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Mah Internet broke (and Bill Gates will make you his bitch)

This is a tech forum, right? Good. Well, my taskbar indicated a broken signal, so I looked, and while one part of the window says 'Not Connected,' the little paragraph says 'You are currently connected to this network, blah blah blah.' I can't access the internet from that computer only. Help?

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YOu could be connected to the "network" in the strictest sense that you're connected to your router or modem. This doesn't mean that you also have internet access. Try restarting the router and see what happens, whether you get a proper local IP address etc.

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Ah trying to leech on an unsecured network right? ;-)

And with a marginal signal, at that. Done this myself, and got all types of funky behavior when the signal was so weak. And sometimes even when it wasn't.

You probably need to reset the router itself, which you probably don't have physical access to. When this happens, you can't even access the administration interface and force a reset. You can only hope for the luser owning the unsecured router to reset it (or, if you know he's out, you can try "resetting" his house if you have access to external circuit breakers...done that once ;-)

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If you're running Win XP and the Cisco's not yours, it's probably Window's Wireless Zero Configuration (one of my pet hates) misbehaving. I found it has a tendency to latch onto the strongest unsecured network and ignore the one you want/need to use. Try changing the preferred network order and see if that fixes the problem.

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If you want more control and/or stability for managing wireless connections, prefer using a card-specific wireless manager, if available, especially under XP. I found most to be much, much better than WZC. In particular with regards to connection stability.

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At Dell we used to find the card-specific ones so unreliable we removed them for people. We even removed the Dell-branded ones. I suppose they may have improved since 2007, whereas WZC hasn't changed at all since then.

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YMMV. Some, like the ones included with sone "Zanda" noname chinese sweatshop crap make in North Korea, Laos and Bangladesh, or even the ones from Asus, were indeed dire. They offered nothing over WZC (other than bloat), and were often laggy and hard to configure.

Others however, like the Asus Gigabyte Wireless center or the Intel Wireless center, were excellent. One thing that almost any wireless manager has that that WZC doesn't, is the ability to save profiles for connections. Often, dedicated managers can also handle encryptions that WZC cannot e.g. early WZC could not handle certain types of WPA2, while even later versions have connection stability problems with WPA2.

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Fixed the problem. I think Windows sabotaged my XP with a sneaky update to force me to switch to 7. So I "Purchased" a copy and now my life is fine and I'm posting this from my own computer.

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