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Roaming issues with Realtek adapter?

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Roaming issues with Realtek adapter?

A summary of my network:

- About 30 Windows 10 users, HP Probook with Realtek WIFI adapters running the latest driver

- 802.1x using NPS Radius Windows 2016 Server, Fast Reconnect enabled

- 7 MR33, running the latest 26.6.1 FW

- 802.11r Enabled, only 5-GHz, Bridge-mode, Width is 20MHz only

- Auto Power Reduction, Channel set to Manual (no channel overlaps)

 

My first problem is this site is about 6-hour by plane so it's a bit hard to justify to fly there. I do most of my troubleshooting on the Meraki dashboard. 

 

I will get frequent complains about wireless users losing connection when roaming. Event Logs is not showing any errors that will give me a clue on what's wrong (unless I'm not looking at it correctly). I can also confirm that the WiFi signal between APs are overlapping, specially since these APs are more or less 20 feet apart. In high-density areas, the APs are even closer. Air Marshall also looks clean.

 

I asked someone to walk-around the office and from my pings, I can see that for 30-60 secs, they will lose their connection. There are also cases that the Relatek will quit and disable itself (the WIFI icon will disappear on the taskbar). What's interesting is we tried using a WiFi USB dongle (and disable the built-in Realtek) and this was reduced significantly. 

 

Now my questions are:

 

1. Is this a Realtek problem? I would like to go HP Support and report this but I'm not sure how to prove it.

2. Do you see the benefit of enabling 802.11r? How will I know if 802.11r is actually causing those Windows devices from not connecting?

3. What's the best way to troubleshoot roaming problems? 

 

Thanks for the help.

5 REPLIES 5
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Re: Roaming issues with Realtek adapter?

I'm also thinking of powering down some of the APs so they won't roam that much. How close is too close for the distance between APs?

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Kind of a big deal

Re: Roaming issues with Realtek adapter?

@Marc_Abaya Have you tried one of the newer firmwares, on a network of MR33s I'd run 27.3.  If you can't run a beta then 26.8.1 is at least better for Windows wireless devices, though I did have some issue with Android devices with it, so run 27.3 where possible. 

 

I haven't found the kind of distances you are talking about as being too close, but you could disable the main SSID on some to see if it makes a difference by making the SSID dependent on a tag and applying that tag to some of the APs.  It is then very quick to enable it on APs.

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Kind of a big deal

Re: Roaming issues with Realtek adapter?

Not an uncommon issue with Realtek adaptors, especially since the Windows 10 1709 update.  Try disabling the Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter.

 

Jump to the section starting with "Fix Disconnecting WiFi".

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2110868-windows-1709-update-broke-my-802-11x-wifi-connection 

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Re: Roaming issues with Realtek adapter?

Thanks for the note. I saw that post and it's similar to our problem last year with Realtek and it goes away for some reason. I am not sure what really fixed it, but we did a bunch of stuff: upgrade Windows, drivers and BIOS. 

 

Our problem right now is only while roaming, but who knows maybe they are related. I'm just trying to find a way to prove this to HP so we can get back at them.

 

 

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Re: Roaming issues with Realtek adapter?

@cmr  Yes, I did change the SSID availability over the weekend. Let's see if this improves the roaming.

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