Teacher with No/Intermittent Internet Access

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  1. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Enterprise

    Teacher with No/Intermittent Internet Access

    I could really use help with this situation. I am teaching from home and unable to connect reliably to home WIFI for online teaching.

    • HP Elitebook with Windows 10 Enterprise Volume License from school.
    • All other devices work perfectly on network (multiple laptops and phones).
    • This laptop worked fine for two years until yesterday. Previously it would sometimes disconnect momentarily but then reconnect automatically seconds later (annoying but no real problem). Last two days, it will connect, then lose connection repeatedly. Sometimes no connection for hours. Sometimes it will work for 1-2 minutes, sometimes 5-10 minutes, always cutting out eventually.
    • Strange thing: if I make my phone into a WIFI hotspot and share my home connection, the laptop works perfectly. Same WIFI signal from same router. If computer is connected directly, it's unusable, but through my phone, no issues. Why?
    • The ONLY change in the past few days is that my Windows activation expired (I didn't know this was a thing), so I have a watermark that (sometimes) appears telling me to activate Windows. My understanding is that the computer should still work fine even if not activated. My school IT dept is closed and cannot help with any kind of activation for the foreseeable future. If I try to activate through Windows settings I get a "Cannot connect to your institution's network" error.

    Things I have tried:
    • Reboot
    • Reset Router and Modem
    • Uninstall and reinstall network adopter
    • Reset network
    • Use network diagnostics (this sometimes fixes things for a few minutes)
    • Update windows / Remove Windows Updates
    • flush DNS

    Again, this is crucial as I am a teacher in NY relying on internet for distance learning with 5 classes.
    Again, it is strange because I never had issues with this computer before yesterday, and nothing has changed other than Windows activation.
    Again, I can't understand why the laptop will not keep a connection to the router, but WILL keep a connection if connected through my phone hotspot to the router.

    Any help is greatly appreciated by me and my 92 students!
      My Computer

  2. Frabnkhs's Avatar
    Posts : 198
    Dual Boot: Windows 10 20H2 & Ubuntu 20.04.1

    pforan said:
    I could really use help with this situation. I am teaching from home and unable to connect reliably to home WIFI for online teaching.

    Did you try a direct wired connection?

    I'm a gamer so I've wired my gaming system directly to the WiFi router and I get great performance. Through the Ethernet RG45 connector on the back of the router

    Looks like you tried everything else
      My Computers

  3. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,214
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 2004

    Welcome to TenForums @pforan

    Yes you could try a wired connection directly to router.

    Is your laptop in same room as router? If you move into that room, with router, is connection more reliable?

    Does your router have 2.4Ghz band and 5 GHz band? Do you see them as two different networks? Can you force it to connect to 2.4 band?

    If you could share model number of Elitebook we could see what radio is installed. Some ISP's are merging two bands into one common network name assuming device will pick best channel. Actually it seems to default to 5 Ghz for speed and 5 GHz does not have range or penetration of 2.4 GHz.

      My Computer

  4. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Enterprise
    Thread Starter

    I don't have an ethernet cable to test with, and I'd really like to get the issue resolved as it's definitely a problem with the laptop settings. Laptop WIFI works through hotspot. Modem works with all other devices. What am I missing?
      My Computer

  5. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,214
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 2004

    The phone is connecting to wifi in house with likely a very good radio. Then it is a hop to the laptop.

    So back to questions, what band are you using and if you go into room with router does connection hold steady.

    What model of Elitebook, maybe installing old driver will fix.
      My Computer

  6. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 913
    Windows 10 Pro

    When you connect with the modem and the hotspot, check which network adapter is the active one.

    Right-click on the network icon in the SysTray > Open Network and Internet Settings > Network Sharing Centre > Change adater settings.

    Is the same adapter active (no red X) for both connections ?

    You could try it with another OS - create a USB boot drive for Linux Mint or Puppy. Boot from that and test/check the 2 wifi connections to see if the same happens. At least that'll tell you whether it's Windows 10 (which I think it obviously is, but you never know .... ? ) or a computer issue.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Enterprise
    Thread Starter

    Yes laptop is right next to router/modem. Definitely not a signal strength issue. Network settings shows strong connection even when connection is dropped. Again, all devices work fine including this laptop until yesterday. I do not have 2 different wifi signals from router. Signal is 2.4Ghz (see attachment). Router is TP-Link WR940N. Modem is Motorola SB501. ISP is Spectrum. Again, this equipment is working fine as all other devices have no problems. I get a few different error messages when connection is dropped, but most common one is "Your Connection was interrupted. A network change was etected," if that's helpful.
    Teacher with No/Intermittent Internet Access-capturedd.jpg
    Teacher with No/Intermittent Internet Access-capturegj.jpg
      My Computer

  8. Jacee's Avatar
    Posts : 1,589
    Win 10 home 20H2 19042.928

    Is there a program running in the background that might be trying to overtake priority to the network? (Anti-virus or ? updates)
      My Computers

  9. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Enterprise
    Thread Starter

    Elitebook is LT-45xxx
    Teacher with No/Intermittent Internet Access-capture3.jpg
      My Computer

  10. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,214
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 2004

    Okay, lets get the Elitebook model number. Thanks

    Strongly suspect driver.

    I see from your screen shot, thank you for posting, you are using an AC7260 with what looks like the most recent driver.

    I too had a AC7260. Nothing but issues. I use to load the the February 2014 driver to get it to work. With the latest version of Windows 10, V1909, I could not get it to keep a connection. I replaced with a thirty dollar USB dongle.

    I'd like you to load the driver that came with laptop and see if that resolves the matter for a while.

    A couple of additional questions, when did you install VPN and when did your device load 1909, assuming it did.
      My Computer

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