|"I have the USB wifi device connected to a rear panel port. I tried other ports with similar results. I also tried a multi-port hub and the front panel connections with worse results."|
"Another possibly related factor. I often (not always) get a message that the USB wifi device could operate faster if connected to a USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 1.1 port. But it is connected to a USB 2.0 port."
See this - the wiring between USB ports and mboard USB headers may not support USB 2.0 specs - devices plugged into a port in a USB hub that connects to only one port on the mboard often do not work correctly or are not detected correctly - etc. :
Troubleshooting USB device problems
See Response 1:
Check that out first.
If you have a desktop computer, Note that I answered a Topic on this site where a guy had an external drive, which does require the full 500ma, connected to a port on the back of a desktop case - it would not work properly when a webcam was in the port next to it, but it worked fine when the webcam was unplugged. Ports on the back of a desktop case often have two ports connected to the same USB controller module that are ports one above the other - you could try connecting the USB wireless adapter to one of those and leaving the other un-used.
"I'm wondering a something like a capacitor on the motherboard might have gone."
If it has electrolytic capacitors, possibly, but many newer mboard models have all solid polymer capacitors.
Some mboards develop this problem - electrolytic capacitors were installed on them that were not properly made, and they fail eventually - the mboard manufacturer didn't know they were improperly made at the time the mboard was made.
Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .
This was the original bad capacitor problem - has some example pictures.
History of why the exploding capacitors and which mboard makers were affected:
What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, Athlon cpu's, etc.:
"Do you know if Win 7 ACPI is different from Vista ACPI?"
Windows 7 is primarily the same as Vista with SP2 updates integrated into it, with many of the things that annoyed people about Vista removed or made more user friendly - as far as I know the ACPI support of Windows 7 is the same as for Vista.
"I also had an old P4 machine running XP in the basement with a different USB wifi that got a good signal (but always had trouble restoring the connection after sleep - I figured it was just XP)."
Did you install the main chipset drivers ?
If the mboard is one older than when XP was first released, circa 2001, the ACPI support built into Windows XP may not be supported by the mboard.
XP can be installed from scratch with it's ACPI support disabled - Power Options settings usually still allow the mboard to shut off the monitor or hard drives in that case, moving a mouse or pressing a key wakes that up. You DO NOT need to use Standby or Hibernate modes with a desktop computer in any case - you can use Power Options settings instead.