Wireless network keeps dropping off on Windows 7

If you have purchased a Win 7 laptop lately or installed an OEM version of Win 7 on an older XP laptop, chances are that your machine keeps dropping off the wireless network randomly. Good news is that you are not alone, a lot of people are having this problem, bad news is that there is no good cookie cutter solution to this problem.

I personally had this problem when I upgraded my Dell Latitude 630 laptop from Win XP Pro to Win 7 Ultimate; and when I purchased a new ASUS K53E-1BSX laptop.

What has been proved that the problem has something to do with Windows 7 and wireless device drivers, as people have reported that they did not have the problem when they were using the same hardware with Windows XP. Even more, people have tested by replacing the Wireless AP/ router as well. I personally have replaced three different Linksys/ CISCO routers, re-installed Windows and changed wireless adapters, in the process of troubleshooting this problem.

Common recommendations that have worked for many people are:

  1. Update wireless device drivers for Windows 7, if available.
  2. Disabling windows firewall.
  3. Set the device properties to NOT go in Power Savings mode.
  4. Set your AP/router to a particular WiFi type – B, G or N, instead of auto, if possible. Under Advanced device configuration, set the IBSS 54G(tm) mode to 54g Auto or 54g-performance.
  5. Un-install any anti-virus or anti-spyware software that you may have and try to see if the problem goes away
  6. Purchase a newer USB Wireless device, preferably the mini, low profile devices.

The above mentioned steps are written in order in which they should be tried. In my case, I had to buy a newer USB wireless adapter for my ASUS laptop and disable the on-board, and step number 4 worked for the Dell laptop. So it is a hit or miss at this point. I will update as I find out more about this embarrassing problem of Windows 7.

I was feeling confident about the performance of Win 7, until I met this problem.