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Installing and Using HP Wireless Assistant (Windows 7, Vista, XP)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq Notebook PCs with Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
The HP Wireless Assistant monitors the connections to the notebook's wireless card or cards, allowing you to manage wireless local area networks (WLAN), wireless wide area networks (WWAN), and Bluetooth wireless devices using one graphical interface. The HP Wireless Assistant displays the status of all the wireless devices allowing you to enable or disable all or some of the wireless devices. This document describes how to install, configure, and use the HP wireless Assistant. A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is also provided.
Figure : HP Wireless Assistant
HP wireless Assistant screen
Installing HP Wireless Assistant
The HP Wireless Assistant is pre-installed as part of the standard HP image for both Windows 7 and Vista operating systems, and is available for Windows XP. If it was removed or the operating system was changed, HP recommends that it be reinstalled along with the latest version of the wireless network device drivers for your model and OS.
Configuring HP Wireless Assistant
The HP Wireless Assistant status icon can be found in the taskbar.
To open the HP Wireless Assistant, right-click the icon, and then select the Open Wireless Assistant option.
If the HP Wireless Assistant application is installed but the icons are not displayed, change the settings by performing the following steps.
  1. Click Start , select Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet.
  2. Click HP Wireless Assistant to open a window that lists all the installed wireless devices. The status of each device is displayed. Click the Properties button.
     note:
    If the HP Wireless Assistant is not listed in Network and Internet, see the section on Installing HP Wireless Assistant.
    Figure : HP Wireless Assistant
    HP Wireless Assistant with selection
  3. On the Settings screen, select the Show HP Wireless Assistant icon in the notification area option.
    Select or deselect other options as desired, and then click the Apply button to accept the changes.
    Figure : HP Wireless Assistant - Settings
    HP Wireless Assistant settings screen with selections
Checking the status of wireless network devices
The HP Wireless Assistant icons in the taskbar notification area indicate the status of all the wireless devices.
Icon indicates that all the devices are turned on and enabled. The wireless devices should be working properly.
Icon indicates the devices are turned off or disabled. Move the mouse over the icon to check the status.
Open Wireless Assistant
Right-click either icon and select this option to open the HP Wireless Assistant graphical User Interface.
Status message displays for several seconds when the wireless power switch is turned on or off.
Frequently Asked Questions about wireless devices
Does my PC have a wireless device?
Wireless network cards are installed on most HP and Compaq notebooks built since 2004 or earlier. If you have any questions, see the product specification sheet for your model. For older notebooks and desktop computers, there are external wireless network card that plug into an express card slot or a USB port.
Is there only one type of wireless card?
Depending on the model, a notebook may have a wireless WLAN, WWAN, and or a Bluetooth card. The WLAN and Bluetooth service may be combined on the same card. The HP Wireless Assistant will recognize and manage all the wireless cards that are installed.
Should I use the wireless power switch on the outside of my case?
There is a power switch on the outside of the case or above the keyboard to physically turn the power to the card on and off, however some power switches can also be controlled by software. The most common cause of a lost wireless connection is accidentally turning off the wireless power switch.
Should I leave the wireless turned on at all times?
The wireless cards can be turned off when they are not in use to reduce the power consumption when operating on battery power.
Can I connect to any wireless network?
To use your computer's wireless network card, you must know the name of the wireless network (SSID), and the security password.
For security of your data, never connect to an open network that does not have security. See Troubleshooting Your Wireless Network and Internet Connection (Windows 7).
For Bluetooth connections, even connections to headsets or speakers, you will need to set paring to provide some security. See Using Bluetooth Devices (Windows 7).

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