Vista repeatedly dropping wireless connection – solution

I am visiting my parents and connect to their network via wireless router. My laptop, which is (still!) running Vista kept dropping wireless connection every couple of minutes and reconnecting again. Interestingly, the other computers connected to the same router had no problems.

I could not figure out where to even start troubleshooting this issue, until I noticed that the problem only happens while I am running on battery and not when I am connected to the mains. Once I notice that, the solution was simple – power management module must have been too eager and turning off wireless after 30 seconds of inactivity. Given that I was trying to read emails or webpages, that would occur fairly regularly.

The fix is to go to the power-management control panel and adjust on-battery behaviour to match the full-power one. I am putting this out because an hour of searching for this problem online did not bring any result. I hope the next person to be flummoxed by this repeated connection loss will find my blog entry fast.

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