Oddball behavior from two different notebooks on my home network

adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

First notebook: 2012 Alienware M17X R4
2nd notebook: 2016 Gigabyte P55Wv7-KL2

Oddball behavior #1: When either one of these notebooks is plugged into our kitchen wall outlets, not immediately but in an hour or two, they will trip the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) necessitating resetting the breaker. No other electrical device will do this, just one of these two notebooks. I have replaced the GFCI only to have the event repeat on a new breaker. Anyone else experience anything like this? The best I can figure is it must be related to the battery charging circuitry in the notebooks drawing a load that trips the breaker. Plausible? Other takes? Using either notebook anywhere else in house presents no problems.

Oddball behavior #2: Both of these notebooks have been throwing out, "server not found" error msgs. periodically when connecting to our wireless network. WLAN driver searches have not yielded any updates. In an effort to work around this issue, I have installed two different USB Wireless network dongles and the "server not found" msgs. have disappeared completely. Something is going on with the internal wireless adapters on both of these notebooks but I can't figure out what it might be. I don't mind using a USB adapter instead of the notebooks' internal adapters though I don't care for the things sticking out the end of the notebook. Any thoughts on this matter?


  • On your Trips with the GFCI, how hot is the laptop power brick when it trips? It should never get more than luke warm, if it's actually hot it's draw may be too much?

    I work on a ton of consumer hardware in my job. I have been seeing similar issues with the most recent Windows 10 updates. I've seen several popular internal adapters reset back to default configurations, some have major driver issue post creators update.

    What I'm finding more and more is there is some battle between the OEM's trying to maintain control of the driver updating and Microsoft taking a bigger lead out of Windows update. I have had some success going to the device manager, removing the device entirely, re starting and letting Windows re install it. Be sure to manually download the drivers from the manufactures website first just in case but let Windows configure for whatever vanilla WiFi driver they have slated for that particular adapter if you can and see how that works first. I've even had a couple externals that will go through a similar problem. The Linksys WUSB 6300 wasn't a problem, then post update it was, but if you uninstall the Linksys Windows 10 optimized driver and just let Windows treat it as a plug and play it works fine again. Microsoft basically forbid OEM's from turning off update in favor of their own driver management suites as part of the Windows 10 OEM license. I think Microsoft is assuming control and saying, plain jane boring non optimized vanilla drivers for all!!! Let's get our Apple on.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Thanks for the reply. However, I have not noticed temperature to be a problem for the power bricks on either notebook. I suspected driver issues all along, but you may be onto something with Windows 10 factors.

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian
    edited September 2017

    Is it tripping the breaker upstream, or the GFCI? If it's the breaker, then you've just got too much stuff on the circuit feeding the outlet. If it's the GFCI, then you have a different, possibly more severe, issue at hand. GFCI doesn't care about current, just whether there's current on ground. First - you'll never trip a properly-installed GFCI with a 2-prong plug. If either of the laptops that do this are 2-prong, then you need to call an electrician, something is seriously wrong with the wiring on that circuit. Second, since it's taking time for the trip to occur, I'd be more inclined to think it's a wiring issue, possibly heat buildup somewhere on the line that's causing things that shouldn't touch to touch. Regardless, I'd pop the test button on the outlet and leave it offline until you can have it properly diagnosed. 120v to ground for an extended period of time can cause things to get rather warm.

    Have you checked the MAC addresses on the internal adapters? I've seen weird behavior like that when multiple adapters with the same MAC are on the LAN. @Ryder knows this pain from an expo firsthand. Yes, it's not supposed to happen, but OEMs are notorious for doing dumb stuff like re-using the same MAC on an entire run of adapters, or shipping adapters with a MAC of all zeroes.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Thanks for the replies. The wall GFCI was being tripped. However, since moving the notebook(s) to different outlets, there have been no interrupts. No interrupts on the GFCI's either where they used to be. Still scratching my head a little but everything seems back to normal by relocating the notebooks.

    On the other issue, no MAC address conflicts found. Using the usb dongle adapters, both notebooks navigate readily. As much as I dislike things sticking out the side of a notebook, I think we will just stay with them since they are working.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian
    edited October 2017

    Well, after poking around online and in my wireless settings, I believe I found a fix for the intermittent "Server Not Found" error.

    Nope, Two hours later it was a big fat FAIL! :-/

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