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Computer Geeks....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Unveiled Artist, Aug 14, 2019 at 7:03 PM.

  1. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Hey. I need some advice for information only. I'll pass it along to my computer geek friend but I wanted to get some insight since I have no clue about computers and networks. I have a Dell 10 Windows 10 desktop. It's new. It runs off my wifi hotspot on my phone.

    The wifi connection just cut off for no reason. It says: change settings, such as making a connection metered.

    I called Microsoft and we reset the network, reset the computer, reinstall some of the drivers [we could only find windows 7 to download], tried to find the wifi option that is missing. I don't have an ethernet cable or router but it's not connecting.

    Could you give me some insight to pass along?
     
  2. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Do you see where Dell allows it's own general updates of the PC? Try that. Update via the Dell included app. I forgot what it's called.

    There's only like a 25% chance this will fix it, but I just have a hunch.
     
  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Thanks. It looks like I need internet to look up the updates. That's so weird. To get help for connection you need connection to get help.

    Edit. I checked the search. It says it's not available. Need web connection, most likely.
     
  4. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    More information to pass along is that USB wifi adapters are another option. Just make sure said adapter says "Windows 10 compatible" as some still aren't. I think they run $30-$40 but I haven't checked lately.
     
  5. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    Might be the WiFi provider cutting you off because of heavy use?
     
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  6. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I don't think so. I got it a couple days ago and the only thing I was on was the internet and word. Though, I would assume it would reconnect. It's something with the ethernet cable but I don't have one. So....
     
  7. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Okay, let me sum up what I understand you just wrote:

    You are on a Dell machine using Win10

    You are using your phone as a data hotspot: You use your Dell's built in WiFi to connect to the phone's WiFi radios, which then in turn uses it's Cellular Radios Data stream to get to the internet.

    Basically, Computer ---> Wifi --> phone ---> cellular radio (GSM, etc) ---> internet.

    This should work pretty transparently, IF and it's a big IF: Does your cellular plan permit Hot Spots?

    A "hot spot" is basically turning your phone into a local WiFi hot spot, using it's cellular radios (data, not voice) to talk to the internet. Pretty much all modern smart cell phones can do this out of the box.

    BUT. Most cellular service providers inhibit that function in one or more ways. Because they Want More Of Your Money. :)

    A cell phone streaming the internet is many times less data, than a computer doing the same thing-- principally because video on a cell phone is many times lower resolution than a computer (typically). Or that's the way it USED to be.

    Alas, Cellular Providers have not caught up to the fact that a modern, top-line smart phone? Has the same video demands that any but the top-line desktop/laptop computers have. Maybe they know-- but don't care...

    Bottom line: If you have a cellular plan that includes Hot Spot? Then, contact their Tech Support-- I bet there is a setting or 4 on your phone that they can enable/tweak (and these could be hidden--depends on the manufacturer and the Cell Provider).

    Windows really is kind of clueless, with respect to smart phones and hot spots-- windows pretty much expects the WiFi to be identical in function to any standard WiFi gizmo that connects through DSL, cable, or satellite --- whatever.

    If your phone is working as a regular Hot Spot? Windows should Just Work.

    If it is Metered, or otherwise Throttled by your provider? Windows can get wonky.

    __________________________

    On the Third Paw? Dell and Wifi can be .... sometimes irritating. Now, I own an Alienware, which is a Dell, and I have always thought their Tech Support was pretty darn good.

    Here's a quick and dirty test of your Dell's WiFi chip: As mentioned, a cheap USB WiFi dongle can be had at Amazon for less than $20. Or a bit more at local computer parts house.

    You can buy one of these, and disable your built in WiFi, plug this in and see if it can talk to your phone.

    It should work, even if you don't disable your Dell's thing-- but-- that can complicate your attempt to figure out what's going on. You have to pay careful attention to which WiFi hardware you are using, if you don't disable it. Widows will tell you which -- and you can rename each connection to reflect which is which-- but it's easy to confuse the two.

    If the external USB dongle works? DONE! Just keep using it until Dell releases a newer driver for your old WiFi-- or just keep using the dongle.

