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Discussion Starter #1
So I've got this huge P.I.T.A. Dell Studio XPS 13 laptop that I got last summer and this thing as of late frequently puts me in a rage. Quite frequently, when trying to connect to a wireless network, I will get "Local Access Only", meaning the laptop is active on the network but something is blocking internet connectivity. I can usually get it working after several restarts but it's really becoming unacceptable. Here's where I'm at:

1) Today- clean install of windows 7 64-bit (still having the problem)
2) Updated laptop BIOS
3) Updated network drivers from manufacturer 8.0.0.279 (Dell is notoriously behind)
4) No antivirus programs installed
5) Windows firewall settings untouched (I should not have to mess around with this, it has never been a problem on several installs on other computers)
6) Disabled wired adapter as I have no intention of using this

The basic issue is that my girlfriend needs this computer for graduate school. It is completely unpredictable as to whether or not it will allow internet access when she uses it at the library, coffeehouse, here at home, whatever. Goggle searching has led to numerous dead ends. Manually changing any settings is not the issue as it does work when it wants to.

Anyone have any ideas? It's got to be driver or firmware issues

The wireless adapter is a dell WLAN 1515 Half-mini card
From what I can gather this is manufactured by Atheros and is based on the 5009 chipset.

Edit: If I restart the router is regains connection as "Network 2". This is annoying however because it resets the connection on all of my wireless devices. It's also not a viable option for when she goes to Starbucks or the library or something.
 

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Sounds more to me like a problem in your router or with your ISP than with your machine. The computer is doing it's job and connecting to the network, there is just no internet on the network. Have you looked at this angle?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a lot of machines running through the network and this is the only one acting up. She takes it to class, library, etc and sometimes it will connect, sometimes she gets this "local access only" everywhere she goes. It seems to be working consistently right now after some tinkering with drivers, but we'll see. If that fails I'll buy an ExpressCard or USB wireless adapter and see if it's just the adapter or something else internal. It's a pretty widespread problem it seems with Dell and HP laptops
 
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