In my continuing “ways I’ve found to overcome technology problems” series, I’ve just found a good way of taming the truculent wi-fi on my Nintendo DS Lite.
When set to “auto everything” mode, I could NOT get it to connect to my wireless network at all. Nothing. Not a jot. So, in true problem-solving mode I hit the internet for answers.
Turns out – as with all these things – that I’m not the only one to be having issues. Seems like when the DS is set to obtain IP and DNS settings automatically, it can get confused very easily, particularly when there are lots of other wireless devices on the network.
Turns out the easiest way around the problem is to configure the DS manually, so here comes a step-by-step on how to do it. Needless to say, if the automatic settings work for you, there’s no point in fiddling, but if the DS is refusing to play ball this might be what you’re looking for.
1) Grab your nearest wi-fi enabled DS game and slap it in the DS. When it boots up, find the “wi-fi settings” in the game menu (different games have it in different places).
2) Tap the “Nintendo Wi-fi Connection Settings” button on the next screen. If you’ve got any current settings saved, you might want to erase them at this point, or alternatively choose one of the other free slots – your choice.
3) This is where we’re going to get “manual”, so you’re going to need some settings. The best place to get these is from your computer. In Windows XP, go to the “Run” dialog box and type CMD to get you to the command prompt. Once you’re there, type IPCONFIG/ALL. This command will bring up a whole load of settings – might look a bit daunting, but bear with me here.
4) On your DS, change the “Auto-obtain IP Address” to “No” rather than yes. This will alllow you to type in the next lot of settings.
5) Now you need to choose your IP address. Look at the information in the IPCONFIG window and you’ll see your current IP listed there – probably something like 192.168.0.x. You’ll be keeping the first three numbers the same on your DS but changing the last one to something else. What number you choose will depend on how many devices (not just wireless ones) you’ve got on your network. I can routinely have ten things connected at once, so I opted to have this last number as 20. Choose something significantly higher than you’re likely to need so there are no conflicts later on.
6) Type your chosen IP into the DS by tapping the “edit” button and punching them in with your stylus (you need all four sets of numbers).
7) Back on the IPCONFIG window on your computer, you’ll now need the numbers listed as SUBNET MASK and DEFAULT GATEWAY.
8) Type these numbers into your DS in the same way you did with your chosen IP. On the DS, the default gateway is just called “gateway”, in case you were wondering.
9) Set “Auto obtain DNS” on the DS to “no”, then find the two sets of numbers listed as DNS SERVERS in your IPCONFIG window.
10) Type the first DNS SERVER number into your DS under the “Primary DNS” setting and the second number into the “Secondary DNS”.
11) Tap “Save settings” and you should be good to go! Tap “test connection” at the top of the DS window and if all is well, you’ll be greeted with a “Connection successful” message.
12) Play online games to your heart’s content and get your ass whipped by a seven year old Chinese kid that you’ve never even met…
I realise this information is already out there on the internets, but the more places it’s available the better in my opinion.