    There are countless YouTubes on how to disable in BIOS your built in WiFi, if you want to go down that road. Or you can use Windows Device Manager, digging down through Network until you find the WiFi-- right-click, "DISABLE", done. Easy to undo this second route.
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Thanks! I'd have to reread this and keep it in mind. Here are some things I poked out.

    Yeah. It comes with the phone service. It works well with my laptop but the neighbor is a computer techy and giving me the desktop and monitor, with more memory [think its called] than my laptop at 2GB for $100. I told him let me see how long it runs before I give him anything this month.

    He was telling me about Windows 10 and how all the new stuff is messing everything up. I'm not sure what metered is so the question is over my head unfortunately.

    He gave me this portable mini wifi adaptor thing. You stick it in the USB slot and it's supposed to connect to wifi hotspots. I'm not sure why it would say the ethernet plug is unplugged, though. I pulled out the wifi thing and looked in the back and couldn't figure what it was referring to.
     
  9. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    use your smart phone to look it up???
     
  10. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Making a connection metered is a way of ensuring you don't pass your data limit. You can set how much data you use for the month (based on your plan). Have you tried clicking through it to the end?

    I don't really see how installing drivers for the wrong operating system would help you, but I also don't understand how you had access to windows 7 drivers on a windows 10 machine without access to the internet.
     
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  11. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I've talked with Microsoft Office and we were discussing and went through the different methods-drivers, MS reset, and a couple of other things I wouldn't have known to look up anywhere. Resetting the computer was just about the last thing to do. I don't have an ethernet plug and don't know what metered is to make any sense out of it. We tried to find the Wifi option and we couldn't get that to work.

    Of course I would have need to have the knowledge and so forth to make sense of anything I read online. I pretty much went through most options.
     
  12. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Oh. I'm on my laptop. I was going to switch to use a desktop until I lost connection on it. We had to transfer driver files on my USB.

    I was thinking, could it be that the phone data coverage went over? I didn't get a message for it but would have to call my company to see if that has anything to do with it. It works with my laptop; so, I'm not sure if that is the issue.

    Clicking through the end? Where/what do you mean?
     
  13. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    All the new stuff is not messing everything up. There have been specific problems with specific updates that have caused problems for a number of people

    Since you don't have an ethernet cable, the message can be confusing. But it sounds like your machine thinks it's supposed to be using an ethernet cable rather than wifi.

    Based on your lack of geekiness, I'm not sure how tp advise beyond this.
     
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  14. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    If open "settings", select "network & internet" and then on the right hand side you should find "diagnose network connection issues". Select that and let us know what happens.
     
  15. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    If it works with your laptop, then that's probably not the issue. Can you set your laptop as a mobile hotspot (while it's connected to your phone's hotspot) and connect your desktop to it?

    I just meant setting up the metered settings so that it doesn't keep asking you to do it.
     
  16. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    No problem-- I'm currently fighting my Alienware's internet stuff-- but it's deep in Win10, and I'm reluctant to re-install a fresh Win10. I don't know why that is, really-- I've re-done Win10 at least 10? times now? I was always mucking about with it on my old laptop, which was old when I bought it, so I had nothing in it, program wise. I think I'm reluctant on this one, as it's new, and I have invested quite a bit tweaking it just how I like it. It's my main machine (my other one is a Microsoft Surface Go).

    Good! That is literally 1/2 of your battle, eliminated right there: Your provider knows you are using it as a hot spot, and they approve. With cell phones? Getting approval also means getting tech support-- not trivial. Since it also works with a different machine? We may simply ignore the cellular side of things going forward.

    Yeah.... people love to diss Micro$oft. I understand why, and I sympathize. However: Windows 10? Is literally the best OS they have ever created-- far from perfect, naturally. But it is what Windows 95 was advertised as being. :D :) ;) When W95 came out? The hardware simply was not up to the task, and didn't catch up for quite some time...

    That being said? Windows 10 is amazingly resilient, far better than previous versions. It is somewhat over-bloated with "nag you" stuff, but really, unless something is going wrong, or you are trying to do something off the beaten path? The nagging really isn't a terrible idea-- and you can disable all of that. I have not done so, for exactly the reason that it reminds me I'm treading out of the Standard Path.

