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  • Weird WLAN problem

    Topic Resolution: Not Resolved

    Yesterday, my better half informed me that her new smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy A51 with Android 10 on it, was unable to make calls, although it could receive calls and text messages.

    Troubleshooting quickly determined that she could call other cell phones, but not landline numbers. In the meantime, I discovered that Android on her phone had not been updated since June, and some of the apps were last updated in February. So the first obvious try to fix her issue was to update the software on her phone.

    Therefore, and in order to avoid using up the data on the phone, I went to set up my trusty wireless LAN on a Windows 7 laptop; I’ve been using it to update my own phone which is still on Android 8.0 and we have also relied on it for Zoom sessions during the pandemic.

    Except that her phone would not connect to the WLAN. I visited a dozen websites with tips and suggestions for what do to about this: closed down the WLAN and restarted it; turned off Wi-fi on the phone and re-enabled it; went into and back out of airplane mode; shut down the phone and powered it back up; used a static address instead of DHCP; cleared the Google Services cache–you name it, I tried it. Nothing worked. The phone could still not get an IP address.

    To test the WLAN on the laptop, I tried connecting my phone to it and that worked without a hitch. I also closed down the WLAN and set it up (with the same WLAN name and password) on a different laptop, also Windows 7. Still no dice.

    I gave up and tried to update her phone using the mobile data. But Android refused, giving only the “option” to download the updates via Wi-fi. Nice little conundrum there–I am allowed to do it only via Wi-fi, but I can’t connect to Wi-fi.

    I was girding myself to do a phone reset when the idea popped into my head to try setting the WLAN up on my new Windows 10 PC. Windows 10 posed some objection to the way I was doing it that I can no longer remember, but in the process I discovered that I could set up a mobile hotspot, so I tried that. And lo and behold, it worked! I managed to bring the phone up to date and everything seems to be working well now (until the next time…).

    This experience led me to wonder: the original WLAN setup worked fine on the Android 8 + Windows 7 combination, then not with Android 10 + Windows 7, and then again with Android 10 + Windows 10. Is there something about Android 10 that prevents it from connecting to a WLAN that’s managed by Windows 7? What would be the technical hurdles involved?

    Any insights or information will be appreciated, thanks!


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