing signal, not disabling, TURNING OFF. The internal hardware would switch off.

Global SettingsWindows was/is set up to manage the Wireless Connection, but it seems that the IBM Access Connections (their view of networking) still influences things. Kind of a wireless "shadow government."

Automatic Location SwitchingI don't see this documented anywhere, but I figured out that you have to run the Access Connections and go to Configure|Automatic Location Switching and TURN OFF "Enable automatic location switching." You also have to go Configure|Global Settings and TURN OFF "Enable automatic wireless LAN radio control."

And all is well. Today.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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April 08, 2006 20:55
I had similar problems with my Thinkpad, not every 3 minutes but just general wireless sporadic behavior such as not seeing AP's correctly. I just uninstalled the Lenovo connection manager component or whatever it is called and let XP handle it and have not had any problems since. Hehe, craplets indeed;)
April 08, 2006 21:07
Same here, Scott. The IBM Connection Manager fought with the software that came with my Cisco card, causing hours of frustration. I sent them both the their room (uninstalled them, I mean), and let XP take over. No problems since (about two years).
April 09, 2006 20:55
Most of the software it installs is complete crap. I keep software installer for the driver updates that never seem to get posted to Windows Update, but that's about it. Even the presentation software was hosing up my computer when I was docked with a second monitor. Instead of showing both, it would show only the laptop or neither. POS.
April 12, 2006 3:19
On a slightly related note, I'm still fighting xp tablet edition on the m200 when dropping off my vpn (standard xp version). It seems to lock the desktop for anywhere from 30 secs to 5 minutes. no apps start up, and most of the already started ones (network related) stop working.
most often either turning the wireless hardware off (that handy button on the left) or hitting ctrl-alt-del and waiting for the keyboard widget to refresh brings it out of it's funk.

it's incredibly annoying. I have a coworker in the same boat on a non-tablet,non-toshiba so I don't think it's just one combination that causes it.

It's almost like it takes a really long time to update the routing tables after it loses one route.

anyway, can you not turn captcha back on, but with a longer time delay?
May 01, 2006 1:11
Thank you, thank you, thank you! :-) I was having this same problem, when my Thinkpad wasn't associated with an AP, the stupid radio would power off after 3 minutes - very annoying. Fortunately, a Google search turned up this page. BTW, I found that I didn't have to disable the automatic location switching, just uncheck the "Enable automatic wireless LAN radio control" in the global settings.

Thanks again for putting this info out there and showing me where to look to fix this problem!
May 01, 2006 2:01
same problem here thans for solution
May 04, 2006 17:38
Greatly helpful info! Looks like all is needed to uncheck the "Enable automatic wireless LAN radio control" in the Global Settings as Jon mentioned. Thank you for this page! It comes out right away in Google search Thinkpad wireless turns off.

May 14, 2006 4:32
Thanks for the discussion. My wireless connection applet just stopped working the other day. I am not sure I have/had the same problem as the others here, but the discussion helped me resolve it through using the Access Connections interface. Thanks!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.