    Metered: Measured, calculated, quantified, put-a-ruler-to, keep track of, limited, boxed-in, walled off. :D

    Windows 10 assumes that it has all the internet it could possibly need or want. This is, of course, a Lie. Nobody has that kind of internet-- even if you do have fibre (optical LASER connection). :D In truth? Whatever you have, is actually Good Enough. However, it may not be entirely free. You may not have unlimited access. You may have maximum volume of Internet Traffic-- measured in bytes (typically), Kilobytes (1000 bytes) or Megabytes (a million bytes--give or take). This all depends on where and how you get your Internets. Obviously, if you are connected Directly To Al Gore's Secret Intertubes Via a taunt Clothes Line and two Tin Cans? You do not need to worry about such mundane things. ;)

    Microsoft actually recognized awhile ago, that some people? Are always On The Go-- and they use various cellular methods to get to the Internet-- and in North America, and much of Europe? Cellular based internet is always purchased in limited quantities. Not unlike your fuel tank on your vehicle (unless you're electric...). Since more and more people are going that direction? They want Control over how much Internet gets used, and by whom.

    They added a setting in Windows: Metered. It is either on or off. If off, Windows assumes it may use the internet as much and as often as it "thinks" it needs, to get updates and whatnot. (such as reporting back to Microsoft any time Win10 breaks-- it's one reason why Win10 is so robust, in fact... you can opt out of that, by the way....)

    If Metered is On? Windows politely won't use the Internet for updates, or much of anything, really, until you give it permission-- and even then, it'll ask "are you sure?" before going forward. In short, it's a way of controlling Windows access to the internet for housekeeping tasks. Such as updating your anti-virus....

    Note: Even if on? That won't affect you in any way, shape or form, from using Chrome or Firefox or even Edge to go out and Surf The Intertubes, watch YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc, etc. When you deliberately access the internet in that way? Windows 10 assumes you intended to use the internet connection, metered or no.

    Metered only affects Windows doing it's updating, error reporting and things such as that. It never affects you, browsing, emailing, etc.

    Okay. That's the USB adapter that I and others have mentioned before. Many USB ones include an RJ45 port or hole or jack. Think North American Telephone Jack--only wider. It actually does come from AT&T/Bell Labs, from way back in the Day, for multi-line telephony. A "regular" telephone jack has 4 or 6 conductors (or towards the end, just 2). It's rectangular, and has a tab you have to depress to get it out of the hole. The RJ45 plug/jack has 8 conductors, so it's wider than the older teleco one. When networking was just getting started, back in the 1980s, companies quickly adopted this plug/jack as it Just Worked. It was user-level connect/disconnect without tools. It was robust, it made darn good connections (if it was made up to spec), and was pretty dust-proof too-- the way it went into the hole, "swiped" the connectors, displacing all but the stickiest of debris. That is what "ethernet plug" means. "Ethernet" is an old term, not unlike Scotch Tape means "cellophane sticky tape that is clear". It used to be a brand, as I recall, but quickly became a generic term for wired networking.

    Wired networking is useless to you, if you are using a cellphone to get to the internet. Cell phones do not come with RJ45 jacks.
    That being said? There are devices, which do-- and they use cellular networks to get to the internet: Think-- a smart phone that has no screen, does not make phone calls, and only uses DATA part of a cellular service plan. These, however, are Old Tech, and have pretty much faded away... not unlike wired telephones... :)

    Bottom Line: If your dongle (or it's software) is whining about ethernet plug? It's at the end of a short list of Things It Tried And Failed. Treat that as a message, that it cannot "see" any internet connections, either wired or wireless (wifi). It may be old enough, to have become obsolete-- all too common, if it's an El Cheapo non-brand from China. (Not to disparage Chinese Electronics: You get exactly as much quality as you are willing to pay for, from China, and not one farthing more. :) If the company that made the dongle has not updated any drivers to Windows 10 standards? It's too old, and not worth pulling your hair out-- even if "free". Free is not always actually free...
     
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