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I have a machine running Windows Server 2003 using a wireless network (D-Link) card in my basement. Even though it has a live connection to the Internet, sometimes it does not allow me to connect to its network shares or remote desktop into the machine.

What I do not get about this is that the issue is intermittent. The Internet connection does not get interrupted. However, sometimes it will allow me to connect to it from other computers on the network and sometimes it will not. Nothing changes on the machine, at least nothing that I am doing. I don't log on to it physically unless I'm troubleshooting it.

Does anyone have any ideas about what might be occurring? It should not be the firewall, because sometimes it works without changing anything.

EDIT: The wireless network card is not the only NIC. It has multiple Ethernet NICs. I use a Linksys home wireless router. I also cannot access the machine via IP address.

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Questions: 1) Is the d-link the only nic in the box? 2) What errors are you getting? Just the standard "cannot connect" msgs? –  squillman May 7 '09 at 16:08
    
Also, what kind of wireless router, etc.? –  GalacticCowboy May 7 '09 at 16:17
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3 Answers 3

Wireless connectivity is not known for being solid. You don't notice it so much from the client because the connection can be restored behind the scenes when you make a request. When your server, on the other hand, has connection issues, it's not necessarily going to be proactive about restoring the connection when a request comes in...because it won't receive it.

What you might try is to run a ping indefinitely from the server to your router (ping -t) and see if the problem disappears. If the problem does reoccur, run down to the server and see if you notice any ping timeouts which would indicate intermittent connection issues. If the problem goes away or gets considerably better, then it's because the constant pinging is forcing the server to keep the connection up as well as it can.

Assuming the issue is the wireless connection, you can try a better NIC and/or a higher gain antenna. If at all possible, run a hard line from the server to the router / switch.

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This seems like something reasonable to try. I'll give it a shot, thanks for the tip. –  YeahStu May 7 '09 at 18:31
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At times when you cannot access the computer by name, can you still access it by IP address? I've seen something similar on my network, where DNS or the master browser gets borked and won't lookup by name but the IP still works. This even occurs on PCs that are physically wired to the same router, which takes wireless out of the equation.

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Try updating the Wi-Fi card's drivers or the router's firmware. This has been the cause of my wireless connection problems before, so it might be worth a shot.

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